On one end, you’ve got the creation of Grantland.com, the dreamwork of Bill Simmons and the financial muscle of ESPN backing it up.
Over on this end, there’s another classic approach to getting quality sportswriting to the masses.
When we had first come across (linked here) the concept of a sports website called The Classical a few weeks ago, soliciting seed money pledges that would get it to a $50,000 goal so it could launch by Sept. 29, we noted that 98 had signed up, kicked in $3,542 at that point, and there were 44 days to go.
Checking back with 10 days to go, it appears to have reached its goal. And even a little more pocket change — nearly 1,000 backers are there now, about a grand past the goal, with more probably coming.
Using the website kickstarter.com, which helps groups raise money to fund projects such as plays, technology, documentaries and video games, this New York-based group of experienced sportswriters put out there an idea of wanting to deliver a product “the way that smart people talk about sports,” and not make it just another blog or Tumblr. The start-up money will fund a budget for one year to keep at least two people working on it fulltime while “we show and prove ourselves.”
You can see by the site (linked here) that one backer kicked in $5,000, but it’s the little ones that add up: 163 kicked in $50, 283 had $25, 173 went with $10, 104 had $5 and 43 just was OK with $1.
It adds up, eh? Maybe it will even allow them by buy the domain name www.theclassical.com.
Check out the site for more info on the writers pulling this together, their credentials, and their vision statement.
And, for what it’s worth, note that Simmons was voted the No. 1 in the “five biggest jerks in sports” by Maxim magazine in its October issue (Frank McCourt was No. 5) for being the “most popular sportswriter in America (and) also the most thin-skinned.”