The cheeky sports Web site Deadspin counters those who claim the Internet lacks awareness of the past. Deadspin honors sportswriting's noble history by reprinting classics and obscure works worthy of rediscovery on its excellent Stacks feature.
Stacks so far has given a new home to Red Smith columns and some of the best magazine writing from years ago. Its latest offering is Ross Wetzsteon's 1985 profile of groundbreaking sports columnist Dick Young in the late, lamented Sport magazine.
Young, who died in 1987, wrote for the New York Daily News and New York Post. Mainly known for his baseball writing, Young blazed such trails as going into clubhouses to do interviews. As Wetzsteon vividly describes, Young in his late years allowed his right wing views to contaminate his sports columns.
Deadspin, which broke the Mante Te'o fake girlfriend story, deserves praise for adhering to so-called long form journalism and offering today's readers some of the great work from the past.
On today's site, It also made a good stand for dispassionate, sober journalism by bundling some of the hysteric reactions to the Ryan Braun suspension from sports columnists and commentators.
Dick Young virulently hated drugs in sports and probably would have blasted Braun as well. But I think he would have employed more wit and style than today's heavy handed writers spotlighted by Deadspin.