My favorite blog Deadspin will never be the same. Will Leitch anounced yesterday that he would be leaving his editor post at Deadspin to become a contributor at New York Magazine. This comes after 3 years of blogging for Gawker Media’s crown jewel, and after building Deadspin into the identifiable icon that it is today.
First things first, while I am not not shocked by the announcement; I will really miss Will Leitch writing for Deadspin. I actually found myself fearful this morning when thinking about the change. There is no way to replace Leitch as editor, or even come close. In the same breath, he’ll positively impact New York Magazine and anywhere else he goes in future endeavors the way he did Deadspin because he has a great voice for writing, he’s interesting and creative. I knew about blogging before I knew about Leitch, but when I began to read Deadspin with him at the helm; I started to think differently about sports and those who write about it. Often times when something would happen in the sports world, I would find myself saying rhetorically ‘I wonder what Will Leitch’s take will be’. You couldn’t do this with most journalists, they all have the same vanilla report in their papers. In my opinion, this is what makes blogging great and Will was one of the first to really discover and master that.
Beyond that, Mr. Leitch was a tremendous help to thousands of bloggers out there. Obviously he laid the groundwork for all blogs in general to get all the publicity they do today. He also made me a better blogger. When I played baseball I watched tape and film of great hitters and emulated their swing. From reading Leitch, I became a better blogger (long ways to go but I’m happy with it). When I first began blogging, I thought that there were some politics that were involved with who Deadspin and other mainstream blogs would link. That certainly exists but not with Deadspin and Leitch. Over time I realized that Leitch would throw links to virtually anyone that had an interesting or creative post. You always had a chance to ‘make Deadspin’ that day, and Leitch constantly was respectful and open minded in viewing what I’m sure is a countless number of strangers’ posts.
This announcement comes at an odd time. Just days ago I booked a flight to New York to stay with my best friend in which we’ll be attending a couple games at Yankee Stadium and one at Shea. I thought of emailing Will a few times and asking him if he’d meet and let me buy him a beer. Not sure he’s ever had that request before, but he’s a person I’d like to meet and he seems personable enough through email that he’d maybe oblige. I thought of it as a way of saying ‘thanks’ for what he does.
Call this an ass-kissing post, whatever you want. I don’t do that. The bottom line is that it is true what they say, nothing lasts forever: even Leitch at Deadspin. That is a shame for me and many others out there.
Every time I see a Cardinals highlight on ESPN (well almost every time) I’ll have a hard time not thinking of Will and Deadspin. Thanks for making an impact Will and good luck in the future. You changed the way that many think and we here at Diamond Hoggers know you’re just one of those guys who will be a success at whatever you choose to do.