More year-end best sportswriting lists

This one from Dan Shanoff, who sold his sports aggregator Quickish to the USA Today Sports Media Group during 2012 and continued to round up great links as he joined its ranks.

His top 12 didn’t include my favorite, Wright Thompson’s great piece from Lionel Messi’s hometown of Rosário, Argentina, which was included in the lengthy “receiving votes” category.

Shanoff disappointingly has nothing in either batch from The Classical, which debuted a year ago. It isn’t corporate-owned but was hatched through a Kickstarter fundraising effort, doesn’t have full-time writers on an expense account and is naturally irreverent and off-beat, almost zine-ishly so.

Flinder Boyd’s recent “The Ricky Rubio Experience” is star-quality stuff. So is Elliott Turner’s “Rope A Dope,” which as I blogged about earlier, laid waste to how anti-doping zealots and sports governing bodies do as they please when it comes to disciplining athletes.

But this is Shanoff’s list, and here’s what he likes the best:

Jonathan Abrams, “The Malice at the Palace: An Oral History,” Grantland

Sam Alipour, “Will You Still Medal In the Morning?” ESPN the Magazine

Chris Ballard, “Man In Full,” Sports Illustrated

Chris Brown, “Luck and Griffin III: The Future Is Now,” Grantland

Bryan Curtis, “The Ballad of the Piggyback Bandit,” Grantland

Spencer Hall, “Bury a Man, Keep a Statue,” SB Nation

Christopher McDougall, “On the Trail of the White Horse,” Outside

Michael Mooney, “The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever,” D Magazine

Tom Scocca, “Why the Baltimore Orioles Matter,” Deadspin

Wright Thompson, “Urban Meyer Will Be Home for Dinner,” ESPN the Magazine

Kevin Van Valkenburg, “Games of Chance,” ESPN.com

Dan Wetzel, “Tom Brady’s Daze of Disappointment,” Yahoo Sports

And Shanoff provides liner notes, which note what we’ve been raving about on this blog for a good part of 2012 — longform sportswriting is enjoying an encouraging renaissance on the Web.

But it’s happening in more than four or five places.

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