It is my pleasure to have five good questions answered by Will Leitch, editor of Deadspin and blogfather for many of us in the sports blogging world. Deadspin is, in many ways, THE sports blog on the web, offering sports commentary and sports news "without access, favor, or discretion." Deadspin hit the Internet in September 2005, and has grown a massive following. Will was kind enough to answer some questions from Stampede Blue about the upcoming Super Bowl between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears.
Will: I'll admit: I don't like Peyton Manning. It's not because he's a bad person, or because I think he's not a great quarterback. He seems like a jovial enough fellow, and he's obviously the best quarterback in football. It's just that, in my opinion, it seems so joyless. No, check that: He seems like a robot. The main thing that made him interesting - human - was that for all his study and smarts and know-how, he never seemed to win the big game. It made him real, and less like a wildly gesticulating audible playbook junkie. He certainly earned a ton of respect for winning that game ... but he's lost the only thing that made him seem real to me. He has lost his tragedy. Trust me, that's a real issue: Otherwise, Dan Marino would be even more boring. I wouldn't expect a Colts fan to care about such issues, and they shouldn't. If I were a Colts fan, I wouldn't care, and I'd think I was an idiot.
Big Blue Shoe: For the first time in NFL history, we will have a black head coach hold up the Vince Lombardy trophy. We've been debating the NFL's hiring policies over at Stampede Blue. I have always felt the NFL and its owners are not pro-active enough in hiring minority coaches as head coaches. Norv Turner (known as a head coaching failure) is the front-runner in Dallas while minority assistant coaches like Ron Rivera, Jim Caldwell, and Tim Lewis are not considered despite strong resumes. Does the NFL have a problem with its hiring practices?
Will: If Norv Turner is up for a job, the NFL has a problem with its hiring practices. Frankly, I think this won't be a major issue in 10 years. But yes: They've been pretty awful about it, though not nearly as bad as college football, which is kind of insane, when you look at it. Of course, those guys hang onto their jobs like the Pope.
Big Blue Shoe: The Colts comeback in the AFC Championship Game was the greatest comeback in Championship Game history. Where does it rank in playoff lore? Ahead of "The Drive?" Ahead of Ernest Byner's fumble?
Will: Well, they have to win Sunday; otherwise, I don't think it will ultimately be as important, historically. But I think if they win, it's definitely ahead of Byner's fumble, and yeah, probably The Drive too.
Big Blue Shoe: New sports bloggers are popping up left and right. New technologies, and the example set by you and the guys at Kissing Suzy Kolber, have helped fans express themselves about their favorites sports and teams. What are you thoughts on this? Is this good for sports and sports writing?
Will: I think it's outstanding, though I would, wouldn't I? Without question, sports coverage needed some new voices, in a bad way. It's exciting to see guys like KSK getting noticed; they're extremely talented. The Web is full of them. The more quality people, the better.
Big Blue Shoe: Finally, who is going to win the Super Bowl, and why?
Will: Sorry guys, but I like the Colts. I'm always wrong, so I just destroyed your chances of winning.
Many thanks to Will for taking the time to answer our questions. Deadspin has been nominated for Best Sports Blog in the 2007 Weblog Awards. Please check out the Bloggies site and vote for your favorite sports blog (hint, hint: vote for Deadspin, since they agreed to this interview). Of course, none of us really thinks Will likes the Colts in this game. He wants Manning to lose so he can keep his tragedy. This is why the Colts will win.