The potential rise of Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open – Grantland

The internet has made everything possible and everything saleable.

Simultaneously it has made everything intangible, ephemeral  and destroyed retailing.

When the best is free on-line, why would you pay for anything?  (Think of the quality of this website).  Why would you print anything, and anyway where would you find a shop to sell such relics?  The biggest music store chain (HMV) and video rental chain (Blockbuster) in the UK have both just gone bankrupt in the same week.

Like 20/20 Cricket I don’t like or understand where all this takes us.  But over the years I have learned that change and innovation are unstoppable forces, and that things rarely unfold in the way we expect (I am still waiting for my T1 Telstra float bonanza).

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  “Progress” is like a pendulum swing that overreaches; lurches violently backwards; but eventually settles towards a sensible balance.

This is all by way of sharing the best US sporting and popular culture website I have come across.  It’s named “Grantland” ( after the legendary sports columnist of the first half of the 20th century Grantland Rice.  He was the man who wrote: “For when the One Great Scorer comes To mark against your name, He writes – not that you won or lost – But how you played the Game.”

The Grantland website and (gasp) printed quarterly journal is an uneasy alliance between the broadcasting behemoth ESPN and the left-field publisher McSweeney’s (established by Dave Eggers the author of “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” and “You Shall Know Our Velocity”).

A New York Times writer commented on the symbiotic relationship between the on-line sports journal and ESPN thus:

“Even as adversaries, they serve a useful purpose for each other. Like David Letterman’s potshots at NBC, (Grantland Editor) Simmons’s jabs at ESPN help him maintain his increasingly threatened anti-establishment credibility. ESPN can point to Simmons as evidence that it’s not the Kremlin of the sports world. ”

Any chance that the AFL could be encouraged toward similar enlightened despotism?  Harms as a much-deserved media mogul?  Fame and riches for the Almanac?  Fox Sports publishing something that’s not fluff and infomercials?

Tell him he’s dreaming.

Meantime read a terrific analysis of the current state of men’s tennis, and the allure of Tomic to distant eyes (a female American sportswriter) – click here.


  1. Dave Nadel says

    Thanks for drawing my attention to the Grantland article, Peter. It is very good.

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    I must say that I am not yet a believer, the bloke talks too much. A really excellent read though from an “outsider”.

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