You gotta hand it to Barstool. No other brand does a better job of making itself the story and milking days of content out of a single incident.
Barstool founder Dave Portnoy was invited to the White House on Thursday to interview President Donald Trump. Portnoy accepted and said that it isn’t something he should have to apologize for.
On Friday, Big Cat (real name Dan Katz) took Portnoy, Barstool CEO Erika Nardini, and parent company Penn National to task for not giving the rest of the Barstool staff any notice. Big Cat said on his SiriusXM show The Yak that he had to learn about the presidential interview on Twitter.
Katz admits that if he were consulted, he probably would have pushed back against the idea of interviewing Trump. He said that it goes against one of Barstool’s core principles, which is to avoid politics and focus on humor. Still, he admits that the opportunity to interview a sitting president, no matter who it is, isn’t something he would expect the company to instantly dismiss.
He accused Portnoy of letting Trump turn the interview into “a political ad” and letting Barstool “be used in a political way” by not asking hard questions or offering any follow ups. His real complaint was that though was that he was not told about the interview before it happened.
“It’s been a tough 12 hours or whatever it’s been trying to understand where I fit in now. There’s only two explanations,” Big Cat said. “One is they didn’t want to talk to me because I would probably be the only dissenting view, which means that when there’s tough decisions to be made and Dan might disagree we just won’t ask him so we don’t have to hear his view. That means my opinion doesn’t matter. Or two, they just said straight up his opinion doesn’t matter. Either way, my opinion does not matter at this company the way I thought it did 12 hours ago, and that’s the part I’m struggling with.”
Big Cat says Portnoy’s interview with Trump marks a turning point for Barstool. He repeated the phrase “we can’t pretend now that we don’t do politics” multiple times. He points out that he and PFT Commenter were offered the chance to interview Joe Biden on Pardon My Take earlier this year, but declined because he thought Barstool viewed itself as an escape from those subjects.
“Politics are serious, man. You can’t do a political interview and not be serious,” Big Cat said, alluding to Portnoy. “It’s a serious f***ing game, and that’s why I don’t talk about it. I don’t have the intelligence. I don’t have the ability to navigate these waters. So once you get in them, you can’t pretend you’re not in them”
Portnoy will almost certainly answer some of Katz’s critiques at some point. Whether they do it face to face or this sniping between shows continues remains to be seen.
Four Major Sportsbooks Go Live in Louisiana Friday
Bettors in the state will also be allowed to bet on Louisiana college teams.
Friday will be a great day for sports gambling in Louisiana as DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and BetMGM are set to go online at 9 a.m. ET.
Nearly two years after State Senator Cameron Henry introduced a bill to legalize sports gambling and residents successfully voted in favor of the measure, Louisianans will be able to wager on this weekend’s NFL conference championship games among other sports offerings.
BetFred, which partnered with Paragon Resort Casino in Marksville, was the first retail book in Louisiana in October 2021, according to Action Network.
All but a select few parishes in the northern part of the state will participate. The parishes not allowing their residents to gamble were the ones that voted against legalizing the practice in November 2020.
Those residing in Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Sabine, Union, West Carroll or Winn, you’ll have to go to the closest neighboring parish or city to place a bet. However, those residents can create an account, deposit, and withdraw funds on either of the four available sportsbooks.
Bettors in the state will also be allowed to bet on Louisiana college teams. Residents of New York and Illinois are unable to do so for their schools.
The four sportsbooks will pay a combined 25% tax between online and in-person betting to the state. Expect plenty of money to be flowing back to the state government.
Sports Media Rips Baseball Hall Of Fame For Barry Bonds Snub
“David Ortíz got the nod from 77% of voters. He was the only one to get more than the required 75% for induction.”
Performance-enhancing drugs are a non-starter for some Hall of Fame voters. “Some” in this case likely means about 34% of those with a ballot. It is the only explanation for Barry Bonds not getting in.
The Hall of Fame revealed its 2022 class on Tuesday night. David Ortíz got the nod from 77% of voters. He was the only one to get more than the required 75% for induction. Bonds finished second in the voting with his name showing up on 66% of the ballots.
Bonds and Ortíz were amongst a group of candidates who were considered controversial. Based on numbers and on-field performance, they, along with Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, and Curt Schilling likely belong in the Hall of Fame. Bonds, Clemens, Ortiz, and Rodriguez have all been tied to the use of performance enhancing drugs and human growth hormone. Schilling has become something of a pariah in baseball due to his political extremism.
While cases can be made for all five men, the sports media seemed to zero-in on Barry Bonds. His exclusion drew a series of damning tweets and criticism of the Hall of Fame and its voters.
For the record, Barry Bonds is both the single season and all-time leader in home runs. He also holds the all-time record for walks and single season records for walks, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. He is also a seven-time MVP and fourteen-time all star.
Wynn Resorts Plans To Cut Losses, Sell Sports Betting Unit For $500M
Wynn increased revenue from Q3 of 2020 at $370.5 million to $994.6 million in revenue in Q3 2021.
Due to high marketing costs to bring in new customers, Wynn Resorts is looking to sell Wynn Interactive, the company’s betting unit, for $500 million. Wynn Interactive was valued at $3 billion last year, according to the New York Post, and has grown in revenue and popularity. But the costs are proving to be too much to handle.
The WynnBET sportsbook has market access in multiple states including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, and New York. It had also partnered up with NFL franchises and multiple professional athletes. Among these were the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, and New York Jets, along with Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Howard, and Chad Johnson.
Wynn increased revenue from Q3 of 2020 at $370.5 million to $994.6 million in revenue in Q3 2021. However, the company still remained at a net loss of $166.2 million during the quarter, down from a net loss of $758.1 million in Q3 2020.
Wynn is having to do a bit of backtracking and trying to cut their losses. They acquired a $1.5 billion line of credit from the Bank of China last September, with $100 million of it being planned to use to market the sports betting app for this year’s football season.
In another cancellation, Wynn was hoping to take the online sports betting division public via a SPAC merger with Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation but had to kiss that goodbye last November.
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