Will Dave Portnoy Infiltrate This Year's Super Bowl?

By Nikolai Birsh '22

Since 2015, Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, has been denied entry to the Super Bowl and its press events. Portnoy’s meticulous disguises and convincing aliases have only gotten him as far as half time of Super Bowl LIII, in which he was dragged out. This leads us to ask the annual question, will Dave Portnoy infiltrate Rodger Goodell’s army of security guard henchmen or will he be banished from yet another stadium and ending with being dragged out in defeat. 

Dave’s feud with the NFL, more specifically its commissioner, Rodger Goodell, originates from Delfategate in 2015. In a nutshell, Deflategate consisted of a theory that Tom Brady had his game balls deflated with the aim of increased performance. While it is unclear whether wrongdoing occurred, Dave made his opinion clear by protesting the NFL offices in New York. Sparked by the conformation of Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, the protest consisted of Dave and a few other activists from Barstool Sports entering the NFL corporate building handcuffed together. Their efforts concluded with them being arrest, however, this did not dissuade Dave. Two years later in September of 2017, Dave conjured up  “Operation Clown Face” in which he ordered 70,000 rally towels. The towels displayed an image of Rodger Goodell With a clown nose. These towels were given out for free at a home New England Patriots game. This was a very successful demonstration the fueled the feud between the two. 

Portnoy decided to attend the Patriots versus Rams Super Bowl with a deceivingly fake mustache even after a warning from the local Atlanta police that he would be charged with trespassing. With his ticket purchased and tensions high, Dave was determined to view the Super Bowl in person that year. Ensuing his lucrative evasion of the security, Portnoy proceeded to live-stream his presence in the stadium as a statement to Rodger Goodell. This error of judgment allowed the security to locate him and drag him out at halftime. His point was made.  

Dave has feuded with Goodell’s ground security forces many times but this year he will face yet another obstacle, Covid-19. The Super Bowl this year will be exponentially harder than any other year to get into due to limited seating and extra precautions. Will the masks help or hurt? 

The fight against injustice in the corporate NFL will continue for years to come, but it is men like Dave Portnoy that fight on the front lines that will truly make a difference. He believes in justice and the purity of American football. We can only hope he will be in attendance this year in Tampa Bay.