JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

SI.com vs. ESPN.com

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I was speaking with B.J. Schecter, my editor at SI.com, earlier today. Told him that I honestly believe SI.com is now a better sports site than ESPN.com.

I truly do.

I wrote for ESPN.com for about two years. Loved the people, left on good terms, etc. I think many of their writers are truly excellent. Bill Simmons is fantastic. Jemele Hill is one of the best—but she’s rarely there these days. I loved working with Rick Reilly, and consider him one of the top writers of my generation. But they’re using him terribly. My biggest complaint about ESPN.com is that it’s sorta like an exploded burrito. There’s cheese here, tomato there, beef here. Stuff all over the place, but no centralized anything. Back when I wrote for Page 2, I felt like it had a solid mission—be funny, but mainly write great columns. These days, I don’t get it. At. All.

Plus, ESPN really needs to stop taking credit for every piece of news. It’s ethically deplorable, and also seriously annoying. Seriously, I don’t need to know that so-and-so reported that Derek Jeter plays shortstop for the Yankees.

Is SI.com perfect? No. But it’s improved 8,000 percent in the past year or two. A big part of that credit should go to B.J., who has added a fleet of extremely good writer/reporters from around the country. Joe Posnanski, Dan Shaughnessy, etc. ESPN.com’s management fancies itself as the Dan Snyder of the sports web landscape—land every big name, and hope it gels. But SI.com plugs holes in a smart, crafty way.

Yeah, I’m biased. But I wouldn’t write this if I didn’t believe it. Right now, ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports are the two most-visited sports sites on the web. ESPN puts out a better product, but not the best product.

SI does.

Disagree?