This morning in the middle of class I was thrilled to receive my first newsletter from the newest sports and entertainment site — the Ringer! It was everything I love: entertainment, sports, humor, sarcasm, and pop culture references. Bill Simmons also surprised us this morning with his newest string of writers, which brings a completely new look to the Ringer and it seems that, although it's just the beginning, Simmons brings a lot of momentum.
One of the funniest recaps of the Ringer newsletter was the way they decided on the name. Initially, I thought, what the heck is "ringer"? It sounds like a pager, arm-type thing without anything to really do with sports. But when I read the other names I was cringing, like, OK you definitely can’t name a website "the Leap" and expect me to think it's stellar content. At that point, I realized how important a name is to a business or company. It got me thinking about the way certain things stick in our minds. Would I still listen to songs, watch shows, or browse websites with terrible names? I felt a bit existential — but then I went back to the newsletter.
The analysis of the NCAA tournament was spot on. Kentucky is always that team that everyone who doesn’t pay attention the whole season is willing to bet their racehorse on because of the virtue that they attract the best young athletes every year. But is it really their year? Only one of the teams has won, yet they have been overwhelming favorites every year. Will they win? Probably not. Will they be entertaining in the tournament? Absolutely. (Also sidenote — remember when Skal Labissiere was being compared to Ben Simmons as the best athlete in the NCAA? Yeah, I don’t remember that either.)
Anyway, back to the Ringer. This seems different from Grantland because of the way that they're assembling the team. With Grantland, you could tell that ESPN was displeased with its direction, to the point where even the thought of a Grantland magazine caused severe backlash within ESPN, and the project was disbanded. The Ringer is a launch of an old idea, but run exclusively by people who want to put out quality content. I no longer have to keep in the back of my mind that Grantland is run by the same country that keeps extending Skip Bayless’s contract over and over again. I am excited for the new voices and the old voices that formed the core of Grantland. I enjoy the little bit of savagery that the writers bring with them because they don’t respond to anyone except Bill Simmons. I love the way that they incorporate things that people from the '70s and Millennials will both enjoy.
Do yourself a favor. Subscribe to TheRinger.com.