I first came across Deadspin on August 15, 2006. I was in my second tour of duty as an intern at NBC Sports and was still recovering from a freak “glass in the calf” incident. When surfing the world wide interwebs I stumbled across an article about “the real reason” Michael Jordan bailed out of Tahoe that year. The site it was on was one I had never heard of, but I read the “article” and then continued into the comments section. Instantly I was in heaven. It was filled with Simpson jokes, South Park jokes, and edgy humor. I immediately sent the site to the Chain of Gentlemen (back then it had far fewer subscribers, and regularly featured dirty words in the title that got Jim$ in trouble at work with the email police).
Deadspin is the godfather of sports blogs. Starting with Deadspin, I slowly started building up my daily blog portfolio, which was very tedious to keep track of what I read. Then came Google Reader, my savior, which I am not sure how I lived so long without. Now I read about 300 blog posts a day and it is my preferred method of keeping up with the world. Granted the world I am keeping up with is sports, technology, celebrity gossip, and in Tara’s words, cheerleaders. But in my defense, not all of the scantily clad women are cheerleaders.
Last month, Will Leitch, the editor of Deadspin released his book, God Save the Fan. Almost immediately he set off on a country wide book tour, the penultimate stop of which was at a Barnes and Noble in Tribeca. Much like a junior high school kid about to meet Hulk Hogan (or John Cena for middle school kids these days) I was excited to see him because he keeps me entertained on a daily basis.
Bloggers like to poke fun at themselves by talking about how they live in their parents basements and upon walking into the B&N that’s exactly what I found. As I stood there, however, I realized that is exactly what I was too. Living at home, in the basement, pretending not to be excited, and picturing the following conversation taking place:
Will: Hey, what’s your name?
Will: Nick, nice to meet you, I think I would like to become your friend, we should go out for drinks afterwards to celebrate our new friendship. Then in the coming weeks we can exchange witty emails with the rest of the crew.
I was even prepared to drop the NBC Sports card somehow in case the above conversation didn’t take place as planned. Just after the stroke of 7:00, Will was introduced and I had the same sensation Moro must get when Terry takes over the shift at Fitzy’s. The first thing he did was telling everyone in attendance they were invited to a bar around the corner for drinks after the reading/signing (So it didn’t follow the above order, but I was half way there!). After a brief introduction, a couple of people from the audience participated in a reading of the John Rocker interview. This was followed a tightly moderated Q&A session ruled over by the Question Dictator with an iron fist. Then everyone lined up to get their book signed. I debated leaving right then because by that time I had already broke the news to myself that nothing was going to happen, but I stayed anyway. Here is the dialogue that ensued:
Helper: Would you like Will to personalize your book?
Helper: Who should he make it out to?
Me: No, B-A-R-B-A-R
Helper: Ahhhhh BarbarOH
(Shuffles along in line, thinking of witty things to say)
Me: Hey, nice to meet you
(Will looks at name to sign. Laughs heartily)
Will: Ok what’s your real name
Will: Well it’s nice to meet you Nick
(Will half extends hand, then retracts, Nick extends hand out of habit)
(Handshake number 2)
Me: That was a little awkward
Me: Soooo, how tired does your hand get after one of these things…
Will: Not more tired than a normal day
Me: I guess that makes sense with the typing and all
Will: Yea I use my hands so much these days…but I’ve already said too much
Me: Well that explains the strong grip…
Me: Thanks, have a good one
(Walks out of store and straight to the train)
So there as you can tell Will and I are practically inseparable now. But you know what, it doesn’t bother me; my social awkwardness is well documented by now (see: I don’t even like Coke). It was cool to meet him in person and sure, I wish I could handle social situations better but what it comes down to is the quote above (circa 2008), It is all about being content with who you are, and I would take the Chain of Gentlemen over the blogosphere anyday.
So in conclusion, be comfortable in your own skin, and everyone is pretty cool in their own right. Except Long Island Douchbags. They should just kill themselves.