Friday, June 15, 2012

06/15 (Father's Day) Quickie

A word about Father's Day in a minute. First, a quick note on last night's Game 2 (with the admission that I was in a sports bar where the DirecTV conked out in the final minute, so I had to go back and watch highlights and YouTube clips to see the relevant plays after the fact):

Shots miss. Even for Kevin Durant. He got a good look -- the kind of look he regularly makes. He didn't. Even the best perimeter players only shoot 50% or so. And Durant was only guarded by the one of the best defenders in the league, LeBron James. Speaking of which...

Fouls go uncalled. Particularly on superstars (or superduperstars). Did LeBron foul Durant? Probably. Should it have been called? Probably. Is it worth freaking out about? No. Durant moved past it, and so should everyone else. And that's because...

The Thunder lost the game in its first minutes, not its final seconds. The Thunder wouldn't have put Durant in that position at the end of the game if they hadn't gotten behind 40-2* in the game's first few minutes (* - it sure felt that wide). Start stronger, win the game. The Thunder's "slow start" schtick finally nicked them, at the worst possible time.

But I'll echo Simmons on Twitter last night: If you believe in the old maxim that it's not a series until the road team wins a game, we now have a series.

Check out Quickish's NBA stream for really good recs of the a.m.'s best NBA Finals reads.


This weekend is Father's Day. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. I don't ask for gifts or cards or breakfast or anything like that -- being a dad is my favorite thing in the world, and that is enough. This year I'm triply blessed to be Lucy's dad, too.

Two good friends were generous enough to offer us tickets to the Nationals-Yankees game on Saturday -- the hottest ticket in town (and, arguably, the most exciting game in the history of the Nats franchise in DC and one of the most exciting games this city has seen in a decade).

Taking Mrs. Quickie and the kids to the game is the best possible Father's Day weekend gift. The boys both have "curly-W" Nats hats and I'm sure I'll make it to the sporting-goods store in the next 24 hours to get them Bryce Harper shirseys.

The irony is that Gabe is just old enough to have picked up a kernel of Yankees fandom from living in New York. I'm not sure I can stomach getting him a Derek Jeter jersey that he really wants (but I ended up getting him his first baseball glove, a signed Jeter model, naturally).

I'm not one to influence the kids' rooting interests, but I'm hoping that the scene at Nats Park tomorrow is a seminal one for them -- crazy Nats fans, celebrating a first-place position, against the most storied franchise in sports. This might be the tipping point that turns them into Nats fans.

How much fun will that be to watch?

Happy father's day to all the dads. If it's an option, call yours.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

06/13 (Durant) Quickie

Of the many reasons to enjoy watching and rooting for Kevin Durant, his implacability remains a big part of it -- what happens when he turns it on (like he did in the 4th quarter last night) is remarkable.

And yet! His explosion feels more like a ripple -- it's a placid dominance.'s Henry Abbott had my favorite take off the game last night, about how Durant's dominance is so simply effective.

I call it "minimalist" -- Abbott marvels at the way Durant scores so quickly, usually on "easy" shots -- easy because he moves and makes decisions quickly when he gets the ball.

We talked about this when he was at Texas and then when he got into the league: He is, quite arguably, the perfect scoring machine... precisely because the effort is so seemingly simple.


*Rough night for Dwyane Wade: Losses -- especially Heat losses -- need a goat, and Wade assumes that role today. Usually he bounces back, but when the Thunder surged in the 2nd half, Wade looked like he had a bit too much mileage on his tires. That doesn't get easier as the series goes on (especially if Spoelstra only plays six guys, which was clearly a miscalculation).

*That image of a glum Pat Riley on TV near the end was amazing.

*Bryce Harper hits another HR, moves his average over 300 (his OPS is like .940 or something equally amazing) and the Nats win again. He is so clearly going to be the MLB All-Star "Extra Man" winner in the fan vote later this month that they might as well put him in the starting lineup -- he is the most must-see player in baseball right now (and living up to it, per Grantland's Jazayerli).

*Pop Warner limits tackling: (1) How dangerous must it have been before that they had to cut practice tackling by 2/3? (2) Let's go back to the cardinal (and judgmental) rule: Any parent who lets their kid play tackle football is nuts.

*Must-See: Tonight's NBA TV documentary about the Dream Team.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

06/12 (NBA Finals) Quickie

First, a hearty congrats to the LA Kings, one of the most distinctive champions in NHL history.

Not just an 8-seed (the first 8-seed to win the Cup, a feat alone that shouts novelty), but a team that imploded itself halfway through the season, couldn't score anyway and eked into the playoffs, only to destroy everyone in its path. "Worthy champs" doesn't do it justice. Now, as many noted almost immediately after the game last night, the NHL will punch itself in the face with a labor battle.

NBA Finals: I understand the very compelling reason to root against the Thunder (and, by default, for the Heat)... but I just can't do it. Can't root against Durant. Can't root for LeBron. If that makes me a bad person, so be it. Thunder in 7. It is going to be one of the most-watched Finals series in a generation -- the biggest national event for the NBA since Michael Jordan's final NBA Finals.

US Open: Partly because I like his schtick and partially because his feelings as a dad resonate with me, gotta love Bubba.

Best thing I read yesterday:'s amazing Oral History of the Dream Team, put together by Lang Whitaker. (This week's most can't-miss TV is the Dream Team doc on NBA TV tomorrow night.)

Oh, and by the way: I've been remiss in covering it, but the Stonybrook story in the College World Series is one of the best you'll ever get in sports. Here's the analogue (h/t Y!'s Pat Forde): It would be like LIU as a 15-seed going to the Final Four, but doing it by winning 2 out of 3 at Duke (h/t NYT's Lynn Zinser).

Finally, in case you missed it: Yesterday's exciting news. Really appreciate everyone who tweeted or emailed.

-- D.S.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Exciting News: USA Today Sports Media Group Acquires Quickish

Republished from Quickish (via this Wall Street Journal story):

I have very exciting news to announce: Quickish has been acquired by USA Today Sports Media Group. In conjunction with the deal, I will be joining the group, effective today.

I couldn’t be more excited. USATSMG has a fundamental commitment to serving fans in comprehensive, innovative ways that totally fit with the effort I have put into Quickish and the type of things I have helped build throughout my career in digital media. It is a great company full of monumentally talented, motivated folks that I am implicitly proud to call my colleagues and with whom I look forward to doing huge things.

This is a great moment to offer some thanks:

First of all, thank YOU: Readers’ enthusiastic support of Quickish allowed it to get off to a fast start, find a distinct place in the sports-news landscape and continuously iterate, trying to get better. Thank you to everyone who has told their friends about it, chimed in on Twitter and Facebook or sent in a tip of something that Quickish should be showcasing. There is nothing as thrilling as creating something that anyone ever says they “love.” It is a privilege, frankly.

Thank you to the hundreds (thousands?) of talented writers, reporters, columnists, analysts, pundits, Twitter quipsters and everyone else whose excellent efforts make sense of the world (sometimes immediately, sometimes after measured consideration) and deserve a wider audience through platforms like Quickish.

I consume a lot -- hoo boy: a lot -- of sportswriting, on the Web, on Twitter and elsewhere. The best (and an admirable number of folks have qualified at one time or another) is better than it has ever been. That’s an amazing thing for us fans. I can’t begin to list folks by name here, but the beauty of Quickish is that you can pop by the site and immediately spot exactly who makes the list (or at least one list) at any given moment or for any given hot topic. And to those who have used their platforms to support or promote Quickish, a sincere thanks (please keep it up!)

Thank you to the network of friends and advisors to the company -- insightful and generous folks within the media and start-up communities in New York City were particularly inspiring and helpful (I can’t even begin to showcase a list because I’m afraid of whom I would unintentionally miss). There are a lot more people who don’t know me but whose writing and thinking on the media and entrepreneurship who I admire and incorporate constantly. Thank you to Kevin Kearney and the brilliant user-experience talents at Hard Candy Shell, responsible for the look and feel that made Quickish so instantly distinctive, useful and credible. Thank you to Meshach Jackson and Jolly Science, the development shop that built Quickish and made it so easy to edit and publish. Thank you to Jeff Jarvis and City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism for the generous use of a desk while I was developing Quickish, and thank you to Matt Brimer, Brad Hargreaves and the amazing team at General Assembly for giving me a place to grow the company after it launched; both are communities I am proud to be affiliated with. Every start-up founder needs a great lawyer; I got to work with two: Thank you to Josh Buhler of Buhler Duggal & Henry and thanks to Mark Fitzgerald of Wilson Sonsini. (Thanks also to my ace accountant Bradley Smallberg of Smallberg Sorkin.) Finally, a huge thanks to ace editor Michael Katz for believing in the company’s mission and for his invaluable help working on Quickish through much of last year.

Looking ahead, I wanted to thank folks within the leadership at USA Today Sports Media Group: Gracia Martore, Tom Beusse, Jonathan Marshall, Ross Schaufelberger, Dave Morgan, Matt Graham and Mark Pesavento -- they are putting together an absolutely incredible team, top to bottom, with aspirations that are so ambitious that all I want to do is be a part of it.

Most of all, I want to thank my wife, Margery, whose support of me founding a company was not just complete, but necessary for me to get to where we are today -- and certainly to build on it from here to what’s next.

In the meantime, Quickish continues at full strength -- soon to be even greater strength. Here’s at least one thing we know about the continuously changing world of media: It’s not getting any less cluttered, and it is a fundamental tenet of Quickish to help fans keep up (quickly!) with the big things that are happening by hacking thoughtful paths through that clutter. I hope you will visit regularly and continue to tell your friends (and co-workers and family and Twitter followers...) about it. My colleagues at USATSMG innately understand the competitive dynamics behind the Quickish model; with USATSMG’s network, resources and talent, Quickish can become even more useful and valuable for fans. If you want to talk about Quickish -- how it can become even better or how you think you can help -- please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at

The first two years of Quickish have been extraordinarily exciting -- the most satisfying (and most thrilling/harrowing!) professional experience of what has been a very fortunate career -- and, more than any point in my working life, I cannot wait for what comes next. I am committed to raising the bar for an even more exciting and satisfying ride, always focused on serving fans for the better. Thanks again for being a part of it.

-- Dan

Sunday, June 10, 2012

06/10 (Heat) Quickie

All the Heat win over the Celtics in Game 7 last night did was allow Miami to avoid the humiliation of an exit before they even got to the Finals.

In other words, the expectations remain the same: Championship or failure.

There is no consolation prize for LeBron for playing out of his mind -- inarguably the greatest stretch of games of his career and one of the great individual efforts by any player in the playoffs in NBA history.

And so we get Heat-Thunder, LeBron vs. Durant (and Westbrook vs. Wade... and Harden vs. Bosh... and rabid OKC fans vs. languid Miami fans... and the idea of Durant's first title -- a la Jordan in '91 -- versus LeBron's first title... and the star who left his hometown versus the team that left its hometown.)

It is a best-case scenario for the league and for fans -- two great teams, out-of-this-world star power, with a championship that will resonate through history.

But let's just keep in mind: The axis still revolves around LeBron -- either he fails (again) or he wins his first championship. That is the biggest story.


*Pacquiao-Bradley ends in stunner: Fishy ending? You bet. Good for boxing? Not even close. Will it increase interest in a rematch in November? Yes.

*NHL: What is the difference between the Devils being down 3-0 then muscling it back to 3-2 heading into Game 6 and the Devils winning two of the first four, but losing Game 5? If anything, the momentum shift -- at the risk of pop psychology, it sure seems like the Devils are playing like they have nothing to lose and the Kings are playing like they have everything to lose -- seems to favor the Devils in Game 6.

*Condolences to the Auburn community on the tragic shootings.

Big week ahead. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

-- D.S.