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Is the NCAA Women's Basketball Fuck Up Actually A Good Thing?

Actually, yes.

This episode is solo Erika and we've got a LOT to cover.

Let's start with the NCAA. This weekend, photos and videos surfaced of the men's basketball team's weight rooms, swag bags, meals, and accommodations. The men's weight room was gorgeous. It's well laid out and completely stocked. It's got every kind of equipment imaginable. And then we started to see the flip-side where the women literally had one pyramid of of barbells with a table of yoga mats next to it. Like, no joke. That was the discrepancy. On top of that, A New York Times article explained that the men's tournament have covid PCR tests, which are more accurate and obviously more expensive, whereas the women only had rapid tests which are cheaper and easier to administer.

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So obviously, there were some major differences. And obviously, we have some thoughts.

  • The first few are that…weirdly, this happening might not be a bad thing. If there was a slight discrepancy in the weight room or the meals, people could have explained & rationalized it. The nature of the inequality will actually be good for women's sports because it's so egregious that the NCAA is going to have to do something about it.
  • The next thing is that we obviously know the women don't bring in the same amount of money as the men do (yet). And one of the things that is very hard right now in women's sports is that when there isn't a lot of money to go around, you can't expect the same type of accommodations. But we are talking about college athletes. We're talking about kids. The difference here is that if you're looking at sports leagues and team owners who are in it as a business and then you look at an educational institution, there's a sense that the educational institution should do the right thing and treat people equally.
  • And the last thing is that the NCAA has done an extremely shitty job managing this. The reality is people feel that discrimination is happening in real time in one of the biggest, most lucrative college sporting event of the year. And the NCAA let that happen. Understandably, mistakes happen, and when you're running a women's tournament on one budget and you're running a men's tournament on another budget, you can get caught up in your work. I don't think anyone is above making mistakes, but what is hard to understand is why the NCAA didn't come out to say, "you're right, we fucked up."

Next up in today's episode is Google & third party cookies. Fun shit. Not going to go too deep into this one, since it's much better explained on the podcast, but essentially, for those who don't know, third party cookies are essentially little crumbs that websites all over the internet drop into your browser so that when you're on the web, you get shown ads from websites you've already been on. It enables advertisers, publishers or brands to be able to target you with the products that you've just seen. And now, Google is wanting to get rid of that.

SO - Google announced earlier this month that third party cookies are over. If you use Chrome, which is owned and created by Google, Google will not allow third party sites to cookie you. They won't allow those sites to drop a marker on you that lets them target you and serve ads to you in the future. This is going to have a dramatic impact on the ad business because so much of the digital ad business is predicated on display advertising. This fucking sucks. For many reasons. Erika explains this on today's episode. Why it sucks, who it impacts, how it impacts Barstool Sports, and how the way you view the internet will change.

Rounding out this episode is Erika's weekend of board meetings with Barstool & the WWE. Here's some of Erika's thought process behind these meetings:

"One of the things that I'm trying to do a better job of is how we're always running like a million miles an hour and there's a hundred fire drills and things are going wrong constantly. And we just tend to just move so breathtakingly fast. It's sometimes hard to stop and say, "OK, here's where we are, here's where we're going. Here's what we're trying to say. Here's what we need." Those things feel very simple, but in the moment it can be hard to take in. Take that step back and look at where you are. I'm also trying to do a better job of communicating. Like my goal for this board meeting was that I was going to talk to everyone on our board before the board meeting and say, "Here's what we're doing. Here's what we're looking at. Here's what you should expect," which I think are things that help make a meeting go better in general. But it's also those little things that you always like leave to the last minute or you lose sight of because you're rushing to do something else."

Another cool note to see was Erika comparing Dave to Vince McMahon & Barstool & the WWE:

"It gives me comfort from a Barstool perspective because I see so many similarities, obviously, between Dave and Vince, but also in what Vince and his team are doing and what we at Barstool are trying to do. Like we were talking about Wrestlemania and Vince was saying he gasps every time he sees the price of a Wrestlemania ticket. He's like, "can you believe people are paying for this?" and he's been in this business for decades. And I feel the same way, like we were discussing Rough and Rowdy. And would we increase the price of Rough and Rowdy? And the thought of going above 20 bucks on Rough and Rowdy gives me a little anxiety because I'm like, "will people pay for that?" And I think to have such an appreciation of the product that you create for fans and they and the product that ultimately resonates with their consumer is just incredible."

And that's the episode! Obviously Erika goes much more in depth about what the inside of a Barstool board room looks like with her, Dave, and everyone else, but we're saving that for the episode. 

We're also betting on girls this week with a solid pick for the 2021 Kia Classic. LFG.

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