Saving Sanity: Barstool Sports.
Parental Advisory: Explicit Content.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Until recently, this question was not one that I had a specific answer for. I've always been economically minded, so after high school, I decided the four year degree wasn't for me because there was no guarantee that I'd see a return on my investment. Two year trade school, fast forward almost four years now and I have a solid career. But is it what I want to do longterm? Who knows. I've always been a fan of the idea of working for myself, regardless of what I'd be doing.
Almost immediately after graduation I started Horsepower & Pizza, more as a hobby than anything else. And then it started to bring in a little bit of money, which was pretty cool, too. If you knew me when I was 15-17, as the son of Reckless Ron, you know I had a reckless streak. I spoke my mind and did what I wanted. The mantra was 'I said what I said.' If you didn't like it, that's fine, I'd find someone who would. But now with HP&P, people around me were steady in my ear telling me how I needed to watch my mouth on camera, and how I had to cater to the viewer and blah blah blah. It sounded like a good plan, really. So I started making sure everyone in my videos was on their best behavior, I watched how I'd word IG captions, I started carrying myself in a more professional manner, both online and in person. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being more professional, but with my 'take no shit' attitude, some of the above changes made me look like a pushover and a 'yes man'. This was all great for a while, but I wasn't having fun anymore.
"If you avoid conflict to keep the peace, you start a war inside yourself."
How am I going to preach 'Build It For You' and then take everyone's advice? I started Horsepower & Pizza as a media outlet, combining my love for motorsports with my greater love for pizza. HP&P is also the creative outlet that has really helped me rediscover & employ my imagination, which I view as an invaluable tool to escape everyday stress. I've yet to partner with anyone in this business venture as to avoid bringing stress into it, because I don't like the idea of potentially being told what to do or how to do something with my brainchild. I'm building this for me, and nobody else. I don't give a shit if you read my articles, watch my videos or listen to the podcast, or buy shirts. If you don't, somebody else will.
Dave Portnoy and Barstool Sports are the breath of fresh air that the media world needed. Portnoy and I are essentially the same person: sharing a love of pizza and sports and a shared hatred for NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. I have love for anyone who says and does whatever they want. I'm not a fan of a lot of the mainstream sports media because they cater to an agenda, the FCC, and their sheep-like followers.
To put it simply, Dave doesn't give a fuck.
The fact that it's 2019 and Dave wore a fake mustache to get into events he wasn't welcome at not once, but twice in the last week is astounding. All of the publicity that the NFL has given Barstool really shows how blatantly stupid Roger Goodell is. It's incredible. Portnoy is a marketing genius.
Portnoy makes me realize that I had it right all along. You do you, and you'll find people who like what you're doing, and sometimes you'll find people that like you, and a lot of the time you'll find people that hate you, but can't deny you credit for being yourself and doing what you want and what you love.
I've taken a few pages out of the Barstool book and I've been implementing them with every new thing I try with Horsepower & Pizza. And they work. Being real with people and not sugar coating everything is actually welcomed by more people than I thought. I've had many people reach out and say they appreciate the raw, uncensored articles and podcasts, and that it's refreshing to see some young people make logical points and stand by them. (These young people being my friends and I. Even though we aren't partnered in business, I couldn't do the podcasts by myself. Much love, crew.)
I want to thank Portnoy and the people at Barstool Sports for helping me do what it is that I want to do, and that is have fun, do me, and pursue motorsports media.
I know what I want to be when I grow up.
It's not Dave Portnoy.
It's Bailey Shenk.
In the words of Drake "I was a cold dude, I'm getting back to my ways."
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