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A Blog About The Mintzy Stuff And The State Of Barstool

 

Yesterday Ben Mintz was fired. We weren't told not to talk about it, not told how to reply, not told anything. The beauty of Barstool, in my opinion, is everyone is allowed to think, react, and speak however they choose. That isn't to say actions don't have consequences, but we are never sent company-wide emails telling us how to react to a situation. Most company-wide emails are invitations to 3rd floor Par-tees or someone left their Airpods in the bathroom. Seriously, how do so many people leave Airpods in the bathroom? Repulsive. 

But anyway, sadly our King, Ben Mintz, was fired yesterday. He wasn't fired by Dave or Erika, but by our overlords at PENN Entertainment. 

Now, before we get into it, multiple things can be true:

1) Saying what Ben said, whether there is intent or not, is so god damn stupid. Like, out of the entire English language, there's basically one word you can't say. And he said it. If you can't be trusted not to say that word, what can you be trusted with? And if this seems like I'm angry, I am. I love Mintz and never wanted this to happen and he said the ONE THING that nobody can deny is the dumbest possible thing to say. 

2) Intent. I, and everyone else with the capability to think rationally, understand there was zero intention or malice from Mintz. He was reading lyrics and he slipped up. It's the worst slip up you can have, but I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind that he meant zero by it. He is incredibly apologetic and feels awful.

 

 

Barstool is, and always has been, a very unique company. "The Pirate Ship", right? Say what you want, do what you want. No rules, no bowing to corporations or advertisers. 

Well, as it turns out, that model was not sustainable. As a company grows, it needs to make money to hire new talent both in content and behind the scenes. And to make money you need advertisers. And if you're allowing anyone at any given time to say whatever they want, it's hard to get the big advertisers who spend the real money. 

So little by little Barstool has changed, but the Barstool Voice has mostly stayed the same. Dave has still trusted everyone to do the best content they possibly can. I think the idea that "Barstool has changed!" is a bit overblown. It's still the most unique internet content you can find. I've always appreciated how instead of hiring established personalities he takes fliers on morons he finds on the internet. He's given a ton of absolute nobodies a huge platform that no other company would ever do. 

I think that is why yesterday's press conference from Dave was such a shock to everyone both inside of Barstool and the fans who have followed through all the years. We have always been the company that understands intention and all of that. So for Dave to say he couldn't save Mintz's job was stunning. It's just unfortunate the word he said is unforgivable. Which is why Mintz had to go in PENN's eyes. It didn't matter that Dave and Erika tried to keep him, it is PENN's company and they have to worry about stockholders, the board, and gaming licenses. And according to PENN, licenses would have been on the line if action wasn't taken against Mintz. It was not worth it, in their eyes, to risk gambling licenses to save Ben Mintz. This is a multi-billion dollar enterprise we are talking about, not Dave in his condo kitchen. 

As it stands now, everyone is still allowed to be unique and funny and original. But there definitely is a little scary part now where you wonder "if I say this, will I get in trouble?". It sounds a little dramatic now that I'm writing it out, but watching that Dave press conference and tweets afterwards...

 

 

 

…it's definitely a bit spooky seeing him go directly at PENN. 

So I guess the million dollar question is where does this leave Barstool now? More or less we will keep rowing forward. It is unfortunate Dave isn't in the office and seems to be paying less attention and goes on vacation every other week because as Dave goes, Barstool goes. But that's why he delivered newspapers for 30 years, to make that $500 million or whatever it was, and to then be able to live the nice life. I don't hate it. I wish I had a piece of it. Every day I wish I had a piece of it. But alas, it was not meant to be.

In my opinion, Barstool has never been fully about "the content". It's more a reality show about making content. The reality show aspect of all these nutty personalities under one roof, trying to coexist. To me the better content isn't a podcast, it's the drama around the podcast (like Mean Girls drama, for example). 

I still think there's no better place to get content than the Barstool umbrella. PMT, KFC, Chiclets, MDWOG, Chicks, etc. It's all some of the best stuff you can get online. The biggest guests, the most unique videos. I mean ForePlay is so big they are in video games! 

So no, I don't think Barstool is "dead". Different than it was a decade ago? Sure. As the editor in chief of the blog, I always have to stop people from writing stuff that I think could get them in trouble. Believe me, it SUCKS. I wish everyone could make every joke about every topic they want. But we were bought by PENN so rules change, and are constantly changing. A lot of the time I have to make my best guess of "will this get the writer in trouble?". We ere on the side of caution because we don't want anyone to lose their job or an advertiser to pull out. We all know how sensitive the climate is, both with advertisers and with PENN being a gambling company. Trying to find the balance of what we can and cannot say is constantly changing and never has a correct answer.

Does change suck? Sometimes, of course. We all long for the old days where the internet was the Wild West. But if we stayed a mom and pop business, so much of the content you guys love wouldn't be possible. So there are gives and takes to everything. You have to sacrifice certain jokes so Donnie Does can travel to Mt. Everest to make the most unique videos we will ever see. I think it's a fair trade-off.

Hopefully everything smoothes over and everyone settles down. And as for Ben Mintz, I know he will rebound just fine. 

 

 

Thanks for reading, now go buy a tshirt.