Dave Portnoy and Eric Sollenberger
Source: Twitter

Dave Portnoy Has a History of Mayhem When It Comes to Attending NFL Games

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Feb. 3 2021, Published 12:10 p.m. ET

When it comes to modern sports coverage, Barstool Sports has millions upon millions of unique visitors to its site every single month and has helped launch the careers of several e-personalities. From podcasters, to hosts, and social media influencers, Barstool has become one of the most significant players when it comes to athletics and the site's founder, Dave Portnoy, is a huge driving force behind that. So why was the man banned from NFL games?

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There could be several reasons why Dave Portnoy was banned from attending NFL games.

Anyone who's ever heard Dave Portnoy speak knows that he's opinionated and fairly resolved to express those opinions. While many critique his persona as "boorish" and "outlandish," Portnoy has certainly managed to leverage his personality into a successful career, and sometimes he will pull stunts that match the bombast he injects into his sports coverage.

The stunts he has orchestrated with NFL games, however, have put him at odds with league commissioner Roger Goodell, who has effectively banned Portnoy from attending all games and events.

Remember Tom Brady's "Deflategate" scandal? Well, Barstool Sports expressed that they didn't feel the league's response to the scandal was handled properly, so they staged a protest outside of NFL headquarters.

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As part of the protest, Portnoy and three other Barstool employees handcuffed each other and sat on the floor of NFL headquarters, prompting their arrest by NYPD officers. Portnoy further antagonized Goodell's handling of Deflategate by ordering 70,000 towels that depicted the commissioner's face but in clown makeup. He then handed the towels out to Patriots' fans for an opening season game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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#OperationClownFace was orchestrated via a massive Barstool Sports tailgate party that handed out promotional items for the website and criticized Goodell's punishment of Tom Brady. Many argued that his actions gave him and his team an unfair competitive advantage.

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Tensions between Goodell and Portnoy escalated even further when Portnoy and Eric Sollenberger disguised themselves during the 2018 Super Bowl media day and created fake press badges in order to get past security. Dave went by the name Frannie Lydon, wore a fake mustache, and donned a hat that read, "I heart Goodell."

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The two men proceeded to treat the entire media day as a huge joke, much to the chagrin of Goodell but to the delight of fans everywhere. Eric elicited profanity from a Rams' running back after they discussed cats. They also told Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh he was "the dirtiest player in the NFL" and that he better not hurt Tom Brady.

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It didn't take long before the two men were eventually caught and booted from the event. But first, they asked Gurley why he took a knee instead of scoring a touchdown in the Rams' win over the Packers that cost $40,000 in bets.

Not only were Dave Portnoy and Eric Sollenberger banned from NFL games, but they were officially charged.

The two sports media personalities were individually slapped with criminal trespassing violations and Eric Sollenberger says that he was questioned by the FBI in a follow-up interview with TMZ about the whole debacle.

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So will Dave Portnoy ever be allowed back into an NFL game? It doesn't look like it, but the man's diversified so much of his subject matter and media coverage, it's hard to imagine that he's really all that broken up about it. Total Pro Sports offered up some pretty great coverage of the entire Super Bowl fiasco if you want to get yourself up to speed or relive the glory days.

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