The Ringer, Bill Simmons’s new venture, released its first newsletter today. The introduction featured an explanation for how the staff decided upon “The Ringer,” as well as a list of all the curve-related names.

Simmons said that “The Ringer” and “The Leap” were the leaders, with “The Leap” eventually eliminated due to trademark issues. As for the also-rans:

Then again, “The Ringer” worked way better than other names we were considering. Sean Fennessey liked “Klique,” which sounds like Kanye’s ill-fated answer to Tidal. Chris Ryan pushed for “Klaxon,” which sounds like a new fiber cereal that might blow out your colon. I liked “Watershed,” which sounds like a financial-planning service that might advertise on my podcast. Eventually, I pivoted to “Heat Check,” then “Channel 33,” then “Chase the Night” — which I’ve loved ever since overhearing Worldwide Wes tell a young NBA player to go home instead of a strip joint because “you can’t chase the night.” What does this have to do with a website? I have no freaking idea.

But that’s what happens when you write a bunch of dumb names on a whiteboard and stare at them for hours on end. “The Intrepid”? (Sounds like a boat.) “Rational Confidence”? (Sounds like a failed college band.) “The Rafters”? (Sounds like a sports bar.) “Upper Echelon”? (Sounds like a hedge fund.) “Barnstorm”? (Sounds like a horse that would be favored to win the Kentucky Derby.) “Side Two”? (Too insider.) “Grantworld”? (Too ludicrous.) “Fuck Off, ESPN”? (Too easy.)

We wrote off “The Curve,” “Dauntless,” “Parachute,” “The Route,” “Corners,” “Fathom” and “The Hot Hand,” but left their letter corpses up on that board for black comedy’s sake. A few promising names, including “The Hook” and “Upside,” were already taken. I had two different late-night “revelations” — “Brainwreck” and “Binge Mode” — that bombed badly and became running jokes (especially after everyone found out that I own www.bingemode.com).

“Rational Confidence” is cringeworthy, but naming a website is tough. Occasionally I wonder where Deadspin would be if it had been “Tronball.”

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Image via The Ringer’s newsletter


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