Let the Countdown Begin | Alex Bennett and Coach Duggs Make Their Fighting Debuts In Rough N' Rowdy 18 Next Friday 8PM ETBUY NOW

Fare Thee Well to Omaha and the College World Series

I cannot believe this Omaha trip is finally coming to an end. I flew out here 14 days ago for the College World Series expecting to be here 7-8 days total. I want to thank the Ameristar Council Bluffs (PENN) for hosting us the entire time and rolling with the punches. They had no idea we would be out there that long during their busiest time of year. Big shout out to Brandon Smith (VP of Marketing) for helping make this happen.

On the surface, everything could not have gone more wrong on this trip. I got DESTROYED almost the entire time with awful gambling picks on the Barstool Sportsbook, I had to watch my arch rival Mississippi State win their 1st national championship and Brandon Walker lose his mind celebrating, and I got called more names on social media in 2 weeks than I have the rest of my life combined. Yet it turned out to be one of the most fun times of my life. 

Dave Portnoy posted this tweet last night right as Mississippi State won their 1st national championship that summed up the trip the best.

I absolutely loved reading this as I watched Mississippi State celebrating their 1st title. I had Vandy +900 from before the tourney to win it all, took them before Omaha and had them last night. All tickets obviously went up in flames as had so many others.  I was a little down until I saw it and then it all hit me that this Grow the Game journey has been such an overwhelming success. It was actually one of my favorite Barstool Sports moments so far as it was the payoff for the last 3 months.

I started pushing college baseball in early April to some fan fare in the Deep South but that was about it. I was hired to help build the brand in the South and I knew how crazy SEC fans are about college baseball. I am part of Ole Miss tent in left field and grew up watching the Skip Bertman LSU dynasty in Louisiana. I also have barely picked up a baseball bat since I was 14. I just saw the opportunity as I knew how much fans in the South cared. Just the combo of maniac fan bases from LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State was enough to build off to start. There was a lot of positive sentiment from the South but I was still unsure nationally.

I went on The Rundown in early May and Dave hammered me. “I hope the 8 fans who like college baseball are enjoying your coverage.” I responded that we needed to get lines on games and it would take off. That was not the last time I would get publicly crushed by Dave to say the least.

It all came together at the start of the NCAA Tourney when we released the popular Barstool in Omaha shirts and more importantly the Barstool Sportsbook put up lines on the games and odds on the regionals. I got literally hundreds of messages that read almost the exact same saying “I had no idea how much fun college baseball was until I checked the games out after you promoted it.” The amount of positive messages continues to blow me away even with my picks being atrocious. I was shocked at how little negative feedback I got to be honest. Even the State fans were super supportive of me growing the game and great to me in Omaha.

The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly this viral video of me jinxing Jack Leiter as he allowed solo homer to NC State for Vandy to lose 1-0. 

This video after the game of the NC State team pointing at me from the bus after the win was also hilarious too.

I actually said to Brandon Walker before Omaha how ironic it would be to cover a Miss State national title run with him. I guess that was the only thing I mentioned that actually ended up happening. It was the best thing that could happen for Barstool in Omaha regardless of my personal bias. There were at least 25,000 State fans there the last 3 days and all our shows at Picks Central were packed.

I also want to thank DJ’s Dugout for hosting Picks Central in Omaha for 8 days. Brandon Walker and Carl both did fantastic jobs. We got solid crowds all 8 shows.

Mississippi State bounced back from an 8-2 loss to Vandy in Game 1 of the Championship Series and demolished the ‘Dores in the last two games 13-2 and 9-0 to win their first title. It was pandemonium after the game as fans tried to race on the field.

Brandon Walker got to have his moment and lived it up to the fullest. I cannot even imagine celebrating an Ole Miss baseball national title. I had snuck an egg (still have one left from Egg Bowl) into the game to possibly crack on his head after Mississippi State lost and did this video throwing it away after the game.

I loved working with and getting to know Barstool Carl too. I learned a lot from him and his positive attitude is fun to be around. This hot dog review video I filmed last night got out of hand. I look forward to doing more content with him in future.

Looking back on it all this absurdity, all I can do is smile and laugh. What a funny world where everything can go wrong possibly yet go so right. We grew the game and I already cannot wait to come back to Omaha next year! Thanks to all of you guys for the support!