He holds sports blogging's most heralded records for posts, pageviews, and consecutive days blogged. He also holds the dubious record for most HTML tags left open. Will Leitch stepped down as Deadspin editor last month. But now he's making headlines as he's hinting toward returning to the sports blog that once loved him. Here is his first public interview after his announcement.
Matthew Van Sussteren: After weeks of speculation, you finally decided you were going to retire from Deadspin. Why did you make that decision then?
Will Leitch: I didn't think that, you know, physically, I could come back for another year and do this. I mean, mentally, yeah I was there. But blogs are hard work, and I didn't want to do it if I couldn't be at 100 percent. And at the time, I didn't feel that was possible.
Van Sussteren: What has changed between today and when you stepped down?
Will Leitch: Well, I had a few weeks to clear my head. That might have been all I needed. And now I'm fucking bored as hell.
Van Sussteren: Do you think this is fair to new editor AJ Daulerio, who took a lot of time this summer to prepare to be lead editor?
Leitch: Well, I don't know if it's fair. He's certainly a big part of the site's success. I know he's been waiting a long time for this. And I know that Deadspin has prepared all summer for the transition, but you gotta understand that I felt pressured to make a decision to leave when we did. Shucks, I'm just a humble fella from America's heartland. I didn't mean to cause any frustration.
Van Sussteren: Have you spoken with the Gawker Media front office about this?
Leitch: Yes, I had one conversation with them. I told them I was thinking of coming back, and they said that they were very surprised that I felt this way, and that they already hired a new editor and he's been doing it for a couple of weeks now. It's kind of disheartening for them to say that to me.
Van Sussteren: You left Deadspin on a very good note. Now that you're bringing back old wounds, are you worried about your legacy being tarnished?
Leitch: Aw, I hope not. I like the readers at Deadspin and they're the greatest readers in the world. I can understand them coming to grips with me leaving, then having to put that aside to read me again five days a week, but I think deep down they knew I would be back.
Van Sussteren: Would you like to come back with another sports blog?
Leitch: I haven't asked for that, but if that's what it comes to, then I guess that's what I'll do.
Van Sussteren: Would you like to draw this out for a few more weeks?
Leitch: That sounds like a fine idea.