Grantland

84 articles
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The Birdcage

How franchises became the movie business.

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Livin' Thing: An Oral History of Boogie Nights

The making and near unmaking of Paul Thomas Anderson’s breakout film.

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The Weight of Guilt

Inside the world of bass fishing cheaters.

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Shady XLII: Eminem in 2014

The rapper who never grew up.

Previously: "The Zen of Eminem," Zadie Smith's 2005 profile for Vibe.

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The Sea of Crises

A sumo wrestling tournament. A failed coup ending in seppuku. A search for a forgotten man. How one writer’s trip to Japan became a journey through oblivion.

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Together We Make Football

On domestic violence and the NFL.

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The Plunge

How a Soviet swimming champion saved passengers from a sinking trolleybus.

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The Wet Stuff

The men who built the great American water park.

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I’m Chevy Chase and You’re Not

The bumpy rise of Saturday Night Live’s first star.

Excerpted from Saturday Night, published in 1986.

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Let’s Be Real

On Cops, cop movies and Ferguson.

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The Front Lines of Ferguson

Two days in crisis.

At that moment, I didn’t feel like a journalist. There was nothing about this event that I felt the need to chronicle. There was no time to find out what the bombs actually were and what was actually coming out of the guns and what type of gas was coming out of the canisters. In this moment, there was nothing I felt the need to broadcast to the world. I didn’t even have the desire to communicate my safety or lack thereof.

I was just a black man in Ferguson.

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Temple of Gloom

Why the second Indiana Jones was so dark.

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The Faded Smile

Eddie Griffin made it to the NBA. Then his life began to unravel.

Previously: Jonathan Abrams on the Longform Podcast.

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Say Hello to the Bad Guy

A profile of Tiny Lister, the silver screen’s half-blind villain.

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The Rise of Nintendo: A Story in 8 Bits

How a Japanese company took over the American living room.

Excerpted from Console Wars.

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All the Kings' Men

An oral history of the 2002 Western Conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings.

Previously: Jonathan Abrams on the Longform Podcast.

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Wu-Tang, Atomically

How the group’s 10 members live today.

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Dropped

Why did Anthony Gatto, the greatest juggler alive—and perhaps of all time—back away from his art to open a construction business?

Previously: Jason Fagone on the Longform Podcast.

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Let Me Live That Fantasy

Searching for Puddles the Clown, whose cover of Lorde’s “Royals” made him an Internet star.

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So Money

An oral history of Swingers.

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Dr. V's Magical Putter

The very complicated life of Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt, who once built a very good golf club.

Update: Grantland has published a pair of responses to the reaction to this story, "What Grantland Got Wrong" by Christina Kahrl and "The Dr. V Story: A Letter From the Editor" by Bill Simmons.

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The Steroid Hunt

What baseball writers did during the steroid era.

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The Nastiest Injury in Sports

On the history, science, and rise of ACL tears.

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What Happened at Brian Holloway's House?

Searching for the real reason why a bunch of kids partying at the empty home of an NFL player became a national story.

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The Willy Wonka of Pot

A trip to Hempfest with cannabis breeder DJ Short.

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From Here to Paternity

Behind the scenes with Maury.

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Poison Tree

An open letter on Grand Theft Auto 5 and aging out of the Rockstar Games franchise.

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Lost to the Ages

Myst, twenty years later.
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The Forgotten Phenom

The lost dream of Korleone Young, a high school basketball star who skipped college and flamed out after only one NBA season.

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The Great Red Hype

On boxer Canelo Alvarez.

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A Death in Valdosta

In January, the body of a 17-year-old athlete was found in his high school’s gym. The authorities ruled it an accident. His friends and family aren’t convinced.

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'F--- Rap, Laying Back Eating Poutine'

Three days on road with former chef and current rap eccentric Action Bronson.

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Deconstructing Harry

The drunken genius of Harry Nilsson, the American Beatle.

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Huey Lewis's Old, Weird America

On the county fair and casino circuit with Huey Lewis, who at 61 is “part of a select fraternity of musicians who can draw a couple thousand people in dozens (if not hundreds) of middle-American towns … scattered throughout the country.”

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When We Held Kings

An oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker, as poker went mainstream in America and online players invaded the competition.

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Hard Knocks: Shanghai

The NFL attempts to set up a beachhead in China.

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Out in the Great Alone

A trip to the Iditarod.

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Shane Carruth Will Have Another

A drunken evening with the Primer and Upstream Color director.

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Director's Cut: 'The Man. Amen.'

Charles Pierce’s classic GQ profile of Tiger Woods, annotated.

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Hollywood Archaeology: The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Two decades later, unpacking a historic bust.

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The End and Don King

The crumbling of an American icon.

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How Soccer Explains Israel

In February, Jerusalem’s FC Beitar, the only soccer team in the Israeli Premier League to have never signed an Arab player, signed two Chechnyan Muslims, sparking national controversy and pitting the organization against their ultras fan club La Familia.

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The Wonderful and Weird World of Thuzio

Investigating a former NFL star’s new business: renting professional athletes to their biggest fans.

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Match-Fixing in Soccer

How Singaporean mobster Tan Seet Eng, aka Dan Tan, and a global network of fixers influenced as many 680 soccer matches at the highest levels.

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What Makes Larry Run?

Larry Brown’s mystifying, unpredictable career.

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30 Rock Landed on Us

An essay on television and race.

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The White Album

Royce White’s theories of mental illness.

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The Next Jeremy Lin?

On high school basketball star Chris Tang and the pressures of being the “Great Yellow Hope.”

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"I Pretty Much Wanted to Die"

The many reasons Lost shouldn’t have happened.

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The Glorious Plight of the Buffalo Bills

The relationship between Buffalo and its team.

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The Greatest Team That Never Was

Dunks, drugs, and disappointment: an oral history of the 1980s Houston Rockets.

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The Ballad of the Fabulous Sports Babe

Catching up with the controversial radio host, who recently returned to the air after years away.

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Rooked

The evolution of cheating in chess.

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Let It Fly

A profile of Mo Isom, a former goalie on the LSU women’s soccer team now trying to kick for the football team.

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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Shooter

Why people play violent video games.

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The Ballad of the Piggyback Bandit

How Sherwin Shayegan pulled off a 3,000-mile, piggyback ride-fueled road trip.

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The Sound and the Fury

An oral history of WFAN.

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‘It Hasn’t Been a Disaster’

An interview with Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich on his career afterlife as a “a clocker and chart-caller” and occasional breeder at an Iowa race horse track.

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The House that Christian Ponder Built

The political fight over a new football stadium in Minnesota.

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Wilt vs. Elgin: When Their World Was the Playground

On the lost pickup basketball games in D.C. between Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor, then both still in college, during the summer of 1957.

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The Invaders

A writer’s trip home to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and the racetrack inextricably linked with the histories of his family and his hometown.

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The Malice at the Palace

An oral history of the Pacers/Pistons melee in 2004.

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A Question of Identity

On the “unfair significance” of Jeremy Lin.

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The Murder of Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy

On the death of a high school basketball star in New York City.

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The Cult of Jurassic Park

On the enduring appeal, both amateur and academic, of man vs. dinosaur.

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The Mysterious Death of Sammy Wanjiru

He rose from poverty to fame as a marathon champion at only 23. But was his fall from a balcony outside of Nairobi murder, accident, or suicide?

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Noel Gallagher After Oasis

"At the end of the cycle of Morning Glory, I was hailed as the greatest songwriter since Lennon and McCartney," Gallagher recalls. "Now, I know that I'm not, and I knew I wasn't then. But the perception of everybody since that period has been, 'What the fuck happened to this guy? Wasn't he supposed to be the next fucking Beatles?' I never said that I was the greatest thing since Lennon and McCartney … well, actually, I'm lying. I probably did say that once or twice in interviews. But regardless, look at it this way: Let's say my career had gone backwards. Let say this new solo album had been my debut, and it was my last two records that sold 20 million copies instead of the first two records. Had this been the case, all the other albums leading up to those last two would be considered a fucking journey. They would be perceived as albums that represent the road to greatness. But just because it started off great doesn't make those other albums any less of a journey. I'll use an American football analogy since we're in America: Let's say you're behind with two minutes to go and you come back to tie the game. It almost feels like you've won. Right? But let's say you've been ahead the whole game and you allow the opponent to tie things up in the final two minutes. Then it feels like you've lost. But the fact of the matter is it's still a fucking tie. The only difference is perception. And the fact of the matter is that Oasis sold 55 million records. If people think we were never good after the '90s, that's irrelevant."
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Corruption, Murder, and the Beautiful Game

On FIFA’s history of scandal.

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Beyond Angry Birds

On the shift from the “triple-A video-game production cycle — the expensive development process, in other words, by which games like HaloGrand Theft AutoUncharted, and BioShock are unleashed upon the world” towards the simpler pleasures of gaming on the iPad.

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Director's Cut: Bringing It All Back Home

A 1980 profile of Nolan Ryan by Tony Kornheiser from Inside Sports, annotated 30 years later by Michael MacCambridge and Kornheiser. The first story in Grantland’s Director’s Cut series, which “looks back at classic works of sports journalism and gives the writers, athletes, and other figures involved in making the articles an opportunity to reflect on their work and recall some deleted scenes.”

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The Greatest Paper That Ever Died

“Radically brilliant. Absurdly ahead of its time. Ridiculously poorly planned.” An oral history of the National Sports Daily.

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Press X for Beer Bottle

On LA Noire and the gaming paradoxes presented by pairing nuanced storytelling with a player’s free will.

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Three-Man Weave

On witnessing an incredible junior college basketball game 23 years ago in North Dakota.

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The Garden of Good and Evil

On recommitting to the Knicks after “a decade of dysfunction and delusion.”