Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy will finally get his chance to meet with his longtime nemesis, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, this fall after placing the winning bid in an auction to benefit coronavirus relief efforts.
Portnoy announced on Twitter that he paid $250,000 to win the right to watch a “Monday Night Football” game with Goodell in his basement “fan cave,” where the commissioner hosted the NFL’s virtual draft in late April. Money raised in the NFL’s auction event will benefit a number of charities in the fight against COVID-19, including the American Red Cross and Feeding America.
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“Good charity, great charity. I’m happy to give the money. Let’s [expletive] help people,” Portnoy said in the video. “Let’s go watch some football Roger. I got some questions, we’ve got all day. Football takes what, three or four hours. No handcuffs, no jail. I paid fair and square.”
For Portnoy, the watch party will mark the culmination of a years-long dispute. The blog kingpin was famously critical of Goodell’s handling of the “Deflategate” scandal involving Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Portnoy’s favorite team. Portnoy and several other Barstool Sports personalities were arrested after staging a protest at the NFL’s headquarters in New York City in 2015.
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The Barstool Sports store sells several popular items that are critical of the commissioner, including a “Fire Goodell” hat and a T-shirt that depicts Goodell with a clown nose. In 2017, Portnoy distributed 70,000 towels with the image at a Patriots home game that Goodell attended.
The feud came to a head in 2019, when Portnoy was kicked out of media proceedings ahead of Super Bowl LIII. Days later, Portnoy was physically dragged out of the crowd at Super Bowl LIII and handcuffed. The Patriots won that year’s championship, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3.
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Given Portnoy’s history with Goodell, it’s unclear if the NFL will allow his bid to proceed. A league representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Portnoy founded Barstool Sports in 2003 as a print newsletter and has built it into a sports entertainment leader. Casino chain Penn National purchased a 36 percent stake in Barstool at a $450 million valuation in January 2020.