FreeDarko is taking down its shingle, which is terrible news. Go read all the tributes they've compiled on the site. There's very little I can add, except to say what I've said elsewhere: No one around described basketball — the actual, physical event — better than these guys did. I remember in particular one entry from The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac. Carmelo Anthony, one of the crew wrote, "works through possessions like logic puzzles," which is so offhandedly perfect that it takes a beat to realize that no one really writes like this anymore.
Sportswriters rarely take the time to describe what actually happens on the court, knowing as they do that the highlight will show on SportsCenter soon enough anyway. (You find the same phenomenon in film criticism, which long ago stopped describing how actors move through a shot.) We lose something when our writers stop describing even what everyone else can see for himself. We lose that contagious love of detail — of simply watching very closely — and we cede yet more ground to those basketball writers who would use the sport as an arena for their grumpy toy morality. Compare the above description of Carmelo with this one from last month. The latter makes basketball sound like Calvinism in short pants; the former makes it sound like fun. FreeDarko always stood against all that grumbly shit as a sort of improvised barricade — bits of old furniture here and stray paving stones there, all of it amounting in the end to a wonderfully bughouse monument to detail, to watching very closely. RIP.
Darko's Mood is Currently: Elegiac.
The Day Never Ended [FreeDarko]