Super Bowl media day is a waste of time. It’s a bunch of players trying not to say anything too outlandish, some like Marshawn Lynch just refusing to speak (heroic move, by the way), and this year Tom Brady likely had to dodge questions about his relationship with President Trump. No one watches, because Media Day is about as boring as the Pro Bowl, except the players care even less.
However, the upstart Internet company Barstool Sports often makes mundane sports events into fantastic bits of comedy. Marlin’s Woman (a.k.a. PFT Commenter) infiltrated media day and was able to ask the pressing question of Bill Belichick about whether he’ll bring back Danny Woodhead, RIP, for the Super Bowl.
This question is part of a running gag PFT and his co-host Big Cat have on their top-rated podcast “Pardon My Take,” the number one sports podcast, beating out podcasts hosted by ESPN, NFL Network, and others. They’re top dog. Award winning. And the NFL will have none of it.
In a release this morning, NBC announced that Big Cat and PFT will no longer appear on NBC sports radio/TV show “Pro Football Talk,” because the NFL has pulled Barstool Sports’ access to Radio Row in Houston. This comes on the heels of Barstool’s first episode of their Comedy Central special “Barstool Rundown,” which is airing live every night this week at midnight.
The NFL’s reasoning, according to “Pro Football Talk’s” blog: “Four Barstool Sports employees once organized a sit-in at the league offices to protest Roger Goodell’s handling of Deflategate, and when they refused to leave, they were arrested. The league said it doesn’t credential people who have been involved in such antics.”
In a year that has seen ESPN showing a large loss of subscribers and viewers, Barstool Sports has only grown. They talk sports and gambling, and they don’t suffer the speech codes that have been hoisted upon most mainstream sports coverage.
They regularly have guests from the NFL, NHL, MBA, even MMA (they had an MMA fighter take on one of their interns), and most all of the athletes that come through are familiar and fans of Barstool’s content.
Make no mistake: the league (read: Roger Goodell), is acting purely out of spite, just as they did with Brady’s four-game suspension. This only hurts his and the NFL’s standing with a fanbase that they were already losing, considering that viewer numbers were down this year.
Fans are sick of the staid “reporting” from the major sports outlets, and they have tuned into Barstool Sports for a reason. Attempting to shut out Barstool only makes them, like Brady, stronger. We’ll see what Sunday holds as far as Tom Brady’s revenge goes, but with a weeklong show on Comedy Central under their belts, Barstool Sports will likely not be going anywhere. They’ll be building, brick by brick.
Goodell has decided to not just continue making an enemy of Barstool, but is sending a message to all their fans, known as Stoolies: we don’t want you here. During the campaign Donald Trump made one specific campaign promise about Goodell. Hopefully he has Bobby Kraft drawing up the executive order now.