Rethinking Barstool?

allstonite

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Oct 27, 2010
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I'm not a big Barstool guy- I think Portnoy is a donkey and it's a bit too fratty for me, but Spittin Chicklets and Zero Blog Thirty are automatics for me every week.
I've been thinking about starting a thread like this for a while and this quote from Dummy Hoy in the Bruins gamethread reminded me.

I think Portnoy is kind of brilliant but mostly agree with DH in that I can't stand him at all. He capitalized on fratbro humor and made himself a lot of money and a well recognized brand. He's not my cup of tea but he's also made some great hires and diversified a lot especially lately and it now covers a lot of ground. Some podcast recommendations that I think people here would enjoy if they, like me, thought the entire site was too sophomoric or just plain stupid.
  • Pardon My Take- If you hate how hot-takey, Skip vs Stephen A the entire sports world has become check this out. I've said before that PFT Commenter's satire is close to equal that of prime Colbert. He's brilliant and can drop obscure WWII references just as fast as he can drop a tremendous 69 joke. Also, I think Big Cat is a future star in whatever he chooses to do. He can be in character and hang with PFT or he can get serious and have well-reasoned, informed opinions. He's also a great interviewer and has helped to change my opinion on Joe Buck, Mike Golic, and even Peter King kind of, among others. They also work harder than most people out there. Seriously, give this a few episodes to get the hang of and you probably won't be disappointed
  • Spittin Chiclets- Rear Admiral is an interesting guy who also happens to be a great Bruins beat reporter. Ryan Whitney had an interesting career and is a great story teller. If you're a Bruins or Hockey fan in general (and can get past the accents) give this a shot too. The Taylor Hall episode recently was interesting. He was more at ease than you'd expect because he was Whitney's roommate. He didn't say anything too crazy to get him in trouble but he told more interesting stories than you usually hear about pros just living their lives.
  • Zero Blog Thirty- Uncle Chaps is a liberal-ish former Marine and Conner is a conservative-ish former Army officer. They discuss current events but their leanings, refreshingly, barely come into play and they have very civilized and informed discussions. Also not being a military person at all it's a fresh perspective for me. The best part is them discussing hilarious stories about training and being deployed that you can't really get anywhere else.
  • Mickstape- An NBA pod with Coley (a Boston guy) and Tyler (a Georgia/Magic fan/all around NBA guy). They have great chemistry and don't take any of it too seriously. They just did an entire 30 minute episode breaking down the viral video of the youth coach blocking a little kid's shot and it was the hardest I've laughed in weeks.
  • Section 10- A Red Sox podcast from Jared Carrabis and Pete Blackburn. It's not my favorite but it's a pretty decent listen when I run low on podcasts in a given week.
  • Fore Play- A golf podcast that's more my speed than something like ShackHouse from the Ringer. They come at it more from the casual fan who can't play well and watch most tournaments from the couch. They aren't bitter, grumpy sports writers which is how Shackleford comes off to me much of the time. Again not my favorite but I will give it a listen when my feed runs low.
I still think the site itself mostly sucks and is way too over the top with their anti-PC stuff and misogyny. However, I'll check it out a few times a week for PFT, Rear Admiral, Big Cat or maybe some of their videos. Just wanted to make some people aware that they are doing some interesting things and get other people's thoughts.
 

brs3

sings praises of pinstripes
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May 20, 2008
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I don't have a lot to add, but I started following Barstool on FB for the pizza reviews since I live in NYC. I gloss over just about everything else, but the pizza reviews alone keep me interested. I think of it less a bonafide sports site and more a a poor man's The Chive w/ a sports twist. The bro-ey stuff is lame, but someone must watch/listen to it.
 

ifmanis5

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Sep 29, 2007
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Agreed with the above. The br0 humor is pretty tired but that said I appreciated them for hammering Goodell (and continuing to) for DFG. Their Celtics game recaps are good, the pizza reviews are great and the Pardon My Take pod is very good and worth seeking out.
 

TFP

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Dec 10, 2007
17,301
There have been a few Barstool threads lately. Problem is that we don't know where to put them. Sports Media? Entertainment? Somewhere else? I think the fact that they don't fit anywhere is an indication of their success. I'll see if I can find the links to the posts.

They're the most fascinating media entity in the country right now, in my opinion. Only because they've figured out how to a) make the creation of content actual content (people watch videos/snaps of them talking into microphones) b) they have an intense, loyal following that only seems to be expanding and c) they are heavily monetizing this following in seamless ways. Their partnerships with Bacardi, Totinos, Leesa Mattresses and Natty Light are providing real returns for the products, not just lame product placements/ad reads. Add in what's a legitimate merch business and podcast network and I'd be curious to see how much revenue they're pulling in.

Once the Chernin group came into the picture, they went from a bro frat house blog site to a legit media entity. That's only increased and I don't think it's slowing down anytime soon. And the biggest indicator for their success is that none of this revolves around Portnoy. He's just a cog in the wheel now, and definitely eclipsed by his own employees in certain respects. Which only means good things for them, in my opinion.
 

yep

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Feb 3, 2006
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Around the howitzergate time, I basically decided that I just couldn't take the awfulness of that place.

There are people who find really good stuff in dumpsters, and I am happy for them. Personally, for me, I feel like my life is happier overall, not digging through dumpsters, even though I miss out on some good stuff.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I am a newer viewer of theirs and PMT is my main draw (I agree with allstonite's "take" on the podcast above pretty much word for word). That said, the pizza reviews are always somewhat entertaining and I am a sucker for pizza-porn.

As for the rest of their site, like others here, I find the misogyny off-putting. However they definitely have an interesting mix of entertainment that clearly has a huge market.
 

allstonite

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Oct 27, 2010
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Theo was excellent I thought. He was way more candid and relaxed than I thought he would be. I think he's a fan because he seemed to "get it" and got surprised by the serious questions. The talk of the Schilling negotiation on Thanksgiving was tremendous.

They also got their white whale, JJ Watt, by raising $50K for charity in under 12 hours. That one could go a number of ways and I'm excited for any one. Either he'll lack any awareness and they'll just make fun of him right to his face. Or it'll go the Joe Buck route and he'll make himself relatable and almost likable.
 

allstonite

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I haven't really followed much but I know he has a weekly podcast and seemed to be building a physical office in Indianapolis and was hiring interns and stuff. Seems he's all in on this
 

jcd0805

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Nov 3, 2007
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For a woman Barstool doesn't do much for me but I can't tell you how much I wish I had Big Cat and PFT in my life every day instead of only three days a week, they just kill me.
 

Phragle

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Jan 1, 2009
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Around the howitzergate time, I basically decided that I just couldn't take the awfulness of that place.

There are people who find really good stuff in dumpsters, and I am happy for them. Personally, for me, I feel like my life is happier overall, not digging through dumpsters, even though I miss out on some good stuff.
You don't sound happy
 

Domer

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Theo was excellent I thought. He was way more candid and relaxed than I thought he would be. I think he's a fan because he seemed to "get it" and got surprised by the serious questions. The talk of the Schilling negotiation on Thanksgiving was tremendous.

They also got their white whale, JJ Watt, by raising $50K for charity in under 12 hours. That one could go a number of ways and I'm excited for any one. Either he'll lack any awareness and they'll just make fun of him right to his face. Or it'll go the Joe Buck route and he'll make himself relatable and almost likable.
Unsurprisingly, Schilling has denied Theo's retelling of the event.
 

ifmanis5

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Theo was very good. Was silly when asked silly things and serious when asked serious things. Also, I have no doubt Negotiating For Dummies happened.
 

kenneycb

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They make a great point at the end that Schilling is fine for the first couple minutes of any interview and then he goes reaaaaaaaaaaalllly off the rails. Guy just loves his voice.
 

TFP

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Dec 10, 2007
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They make a great point at the end that Schilling is fine for the first couple minutes of any interview and then he goes reaaaaaaaaaaalllly off the rails. Guy just loves his voice.
Especially as he started the Lenny Dykstra story and I thought it was going to be something funny and then it basically turns into Curt going "sexual harrassment...hilarious, amirite?" It was literally exactly what they are mocking with their locker room talk bits, but Curt wasn't kidding.
 

allstonite

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"Are you triggered Curt? You sound triggered. Is it snowing in that echo chamber?"

Also "That's the difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals cry and whine while conservatives punch you in the face" by which he means blocks you on Twitter. Real tough there Curt
 

chrisfont9

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Pres did amazing work during the horror week of 2013 and the hunt for the Tsarnaevs. Serious, emotional stuff was pretty far out of their lane but it worked. Most of the time their humor has been too juvenile for me, especially the objectifying young women stuff, but I still stop by enough to get the sense that it's becoming a bit more substantive, and on occasion very funny.
 

kenneycb

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So I recently jumped on the PMT bandwagon with the Theo and Schilling stuff and my life is so much better because of it. Absolutely hilarious stuff.
 

kelpapa

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Feb 15, 2010
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So I recently jumped on the PMT bandwagon with the Theo and Schilling stuff and my life is so much better because of it. Absolutely hilarious stuff.
I got hooked after those as well. Putting Schilling on hold, then recording and posting that video was amazing. Schilling told "one of my favorite stories of all time" about Lenny Dykstra. It was basically Dykstra sexually harassing a Phillies employee that handled media.
 

TheWizard

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Oct 31, 2013
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PMT is great during football season.

I have to give PFT credit, the guy was an epic commentator on Florio's site and turned it into a career. Who can't get behind that.
 

deanx0

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Between this, the exit interview, and his appearance on the podcast, George Brett rocketed up my favorite non Red Sox of all time ranking
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Between this, the exit interview, and his appearance on the podcast, George Brett rocketed up my favorite non Red Sox of all time ranking
If your reason for ranking him so high is be accused you have also seen this... Then OK. If you haven't seen it, prepare to move him higher on the list.

 

Nator

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I Just listened to today's episode. It's a great interview with Paul Lo Duca, very candid about greenies, steroids, and HGH. There was a crazy story about how they infused the greenies into coffee in the clubhouse.

I just jumped on board this podcast during the run-up to the Superbowl via the stuff on Comedy Central, and it's been a part of my commute ever since.
 

shaggydog2000

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I Just listened to today's episode. It's a great interview with Paul Lo Duca, very candid about greenies, steroids, and HGH. There was a crazy story about how they infused the greenies into coffee in the clubhouse.

I just jumped on board this podcast during the run-up to the Superbowl via the stuff on Comedy Central, and it's been a part of my commute ever since.
The coffee story I have heard in other places as well, possibly in Ball Four? Players used to refer to the two coffee pots as "leaded" and "unleaded."
 

TFP

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Dec 10, 2007
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The coffee story I have heard in other places as well, possibly in Ball Four? Players used to refer to the two coffee pots as "leaded" and "unleaded."
Yeah, but the story about the security guard drinking a full cup of the loaded coffee and almost dying in the Dodger locker room was a new one for me.
 

cshea

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For golf fans, Feherty was on Fore Play this week. Very good interview, although I could listen to Feherty tell stories all day on his own.
 

ifmanis5

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The Section 10 podcast with Dan Shaughnessy is definitely worth a listen.
Some good rips on Ordway and Schilling, then he gets confused about what OPS+ might mean. It covers all the bases. Sorry for the pun.
 

TFP

Dope
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Dec 10, 2007
17,301
Julie Stewart Binks from ESPN is joining Barstool to host their college football live show, per Portnoy's Twitter.

Also - for us baseball fans, Jared Carrabis has joined up with Dallas Braden and Brian Wilson to host Starting 9, a weekly podcast and a nightly show on Facebook Live.

The content just keeps on coming.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Just a reminder...they are who we thought they were.

https://deadspin.com/barstool-sports-asked-potential-employee-to-sign-away-h-1819375626


"This afternoon, former Fox Sports college football host Elika Sadeghi told a story about how she recently walked away from a job offer from a sports media company because it asked her to sign an agreement acknowledging that she would willingly work in an environment where she might be exposed to “nudity, sexual scenarios, racial epithets, suggestive gestures, profanity and references to stereotypes.”
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Here. I'll treat you like one of those Neanderthals that is their main fan base.

Despite having some credible podcasts and a reporter or two, at its core, Barstool aims to cater to the lowest common denominator of the internet. They help to normalize some of the worst aspects of our society... Frat boy humor that is sexist, bigoted, and homophobic. Just because some PC has crept into our culture, does not mean that one can't go overboard and deserve to be called out on their inappropriate behavior.
 

TFP

Dope
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Dec 10, 2007
17,301
“Despite all the good stuff produces, I have a bunch of uninformed hot takes about a diverse media company, mixed in with a personal insult for good measure because I don’t have any actual facts to stand on.”

This “story” is an interesting one in this media age and in the hands of someone who is of even medium intelligence, it would make for a good discussion. That’s clearly not you, and it’s definitely not Deadspin. It’s probably not Portnoy either, but the article Awful Announcing wrote did a decent job breaking down both sides, including Barstool’s response. I was going to share that with you, but your mind is clearly made up off a fucking Deadspin post (which is biased and caters to...people like you I guess?). Nevertheless, it appears that the lawyers included this waiver language in the standard contracts and Portnoy offered to remove/revise it from the contract for her, and she also confirmed that everyone treated her with nothing but respect. There have also been zero sexual or workplace harassment issues (or even whispers of them) at their company that I’ve heard of. If you have some to share, I’d gladly look at them and change my opinion.

I asked you a simple question looking for more thought than a pithy one liner and a sensationalized Deadspin quote, and got exactly what I expected.

To the intelligent folks participating in this thread, I’m curious where people think this fits into the current media landscape. Is something like this enforceable? Is it wise to have it presented up front, where it seems to have served its purpose in weeding out potential employees who wouldn’t fit there? Or does it lend credence to the idea that they’re a sophomoric, minor league company? Where does the odiousness of their “unfiltered content” rank compared to a place like ESPN, which is overly corporate/mainstream but has/had a deplorable culture that has tolerated or maybe even encouraged numerous sexual assualt scandals over the years?

Or instead of that discussion, we can just go back to the uninformed hot takes where PC (irony!) will feel more comfortable.
 
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Seven Costanza

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Apr 11, 2007
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This may be a pithy one liner, but the existence of said waiver just reinforces my decision to not consume Barstool content, for reasons that have been hashed out upthread. I mean, that's the beauty of a free market in a press landscape- we're all free to consume what content we like. Elika Sadeghi making this public helps me make an informed decision in this respect.

Biased as they are, I'll stick to Deadspin. At least their comment sections don't look like Stormfront.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
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Did you even read anything TFP posted? Because your first sentence reads grossly misinformed if you think the clause, or clauses in a similar vein, is specific to Barstool.

Plus the CEO is a female, so they can't be sexist anymore.
 

Seven Costanza

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I did in fact read all three, and am appreciative that TFP posted them. I found it interesting that the awful announcing piece mentioned that this clause is 'not a sports media standard, and isn't necessarily the "boilerplate" Portnoy calls it', but is present in some comedic type employment roles. As I said in my earlier post, this just helps me make an informed decision.
 

Foulkey Reese

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Apr 12, 2006
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The other day Barstool posted pictures of a bunch of Yankees fans making fun of them.


One of the pictures is of a kid who looks like he's about 13-14. They called him a pussy. "This fucking kid. What a pussy. Jeffrey Maier is laughing at you, loser".

Posting pictures of kids in public and then trashing them is a horrible thing to do, and Barstool makes a habit of posting pictures of random people out in the world and just ridiculing them. I know it's not unique to this site, but it's hard to look at Barstool as anything other than a shitty site full of shitty people.

In a just world that kids father would beat KFC's head in with a brick.