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NCAA FootballVideo

Deadspin Would Post Pages From Your Diary If They Got Their Hands On It


When you write for a sports blog, every so often, something pops up in your inbox from some guy who taped something salacious or recorded something inappropriate involving some sports figure who didn’t know he/she was being recorded. Deadspin has built an empire on these kind of tipsters submissions; often paid, though in the case of the Bo Pelini tipster, unpaid. He just thought the world should know what Bo Pelini thinks about the Nebraska fan base — and Deadspin apparently did too.

The trouble is, Pelini was clearly just pissed after a rough day, and given that stressed out people say hyperbolic, stupid things behind closed doors, it’s apparent that wasn’t how he really felt. So you’re just showing a guy during an unflattering moment. You know who else does that? US Weekly, with Kim Kardashian when she looks fat from time to time. The difference is, US Weekly doesn’t pretend to be a smart publication.

Deadspin does.

Not that these kind of recordings are always unfit for publication. Riley Cooper’s incident at the Kenny Chesney concert showed a person being bad, almost evil. But the Bo Pelini audio wasn’t some sort of Riley Cooper aggressive, racist rant that needed to be accounted for. This was just a guy who was frustrated in the break room at work. Have you ever talked shit about your boss in the coffee room? Have you ever complained about your significant other at the bar with your buddies? Exactly. And I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want those expletive laden rants recorded and played for the whole world — especially if you have a wife and kids and your reputation and job are on the line.

With all the intelligence that goes into Deadspin’s expansive resumé of in-depth, one-of-a-kind sports writing, this posting begs the question: Where does all that insight and wisdom and moral aptitude go when someone emails you a secret recording of a guy screaming fuck about his job behind closed doors two years ago? How did Deadspin — the site who routinely features enlightened, progressive editorials on everything from Jim Crow and baseball to NFL player safety — not immediately understand the rather obvious context of this recording? Are they gullible enough to believe that Bo Pelini’s closed door, relatively benign name calling rant was a sincere reflection of his feelings? Do they think a 45-year-old man saying “the word ‘fuck’ a lot” is news?

He complained about the fans and his players. Workplace stuff. Behind closed doors. Have the guys at Deadspin never complained about message board critics or other blogs? I doubt it.

What I can gather from this poor judgment call on Deadspin’s part, is that either someone made a mistake and shouldn’t have signed off this audio clip, or that the air of sophistication they show the world is just a distraction for the ruthless sports dirt factory that really is their website. Here’s a site that carries itself as if it became the biggest sports blog on Earth byway of it’s articulate, cool, well-informed candor, when it’s really TMZ Sports in McSweeney’s clothing.

The big traffic from the dirt, and the clout to say profound things to millions of people. They get to have their cake and eat it too with this sports journalism shit and it’s fucking annoying. And you can quote me on that.


  • Joe Football

    It wasn’t after a loss, do some research.

  • DeadspinIsIrrelevant

    Excellent post. Someone had to say what we were all thinking about those pseudo-snarky a-holes. Deadspin isn’t a relevant site. It is TMZ.

  • UsedtolikeDeadspin

    I think Deadspin used to be great, back when Leitch ran it. Once Daulero took over and into the present, they have become the whiny kid that would tattle on anyone and tell fart jokes all the time. Its like that jackass that writes all their weekly football funbag columns. He think the more F-bombs he drops, the more people will like him.

  • Anonymous

    Did this article say anywhere that it came after a loss? Because I don’t see it.

  • GuestyGuest

    “What I can gather from this poor judgment call on Deadspin’s part, is that either someone made a mistake and shouldn’t have signed off this audio clip, or that the air of sophistication they show the world is just a distraction for the ruthless sports dirt factory that really is their website.”
    Definitely the latter. Deadspin needs to live up to its name and die.

  • http://loathsomehuman.wordpress.com/ Keane

    Deadspin, like Sportsgrid, is not in the business of being a “smart” publication. They are in the business of generating clicks. Posting the audio of a high-visibility college coach bashing his own fans is click-bait gold (760,000 clicks as of now). And if you actually read the article, deadspin starts out with “This is fun.”

    There’s no moralistic outrage. There’s no, “I can’t believe he did this,” commentary. Just a simple explanation of what the audio says, presumably for folks who can’t stream the audio while at work. It’s merely a, “Hey, this exists,” post. If there were an editorializing aspect to it criticizing the coach for saying these things, then maybe you’d have a point. As it is, they published something that exists and let the masses get all outraged and pedantic about it. It’s a smart business move. It got clicks and attention without being preachy.

    To say that deadspin tried to say something “profound” about it displays a reading comprehension problem of sorts.

  • Johnny Soccer

    The Deadspin story started off with the words “this is fun.” I don’t think they ever pretended this was anything other than what it is: an interesting glimpse of a coach we don’t usually get. It was fun! It’s the columnists and bloggers of the world who are making it into some big thing.

    Deadspin does a ton of salacious stuff because they’re good at it. You know how TMZ got famous? They actually break news. Meanwhile here at Sportsgrid, just to the right I see links to Paulina Gretzky bikini photos, a video of an NFL fan getting tased, and a Dennis Rodman commercial.

  • Ted Tidwell

    Yeah, I find no problem with the coach’s comments at the time, who doesn’t get frustrated with their job…especially when they pull a victory out of their a$$ and get zero recognition for it. This release just comes at a bad time, in the wake of a big loss to UCLA, and in the middle of a feud with Tommy Frazier. Sucks to be him right now…If he is smart he will reach out to Tommy and mash that to change the story.

  • Joe Football

    It did, it has been changed from tough loss to tough day.

  • SportfanCharlotte

    Interesting commentary coming from a site that is pretty much as rip-off of deadspin but without any of the humor or creativity.

  • Alpine McGregor

    Bo Pelini is the highest-paid state employee in Nebraska history. Comparing him to an average Joe in the break room is ridiculous. His job requires the composure to abstain from rants of this nature. The tape is newsworthy.

  • Anonymous

    You cant argue that deadspin is like TMZ when located directly next to your article ————> there is (an admittedly lovely) half naked paulina gretzky. Deadspin does do great, insightful articles. they also run stuff that the major outlets can’t because they’re beholden as rights holders.

  • Fan

    He was pre-interview with a media member. Why would you say that to a media member even if it was off the record? Even if that media member is in the tank for you (it was a Husker post-game show)? Husker fans are like Notre Dame fans…legendary programs whose fans still expect legendary results. Biggest example was when they fired a 9-2 Frank Solich. I would say they should give up because it’s never going to happen again, but Alabama was in the crapper until Saban came and made them Bryant-worthy again. But Pelini is no Saban.


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