Thursday, October 4, 2012

Take Me to the Promised (Grant)land

Bill Simmons is my idol.

The way young girls worship Justin Beiber? The way ultra-Republicans pant over Rush Limbaugh? That's how I feel about Bill Simmons.

Mr. "Sports Guy" himself is the reason I wanted to start a sports blog. He's like if a sports encyclopedia mated with Conan O'Brien (or someone equally as funny). His pithy, witty sports columns are all that I strive (and, probably mostly, fail) to be.

Our relationship started out fairly breezy, as my friend Leah would say. I would occasionally take a gander over to to catch a Sports Guy column...mostly mail bags, but also a feature piece or two.

Then came his "Bill Simmons Goes to Vegas" piece (read part 1 and part 2 here). I read it until I cried. I made my parents read it. I told the world about it. I was that annoying person who would refer to Simmons as if we brunched every weekend and then, when people would give me dumb looks, would incredulously say, "You don't know who Bill Simmons IS?"

It was probably at that moment that I went past "breezy" to full-fledged obsessed.


Last year, Simmons branched out from his ESPN gig to create a safe environment for other hilarious sports-minded writers like himself.

I'm still waiting for my invite to join the staff, BTW.

Thus, Grantland was born. And it was glorious.

But, I didn't visit as often as I should. Not even when Mark Titus of "Club Trillion" (a Bill Simmons prodigy and former walk-on for the Ohio State Buckeye basketball team) joined the ranks.

If you've never heard of Mark Titus, please read his "Love in an Elevator" blog post. You're welcome.

Anyhoo, I think it was the narcissist in me. Or the lazy in me. Either way, I didn't want to be influenced by the awesomeness that I would find on the site. I needed to keep a sense of self in my own blog, even if that sense was totally inferior.

About now, you may be asking yourself...why the hell is she telling me this? Is the sports-o-nista that hard up for topics that she's rambling about other sports blogs?

Well, yes, partly. But mostly because as of late, Grantland has been focusing on one particular topic near and dear to my heart: WVU.

It started last Friday with a blurb about current Heisman front-runner Geno Smith. I promptly shared on my facebook page, then spent the entire weekend asking people if they had seen it. When they responded "No", I would make them listen as I read it aloud.

And then Tuesday, this post appeared. Anything that likened Head Coach Dana Holgorsen's hair to being ravaged by a family of vengeful squirrels was alright in my book. I mean seriously, can you imagine?

I guess what I'm trying to say is this....Bill Simmons already had my heart. But now that Grantland has made my Mountaineers their go-to topic of choice? My obsession has been reinforced, reinvigorated, and revitalized.

So, thank you Bill Simmons. Thank you Grantland. I was never good at "breezy" anyway.

Images provided by sportsjournalistsprofile, and kwc.


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