First off, I know Large already penned a Francis blog on Saturday. He beat me to it fair and square. I was discouraged when I saw it come across my timeline, as I was already half way through mine, but I was in too deep to scrap it. Additionally, it has been suggested to me that I dial this back. That it will come off as bitter, and not very funny. But again, I am in too deep. I think it is clear enough that I am joking. Here's to hoping I'm right.
Harvard graduate and cancer patient cos-player Francis Ellis was re-hired by Barstool Sports last month. I was elated when I learned of Francis' hiring. A stretched-out, more musically talented Ed Sheeran would assuredly be great for our organization.
Francis has been nothing short of amiable towards myself and the rest of our associates. He has a virtuous, yet playful air about him. He carries himself humbly and with a quiet confidence that shows me he is a remarkable human being. I can say with certainty that he is appreciative, and will be making the most of this opportunity.
I've taken it upon myself to make him feel welcome. On Thursday, I attempted to title a blog "Cancer Isn't Real". I thought it to be a droll way of drumming up clicks to a blog where I used charity terrorism to hawk breast cancer awareness merch. Our Co-Editor in Chief & my personal mentor Eric Nathan was so repulsed, I wasn't sure he would ever publish one of my blogs again.
The blog was eventually published, after a significant amount of editing (thankfully).
Is there a more fitting way to pay homage, and roll out the red carpet for Francis than by trying to get myself fired for an offensive column? I think not.
I have already learned a lot from him. As you can plainly see, I have taken up using a thesaurus after discerning Francis' far-reaching vocabulary.
The reception of Francis by the Stoolies has been overwhelmingly positive. Whereas he received mixed reviews in his first stint with Barstool Sports, fans are keen on the well-to-do ginger in his sophomore campaign. Just take a look at the comment section of his Frankie's New Beard is Almost Convincing piece.
Rest assured, there isn't a person at the company who is more elated to see Francis succeed than Your's Truly. His blog was a breathtaking piece of poetic tomfoolery. Many people are saying he is exactly what Barstool needs.
But what does that mean for me? A rookie blogger trying to cut his teeth in the sports media world. Someone who hangs his hat on his blogging ability, and fancies himself a promising up and comer in the online smut industry.
Many voices in my head have been asking - Has Francis Exposed Me?
Think back to June 23rd, 2022. What a marvelous day that was.
That day was culmination of everything I had ever worked for. I realized my dreams. It's not in the least bit hyperbolic to say it was the best day of my life. A job at Barstool Sports is the only thing I had ever wanted. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen.
On March 17, 2022 (St. Patrick's Day), I ran into Nick Turani at a bar in Columbus, OH. I proceeded to get blind drunk and went home crying (swear on my mom's life that happened) because meeting Nick made me think about how I was never going to achieve my life's goal. It launched an absolutely insane string of events (which borderline made me believe in god), that ended with a personal email from Dave Portnoy offering me a contract to work at Barstool Sports.
Now close your eyes, grab your penis, and travel back with me to that time. Consider my Raisins blog. Remember how much everyone loved it? Remember when Dave Portnoy tweeted this?
My first month at the company was sublime. It's fun being the new guy. Nobody has had time to turn on you yet. I was showered with praise. The Barstool faithful threw flowers at my feet. I could do no wrong. Reddit (which I never look at anymore) adored me. I was the savior of the blog. TIME Magazine dubbed me the Jesus Christ of comedy writing.
Then things got hard. I ignited my Barstool career with an onslaught of jokes & bits I had loaded in the chamber for the past decade. Holstered to my hip until the moment finally came to fire them off. Almost immediately, I had emptied clip. My output slowed. Next thing I know, Dave is reading the Top 20 Bloggers List on Pick'em to fuck with Rico Bosco. My name was nowhere to be found. It unmoored me. I had to get on the list. I started waking up at 6 o'clock in the morning to claim dibs on the most clickbaity New York Post story before Pat (sexuality undefined) beat me to it. To be a prolific blogger, to make the company money, you need to blog frequently. The rate of blogs I needed to post exceeded the pace that good jokes entered my mind. Quantity became more important than quality, because clicks pay the bills.
As true as that was in my mind, I still had a semblance of peace. I could sleep at night, because I knew once per week (usually), I could still muster up a long form blog that I was genuinely proud of. If I could at least do that, I would (hopefully) have the Stoolies on my side, and that would be enough to keep me in the company's good graces.
Then Francis returned.
His coming back party? A live tête-à-têtes with Jesse Waters on the largest news network in the United States. His appearance was hailed as a hysterical electric factory. Francis had the country in stitches.
His appearance alone did not phase me in the least. I would never compare myself to those who can so effortlessly give voice to their humor on live television. For I am not an on camera personality. I never desired to be. If my opportunity hadn't come through Barstool Idol, my pitch to Barstool would have been to make me a "mystery blogger" of whom nobody knew the identity - I humbly consider myself an above average writer, and nothing more.
It wasn't until Francis recounted his trip to Fox News (via the written word) that I began to question myself.
Such eloquent writing. From the very first sentence, I was taken aback.
-a dirty, treasonous, godless, child-eating Democrat
Treasonous? Democrat? My goodness. I knew Francis to be a silver-tongued devil, but his way with words far-exceeded what even I had expected. Next came the aforementioned Frankie Borelli blog.
I was unnerved, confounded, stupefied. I was every synonym for astonished all at once.
Writing is what I am supposed to be good at. Writing is what keeps me employed. I don't have a podcast to fall back on. I don't go viral on Tik Tok. I don't have a full-scale mental breakdown every time Tyler Naquiun steps up to the plate. I don't tour the south seeing 13 Widespread Panic concerts in 12 days. I don't eat ass.
My cheeky play-by-play blogs and pros & cons lists seem childish in comparison to Francis' masterful calligraphy. Francis' writing is simply on another level. He's playing a different game, and the Stoolies recognize it. He's become the pirate ship's new first mate.
So I ask you once again - Has Francis Exposed Me?
Well, it depends. Is THAT the type of person you want? A sharp-witted gentleman with more diverse life experiences, who is more likable and makes better jokes?
Is THAT the type of writing you want? Beautiful, long-handed soliloquies that demonstrate superior intelligence and a clear understanding of what Stoolies find amusing?
Does a Jason Bateman acronym no longer set the bar for humor on the web?
Was a silly acronym, and short choppy sentences nothing more than a refreshing change of pace, that in the end had no real staying power? Does genuinely phenomenal writing have greater longevity? Is that what the Stoolies want nowadays? Intelligent humor?
To that I say - Not My Barstool
Intelligence? What does that even mean? Think back to 2003, before the internet was even invented. A common brick layer named Dave Portnoy began construction on the media empire that is Barstool Sports. It was built with nothing other than blood, sweat, and sheer force of will (Dave would never shed tears).
Dave "El Presidente-Salt of the Earth-King of the Beach" Portnoy didn't wake up at 4am every morning to sell newspapers door-to-door in a windowless van (legally not allowed within 100 yards of children), to eventually hand the keys over to a Harvard elitist born on 3rd base with Barry Bonds up to bat.
Think back to 2017 Francis. We were far from sold on the oversized coxswain. Our beloved Eric Nathan used to zip him up, put him in a body bag, and ship him off to Banana Land on a daily basis. Remember that?
You know why I remember? Because I was one of you. A mid-20's common man stuck in the cubes. Milmore's Saturday Shorts were the only thing standing between my lips and the barrel of my father's Smith & Wesson.
I did my bid in the real world. I lived in a van. I killed bed begs in exchange for free rent at a hostel in South Central LA. I sold newspaper ads, construction trailers, overhead lights, fasteners, drugs, and packaging equipment - I was bad at it too. I didn't grow up with a membership to a private golf course. My parents lived on a semi-private course. A course any regular midwestern schlub could play if they had $50 to spare. I suffered the 30-handicap hacks who played 6-hour rounds in ill-fitting, untucked cotton polos and cargo shorts.
FrAnCis HaS bRoUgHt LiFe bAcK tO tHe bLoG
SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP!
I brought it back to life with my KB-esque style blogs. Blogs that could have been written by none other than a weird-brained common man. You can't bring back to life what has already risen. Don't believe me? Just ask bigsaucee, himself.
So I ask for the final time - Has Francis Exposed Me?
Quite the contrary - He Has Exposed YOU
You claim you want the old Barstool. You claim you miss the days of the Edgartown Shark, the Rundown's where Dave forgot to hit record, pictures of Tom Brady's son's undeveloped penis. Francis won't give you that. Well… fuck… that's not true… if anyone is going to give you a child's penis it's Francis.
My point is unraveling.
But still! Francis is a buttoned up professional. The type of comedian that is "actually good", has "well-developed jokes", and can "make you laugh". But he is NOT the pirate ship's first mate.
I AM the Pirate Ship's First Mate 🏴☠️
I am you, and you are me. I spent my work days scouring Reddit, offering my opinion on the latest PawRevere meme. Astutely pointing out how Tommy Smokes found his stride in the latter part of 2021. My parents didn't pay my tuition. I got it for free because my mother worked at the university library. My parents didn't buy me a car when I turned 16. My father bought himself a Dodge Avenger, and passed down his 2001 Ford Taurus. It wasn't until I proved myself by graduating college that they purchased me a new Jeep.
But no, you would rather adulate a private school elitist with a diamond spoon stuck up his ass for pleasure.
Fuck me, Francis! Fuck me! Bend me over your sandalwood armoire! Use the word 'avant-garde' in a sentence and mount me like a Saint Bernard! - that's you
But hey, if that's what you want, then that's what I'll give you. I'm nothing if not coachable. I don't need an Ivy League education to use words like "coax". Sure this blog has taken me 4 days to write, because I'm typing "-------- synonym" into Google for every word of every sentence. Sure I'm only 50% positive I'm using these words unerringly. But I know where to find them. I was issued the same company MacBook as Francis. Our keyboards have identical features.
(Except I don't know how to do the long hash mark like he does. Mine are always split into 2 like this-- or they're short like this- is there a button I don't know about __ ???)
I want to be VERY clear. There is NOBODY happier to have Francis back at Barstool than I. Iron sharpens iron. A rising tide lifts all boats. Two in the hand is worth one in the bush.
But I humbly ask of you, when you've finished chuckling at Francis' next blog: Why The Immigrant Mother Who Swam Across The Atlantic Ocean With Her 4 Children to Escape The War in Ukraine Doesn't Deserve My Tax Dollars, consider supporting one of your own as well, by attending College Hockey Gameday in Bowling Green, Ohio on Saturday October 8th.