March 19, 2012 10:41 AM   Subscribe

I'm tired of ESPN. I dislike its ethics, and much of its content. I still love sports. What are my best replacement options in terms of websites?
posted by Arquimedez Pozo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I like myself. Not sure about it's "ethics" in comparison to ESPN, though.
posted by Grither at 10:42 AM on March 19, 2012

Sigh. 'it's' = 'its' and oh heck, let's just leave the quotes around ethics for fun. is also a tad more hockey-centric, obviously, but they seem to cover most everything else as well.
posted by Grither at 10:44 AM on March 19, 2012

Hm, it appears espn owns 20% of, in case that would steer you away from them. Sorry!
posted by Grither at 10:45 AM on March 19, 2012

Need more detail on what you're looking for: news, analysis, rumors, what? What sports are you most interested in? What type of stuff do you like reading?
posted by griseus at 10:46 AM on March 19, 2012

Best answer: I like the SB Nation network; the individual, fan-run blogs are some of the best on the web.
posted by downing street memo at 10:51 AM on March 19, 2012 [7 favorites]

I'm a kind of guy if I have to get my sports news anywhere.
posted by THAT William Mize at 10:54 AM on March 19, 2012

I'm not a sports person at all but I've heard interesting things about American McCarver
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:58 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

2nding SBNation. The team blogs are fantastic, well-moderated, with good conversations. SBNation itself doesn't have a lot of analysis but always puts up interesting videos and animated gifs in a very timely manner.
posted by acidic at 11:07 AM on March 19, 2012

I like, and reading the local rags for whatever I need. Most papers have their sports sections online for free.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:08 AM on March 19, 2012

If you don't mind plunking down ten dollars, the sports discussion forum on Something Awful is pretty much the best place online to discuss sports and to hate on ESPN.
posted by Toby Dammit X at 11:21 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I am totally not a sports fan and I find Grantland irresistible
posted by GilloD at 11:23 AM on March 19, 2012

FWIW, Grantland is owned by ESPN, although I find Grantland more enjoyable than
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 11:25 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

SBNation network is a good place to look, although the ethics of the authors is all over the board. There are some fantastic places and then some places that, um, write posts mocking women for trying to play football, so.
posted by toomuchpete at 11:57 AM on March 19, 2012

Best answer: The Classical.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:09 PM on March 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

I've found individual, fan run blogs to be the best ways to stay in tune with my favorite teams. It can range from a standard blog format to a profane, almost never safe-for-work, usually funny, often insightful cartoon strip made with clip art characters. When I'm looking for stats and schedules I usually use the team pages at Yahoo Sports.
posted by COD at 12:19 PM on March 19, 2012

Smart Football for X's and O's analysis of both the pro and college games.

Every Day Should Be Saturday for highly entertaining and completely insane college football commentary.

Seconding The Classical.

Deadspin (part of the Gawker empire) is a gossipy sports blog.
posted by Team of Scientists at 12:47 PM on March 19, 2012

I felt the same way as you did several years ago, made a conscious effort to avoid all things ESPN except actual sports. I then broadened that to Sports news/entertainment in general. It's been great, I recommend it to everyone, just watch the games and then go do something else. You'll have a lot more free time and you'll miss 95% of the things that aggravate you about sports. Football season begins in September, happens on Sunday afternoons and everything else is garbage. Preseason drama, Brett Favre this, salary cap that, lockouts, strikes, free agency, none of that is fun. Watching Duke get upset by Creighton is fun. Reading about it for days later is gilding the lilly. Check out the AP recap of the games you miss, check the box scores of the teams you follow, let yourself do the analysis, you're probably just as good at it as the guys in the paper.
posted by skewed at 12:49 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

The New York Times' Fifth Down blog for NFL football. They focus on the Jets and Giants, but cover the whole league, especially during the playoffs.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:27 PM on March 19, 2012

Slate's Hang Up And Listen podcast is a great hour a week; three in-depth conversations between smart guys about the current world of sports (with broad coverage; in the dozen or so episodes this year, they've covered the usual suspects - NFL, NBA, college bowl games and March Madness - but also spent time on NASCAR, soccer, skiing and others), followed up with three short pieces of interesting sports history or information (such as wheelchair tennis phenom Esther Vergeer).
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:44 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

You might like Dave Zirin.
posted by latkes at 7:13 PM on March 19, 2012

Yahoo, a couple of blog generations back, swooped up a bunch of big name reporters and bloggers, and they still have some quality blogs going. Depending on the sport you like, they've got a decent blog for each major sport, including separate blogs for pro and college basketball and football. Shutdown Corner was originally edited by the Mighty MJD, who still posts there. Ball Don't Lie was started by J.E. Skeets, and is now run by Kelly Dwyer, who is a pretty decent basketball writer. Adrian Wojnarowski is one of their main beat writers.

Other than that, your favorite team likely has a half dozen or so blogs about them, find one you like, and get the level of fervor you're into. Also, again, from a basketball standpoint, Truehoop, which was bought by ESPN, and is still mainly run by Henry Abbot (thought it's turned more into an NBA clearing house with posts by other ESPN writers) is a pretty twice daily roundup of interesting bits from blogs and newspapers around the league. There's also a good deal of careful examination of the game, dispelling of myths, and ideas on how to improve it. One of the things that helped Abbot break through was his determination to find out who William Wesley really was, and what kind of power he actually had behind the scenes in basketball. There's still a link to all of the stories he ran, and they're pretty interesting to check out.

The Classical looks good, but I've seen a lot of the writers there at other sites for very short periods of time, and I'd love to see them stick around for a while, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. That said, I've tried to follow Bethlehem Shoals since Free Darko, and he's got a pretty fantastic personal style when it comes to sports writing.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:27 PM on March 19, 2012

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