The feud between Deadspin and ESPN is well documented. The intense rivalry started when ESPN sources led Deadspin editor AJ Daulerio to sit on a tip about Steve Phillips' scandalous behavior. Eventually, Daulerio missed breaking the story and blamed ESPN for misleading him. Thus began the ESPN Horndoggery Dossier
. Ever since, ESPN and Deadspin haven't exactly been on the best of terms.
So, perhaps it was a surprise to hear that one of Deadspin's top writers, Tommy Craggs, was offered a position
by ESPN. Well, an offer to write at the "yes, it's really an ESPN website, but you're not supposed to know about it" Grantland, headed up, of course, by Bill Simmons. Craggs is definitely one of the most talented, notable writers on Deadspin (and in the blogosphere), and was a solid, if not surprising choice, to be involved in the new Simmons/ESPN project. However, in true Deadspin fashion, Craggs' offer was met with hesitancy after this article
, destroying ESPN's PR Blog and the name dropping of Page 2 editor Lynn Hoppes. It was over the top, but also brilliantly written -- Deadspin and Craggs at their best, but probably not something that made ESPN execs jump to bring him aboard Grantland.
There was an update to the story last night. ESPN exec John Walsh (portrayed as the grand poobah of journalistic integrity in Those Guys Have All The Fun,
he must LOVE Deadspin) wanted to meet with Craggs and "express his misgivings in person." Naturally, that meeting involved a pink gorilla telegram sent by Daulerio to sing the SportsCenter theme. Deadspin's videos aren't embeddable (pretty ironic, if you ask me, seeing as how they tear apart MLB for the same thing), so you have to check this link
to see it and read the whole story. No, I don't have the artistic ability to do a f%$#ing drawing, either. Here's a quote from the article though:Instead, I called up a singing telegram service in NYC to drop off a hand-delivered note. The woman on the phone took my order over the phone and repeated back to me the important pieces of information to pass along to her performer: "Essex House. 11:30. Albino man. Pink gorilla singing SportsCenter theme song. Two balloons. Got it,"...
Maybe we'll never know if Craggs would have been offered a job or not (the pink gorilla and the Hoppes article tells me no), but according to Daulerio he withdrew from interest in the Grantland project because of the long leash still attached to Bristol.