Welcome back to a very special episode of “This Week In Mock Drafts.” Today we figured that we should alienate everyone by having a mock draft of other sports bloggers. Now since there are 9 of us, we decided that we won’t be drafting sports BLOGS, but rather the writers who work for them. That said, multiple writers from the same blog are allowed to be drafted. We’re all free agents when you think about it.
To the draft:
1. Old James selects – Spencer Hall from EDSBS/SB Nation
I had to get up and walk out of my cubicle the first time I read a Howard Schnellenberger’s Top 25 list. Muffling the laughter I could do, suppressing the tears I could not. No one on the #web consistently writes funnier or smarter. Bonus points for championing the #RonP4 meme, which made a dark period of this K-State fan’s life much easier to live with.
2. Trevor Risk selects – Christmas Ape from Kissing Suzy Kolber
Brown-nosing aside, he gave me a gig writing for the only blog I read, and his piece this week on the media dealing with that Ed Hardy Labradoodle that owns the Colts was the best thing on the internet that day.
/leaves apple on Ape’s desk
Ape: Damn there goes my pick.
3. Big Sandy selects – Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy
Funny, insightful, and a must-read during the NHL playoffs which are way more intense, fun, and exciting than I could imagine before I became a hockey convert upon a move to Chicago years ago.
4. Eric Sollenberger selects – Jon Bois of SB Nation
Who’s the best sports blogger well guess what it’s you. (Note: only valid if you are Jon Bois)
He is fundamentally wrong about a lot of things like the subjective deliciousness of broccoli, but he is pretty awesome at other things like writing about the food in Indianapolis.
5. RobotsFightingDinosaurs selects – Drew Magary formerly of KSK, currently at Deadspin and GQ
At this point I gotta take Drew Magary. Yeah, he talks about poop and being a dad a lot, but if you dig through some of the bitching he does, there’s some of the most genuine, thoughtful sports writing you can find on the internet. Plus, he’s self-aware, almost to a fault, and I appreciate that in a business where not many people admit their own faults. And hell, he’s a founder over here, so I have to give him some love.
/RobotsFightingDinosaurs discovers Drew’s Bitchy Bracket
RobotsFightingDinosaurs: Can I take back my pick?
Ape: NOPE YOU CHOSE MAGARY YOU KEEP TROLL MAGARY TOO
6. Christmas Ape selects – Holly Anderson of Grantland
As is the case with Spencer, it’s a testament that I hardly give a shit about the sport she covers (at least at that level) and yet still consistently read her stuff. The most helpful person I dealt with during my time at SB Nation. Also, I’m almost certainly stealing one of Sarah’s picks.
SHIT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN
Sarah Sprague: ASSMONKEY APE YOU DID TAKE MY PICK AND THAT WAS GOING TO DOUBLE AS MY WEDDING TOAST TO HER IN A FEW MONTHS. I COMPOSED THE WHOLE THING IN MY HEAD JUST NOW IN THE SHOWER.
Ape: Hahaha yessss
Sarah: Should also point out that if Holly hadn’t emailed me and said, “Hey, do you want to start a sports blog?” I wouldn’t be in this draft. Up until then, writing about sports really hadn’t occurred to either one of us.
6. Christmas Ape selects – Tomas Rios of various and sundry blogs like SportsOnEarth
Give me Tomas Rios instead. He’d appreciate a white guy drafting him and, like me, he isn’t afraid of burning bridges by shooting his mouth off, which is a quality I admire.
Sarah: Nah, you can keep Holly if you want unless you’re really attached to Rios. I already imagined him reading this draft with this jaw clenching tighter and tighter looking for his name.
Ape: I’ll take Rios. I was gonna take him with my second pick anyway. I’ll come up with someone else for that.
PFT Commenter: your one of the good ones Ape
Ape: Awful white of me.
7. PFT Commenter selects – Schottey at Bleacher Report
This is a complicaated one. Im probly only picking him because Bleacher Report negged me by rejecting my application to write for there website. Something about my take on Pagano possibley faking cancer or something that they didnt have the balls to run. Still he is my enspiration and his writing has influensed me tremendosly in fact lots of people mistake my columns for his because we have such simlar righting styles. Heres his take on me & KSK:
8. StuScottBooyahs selects – Dan Steinberg from the D.C. Sports Bog
Runs a solid blog at a 5,000-year-old newspaper. Doesn’t try to burn down the internet with scorching hot takes. Even got into a spat with Mike Wilbon without coming off as a douche.
9. Sarah Sprague selects – Holly Anderson of Grantland
For all the reasons above that Mike and I fought over having her in what will now be called The Thomas Rios Affair, I could care a lick about college football but I still read her pieces not just because we’re friends that often share a brain, but because they’re always about more than college football.
10. Sarah Sprague selects – Jelisa Castrodale (Free Agent)
She’s no longer at NBC or MSN, but hopefully she will find a new home soon because she is one of the most underrated writers to ever pass through the sports blogosphere. Not saying this as her friend, not saying this as someone I have a hivemind shared a brain with, I say this as someone who would eat Jelisa’s pinky toe raw if it meant I could write with the humor and ease that pours out of her on a daily basis along with her ability to drop a mind-blowing obscure stat in the middle of thought or argument without being dick it.
11. StuScottBooyahs selects – Michael Schur from Fire Joe Morgan
OK, he doesn’t blog anymore, what with being busy with Parks and Rec and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But Fire Joe Morgan may have been the most influential blog out there in the mid-2000s, despite its spartan design, if you can even call it designed.
Any blog that begins a post with, “I knew you’d write something stupid, you old fart of a washed-up, retarded NY Times baseball reporter!” is alright in my book.
12. PFT Commenter selects – Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk
Nice I took a gamble and left him here figureing hed be safe in the early 2nd round. I knew there was going to be a run on Schotteys in the late 1st so I took my chances.
Mikes the one who taught me what it mean to be a true fan. If it werent for Mike and his coment section I wouldnt be here today, but neither would Jason Whitlock and Pete Pricsco. Hes a real hoot also- but fair warning: some of his jokes are a bit edgy and might go right over youre head if youve never seen a Seinfeld.
13. Christmas Ape selects – Tommy Craggs from Deadspin
Doesn’t write a ton but always incisive and necessary whenever his byline shows up on Deadspin.
Sarah: Craggs should write a ton more. Hate that he doesn’t.
14. RobotsFightingDinosaurs selects – Rick Reilly from SI/ESPN
Gotta do it.
Rick motherfucking Reilly.
*Ed. note* RFD is also the guy who selected the song from Pokemon in the first round of the guitar solo draft, just saying.
I know I get new, shitty Rick Reilly as well, but it’s important to remember that in the past, Reilly was the most universally loved writer in the business. The consensus is that his writing got a lot hackier when he was signed by THE WORLDWIDE LEADER and left SI– that’s when the self-plagiarism started. But, as Ape’s pick Tommy Craggs details here, Reilly was something special. Really special. And despite his current floundering at ESPN, his original “blog” on the back pages of SI still deserves to be regarded as insightful, personal, and informative.
15. Eric Sollenberger selects – Will Leitch founder of Deadspin, currently at Sports On Earth
Well this draft has been really solid so far. I’m going with Leitch because were it not for Deadspin and its comment section 2007-2011 I’m not sure I would have ever written for any sports blogs myself.
16. Big Sandy selects – Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight
For my second pick, I’m going with Nate “Data Don’t Lie” Silver. Sure, everyone knows him as the witch that has prognosticated electoral victories, but the recent launch of his new FiveThirtyEight website included his data breakdown of this year’s NCAA Men’s bracket, a great reminder that before he was the guy politicos got boners over, he was the guy who developed PECOTA — for fun. Now that’s he got the new site tied in with ESPN, I’m really looking forward to more sports-related stuff from him.
17. Trevor Risk selects – Katie Baker of Grantland
I’m taking Katie Baker. It probably pisses off lots of jerkoff Canadian bros that she’s the best hockey analyst out there; not so much because she’s female, but because she’s American.
18. Old James selects- LSU Freek
When my time on earth is gone
And my activities here deplete
I want they bury me underneath my iPad
And put this on repeat
18. Old James selects – Andrew Sharp of Grantland
Seems appropriate someone with the last name Sharp would invent the popular #HotSportsTake.
Too bad his opinions are duller than James Harden’s razor.
19. Trevor Risk selects – Chuck Klosterman
It’s still curious to me why someone who seems so innocuous is widely disliked by certain communities. I still buy all his books, and he has an interesting way of justifying and explaining the NFL to the uninitiated.
20. Big Sandy selects – Joe Posnanski from NBC Sports
His stuff is often very long and not the best for scanning while on the bus or at work flipping through browser tabs but when you get a chance to settle in with his stuff, it’s great and rewarding. He came under fire a few years ago for some things he said regarding Paterno, seen as gleaming over Paterno’s role in the Sandusky scandal, but in the long run, he’s always come across as a writer who never stooped to cloying crap even if other writers (coughRickReillycough) would make no bones about doing so.
21. Eric Sollenberger selects – Jeb Lund aka Mobute
Well you stole Sharp from me thanks. I’m selecting Mobute if for no other reason but this thing he and Bro Pair wrote about Nixon reacting to the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl. One of the most perfectly executed pieces of sports satire I’ve ever read.
22. RobotsFightingDinosaurs selects – @CelebrityHotTub/Run Home Jack from EDSBS
Because he is an absolute must-follow on Twitter, his EDSBS posts make me laugh out loud to the point where people look at me funny, and also because this just makes me so fucking happy. Notre Dame can go fuck itself.
23. Christmas Ape selects – David Shoemaker (Formerly the Masked Man)
His Dead Wrestler of the Week series when he was at Deadspin was incredible. Along with Brandon Stroud at With Leather and Holzerman at The Wrestling Blog, among the few consistently strong voices covering wrasslin’ online period, not just in the blogosphere.
24. PFT Commenter selects – Jay Mariotti from SportsTalkForida
Im taking Mariotti all day. He’s all over the missing plane beat. Plus he is all about stuff that ticks him of. Youll never here him say anything good and he always figures out a way to talk about beautiful women hes had and places hes been fired.
25. StuScottBooyahs selects – Dan Shanoff formerly of ESPN.com currently at USA Today/Quickish
Well, I’m completely out of sportswriters I regularly read. I guess I’ll go with Shanoff.
26. Sarah Sprague selects – The entire Pensblog staff
Pensblog is the best of fan-specific online writing; hyper awareness of everything that is going on with the team, cantankerous arguing with uneducated fans and dilettantes, reasoned responses when the sky is falling (or panic when needed), and an absolute love of hockey combined with a great sense of humor. Too many blogs have become sanitized, too worried about competing with their local paper or the larger syndicated sites over the past three or four years and I really think we’ve lost what makes online sports writing so special, having a unique voice while indulging a sports obsession. Pensblog is one of the last bastions we have of the old mentality that makes this all fun in the first place.