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Barstool boss bounced by NFL, but vows to be at Super Bowl

Boston Herald logo Boston Herald 1/30/2019 Lisa Kashinsky
a close up of a man wearing a hat: Barstool Sports David Portnoy on the floor of State Farm Arena for Super Bowl LIII media day in Atlanta, GA. Courtesy of David Portnoy © Provided by Digital First Media Barstool Sports David Portnoy on the floor of State Farm Arena for Super Bowl LIII media day in Atlanta, GA. Courtesy of David Portnoy

Dave Portnoy — the self-styled “El Presidente” of Barstool Sports with a penchant for mocking NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell — said he “might as well have been a terrorist” after security frog-marched him out of Super Bowl media night for sneaking in on a fake credential.

a man wearing a blue hat © Provided by Digital First Media

He escaped with a criminal trespass warning, and was told by authorities he’d be arrested if he attempted to enter Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of Sunday’s Patriots-Rams showdown.

a man wearing sunglasses © Provided by Digital First Media

But Portnoy, an unabashed Patriots fan, told the Boston Herald: “There’s no chance I’m missing the game.”

Barstool Sports has been banned from all NFL-sponsored events since some of its members, including Portnoy, were arrested after protesting the league’s handling of “Deflategate,” he said.

Portnoy wasn’t exactly being discreet when NFL security caught him at Monday night’s media event at the State Farm Arena — his mustachioed disguise featured an “I love Roger Goodell” cap.

The suits who swarmed him were unamused.

“They were not in any type of joking manner or pleasant,” Portnoy said. “I might as well have been a terrorist the way they were acting towards me.”

Portnoy said the NFL’s vendetta against Barstool Sports just makes Goodell and his organization “look petty and stupid.”

“I know if they actually threw me in jail again it’s such a bigger media story, so it doesn’t look good for them either,” Portnoy said, adding, “I wasn’t nervous or anything. It just shows to me how dumb the NFL is and how dumb Roger Goodell is.”

Portnoy said he tried to get in the door through proper channels. His request for media credentials through the Patriots was “denied quickly,” he said.

Then Portnoy decided to go incognito, which he said he did during last year’s Super Bowl without getting caught. He used a photograph of a press badge to create a fake credential and got by security “pretty easy.”

Portnoy said an on-camera interview with NESN might have been his downfall.

“I noticed that people on walkie-talkies were starting to circle where I was” after that, he said.

Portnoy was escorted into a back room, where he said he was questioned by NFL officials and police officers for two or three hours before he was allowed to walk out.

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Portnoy and Barstool’s PFT Commenter, Eric Sollenberger, who was caught later in the night, were given criminal trespass warnings, the Atlanta Police Department said. Police confiscated their fake credentials and said the two would be arrested if they attempted to enter that arena, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Georgia World Congress Center or Centennial Olympic Park.

Portnoy seemed unperturbed by the threat.

“I like seeing Roger Goodell squirm. So far, I’m off to a good start this week,” he said.


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