Have you ever heard the name David Portnoy? Perhaps you’re quite familiar with his many endeavors or maybe you’ve never even heard of him. He’s what you might call an internet celebrity, and that means that there’s probably about a 50-50 chance that you know who he is. There are some things that are rather interesting about him, even if some of them are controversial. Here are 20 things about him that you probably didn’t know before.
1. He’s responsible for Barstool Sports
If you’ve never heard of Barstool Sports, it’s a company that incorporates memorabilia with various sports celebrities, and it’s all digital. It’s the brainchild of Portnoy, something that he thought about doing for quite some time before he actually decided to take the plunge. The company is run entirely online, making it easier for him to operate it with very little overhead. In fact, he even has the option to work completely from the comfort of his own home if he so desires.
2. He’s a seasoned blogger
In addition to being the founder of Barstool Sports, he’s also a seasoned blogger. Much of that is because of the company that he founded, but he was also writing plenty of blogs before he ever got into Barstool Sports. As such, he’s found a way to make blogging work for him, both from a personal and a financial perspective. It’s something that relatively few people are able to pull off and that makes it rather impressive when someone actually does. One of the reasons that he’s able to be so successful is because he has found a way to connect with his fan base and he keeps them coming back for more, all while pulling in new people.
3. He loves his native Massachusetts
He’s mentioned on a number of occasions that he’s very fond of his native Massachusetts. In fact, he has said in the past that he can’t imagine growing up anywhere but there. For him, everything about it is capable of creating something of a fairytale land, from the weather to the local culture. It’s something that he fell in love with as a child and he continues to love it just as much today.
4. He attended the University of Michigan
Even though he absolutely loved his home state of Massachusetts, he ultimately decided that it was time to spread his wings a little bit when he went to college. As a result, he attended the University of Michigan, achieving a Bachelor’s degree while there. Even though he missed being home, he says that attending the University of Michigan was probably one of the best and most formative events of his life, something that he continues to think about on a daily basis. It was essentially where he had an opportunity to come into his own. It’s also where he started blogging, so he gives it a lot of credit for the way that his life is today.
5. He and his wife are separated
Unfortunately, he and his wife separated a few short years ago. They were married in 2009 but in 2017, they decided that their lives were simply moving in different directions. At that point, they decided that the best thing for them to do would be to separate so that they could have time to figure out what to do next and get in touch with themselves. Ultimately, this would allow them to either come back to each other or move on from that relationship.
6. He’s Jewish
He grew up in a household with strong Jewish beliefs, something that was passed down from his parents to him as a child. In addition, he continued to grow up with these values as he got older. It’s something that created the foundation for who he ultimately wanted to become as an adult. It also had a strong impact on his work ethic and his desire to succeed.
7. He has a strong desire to help others
In addition to learning how to work hard, he has always had a strong desire to help others. This was something that was obvious even when he was in high school. He always had a tendency to gravitate toward the students that needed help with a particular subject or even those who didn’t really fit in, wanting to help them in whatever way he could.
8. He always wanted to be a teacher
According to many people who attended high school with him, he wanted to grow up to be a teacher. Portnoy himself admits that this was something that was a strong desire of his when he was younger, even to the point that he decided to go to college in order to study with the hopes of eventually becoming an educator. For him, it was one more way that he could help other people
9. He has a tendency to make friends easily
As you have probably already noticed, he has a tendency to make friends rather easily. Part of that is because he was always willing to help others. After all, when you are struggling with a subject or you’re fighting to fit in, you’re more than happy to focus your attention on anyone who is willing to help you. That allowed him to make friends easily and he has continued to keep many of those friendships over the years.
10. He believes in seizing opportunities when they present themselves
He has also said that he believes in taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves, even if that’s not exactly what he had intended on doing initially. That’s one reason why he initially had the goal of becoming an educator, but eventually ended up becoming a blogger. As far as he’s concerned, it was an opportunity that seemed to put itself directly in his path and he felt like he would have been passing something important up if he didn’t take it. Therefore, he decided to be open enough to the possibility of making changes that he could take advantage of things that weren’t part of his initial plan. He’s also commented that other people would do well for themselves to be as flexible, as learning how to roll with the punches makes life much easier.
11. He likes Boston, too
Over the years, Portnoy has been able to explore different parts of the United States, something that he always wanted to do even while growing up in his beloved Massachusetts. As a result, he ended up in Boston while working his first job out of college. It didn’t take him very long to figure out that he genuinely enjoyed the area. As a result, he decided to put down roots there and stay for a while.
12. He used to work in IT
Speaking of that first job out of college, it was with a company called the Yankee Group. He worked in IT there, something that makes perfect sense when you consider the fact that he now makes his living as a blogger. He liked the job well enough and he ended up staying there for four years. During that time, he was able to continue learning more and more about not only the technology behind computers, but also how to generate a fanbase as a blogger and then use that to his own advantage to open his own company.
13. He has his own persona when he blogs
One of the things that he has always been insistent on is that he does not write anything from the perspective of himself. Instead, he writes from the point of view of a fictional persona. Over the years, he’s gone to a great deal of effort to carefully cultivate that persona so that it is one that resonates with the people reading his blog. It also gives him the opportunity to be a bit more carefree in his writing because it can be taken a little more tongue-and-cheek. If he were writing everything from a more personal perspective, then he would have to write in a more serious fashion. Writing from the perspective of a persona gives him the freedom to be a bit more raucous in his writings without creating the negative feedback that he could potentially create if he were to write everything from a more serious stance. In short, using that persona to write gives him the freedom to say the things that he probably wants to say without losing part of his fan base in the process.
14. He likes the idea of working for himself
He enjoyed his time at the Yankee Group, but he always had an affinity for the idea of working for himself. Even when he was in high school and he was making the decision to go to college for a degree in education, he had dreams of somehow turning that into an opportunity where he could work for himself and still serve as an educator. Clearly, life took him in a different direction but he never lost his desire to work for himself as opposed to slaving away for someone else.
15. He’s bold
No one would ever argue the fact that he has a bold personality. In fact, that is evident from the persona that he created for his blog. If that’s not enough to convince you, consider the fact that he and one of his friends once chained themselves to the basement of a building because they were unhappy with some of the things that we’re going on in the NFL at the time. Another time, he created a fake press pass so he could get into an event that he wasn’t supposed to be at to begin with. He got caught and he ended up being detained by the police. He was also banned from attending that event in any capacity or even being at the facility.
16. He really likes pizza
There’s no doubt about it, he enjoys pizza more than most and he’s not afraid to admit it. As a matter of fact, he likes it so much that he’s written a number of blogs about it. There was a time when he set out to review every single pizza place in Manhattan, a goal that he was quite proud of accomplishing.
17. He often has celebrities involved with his blog
While he often writes by himself in his blog, it’s also not uncommon to have him featuring a number of celebrities and sports stars. It really just depends on the moment, but it’s also something that he does with enough frequency that people have started to pay attention to it. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, either. Perhaps it’s something that he does whenever he’s in the mood and he can get a hold of someone that’s willing to participate.
18. He once tried to become mayor
You might find it interesting to know that he once tried to become the mayor of Boston. In 2013, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor. It was something that surprised a lot of people and his campaign didn’t really go very far. Nevertheless, he decided that it was something that he wanted to do and he pursued it. He didn’t seem concerned with the fact that he essentially fell flat on his face. In fact, he was more impressed with himself for having the courage to try, knowing all along that he probably wouldn’t actually succeed.
19. He raised money for small businesses during the pandemic
When the pandemic hit, he felt the pressure like a lot of other small businesses. As a result, he decided to do something about it. In the end, he raised a little more than $39 million and distributed that money among approximately 350 businesses.
20. He insists on doing things his way
He’s never been one that enjoys the idea of being tied down or forced to do things a certain way. In fact, he’s insisted on leaving his mark and he wants to do it his own way. Sometimes, that makes him a controversial individual. One thing is certain, he’s definitely managed to make his own mark by doing things his way so far. There’s little doubt that this is going to change in the future.