As we move through this awkward week between Christmas and the end of the year, ALDLAND’s contributors are going to help smooth the ride by guiding you on a look back on the year in sports, music, and the other stuff we write about here.
Before Brendan (bpbrady) starts things off– this was his idea, after all– a few site-wide notes. 2011 is ALDLAND’s first year, although it hasn’t really been a full year, or even half of one. The site launched back on August 1 with one writer and a handful of posts from the can and even fewer readers. Everything’s grown since then, and rapidly. There now is a solid body of material hosted here, more readers, followers, and fans, as well as six writers and counting. Since we started, we’ve had nearly 5,000 hits, a number that’s growing at an exponential pace. A number of our individual posts have received a lot of attention. By far the most popular was commodawg’s takedown of Bill Simmons’ early Grantland writing. The top five posts here, adjusted for some things, are:
- Bill Simmons writes a piece based upon his “stupid, indefensible, annoying and strangely addictive gimmick.” Tell me more!
- Has Clay Travis outKicked his coverage?
- To what we’re listening: Root Glen’s Fall EP
- The final chapter of the Ole Miss mascot search
- Moonshine hangover: What happened at the end of Vandy/UT last night?
Honorable mentions go to: a) Don Cherry, King bully; b) Time to retire #27?; and c) Mario Balotelli: A Great Athlete or the Greatest Athlete?. Best of the rest: i) A boy named Suh; ii) C-3P-No: Chris Paul, David Stern, the fourth wall, and McCulloch v. Maryland; iii) Why is Roger Goodell carrying water for the NCAA?; and iv) Writing about writing about writing: Granntland.
Finally, in terms of content, I think one of the site’s most unique offerings is the “live” coverage we provide of events– games, concerts, movies, etc.– we attend. The examples are too many to list. Some may appear in the forthcoming year-in-review posts, but if you’ve been reading the site, you know what I’m talking about.
I think this sort of live coverage, along with thoughtful (and humorous, in some cases) writing criticism of all of the new web-first sports writing that emerged in 2011, are two of the things ALDLAND is well situated to cover. I certainly don’t expect the other contributors to agree with that, however, and the real strength of the site, the real thing we’re situated well to do is be six people with different interests and emphases and explore them in at least six different ways. (It is worth noting that we boast geographic and gender diversity that competes with and even surpasses– both in terms of proportionality and raw numbers– sites like Deadspin, Grantland, OutKick the Coverage, and The Classical.)
In his post commemorating ten years of PTI, commodawg likened this project to an ongoing conversation between friends, and that may be the best way to think about it. For those of you who check in on us, thanks for reading. If you’d like to join us in 2012, the door’s open.
Until then, on with the show…