The ex-Deadspin writer on launching the new site, and what names didn’t make the cut.

The day after 18 ex-Deadspinners announced the launch of their new worker-owned, subscription-based website, I talked to writer Luis Paez-Pumar about how they got here and where they go next. You can subscribe to Defector here.

Thanks for talking to me for this blog when GQ and the Times are writing about you guys.

Nah man, every press hit counts. This is scary! And also, I just like to talk about it. …


The title is meaningless, at least for the next few years.

Yesterday, one the country’s leading cycling organizations, PeopleForBikes, released their annual City Ratings, a wholistic ranking of the cycling environment in every U.S. city. Founded in 1999, PeopleForBikes is a advocacy organization focused on pushing cities to build more safe, accessible bike infrastructure at both the local and national level. In their advocacy work, PeopleForBikes has been very successful across their two decades of existence, helping to acquire hundreds of millions of dollars in government funding for important infrastructure projects.

They have also, for the past few years, published these annual rankings, supposedly to “showcase the cities leading the nation.”…


If you’re trying to solve a budget crisis, you’re looking in the wrong place.

Unsurprisingly, the economic shockwaves of the coronavirus epidemic have started to be felt in the ivory tower. Across the country, state schools and private institutions alike are looking for ways to cut costs. Every day, a new university issues a press release announcing hiring and wage freezes, along with vague promises to lower expenditures ‘not critical to the core mission’ of the school, obviously without defining what that core mission is.

Sports, it seems, are not part of the mission. Last month, Old Dominion kicked things off by cutting their wrestling team. Yesterday, the University of Cincinnati dropped men’s soccer…


By Matthew Futterman

Matthew Futterman, the deputy sports editor at the New York Times, has been covering sports every day for the past few decades. Thus it makes sense for someone like him to write this book, focusing on the ways that sport has changed over the past sixty years. In his first of two books, Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution, Futterman tracks some of those changes through the eyes of those supposedly responsible for them.

These figures span a spectrum, from the stars that everyone knows to businessmen that even the…


By Jennifer Ring

Jennifer Ring, now a professor emeritus at University of Nevada, Reno is a political scientist by training, and spent the first decades of her career analyzing traditional political philosophy, race, and identity politics. But in 2009, Ring gave us Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball. It was a passion project, quite removed from her previous research — but that passion clearly showed. Here, Ring explores the history of women in baseball, finding that they were just as much a part of its early years as were boys and men. …


The problem is structural, not behavioral.

As Jane Jacobs famously wrote in her 1961 classic, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, sidewalks are “the main public places of the city,” its “most vital organs.” They function as spaces for commerce or leisure; they are a key piece of the transportation puzzle; they are social. They are often a home for the homeless, or area to give voice to the voiceless. Yet despite their significance, most of us, from normal citizens to those that stalk to halls of power, manage to take them for granted. So what happens when, for decades, we systematically underfund and…


Appropriation for public use can help fight the spread of coronavirus.

As more and more of the country finds itself under shelter-in-place orders, Americans seem to be gladly taking advantage of one of the few reasons they are permitted to leave their homes: exercise. Sidewalks and bike lanes are buzzing with activity as folks attempt to maintain some moderate level of wellbeing through this time. To this end, increasingly large crowds seem to be finding their way to local parks and trails, which gives public health officials a new, unneeded problem to address. From the east coast to the west, and from neighborhood parks to national ones, our country’s accessible open…


And it looks like we’ve got a new clubhouse leader!

Thankfully, it seems that in this time of crisis the majority of professional sport franchises have been appropriately shamed into doing the bare minimum to ensure the human dignity of their employees. But make no mistake — it is social pressure, not any sort of moral conscience, that is driving these decisions. That is why some teams only agree to do the absolute bare minimum after being pilloried in the press and by the public. Thus, we have most teams working their PR departments overtime to make sure people know that they’re paying their employees, at least in the short…


A rapidly evolving — or rather, disintegrating — media landscape is driving writers to newsletters

Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

“It’s mine. It’s entirely mine. So few things are entirely ours,” journalist Will Leitch told me of his weekly bulletin, called This Here Newsletter.

Leitch made his name in sports and culture writing: He was the founding editor of Deadspin and still churns out regular columns for the likes of New York magazine and mlb.com. But with This Here Newsletter, which is approaching its 200th issue, Leitch now has an outlet to write about anything he wants: sports commentary, politics, and personal essays about his family. The only constant is Leitch’s autonomy.

A rapidly evolving — or rather, disintegrating —…


Short answer: probably, but it’s hard to prove!

In November 2015, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake published a report titled, Tackling Paid Patriotism: A Joint Oversight Report. It detailed how the Department of Defense had signed marketing contracts with professional sports teams worth millions of dollars annually. These contracts gave the military the ability to perform public relations stunts at sporting events in front of a captive audience of tens of thousands of people. These stunts included on-field swearings in, national anthem performances, military fly-overs, color guards, and other self-congratulatory practices by the military. …

Ryan Murtha

Philadelphia expat

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