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Love You Guys: On Leaving Pardon My Take

While I currently write this, I am on the way from the Detroit Lions Training camp on the way to Chicago to record the last episode of Pardon My Take. A huge weird mix of feelings that I am going to try to articulate the best I can in this blog. First off, I wish the best for the new venture in the Chicago office. I am super pumped to be a consumer of the funhouse it is going to be and maybe participate in later dates when I visit the new office. I don’t know if all of what I know about the new office is public information but roofball, a basketball court, and a full weight room will be gas content for viewers. I think the biggest reason why a lot of you clicked this blog is 'Why the hell are you leaving the #1 sports podcast in America?!" "Billy is dumb but I didn't think he was leaving the only job he could hold down dumb" and trying to find out if there is some concrete reason why I cannot move to Chicago. The thing is that I am not motivated by typical reasons. At 18, I became, for lack of a better word, famous for no other reason than I wasn't a jackass in the Intern interviews and looking to be the next superstar or clout-chasing "Influencer". I was just a dude who loved the show and responded to a now-deleted Hank tweet looking for an NYC-based intern because I was living around NYC. I sent a resume which we have now found from the archives.

Some information has been redacted. 

After submitting that information Hank read the top and was like we are looking for a content intern and I was wanting to meet the guys so bad I just gambled on not getting the job. 

Ask Hank to look for an old email where you said you didn't want to be on camera but wanted to work behind the scenes

I never wanted to be on camera, at the time, I just wanted to get a picture with Big Cat and PFT. I also thought I would never get the job because I am not funny. I showed up to like 40 dudes dressed in joker costumes, journos, and people looking into either get into content or sports in a button-down coming from a finance internship. I never thought I would ever get this job.

But then I got an email two weeks later saying I got it. I had no idea why; I now know I wasn't their first choice. I was with my buddies who were also AWLs at the time and they were like dude you gotta do it and I was like yolo let's fuckin send it (I was 18 it was 2017 that was the contemporary lingo) 

Rest is history. Ketosis, Leaking PFTs number and his thumb (to this day I don’t think it was his penis), and the Fire Salamander PowerPoint presentation. 

Damn everyone is so much younger and skinnier. 

And that was that I was going to go to school because I had been trying to play college football for 18 years, and I wasn't going to give up my opportunity to do that up because of an internship I did for 2 months. I had no idea how actually popular Pardon My Take and Barstool was at that time. When you're in high school, you don’t really have the greatest scope of the entire country. You kind of thought that there were probably a couple of other niche bros that knew about it but not like everyone. All of a sudden you are in this new reality where people know things about you and assume things about you before you can even make a first impression. I am giving all this background because I you will understand its pertinent to the decision. I love all the AWLs, Macrodosians, Stoolies, everyone, It's just I had a pretty atypical college and real-life experience since this first internship. I am not trying to paint myself as a victim but compared to a lot of people famous on the internet from a young age I am doing pretty well not addicted to drugs or anything (Just supplements, I do have an expensive supplement addiction, everyday I probably consume around $30 worth of b12, creatine, amino acids, fungi, lions mane, probiotics and pee out $28 dollars worth. They don’t even make me absolutely shredded as I should be, but they give me tons of energy, and I feel they are a way better alternative to Adderall for brain function).

But the years between this internship and coming back to Barstool weren't the best times of my life. Namely because back in 2017 unlike now, NIL and College football players having social media presence weren't the norm. It was back when the balance of power between coaches and players was extremely one-sided. It was no one's fault, it was the norm. The idea of a freshman coming in and being the "Barstool kid" wasn't that appealing to coaches who were trying to develop a program and ensure their own job security. A lot of high schools players have sobering realizations about college football, mine was pretty brutal because I realized I had kinda been written off before I even got to prove anything on the field. What a lot of people don’t know is after Big Cat and PFT visited me after Barstool Van Talk got canceled, I was briefly kicked off the team for being a distraction, it was only for about 8 hours when the administration had no problems with 30-year-old men being in a freshman dorm and after a pretty understandable adverse reaction to the uninformed who don’t listen to the podcast or "get the joke", but you can probably from there understand why I never interacted with the podcast for the next 3 years in my hiatus. I totally understand why the coaches reacted that way to the situation I don’t hold any ill will towards them for any of it. It was a different world. Hell, Social media presence now is encouraged because they understand the exposure for recruiting it can give them. 

All I wanted to do was play ball in any capacity; transferring wasn't an option, and all I wanted to do was ball. If the exact situation would have arose today it would have been so much different, I probably would have had a better situation and I would made $$ in college. I am not trying to make this a sob story or be a victim, it's just the circumstances. I had partly a love-hate relationship with the podcast because even though it was an awesome experience and I don’t regret anything, it just was a roadblock for me in the years I was trying to ball. It really kills a guy who was going 150% every day in practice and just always getting stonewalled. I also couldn't quit, I ain't no quitter but also I was "Billy Football" this identity everyone knew me as. Imagine if I quit? I would be a huge fraud. Qutting football fucks with a lot of guys' heads in college enough but to have this extra omnipresent pressure to perform from people who have never met you. A whole audience of podcast listeners would of probably been so hyped if you had some sort of highlights the guys could see on the podcast. But I had nothing to provide because I was persona non grata for reasons even above the coaches pay grade. (My college was super liberal and Barstool wasn't the most popular thing). At the time I never admitted it fucked with my head but after doing some serious work on myself I am ready to admit at the time I was an absolute mess. I know at times I really seemed like I was taking PMT for granted, I hope this provides a small insight into why I may have not been my best. I don’t want to be like I am making excuses and I forgot why I even started writing this while talking about leaving PMT but this is all background I though was needed. I don’t blame anyone for what happened. Everyone was the victim of a situation that impacted their decision-making. I envy kids at D3 schools with a tik tok presence getting NIL deals and support from the coaching staff, I feel like I rode the bench so they could shake their asses on tik tok. The thing I want to express is I don’t really like being famous from the aspect of a lot of people assume so much about you that is just not true. 

Ok, I'll stop being a bitch about that situation. Once again not trying to be a victim (Im totally being a huge pussy right now).

Covid hits and my senior football season is canceled. Not going to skip a year of college to get stonewalled once again for nothing. 

I now am in a situation where I don’t have football, every part-time job people usually do while trying to finish school is fucked because of some jackasses releasing a man-made virus on the world from a lab in Wuhan (if you don’t believe the pandemic was an attack on liberal (In the original sense) democracy because authoritarianism can only thrive when faced with a real or overhyped fake existential threat then you are naive af)(The CCP did it). So I was like, alright my football career is over I can go back to Barstool and finally get paid for all the shit that was preventing me from getting on the football field (Also podcasting and content creation is fun, the people who are good at it are the ones that don’t do it for clout or the numbers, but just enjoy it). So I came back to Barstool. 

I never knew the Chicago thing would come onto the table when I came back. If I knew at the time I would have told everyone I could not leave the North East from the jump. The decision for this move came when Covid really impacted not only NYC but the vibe in the Barstool office. You see what I've been trying to say is I am not really motivated by clout and not very egotistical in that I think I need to be in front of a camera or microphone every day. Tbh from the jump I never thought I wasn't worth being given a platform of any kind. What ties me to the Northeast is my close family and friends. I have personal situations in my family that involve not airing dirty laundry, but I am needed in the proximity of my family. My father was the first in his family to ever get a college degree and as the son of immigrants and fulfilled the American dream by building a business in America. 

These may not seem like good reasons to some, but the things I hold to the highest degree are family, and loyalty to those that love you. My family has been the greatest gift god could ever give, and they need me as much as I need them. I love the relationships and opportunities Big Cat, PFT, and Hank have bestowed upon me. I am so goddamn lucky to Forrest Gumped my way onto the #1 sports podcast in America, but unfortunately, it is time for me to go. For all the haters, I have taken a pay cut voluntarily to leave the podcast because the reality is I personally will be making the company less money. I will still be on Macrodosing, blogging, and doing some serious vlogging. I want to be Barstool Adjacent for the rest of my life and continue to create content, but I want to earn it myself. 

I really would like to thank Dan, PFT, and Hank because they have allowed me to live out so many dreams I would not have ever gotten close to. They are truly masters at their craft and you wouldn't realize it unless you were sitting on the green couch yourself. We have now just arrived in Chicago and hopefully I have time later to keep writing but I would like to apologize for ever seeming ungreatful. I am 24 now and really a lot of my "schtick" has been being a young guy who needs to grow up. I know I have been living life in this setting on seemingly easymode. I just want to grow up to be a dependable man that can be the man who can deliver when needed. Everyone is in this world living in their own story to hopefully get to a point where people can be proud of. I love the time I have had on the podcast and wouldn't exchange it for the world (maybe an NFL Career). I will still be posting content and I hope you guys keep consuming it. I know I have been difficult at times but I am just growing up in front of literally millions. God bless you all and couldn't thank you all. Just know the decision I have made can only be weighed by the person that has the insight. I wish the best for the podcast and everyone on it. VIVA Chicago will be amazing.