Daily Beast – Barstool Sports isn’t like any other sports-media company. The online harassment by Portnoy and in turn by Barstool’s most devoted fans—largely young, white men or “Stoolies,” as they’re known—is a feature of the site, not a bug.
Any attempt to rein in Portnoy or the harassment would transform Barstool into something that is not Barstool. The harassment campaigns and the pummeling of their so-called enemies—the “haters and losers” or the “blue checkmark brigade”—are celebrated by Barstool, and recapped like they were a sport in and of itself. If so, it’s very much a contact sport. Four female reporters who anonymously spoke with me detailed the piles of abuse doled out by Barstool bloggers and Stoolies, and not just online.
Its Comeback SZN for your boy KFC and the last thing I needed to complete the process was a good old hit piece rebuttal. The last couple weeks I’ve been running around like Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet, trying to collect all the stones trying to get to full strength. A blogging rampage against Lena Dunham and the Blindos, a rap battle with a coworker, the return of Storyboards… one by one all of it building up towards one thing. Full Internet Strength.
Responding to a hit piece is the final element to complete this return to my old form. So lets get into it and we can snap our fingers, eradicate the half of the internet thats a bunch of humorless, talentless, hypocritical assholes and we can continue dominating the motherfucking world.
I read a total of 15 words of this latest pitiful attempt to throw rocks at the throne. As soon as I started scrolling and saw how small the scroll bar was, I was OUT. I mean thats gotta be like 5,000 words. 5,000 words that have already been written 5,000 fucking times, rearranged and repurposed by this clown. Robert Silverman (hereinafter referred to as “The Clown”) poured his entire heart and soul into this piece. He researched, he investigated, he wrote for weeks on end. I couldn’t be bothered to read more than a single paragraph of his unoriginal trash. Do you know how sad that is? I even took the time to read Jamie O’Grady’s hit piece on The Cauldron, and thats JAMIE O’GRADY and THE CAULDRON. Neither of those things even exist anymore and his hit piece captivated me more than The Clown’s.
5,000 words of blithering drivel that has been said before. And said again. And again. And again. Size 6 Skinny Jeans, Sam Ponder’s kid, Jewish jokes, probably something about my affair, and hit publish. The Barstool Starter Kit. This time with the expansion pack that Dave hits on Laura Wagner too much. The Jay Cutler of Hit Pieces: Donnnnnnnnnt Caaaaaaaaaare. Clown, let me explain how this is going to work – for the next couple of days your traffic will be higher than usual. You’ll be drowning in clicks. Your mentions will be electric. Filled with banter and discussion regarding your work. Or, as we at Barstool Sports like to call that, Monday. You’ll get a taste of the drug called Relevance. You’ll love it. You will get high off the attention. You’ll daydream about what its like to get it day in and day out. And then your dream will turn into a nightmare as you realize that you arent talented or interesting enough to maintain that interest. You’ll realize that the only reason youre riding high is because you’re riding the wake of the Pirate Ship. And when that slows down, you’ll sink back to the bottom. Retreat back to Clown School where you can continue to pretend youre an interesting person. Go write a few more freelance articles for one of the 15 sites you pretend to work for by mentioning them in your twitter bio. You’ll try to prove you’re actually entertaining and impactful by writing about something near and dear to you. “Hey! Perhaps some of these new eyeballs I garnered by engaging with Barstool will like what I actually have to say! Maybe they’ll care about what I am truly interested in!” They dont. They wont. And you’ll drift back to the dark abyss of irrelevance with a red rubber nose on your boring face. And you will never be heard from ever again. Or at least until you do this again.
And do you know what will happen at Barstool Sports? Do you know what will change? Nothing. Not a fucking thing. You will not impact the world, the internet, or even the small little Barstool bubble in any way shape or form. We’ll go back to watching our dude with Aspergers argue with our Caveman. Our degenerate gamblers will continue to lose money and scream at the cameras. Over the next 72 hours we’ll get more traffic while screaming at each other whether someone is “Back!” or “Not Back!” than you will get the remainder of your career. Our fake band will probably sell out another venue or two. Business as usual.
Thats what you dont get, Clown. Its too late. We’ve already won. You are fighting a battle you literally cannot win. Because we are authentic, we are original, we are seasoned, and we are legion. And that never loses. It can be good, it can be bad. Positive, negative. It can be funny, it can be serious. Right or wrong. But authenticity will forever be intriguing. And thats what you dorks fail to understand. You stay awake at night staring at the ceiling dreaming of the success our biggest bum employees have achieved and you still dont realize its because your sanctimonious, smug, unoriginal routine is as inauthentic as it comes. Your faux outrage, your phony white knight crusade, your delusional idea that you somehow are going to right the wrongs of internet tendencies…its all such a fucking JOKE. You’re out here in the same arena we are, Clown. You’re standing in the Coliseum with us. You want the people chanting your name just as bad as we do. You dont care about these issues you babble on and on about. You twist and frame anything and everything simply for dramatic effect. Contort intentions, assume opinions, and follow the same damn tired playbook as you pretend to care about the feelings of internet strangers. Either its fraudulent or youre an idiot and either way, you’re nothing but a Clown, knocking at the door of Barstool Sports, solely because you crave the attention.
And thats the difference. Either your writing gets attention or you attempt to get attention with your writing. Thats a subtle but important distinction and one that I’ve made a THOUSAND times. Our sense of humor isnt for everyone. It sometimes ruffles feathers and upsets and offends, but thats never the intention. It might be a byproduct, but not a single piece of content at Barstool is ever created strictly to stir the pot. We are the fucking pot. We’ve got opinions and jokes and takes and we tailor them to the like minded people with a similar sense of humor to entertain. For the cube monkey rotting at his desk or the college kid pulling an all nighter or the sales person spending 18 hours a day in the car. For anyone with a sense of humor that understands what truly matters in the world and realizes that the other bullshit these Clowns attempt to fabricate isnt real.
Dont you think theres a reason why we are still here, Clown? Dont you think theres a reason why Size 6 and Howitzer Gate and feuds with Jews and Blindos and Hondos (and whatever else these people focus on) havent even put a fucking dent in our hull? Its because as soon as you provide even an OUNCE of context, its clear that nothing is ever malicious here. As soon as you get to understand the background of ANY person here at Barstool, you realize the portrayal of this company as some menacing bully thats on a mission to seek and destroy innocent people of the internet is laugh out loud stupid. Like I genuinely think the Clown and the various nobodies who reside in the Barstool Cemetary are not intelligent people for not being able to distinguish between internet content that might offend and purposely trying to hurt innocent people’s feelings. Be more obtuse you dumb fucking assholes. We rarely throw the first punch, but we are always going to punch back. And if you dont like what happens when we start punching back, dont pick the fight. Dont get in the ring.
Even this latest wrinkle in the saga is being mischaracterized. The Deadspins and The Clowns of the world would have you believe Dave picked Laura Wags out of a phone book and decided to creep on her with the sole purpose of making her feel uncomfortable in order to…I dont know? I can’t think of one reason Dave would just randomly do that. The reality of the matter is Laura Wagner has made a quote unquote career out of bashing Barstool Sports and provoking Dave. Article, after article, after article – insult after insult after insult – directed at Dave. I know this because I fucking LOVE when she does it. I hate Dave a thousand times more than anybody else on the Internet. I used to dream of his downfall like all these assholes. I love calling him a sniffly raisin and an ill tempered adderall pill. He’s the most arrogant, most delusional asshole I know. But you know who else is an asshole? Laura Wagner. And those are just facts. Laura Wagner has got just as much of an ego on her as Dave. She’s got the itch for attention just as bad as he does. Like I said, shes in that same arena. That same Coliseum. Laura Wagner knows exactly what she’s doing – constantly bashing Dave and Barstool, Except when Dave responds and starts fighting back, now all the sudden theres certain rules to play by. And because he’s going toe to toe with a female, any response is considered sexist. Thats not how the internet works. The internet is not a nice place. Its not a fair place. Its no place for the weak. And if you want to make fun of one of the biggest personalities on the internet, hes going to respond and its going to be unfriendly and contentious. Guys, girls, young, old. Big, small. Successful, unsuccessful, Dave and Barstool have been going to battle over personal jabs like this forever. Long before Laura Wagner and long after it.
Do I think Dave is a 41 year old creep show? Absolutely. Do I find it cringeworthy when he says he wants to stick his tongue down her throat? No doubt. But do I think it was unprovoked? For sure not. Dave Portnoy would never have mentioned her name once if she didnt jump into the mud with us. I promise you that. Dave is so narcissistic he doesnt want to think of anyone other than himself if he doesnt have to. But once you insert yourself into the Barstool world, once you dive in the deep end of the mud, we are going to respond in an authentic manner. I (think?) the vibe of the article is “Why are people standing there letting this happen?” and the answer is because she brought it upon herself the day she entered the business of bashing Barstool Sports. If Dave was truly bullying and torturing a girl who never asked for any smoke with the Stool, he would for sure be called out for it. I did exactly that when I thought he crossed a line with Ria. Dave did exactly that with me when I fucked up my marriage and he called me a scumbag. Whether or not you will acknowledge it, theres a moral compass here at Barstool. And very rarely, if ever, is it compromised. At least professionally. My personal affair is the biggest “Barstool” transgression and all I could do was acknowledge I fucked up, apologize, and live the right way going forward. Some people cared, some people didnt. Some people thought it was private, others thought it was public and horrific. I just kept it as authentic as I possibly could because thats what we do here. And as long as we do that, nothing can really stop us. In our best moments, in our worst moments, you’re always getting the same honesty. And that is infinitely more powerful than another tired, recycled hit piece. Clown.