DIDJA HEAR? Deadspin emo honcho Will Leitch left at the end of this past week (actually, I'm not so sure - he's sent more links to me this weekend than Daulerio has. YOU NEED TO LET GO, BUDDY!). A few of the roasts submitted got left on the cutting room floor for whatever reason and since these folks went to the effort to send-up his worship, I
was coerced felt the need to post them before Will passes Tim Russert in the number of recent tributes. Anyway, here are the roasts from Dan Shanoff, 289, Matt Pitzer, Arkansas Fred and Greg Wyshynski.
11 Honest Things You Could Never Say To Will While He Was Deadspin
Editor, Because You Really Needed Those God Damn Link-Backs:
1. Rick Ankiel is a motherfucking cheater.
2. Um, I actually think it's pronounced "MUH-toon."
3. A journalism degree from Illinois? Feh.
4. Taaaaallllkkkkk sssslllloooowwwwerrr.
5. "Royal we?" Really? (No: REALLY?)
6. You know, those cigarettes will kill you.
7. Is it true Mattoon boys practice on Lender's bagels?
8. Stop hogging all the great freelance gigs. Asshole.
9. Oh, just admit it: You want to be on Around the Horn.
10. Eh: Your Daily Closer blog was better than this Deadspin thing.
11. We were rooting for Bissinger.
11. You are admirably talented and an even better person. All best.
If it wasn't for Will and Deadspin I wouldn't be where I am today. Which I'll have you know is not my mom's basement. My parents let me work from the living room couch.
It's true, in a world with Deadspin I'd probably still have my old job and I would have never hooked up with Ufford (He's just as angry in bed as in his writing, but like a good Marine he turns into a big teddy bear when it comes time to cuddle.) during the birth of With Leather (abortion advocates commonly refer to this as "The Reason") and gotten an invitation to the inner circle of Blogfrica. It's just like Entourage only way more gay. That show ROCKS! You haven't lived until you've seen Big Daddy Drew and Orson Swindle get into a pizza fight, spreading sauce all over each other and then disappearing into the backroom for an hour-long "talk."
I had the pleasure of meeting Will at last year's Chicago Pants Party. I'm just glad Michael David Smith was present to keep the place from going into excitement overload. Throughout the day I couldn't get over how easy going and down to Earth Will was. Here's the editor of one of the biggest sports blogs out there and he's just one of the guys. Well except for when there's karaoke, then he's a fucking rock star. Fortunately he has a pretty good voice. I wish I could say the same about Sussman but that man, who did not touch a drop of alcohol, sounded like how Amy Winehouse looks.
So thank you Will. Without you I'm not doing what I'm doing right now. You let me put your face on t-shirt, the sole reason I was able to pay rent the first month after I lost my job. (Seriously, buy a t-shirt. I'd like to get a couch of my own someday.) You asked about using my artwork in your book and actually came through on the deal unlike some people I know. Being on page 289 was a great little touch.
Best of luck at your new job and make sure to give Deadspin its proper goodbye.
I haven't worked directly with Will or lived in close proximity to him for several years so a lot of our recent correspondence has been limited to him asking me to do free work for him or begging me to buy his books. (Which, as a sucker, I have.)
The last time I saw Will was this spring in St. Louis and Will had managed to get himself into a room at the Ritz-Carlton. Now, I've known Will for a few years. And as a testament to how far he has come in that time, let's just say that he has not always been a Ritz-Carlton person. In fact, Ritz-Carltons usually lock the doors when they see the likes of the Will I used to know approaching.
Heck, I think they change the sheets - and towels - at a place like that. Most rooms do not smell as bad as Will's apartments. And they generally are nice enough that you feel like you shouldn't grind your cigarette butts into the floor.
As I say, not a Leitch-type place at all.
But here he was, Mr. Book Tour/I Have a Successful Job guy. With a credit card. He was a long way from the guy who used to wear cat piss and was addicted to Dexatrim.
I take a lot of credit for his success. Without me, he would not have missed out on many nights of soul-searching, sorrow-wallowing alcohol consumption that formed the basis for so much of his work. He certainly would not have his dashing sense of style and ability to relate to the fairer sex. And I doubt that his tremendous work ethic and wittiness ever would have surfaced either. I'm still working on that sense of smell.
Good luck and welcome back to the dinosaur age of print media. You've made something out of nothing (literally!) for yourself and the sports world was momentarily richer for it. I will never read Deadspin again.
Whether it's a cringe inducing Woody Allen impression on a low budget cable game show or an introductory handshake that lasts about ten seconds too long, Will has a knack for making people uncomfortable. He's blessed with a silver tongue, and a just a hint of an accent that tips you off he's from a pretty backwards part of the country. When you first meet him, it feels as if you've been friends since childhood, and this thought will depress you to no end. To watch him conduct a book reading in front of rows and rows of empty chairs is like watching art; shitty art that talks too fast. It's impossible to detail all of Will's irritating qualities in just a paragraph, mostly because I've only met him once and spent the majority of our conversation wanting to punch him in the windpipe so he'd shut up. However, he showed all of us by landing a gig at one of the most prestigious magazine in the world for people who like comics that make no sense.
New York Magazine?
Will has seen about as much of the NHL as Hurley from "Lost" has seen of his own cock. I was eager to meet the man in person when he came to DC for his book tour, as were the hundred or so other losers crammed into the second floor of a corporate bookstore, scaring the living shit out of lonely nerds as they sailed through hipster cool on their way to the Manga porn section.
But Leitch was late. Like, really late. I was standing in the back of the crowd looking at an empty podium when this floppy haired fucker in a suit jacket from the Sears' rack rushed past me lisping something about being "sorry." When it became apparent that this was the man behind the most popular sports blog on the Internet - a wretched hive of scum and villainy that could humble any public figure with its exceptional wit and sinister intellect - my first thought was, "You've got to be fucking kidding me. HIM?!" My second thought was about how someone could run Deadspin and still have time to be the guy who holds the flower in promotional photos for Jack White's side project?
Of course, the night progressed and I found Will to be good people, an exceptional conversationalist (thanks booze!) and the most down-to-earth sports media titan to ever use the royal "we." To say I owe Will my career would be an insult to my muse, Jay Mariotti; so I'll simply say that he showed me which keg to tap, and reminded me to always write my name on the red plastic cup.
Ricky Gervais once said, "Fame and success without respect is nothing." Much respect for all you've done, Will.
Except for that Costas thing. The last time I saw a prison rape that bloody on HBO, Vern Schillinger burned a swastika into Beecher's ass.