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Will Leitch
Writer, New York, NYT, MLB, WaPo, others. Founder, Deadspin. Author of five books, including “How Lucky,” in bookstores now. https://williamfleitch.substack.com

I’m hanging on to mine.

My Medium colleague Susan Orlean has written, movingly, about the unexpected pleasure of wearing masks during the pandemic, and I get it. I have never understood, regardless of one’s political persuasion or propensity to get immediately aggrieved, what exactly is so terrible about wearing a mask in the first place. They’ve made them very comfortable, they’re easily detached from your face, they don’t hurt, they have no side effects, and you really can breathe just fine with them: When I was in New York last month, my first trip there during the pandemic, I ran six miles across the Manhattan…


Internet Nostalgia

A hoax we’d no longer believe.

Welcome to part 16 of our Internet Nostalgia series, which looks back at phenomena that captured the internet’s imagination and attention for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. This series looks back at those olden times and what they told us about the internet and ourselves. If you have a suggested topic, email me at williamfleitch@yahoo.com. Last week, Susan Boyle’s first appearance on “Britain’s Got Talent.” This week: The Balloon Boy Hoax.

Date: October 15, 2009

The Story: I specifically remember that Balloon Boy happened on a Thursday afternoon. It was a long…


A tradition like any other.

I’ve been running this particular column every Father’s Day week since I first wrote it, back in 2003, in whatever venue I happened to be scribbling for at the time. Medium readers, it is now your turn. I hope it is a fine story, and also that it’s illustrative of how I’ve grown as a writer over the last 18 years. Happy Father’s Day.

Until the age of 18, all I ever did was play baseball, and this time of year fills me with both wonder and deep regret. Save for occasional wiffleball games in the park, my ball-playing days…


I don’t know if I’m any good at this yet, but I’m trying

Photo: Cavan Images/Getty Images

This Sunday will be my 10th Father’s Day as a father. My first son was born in November 21, 2011, and not a single thing in my life has been the same since. I did not know how tumultuous the next 10 years of American life would be when my son was born. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and my country, and my fellow citizens, in those 10 years. But I’ve learned even more about being a father.

In honor of those 10 Father’s Days, here are 10 Things I’ve Learned About Being a Father.

My wife and I…


Internet Nostalgia

Pay attention to what happens before she starts singing.

Welcome to part 15 of our Internet Nostalgia series, which looks back at phenomena that captured the internet’s imagination and attention for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. This series looks back at those olden times and what they told us about the internet and ourselves. If you have a suggested topic, email me at williamfleitch@yahoo.com. Last week, Lazy Sunday. This week: Susan Boyle’s first appearance on “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Date: April 11, 2009.

The Story: Susan Boyle could always sing. She had spent years entering singing competitions, but she was never able…


That part of the pandemic is finally over, or should be.

For the first, oh, nine months of the pandemic, I — and everybody else — was way too worried about masks. Not that they weren’t important: They were, vitally so, which is why I wore mine any time I wasn’t in my house. What obsessed me, along with too many of us, for too long, was whether other people were wearing them. When we look back at the Great Pandemic Year of 2020 in the United States, one of the things we will regret wasting so much of our time and energy on will be mask shaming.

Boy, did we…


He’s basically just floating for a couple of minutes.

This, this right here is a good joke:

That Jeff Bezos is going into space seems inevitable, doesn’t it? At a certain level, what in the world is the point of ruining small businesses and stomping your boot on the collective throat of your workers if you can’t blast off into space? As one of those lame, essentially worthless non-millionaires, I’ve always wondered what the point of amassing such unimaginable wealth as Bezos has. At a certain point, wouldn’t any reasonable person just say, “OK, now that wear a suit made of $10,000 bills while walking around a beach…


Internet Nostalgia

The future of content was … “Saturday Night Live?”

Welcome to part 14 of our Internet Nostalgia series, which looks back at phenomena that captured the internet’s imagination and attention for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. This series looks back at those olden times and what they told us about the internet and ourselves. If you have a suggested topic, email me at williamfleitch@yahoo.com. Last week, Chuck Norris Facts. This week: Lazy Sunday.

Date: December 17, 2005.

The story: The first-ever Lonely Island sketch filmed for “Saturday Night Live” was about lettuce. It was called “Lettuce.” It wasn’t really a Lonely…


We will never believe this happened.

The pandemic is not over in the United States. But it sure feels close, right? As The New York Times’ David Leonhardt pointed out this morning, Covid-19 cases in this country are plummeting while, not coincidentally, the number of vaccinations being given are increasing after a brief dip a few weeks ago. (As Leonhardt notes, this increase coincides with the CDC announcing that vaccinated people no longer had to wear masks.) Many states have already re-opened entirely, and the ones that haven’t, the ones among the more cautious ones throughout the pandemic, are about to, including Illinois and California. Covid-19…


Thank God it’s not dead

Photo: CSA Images/Getty Images

The entire pandemic, I’ve been hearing about things that Covid-19 may or may not have killed. Business travel. Buffets. Birthday candles. Snow days. I’m not sure all, or any, of these things are really going to go away: Human nature has a tendency to snap back to a certain base level of accepted normalcy, and I’m not sure one (incredibly tumultuous!) year is going to upset that applecart for centuries to come. And I hope not. Because I really love shaking hands.

Shaking hands was suppose to go away, wasn’t it? It’s strange that we remained — and in many…

Will Leitch

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