So as most people know by now Jerry got hired to join the afternoon drivetime radio show on WEEI and is leaving Barstool. Obviously it’s somewhat bittersweet for me. I’m sad we’ll no longer have him as part of the team and we’ll miss his Pats coverage for sure. But on the flip side I’m legit psyched for Jerry. Nobody deserves it more than him. He’s worked his ass off here making a name for himself over the past decade. All the hours of hard work he put in finally paid off. If anything it took far too long for somebody in the mainstream media to realize it. I wish him nothing but the best in the future and the door is always wide open if he wants to come back to the Pirate Ship.
Also what is not lost on me is that with Jerry’s departure this officially ends the “Core 4” era. Jerry was the last holdout from the original group of writers who built the foundation for what Barstool Sports is today. Lots of Stoolies probably don’t even know who I’m referring to, but I’m talking Chisholm, Manzo, Jerry and myself as the 4th. Without those 3 guys there is no Barstool. Without them there is no Davey Pageviews, no KFC, no Big Cat, no Kmarko, no Jenna Marbles etc. Everything they did allowed for Barstool to grow into what it is today.
In fact the longer I do this the more I realize how lucky I was to find these guys in the beginning. I literally scour the entire country looking for new bloggers and the first crop of guys I found were still amongst the best writers I’ve ever encountered. Guys who were all far superior to me and were willing to work for free before I could afford to pay anybody. That’s why I’m so happy for Jerry. This is always the goal for guys (or girls) we hire. If you can’t make a full time career here hopefully it leads to somewhere else and that’s exactly what it did for Jerry. It’s awesome to see all his hard work finally pay off like this.
Godspeed Jerry Thornton.
I’m leaving weei and heading back to Barstool
I’m leaving WEEI and going back to Barstool Sports full time as a writer and host of my own pro football podcast. Here’s why.
The best document ever written is the Declaration of Independence (the second best being “From Darkness to Dynasty: The First 40 Years of the New England Patriots,” available on Amazon and fine book retailers everywhere), in which Jefferson states that if you’re going to leave an empire that took you in, took care of you and kept the lights on all these years, you kind of owe it to the world to explain your thinking. Besides, if you don’t state your rationale, everyone will fill in the blanks themselves, and they’ll never do it with things that make you look good.
I’ve enjoyed the hell out of my time with WEEI. Flat-out loved it. Dale and Michael are the two smartest people on Boston radio. They’re great at what they do. They’ve worked together for years, then had me dropped into their world. And yet welcomed me in like Mr. and Mrs. Banks taking in The Fresh Prince. They’ve shown me the ropes, let me put my feet on the coffee table, help myself to whatever’s in the fridge and taught me butt loads about radio. Andy and Ben are the best producers at the station, a fact recognized by every, single person in the business. They are all the reasons our ratings have been so consistently good. On the digital side, Rob Bradford gave me prominent space on his website, let me post my nonsense and almost never edited me. I’ll add that when I first took the job at ‘EEI, I got a snail mail from an 18-year-old Marine recruit suffering through Camp HellonEarth on Parris Island who wrote “I’m really proud of you, Dad.” So believe me, this is not how I expected the end of my rookie contract to go.
You don’t walk away from a job situation like this unless you have an opportunity too good to pass up. And that’s what Barstool has offered me. I’ve always been proud to have been a part of The Stool as we grew from an obscure newspaper to a brand, then an empire and eventually a lifestyle choice. In the two years I’ve been away, Dave Portnoy’s little blog became a corporation. A gigantic media conglomerate with podcasts that top the iTunes chart and a huge, national following. I won’t lie to you; the pay and benefits matter. But the chance to reach that audience again was the deciding factor.
For the past 2 years not a single day has passed without people asking me when I was going to hire a full time Pats guy to replace Jerry. My answer for the past 2 years has always been the same. When I find somebody as good as Jerry I’ll hire him. Turns out the only guy good enough to replace Jerry was Jerry himself. Because just like I said 2 years ago when he left Barstool he is the best Pats writer on the planet period and the door was always open for his return. Nobody is happier that day has arrived than me. Not only because we once again have his Pats coverage and the return of Teacher Sex Scandals, but it’s great to have a Core 4 guy back with us. I know it shouldn’t theoretically matter, but at the same time it does. I never want Barstool to be a totally normal company. Like you know how SNL had that huge reunion last year and all the comics came back and you could tell SNL was a special place for them? Or how pro athletes come back and stand on the sidelines of their alma matta. That’s the type of attitude I want with our guys. For all our warts and problems and despite me selling half of Barstool I still view us as big ass family. We are still a pirate ship and when you are one of us you are one of us for life. When you fight with us you fight with us for life. So from a personal level it’s just pretty cool to have one of the guys who started this shit with me back in the mix.