Bill Simmons and his "Grantland" Debut

Author's Note: This is an off-topic post, but given that it's the off-season, and many sports fans have strong opinions about Bill Simmons, I thought it was worth a mention. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the site and whether you're excited, disappointed, or generally ambivalent. - JC

Earlier today, Bill Simmons (best known as "The Sports Guy" on ESPN) unveiled Grantland, his ambitious passion project slash website. While the initial content is relatively sparse, I personally love the concept: a convergence of sports and popular culture via the congregation of some brilliant writers. The headline writer (other than Simmons, of course) is Chuck Klosterman, who (other than Simmons, of course) is perhaps this generation's archetypical embodiment of the aforementioned convergence.

Klosterman's first column is called "Three-Man Weave," an enjoyable story about a throwaway junior college game played in the 1980's between two Dakotan teams with absolutely zero historical significance. And yet, as is common with a Klosterman narrative, it's a captivating read.

You can check out the column here.

An excerpt from "Three-Man Weave":

More than 23 years ago, a pair of low-profile junior college basketball teams played a forgotten game on a neutral floor in southeast North Dakota. The favored team was a school best known for its two-year forestry program; the underdog was a miniscule all-Native American college whose campus is located outside the Bismarck, N.D., airport. You've (probably) never heard of either school, and — in all likelihood — you will (probably) never hear of either one again. And if you remember this game, you (probably) played in it.

[...]

But something crazy happened in this particular game.

In this particular game, a team won with only three players on the floor. And this was not a "metaphorical" victory or a "moral" victory: They literally won the game, 84-81, finishing the final 66 seconds by playing three-on-five. To refer to this as a David and Goliath battle devalues the impact of that cliché; it was more like a blind, one-armed David fighting Goliath without a rock. Yet there was no trick to this win and there was no deception — the team won by playing precisely how you'd expect. The crazy part is that it worked.

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