(Yes, this is late but I wanted to wait until more details became public. Deal with it.)
Man, this is going to be a little tough to review this one. I’ll be completely honest, I am a Barstool follower and a HUGE fan of their work and podcasts. I would say they’re one of my inspirations in trying to start posting blogs and publish my own podcast. When it was announced that the Pardon My Take guys (Big Cat, PFT Commenter, Hank, Larry the Gambling Goldfish, etc) were going to be brining a live version of the podcast onto ESPN programming I was floored. Not because of the talent or content that was going to be produced, but more that ESPN was acknowledging and working with the same company they refuse to credit in so many breaking stories and wanted to bring a show that goes completely against their current programming. Nonetheless, I had my DVR set for 1am Wednesday for not just the single episode but for the entire series.
The first episode was great. It pretty much was a 30 minute live broadcast of PMT, which I loved. Plus, Scott Van Pelt is the perfect first guest as he is been a guest on the actual podcast many times and plays really well to the dynamic of Big Cat and PFT and their shtick. I mean, they interviewed him in the back of a 1990’s conversion van called “Vanny Woodhead” and gave him a used air conditioner as a present, as well as gave NFL game picks by leaving cheese in a park in New York and named a rat “Rat Del Rio”. For the intro episode, I felt like this was not only going to become a show that could open doors for the boys, but Barstool as a media outlet as well as other creative sports media creators to get work at the mothership that is ESPN.
Well, come to find out, the show was only going to run for the one episode. This past Monday, ESPN canned the show after it broke all the ratings records for its time slot. John Skipper, President of ESPN, released the following statement:
Statement from ESPN President John Skipper about Barstool Van Talk: pic.twitter.com/ysgSKDvmjx
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) October 23, 2017
This might have been the most hypocritical statement I have ever read. The program, marketing, and talent are are affiliated with Barstool, yet they wanted to separate themselves from the Barstool brand. WHAT THE ATCUAL FUCK? I understand that Barstool as a brand and media outlet has its criticisms and hate, but the growth and the impact the company has is undeniable. You couldn’t be able to separate the show from the company as much as they wanted to try. EPSN wanted to get the viewership of the demographic they are losing every day to companies like Barstool, and somehow they screwed it up for themselves. And, on top of that, the cancelation is going to put more eyes on Barstool and grow their audience tenfold.
On top of the statement given by ESPN, it was reported from people at Barstool who were involved with the deal from start to finish that there was internal pressure from employees to not put them on the air. There is a lot of moving pieces into this part of the drama that could take multiple blogs and thoughts on the people who have made their feelings public. Instead, I’ll leave a simple breakdown of the situation from professor Spider Monkey Nate:
Professor Nate breaks down who hates Barstool today pic.twitter.com/Kx6FYnke6M
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 25, 2017
There really isn’t much else to say, outside of what will be coming out about the situation as more things are public. I really hope some network who gets the Barstool brand and sees the potential that BVT had picks up the show in the future. The PMT boys are immensely talented and have so many opportunities coming to them. But, this will go down as one of the great “what if’s” in the history of ESPN and their future of the network’s programming. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
Score: 69/10 (NICE)
P.S- If for whatever reason you haven’t listen to Pardon My Take go subscribe here. It’s honestly one of the best podcast currently.