I got to New York at about 10:30. I had 5 hours to waste while growing more anxious about going to Barstool HQ. After walking around aimlessly and waiting in a Starbucks for an hour, it was time. I walked into HQ and one of the best days of my life began.
There was just one other guy there at this point. The guy at the front desk let us in the elevator and just told us to go up to the second floor. No other instructions or anything. The elevator doors closed and my heart began to beat out of my chest. “I’m really inside Barstool Sports right now. Holy shit.” I thought to myself. The elevator doors opened and it was like a scene from a movie. At least 20 people all turned and looked at us, confused as hell as to why we were there. We walked to a corner of the room and stood there like a couple of idiots. I wasn’t about to walk up to someone and say “Hey uh..I’m here for the Gold Tour. What’s up?” Eventually Brian, our tour guide, came up to us.
Let me get this out of the way, Brian was awesome the entire time. He took us through both floors and made sure we were always entertained and doing something. I’m not sure what this man is being paid but he deserves more.
We went downstairs in the lobby and waited for the rest of our crew to arrive. I was chuckling to myself because this was the perfect Barstool way to start this tour. A terrifyingly awkward moment met by some mild confusion followed by some sort of order. Awesome.
As I’m in the lobby a whole cast of characters walk by. Nate, Liz, Fran and even El Prez himself just walk by like they’re just regular, normal people. Which I mean, I guess they are, but to a Stoolie like myself, I was being passed by celebrities left and right. The other 6 people should up and we finally go back upstairs, only this time we go to the 3rd floor. That’s where all the bloggers and content people reside.
At this point, I can’t even explain to you my emotions. I was nervous, excited, happy, and just overall shocked that this was even happening. We go up the stairs and who do we see before getting up there? PFT and Big Cat. This will be a theme with everyone who works there, but they greeted us with a smile and seemed genuinely happy we were there. If this was an act, they all deserve Oscars.
We get to the 3rd floor, open the door and it was like I had walked into a dream. I was here. I made it. I was at Barstool.
Now, for how successful and large this company has gotten, it’s amazing it’s all happened while being in the office they’re in. It’s much smaller than I thought. It was also much, much quieter than I anticipated. I mean, I wasn’t expecting to walk into a raging party, but I was genuinely surprised by the concentration by everyone in the office. I guess that’s why this company is so successful. Sure, they have their fun and put out amazing content but at its core, it’s full of people who really do put in the work.
Anyway, we start walking around the office and saying hi to people. Everyone from KFC to Devlin to Frankie. Like I said before, not a single person acted like we were a nuisance or in the way. Which I promise you, we were. 7 people just standing around an already cluttered office space filled with people. I felt so bad when employees would have to do the awkward “oops, excuse me..” and my dumbass waddled out of their way just to end up being in someone else’s way. It all worked out though. Soon enough they were making room for the start of the Rundown. I got to eventually stand right behind the cameras but if you look closely during the Rundown tonight, you may be able to see me!
As you can see I was wearing my Tom Brady ‘6’ shirt. I got 3 or 4 compliments on it by people in the building, so the 20 minutes I spent last night trying to figure out what to wear paid off.
I ended up standing right in front of Carrabis’ desk by the time they were done recording. Of course, I got in his way at one point as well. In hindsight I wish I would’ve turned around and talked to him more about how the Sox are making us rip our fucking eyes out this season. But hey, there’ll be other times for that hopefully.
The Rundown wrapped up and we all kinda floated around the office talking to everyone. KFC talked to us for a little, as did Nate. Then Dave came over and formally introduced himself to us. And that’s when this happened..
No big deal. That’s just ya boy taking a picture with Dave fucking Portnoy! Who, by the way, was extremely welcoming the entire time. He let a few of us in his office and made it a point to shake all our hands.
So now Brian comes over, rounds us all up and says we’re gonna go out for a few drinks with some employees. Um..are you kidding me? I get to go out and get some drinks with real life Barstool bloggers? This day literally just kept getting better and better.
So our crew, along with Smitty, Big Ev, Vibbs and Mush, headed to Shorty’s to grab a few beers. Again, each and everyone one of them acted like normal, inviting people, not like the pseudo-celebrities us Stoolies view them as.
As we’re all sitting down, Jack the camera guy asked if anyone wanted to come over and do a quick little interview. I immediately volunteered. Jack, by the way, was great the entire time he followed us around with the camera.
I got mic’d up and he asked me a few questions. One of which I found to be very interesting. What does it mean to be a Stoolie? Allow me to wax poetic for a second:
A Stoolie is a few things. Stoolie’s are superfans. No matter what Barstool does, they can always count on us to back them up. Stoolies are almost like a cult. If you’re out and see someone across the room rocking the stool and stars, you’re gonna point them out and yell something like “Barstool!!!!” The fan base that this company has created is honestly like a family. If you see a fellow Stoolie out, you know you’re in good company. And it’s all a testament to Dave and each and every employee there. No matter how big they get, they stay extremely relatable and that’s what makes Barstool Sports different from ANY company out there trying to do what they do. A Stoolie is just a common man (or woman), just trying to have a laugh or two to pass the day.
After polishing off a few pitchers, we all leave. Walking back to the office, Brian turns to us and says he hopes we all had a good time. In my head I’m like, “Really Brian? This has been a top 3 day for me in my entire life!” We all shake hands and away we go.
A few quick thots:
1. Jared Carrabis’ facial hair is unreal. As someone who can’t grow any to save his life, I was extremely jealous upon seeing it in person. God damn perfection.
2. Ellie Schnitt is just as small as she says she is. I’m not even trying to be rude or anything, but if you look up ‘petite’ in the dictionary, it’ll be a picture of her. She was also extremely chipper when we all said hello to her by the way.
3. PFT is just cool as shit. I can’t explain why exactly, but he just exudes coolness.
4. Pat is a GIANT man. He stood up and I literally was taken back for a second. Tallest man I’ve ever seen in person.
5. I got two Barstool hats and I don’t think I’ll ever go out and not wear one of them.
6. Marty Mush is as unique a character as they come. What you see is what you get. He’s a god damn enigma. AND, I also showed him how to shut off his Twitter notifications since he’s being bombarded with tweets and DM’s.
7. I missed out on two people I really wanted to meet: Francis and Robbie Fox. Robbie wasn’t there so I didn’t get the chance, but Francis was another story. I saw him working diligently at his desk and hoped we would catch each others gaze which would give me the opening to say hello and shake his hand. It didn’t happen. My one regret.
8. I want to hate Smitty. He’s an Eagles fan and annoyed the shit out of me last year. But lemme tell ya, he’s a delight. Very cool guy and I apologize for all the mean things I said and thought about you sir.
9. I will work for this company one day.
To wrap this all up, today was a dream. It’s a day I will never forget and I’m so happy I made it to NY to do it all. I have 3 more days here but nothing will top what I did today.
Barstool Sports is the reason I started this blog. The reason I wanted to start to express myself in a funny, creative way. I got to meet some of the people who, without even knowing it, helped me get to where I am today. And I will never forget that.