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Sports Beyond the Score

Reported by The Sports Desk

Most sportswriting is focused on the idea that winning is everything. That’s not us. Back us and we’ll give you a broader view of what makes sports so ridiculous, so wonderful and so unexpectedly important to us all.

  • 459backers
    to go
  • 26days
  • $1,170raised
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This project is no longer accepting pledges
* This project was not successfully funded.
At 500 backers The Sports Desk can produce journalism that creates impact.

Here’s what you’ll get:

✓ At least one story each week, by a different writer. Though our interests are varied and our locations diverse, we unite around the idea that sports reflects and impacts our culture at-large. From ultra ultra-running in the Yukon to the rise of fascism German soccer culture to a field guide about baseball butts, the coverage will be unlike anything you can find elsewhere.

✓ A Sports Desk T-shirt, for higher-level backers.

✓ Access to every story, by every writer on Beacon.

Sports are weird and wonderful, we want to celebrate that

Most sportswriting makes the assumption that the only thing that matters is the score, but sports are so much more than just stats and recaps. Back us and we’ll give you a broader view of what makes sports so weird, so wonderful, and so unexpectedly important to us all.

Some stories will re-write accepted sports history. Some will take you to the very limits of human motivation. Others might simply revel in the total absurdity of modern athletics. But we promise, you’ll always be entertained.

We’re obsessed with thinking about sports.

sports desk

The Sports Desk is Leigh Cowart, Brian Blickenstaff, Jack Moore, Eva Holland and Alex Wong.

Sports are ubiquitous and yet, despite their near-universal relevance, sports media tends to favor a simplistic, anti-septic rehash of events and highlights. The result is coverage that’s predictable, boring, and easy to dismiss.

At The Sports Desk, we’re fixated on figuring out why sports are so important to us, a question that extends beyond any one game or season. Our reporting gets at the core of sports culture — fandom, competition, identity and empire.

That might all sound a bit serious, and no doubt a lot of it will be — sports has an outsized impact on our oulture and economy, from labor rights to personal identity. But sports are also gloriously absurd, evidenced by the fact that something as meaningless as grown men running around in pajamas can mean so much to so many.

Your funding supports our reporting.

This collective on Beacon is a new experiment in what sportswriting can look like. We don’t have to meet web traffic goals or crank out game stories — we’re wholly independent, and can write the stories we want to share and that you want to read.

By backing us, the vast majority of your subscription fee goes to our team, every month. We’ll use it to cover the costs of our reporting, our time, and if the pledges get high enough, an illustrator to make our stories shine.

sports desk

Fight the pro sporting industrial complex. Get a T-shirt too.

Jason Clinkscales

David Lapayowker

Nicholas Rudolph

David Judson Winton

Chris Hollindale

Brian Phillips

Chia Evers

Philip Girvan

Jonathan Gamero

Chris Davidson

Peter Beatty

Christy Mara Suttmann-Lea

Jonathan Bernhardt

Daniel Wright

James McCullough

Susan Shepard

Jennifer Day

Douglas Holland

Kenny Ducey

Mark Macyk

Erik Malinowski

Katherine Tait

Ruhee Dewji

Joseph Leadley

Matthew K Perrett

Sean Highkin

Dave DuPlantis

Louis Moore

Alexa Sulzenko

Micah Clark

Joe Braga

Juan Romero Abelleira

Philip Anderson

Adrian Sanders

Kevin Draper

Steve Paulo

Chris Heller

Daniel Fletcher

Plus 3 others who want to read stories about Sports Beyond the Score
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$5per month
Monthly subscription
Monthly subscription to The Sports Desk’s work and to Beacon. You’ll get the opportunity to read exclusive stories from The Sports Desk, and every story by every writer on Beacon.
12 claimed
$10per month
Super subscription
By paying a bit more each month, you truly help make this reporting sustainable. You’ll get a monthly subscription plus an added badge on your Beacon profile, noting your additional support.
5 claimed
$15per quarter
Three-month subscription
Three-month subscription to The Sports Desk’s work and to Beacon. Your subscription to The Sports Desk renews every quarter. You can cancel at any time.
6 claimed
Six-month subscription
Six-month subscription to The Sports Desk’s work and to Beacon. Your subscription to The Sports Desk expires after six months.
4 claimed
One-year subscription
Year-long subscription to The Sports Desk’s work and to Beacon. Your subscription to The Sports Desk expires after one year.
4 claimed
One-year subscription + the official shirt + share with a friend
Thanks for your added support! In addition to your one-year subscription, you’ll also get a Sports Desk T-shirt in the size of your choice. You’ll also get a subscription to share with a friend.
7 claimed
Box seats
A group subscription package. You’ll get the shirt and six yearly subscriptions, so you can spread The Sports Desk to your friends and family.
Note: All pledges are in USD.

The Sports Desk BIOGRAPHY

Eva Holland is a writer based in Canada’s northern Yukon Territory. She has written about sports and outdoor adventure for SB Nation Longform, Up Here, Outside Online and many other publications. She is still upset about the Gretzky trade.

Brian Blickenstaff grew up in California but now lives in Germany. His writing on sports and culture has appeared in numerous publications.

Leigh Cowart is a freelance journalist, which is to say, she probably doesn’t bathe enough. Her work on science, sports, and sex has appeared in The Classical, The Verge, Vice, Deadspin, and NSFWCorp, among others. She loves fat baseball players and watches Rays games with her Joe Maddon lawn gnome.

Alex Wong is better known as steven lebron, which is also the name of his website where he writes about sports in his own way and hosts a podcast where he has funny and sometimes insightful conversations. He has contributed to The Classical, Frank151, The Sports Fan Journal and Hardwood Paroxysm. Alex spent $350 on an authentic Ron Artest Pacers jersey the night of the Malice at the Palace and is both proud and ashamed of it.

Jack Moore is a contributing writer for Sports on Earth. He is also a regular contributor to The Score, CBSSports.com and Advanced NFL Stats. His writing has also appeared in FanGraphs, The Classical, Baseball Prospectus, and other sites across the internet.

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Stories about Sports Beyond the Score need to be told

Help The Sports Desk bring them to BEACON. At 500 backers, The Sports Desk can provide sustainable reporting on the topic you won't get anywhere else.

This project is no longer accepting pledges