A.J. Daulerio ascends to the best seat in the sports blogsphere, taking over Deadspin from Will Leitch, who's gone all conventional and joined New York Magazine.
By e-mail today he confirmed our hunch that the site would have a distinctly Philly flavor:
Oh total Philly stamp: I think I'm going to turn this site into a perennial also-ran. My first day on Monday, don't be surprised if I throw up in the huddle.
He kids because he loves.
A.J. brought refreshing edge to Philly Mag's Daily Examiner site this past year before returning to Deadspin in the spring.
AOL.'s Fanhouse e-interviewed him Friday, and asked the tough question about the sort of blogger ethics that sent our pal Buzz Bissinger into high dudgeon:
Q: When people criticize Deadspin, they often bring up a post you wrote in which you looked over Stuart Scott's shoulder at a Super Bowl party to read a text message he was sending. Do you regret doing that, and is that criticism valid?
A:I think a lot of that criticism comes from people who are trying to compare this to the tenets of journalism and question whether or not it's ethical. I don't regret it because it was supposed to be my diary of being at the Super Bowl. I knew the ramifications of it. ... You have to realize, at the time that that happened, Deadspin and ESPN had this very, very silly rivalry where this is kind of like flinging a bag of dog crap on their front porch. I think I broke every single guy code that's out there by doing that, but my goal was basically to entertain Deadspin's audience and I think I did that.
We had an actual conversation many moons ago for a quickie profile, once we realized from one of his posts that his peeps hailed from Horsham-by-the-first-tee, and he offered this about himself:
School: Council Rock H.S. LaSalle U. Class of 1996. Major: communications.
Current abode: Astoria, Queens.
Worst job: Kentucky Fried Chicken counter boy. "You don't want to be anywhere near that place on Super Bowl Sunday."
Best job: freelance writer, in particular, the Maxim Magazine Top 100 list. Great pay, cushy work. "All I had to do was look at pictures and write 450 words about, say, the hot chick from "Lost."
On his turntable: Nothing. He doesn't have an iPod either. "I own four Cds, three of which are Pearl Jam. Maybe one Raconteurs."
Under his bed: "Five socks, three books. I know that because I was looking for my watch. One of the wooden planks from the bed itself - it's an Ikea bed - and lots of stray pony-tail holders."
On his nightstand: "Three glasses, an ashtray and I think a Playboy."
In his fridge: "Pony tail holders, and Pearl Jam Cds."
What A.J. stands for: Antawn Jamison. "Mom's a Tar Heel."
I hope I'm not too unironic in wishing him good luck.