ESPN shuttered Grantland, its one-of-a-kind sports and culture website last month, seemingly out of nowhere. Looking back, the signs were there — founding editor Bill Simmons left in May after ESPN said it wouldn’t be renewing his contract, and major budget cuts across the board at the company were bound to have an effect on the four-year old website.
Grantland was founded in 2011. Named after Grantland Rice, a newspaper and radio sportswriter, the site began as a kind of final resting place for Simmons’ popular columns and podcasts. In addition, he pulled in a diverse crew of writers interested in more than just final scores. Grantland was killer. It will be missed. Thankfully the Grantland archives are still available. If you’re just learning about the site now, here are some stories to get you started.