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Is Bill Simmons Burnt Out on Grantland.com Before It Even Launches?

ESPN sportswriter Bill Simmons just got a big profile in the New York Times Magazine–which spends a great deal of time following Simmons relishing in the Lakers’ playoff implosion, but not a whole lot talking about his new web venture Grantland. Over the course of the several thousand word piece, we get this:

Later this month, Simmons will take another step in the ongoing expansion of his empire, starting his own Web site, in conjunction with ESPN, called Grantland. Simmons says Grantland will be to ESPN what Miramax was to Disney, a boutique division with more room for creativity. Another metaphor might be Martha Stewart Living, a magazine similarly constructed around a single person’s market-tested sensibility. Much has been made of some of the well-known, literary writers Simmons has already attracted to Grantland, but as a business proposition, the site is basically an attempt to leverage Simmons’s take on sports and, really, life into something much bigger than himself.

And then we get this.

It was a sultry afternoon, and midway through the game, we went inside to the Dugout Club to cool off and talk. Simmons sounded as if he was having some regrets about Grantland. “It hasn’t been as much as fun as I had thought,” he told me. “I’m not sure I would do it again.” Too much of his time was being spent in the office, dealing with administrative tasks, which was encroaching on his column.

And that was it. We learn in a paraphrased graph Simmons’ plans for the site, and then we learn, though the site hasn’t even launched yet, he already has regrets. Not a good sign.

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