Literary basketball blog FreeDarko has its last post up today, its contributors having gone on to bigger things. Since 2004, the blog has made basketball interesting even to people who don’t really care about basketball. The collective has published two books and the best sports column McSweeney’s has ever run. They have made very, very clear that basketball is NOT jazz, and denigrated the cult of the amateur that is college sports.
While such opinions have been voiced with admittedly less fervor in recent years, it was, in its glory days, a fun read. As the pseudonymous Bethlehem Shoals writes in his farewell post: “When we started FreeDarko, we thought we knew everything. We had doctrine, catch-phrases, invented theories, and an extensive list of heroes and villains. There was even an uncompromising house style, one whose major influence, as far as I could tell, was Babelfish. I guess you could say we were ideologues, or fancied ourselves a movement, except we didn’t. It just seemed like the only reasonable way to charge in and start making bold, possibly faulty, points about professional sports. We were wrong as often as we were right, and we knew it, but part of the fun was never letting on that we cared-or even noticed.”