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Entrepreneur Mag 2013“Portnoy is unrepentant. “We don’t back down from controversy–we fan the fires,” he says. “People think we go out of our way to create it, but we don’t. We’re not trying to gain new readers by being crazy-outrageous. Our readers get what we do, and I don’t think about what it’s going to look like to the outside world. I don’t really care.”

What Portnoy does care about is building a website liberated from the seriousness and self-indulgence of the sports-media establishment, a site unwaveringly faithful to its credo, “For the common man, by the common man”–critics be damned.

“Dave is hellbent on proving everything in the mainstream wrong,” Clancy says. “He wants to prove all the advertising agencies are wrong, all the media agencies are wrong and all the PR agencies are wrong. He is fighting against everyone who says you have to play by the same cookie-cutter rules, and he won’t stop until he proves he’s right. It’s his crusade.”

The more things change the more they stay the same.   Like I said in my press conference I understand why ESPN cancelled the show.  They had a female driven revolt inside the company.   It started at an ESPN W conference.   Sam Ponder, Sara Spain etc warned John Skipper not to work with us.  They laid all their cards on their table.  ESPN still decided to move forward despite the threats because they are desperate to reach our audience and seem cool again.   Then Ponder took matters into her own hands by attacking us the day before the show with a tweet she sat on for 3 years.  (Mad respect on her grudge game) She essentially put her boss on her knee and spanked him.  John Skipper caved to the pressure and the rest is history.  I’m not sure what choice he had because I’m hearing there was a threat of a legit walkout.  Imagine the press on that?  Yikes. But again that’s what makes us different and always will.  Sometimes standing by your gut hurts.  Sometimes doing what you feel is the right move despite all the noise is hard.  Sometime you take your lumps.  Sometimes you get dragged through the mud. I’ve lost count how many times it’s happened to me over the course of the last 15 years.  The only thing you can do is try to stand by your gut and do what you think is right.   We don’t flip flop based on the which way the wind of public opinion is blowing like ESPN just did.  I’m not saying it’s easy.  But that’s what we do here and as I’ve said many times as long as I’m in charge of content that will never change.

Viva La Stool Indeed!