Wednesday, June 15, 2011

le sigh: Grantland on hockey is garbage

Oh, and I'd had such high hopes for Grantland. I mean, the rambly, insight-free Katie Baker writing about hockey--how could that possibly go wrong?

Well, it starts going wrong with calling the explicitly-identified audience for your writing "idiot".

Dear Hockey Idiot: Here Are Answers to All Your Questions About Game 7. You're Welcome.

While that's a half-okay blog move--hey, idiots, thanks for reading--from the classed-up joint named after El Deano de NorteAmericano DesportesEscribo, I would have expected (and as a reader, I'm going ahead and demanding) something really hard to think of and difficult to pull off, something like:

Since there's nothing as wonderful as playoff hockey, and nothing as agonizing as a playoff elimination game, and since a game 7 being played for the Stanley Cup is nearly painfully intense, we here at Grantland want to prepare you for a terrific experience.

But no. Katie Baker, standing here metonymically for Grantland, needs to establish that she's smart, we're dumb, she knows, we don't, she's big, we're little.

Then we get nearly an entire paragraph into her piece, we get our first jarring formatting glitch:

On a darker note, both teams have seen a player go down in terrifying fashion & # 8 2 1 2 ; Boston's Nathan Horton was concussed in Game 3,

Good to see this prestige project is getting the same shitty proofreading and quality control the mothership is known for.

The rest is standard Baker-mush. A couple canny links establish her bona fides (again), and she basks in the reflected glow of Down Goes Brown and Greg Wyshynski, while stirring in a not-exhausted-at-all question/answer format and worthless comments like "keep an eye out for Marchand and Seguin". Uhm. How is the supposed audience supposed to keep an eye out for players they're identified as having never seen? Throw a jersey number out if you actually want to be helpful--otherwise, delete this section, because all it does is waste my fucking time.

Then we've got some Grantlandian lexical play that's undercut in the very same sentence by an infelicitous usage:

it's a toss-up whether skilled and despised (skilledespised?) agitators such as Alexandre Burrows and Maxim Lapierre will be featured or swept under the rug, though their valuable play is likely to earn them some mentions.

Valuable play?

D+, Baker. People seem to like your work, so I am going to assume you're capable of more.

--Collision, still waiting to get hired

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