Monday, July 22, 2013

7/22 (MMQB) Quickie

(1) I am impossibly biased when it comes to Peter King. Back in 1998, I worked on MMQB with King, and as someone who was largely unimpressed/uninspired by the enthusiasm or savvy about online journalism from the SI editorial staff (almost entirely magazine-oriented), King was different. He totally got that his MMQB column was not just important, but most important. I think he realized that it was more important than an SI magazine cover story. And as SI's impact through the magazine has continued to wane, King's impact through MMQB online has only grown exponentially since then. The new site -- -- is the next evolution of MMQB and the continuing evolution as "brand within brand" for mainstream media companies. The thing is that unlike Nate Silver or Andrew Ross Sorkin or Ezra Klein or even Bill Simmons, Peter King was a "brand within a brand" online 15 years ago, heralding what we are seeing today. That's not to knock Silver or Sorkin or Klein or Simmons; I have spent a pretty big part of my career working on "brands within brands" (cough -- Daily Quickie -- cough), but King was/is a pioneer. Here's to great success for him and his team.

(2) Nate Silver to ESPN is made official. See below for my reaction to it from the weekend when the news first broke. Great move for Nate. Great move for ESPN. Not great for the New York Times, but there are plenty of ways for them to push through that.

A quick aside to my friends in sports media: You are not Peter King. You are not Nate Silver. You are not Bill Simmons. The number of folks who can carry a stand-alone sports-media franchise is so small, I'm not even sure I can make it to a second hand. There are incredible talents. There are lots of "names" who might THINK they qualify. But they are orbiting satellites, not planets.

What all of those people COULD do -- if they weren't so focused on building their personal brand -- is do something entrepreneurial that might propel them to something bigger. That can certainly happen with lesser-known people who think and act entrepreneurially (I would self-promotingly say that the Daily Quickie was that kind of effort). But it takes a massive effort, even if you are doing it within the comfort of your mainstream company, and I'm not sure most of those folks want to put in that kind of effort. It's why you see so much success from folks who self-started with a blog back in the middle of the last decade -- it was an act of entrepreneurship, and it carried over into the jobs they are in now, many with mainstream media companies.

But the fact is that those opportunities are there for the taking -- you just have to combine a willingness to ID the opportunity, then work like hell not just to make it happen, but to make it grow.

(3) Phil Mickelson. If I was writing the morning column this summer, I would say that Phil's 66 yesterday to win the British Open wasn't just Phil's greatest round ever (which even he is ready to apply instant history to), but it was the finest round of golf of the sport's Tiger Era -- so, going back nearly 20 years -- period.

-- D.S.