Deadspin Founder Kicks off Sports Tour in SF Bay Area…

While listening to the tail end of a radio interview (95.7 the Game) with Will Leitch (@williamfleitch), contributing editor to New York magazine, founder of Deadspin and the author of four books, as he talked about his newest endeavor, I thought to myself, “Why can’t I be you?”

LeitchAcrossAmThe project is “Leitch Across America,” a tour to understand cities and specific areas in ways that are as close to how the locals see them as possible. He describes these trips as learning experiences.

l be visiting a new city for a whole week, exploring the local sports culture, talking to fans and luminaries, attending games, trying to figure out what makes the fan-bases tick. We’re going to do this as long as I’m here, so the plan is to hit cities huge and small, from major metropolises to smaller college towns. The only way I know the world is through its sports; Leitch Across America is an opportunity to understand it better, put it into context, a sort of Lonely Planet of sports.

He kicked off his tour in the Bay Area where he became educated in its culture, its geography, its finances, its values, along with its thriving sports teams (playoff contenders NHL’s San Jose Sharks, NBA’s Golden State Warriors, NFL’s 49ers, MLB’s Oakland A’s and World Champion San Francisco Giants). His timing was perfect too. San Francisco was in the running for (and won) the right to host the 50th Super Bowl in 2016.


He posted his thoughts on the Sports on Earth website (, starting with his kickoff post.

A good one to read is his assessment of the Bay Area, which provides a ranking based on six categories (facilities, history, icons, loyalty, passion and recent success) using a scale of 1 to 10.

He really wants input from locals, stating he’s “merely a sports tourist reporting back,” and noting “the locals will always know the real story.”

You can follow him on Twitter (@williamfleitch) and email him at And if this post has gotten you as curious about Will’s writings and adventures beyond Sports on Earth, check out his Tumblr (


Maybe I can’t be you, Will, but I can live the adventure vicariously through you and perhaps think up one of my own. Happy trails!


Assessment Category Breakdown:

How Will is ranking the sports regions he is visiting. Of the six areas, there are three categories he feels are twice as important — so they’ll be worth double.

  • Facilities (counts double): How great are the arenas/stadiums? Are they centrally located? Are they crazy expensive? How’s the beer selection?
  • History. How many great moments has the city/area provided the sports world? What we be missing if the city had never existed? How many championships has it won?
  • Icons. What retired players still have their jerseys worn by everyone? Who are the heroes everyone adores? Are they global icons?
  • Loyalty (counts double): When the teams are bad, do the fans still come out? Are there sellouts even when the Marlins are in town?
  • Passion (counts double): How loony are the fans? How devoted are they? If you took sports away from the city, how much would it suffer?
  • Recent Success. How relevant are the teams right now?

Note:  Will also has incorporated what he calls a “Completely Objective, Catch-All, Make Sure The Final Tally Is Precisely The Number I Want It To Be” category that includes “intangibles” that don’t fit in the other six.




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  1. […] the beginning of June, I did a post about Will Leitch‘s excellent adventure (Leitch Across America). Today, I’m reminded (thanks, guys!) of […]

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