When I talk about sportswriting never being better than it is now (and meaning it!), it is a recognition of one driving factor:
The opening of new platforms and distribution channels over the past decade has allowed new talent to emerge.
Because of that new open access, is there more crap than ever before? Absolutely. But the flip side is that the top 10% is better than ever before. And I'll trade the crap to get the great every time.
One of the most distinctive talents in sportswriting -- the Free Darko collective, led by the irrepressible Bethlehem Shoals -- is closing its doors today, moving on to other things.
I contributed a small bit to their 11,000-word final post today -- and I will point you to my favorite contribution to FD, from Valentine's Day 2007. It is one of my favorite things I have ever written.
Good luck to all of the FD crew on whatever they have next.