Given that Deadspin has been responsible for approximately 99.9% of Metroville's cross-posts, it's safe to assume that a majority of those who have found their way to this website are well aware that Deadspin founder Will Leitch is today bidding farewell to the virtual house that he built and moving on to--if not necessarily greener--less-specifically-internet-based pastures.
Naturally, my primary interest in this matter is in how it will affect me...and I fear that the outlook is bleak. Will Leitch started Deadspin in a humble desire to reclaim the national discourse on popular athletics from the long-winded jaws of allegedly professional journalists and give it back to the fans, to whom sports has always truly belonged. There exist countless pieces of publicly available evidence proving that Leitch has succeeded in his goal (the popularity of his most recent book, the rambling outbursts of bitter old men, his stupefying policy of allowing just about any jerk with an internet connection--including those who are fans of teams that did not originate in St. Louis--an open forum on his website, just to name a few), but I am privy to a comparatively minor effect that speaks volumes: No matter how more popular or more influential Deadspin became during the 18 months of Metroville's existence to date, Will Leitch never thought twice about sharing the viewpoints of a bush league hobbyist-blogger--who would often go a month without adding a new post--on his own prime piece of virtual real estate...and there are many other small-timers on the internet that have benefited from that same generosity. Deadspin was built in 2005 for the average sports fan; the very fact that as many people who are reading these words have even heard of this half-assed Blogspot offering stands as proof that, three years later--an infinity in internet time--on Deadspin, the fan still reigns supreme.
For as infrequently as I tend to my meager website, I can say with complete confidence that, were it not for the indirect encouragement I received each time Leitch linked to one of my posts, I'd be operating Metroville with about a fifth of the enthusiasm that I am currently; there's a good chance I might have even given it up entirely. Though you might not be able to tell it from my totally unbiased sports reporting, my wheelhouse is entertainment: that was the field I intended to favor when I started Metroville. To date, that cold bastard Mark Lisanti (RIP) and his Defamer cohorts have not linked to a single story I sent them. However, Defamer was responsible for turning me on to Deadspin, which in turn slowly but surely led me to abandon Bill Simmons as it opened my eyes to the fact that there were fans of sports teams other than those from the Boston area who could write funny things online. The rest is internet history.
As is Will Leitch.
As am I, most likely, as far as the general public is concerned...unless whoever takes the reins at Deadspin is as kindhearted and agreeable as his predecessor. If Kissing Suzy Kolber's Big Daddy Drew gets the keys to the castle, I'm most certainly toast--that foulmouthed Boston-hater has never done a single good thing for me in my life.
Regardless of what the future may hold for Deadspin, everyone who writes for it and the thousands more who read it can surely agree on one thing: It will be a lesser place for lacking its creator.
Cheers to you, Will, and best of luck in all your future endeavors. Were I a run-of-the-mill jackass Red Sox fan, I'd probably close with some backhanded non-compliment "thanking" you and your St. Louis Cardinals for the Sox' World Series victory in 2004. But you've always been better to me than that, so I will do the same in turn...
Let's both thank the New York Yankees for collapsing so spectacularly in the 2004 American League Division Series that nobody even remembers who the Red Sox played in the World Series.