Normally I would care less about a hockey PxP guy publicly refusing to do someone else’s podcast but this is different.
Gord Miller calls a variety of NHL games for TSN in Canada. He’s one of the best in the business.
Barstool Sports is the gold standard of sports blogs and home to the biggest sports podcasts on the planet, including ‘Spittin Chiclets’ with former NHL beauties Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonette.
Yesterday Gord Miller responded to a tweet asking him when he was going to be a Guest on ‘Spittin Chiclets’ and Gord’s response lit the hockey world on fire and started this goofy Twitter war.
What we have here is some good old-fashioned virtue-signaling that went wrong/right if your name is Gord Miller. We also have the fragile ego of Dave Portnoy and his minions of followers and supporters exacerbating the problem.
Twitter fights almost always start with one person lording their purity over someone else. It’s called Virtue Signaling.
Virtue Signaling is defined as ‘the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue’.
You see, Gord didn’t have to respond to a tweet asking him when he was going to appear on ‘Spittin Chiclets’ podcast. He could have just scanned past the request (like he probably did with other requests for his time). Instead, Gord chose to make a statement or example of them by stating he doesn’t care about their content and the culture Barstool promotes. Gord went out of his way to tie ‘Spittin Chiclets’ to Barstool, then proceeded to insinuate that his reputation would be harmed if he chose to be on one of their properties.
For Gord to say he ‘likes’ the guys from Chiclets but doesn’t care for the rest of Barstool infers that Gord is intimately familiar with their brand and supports their podcast, which in turn means he supports Barstool Sports. While I fully support Gord’s decision to do whatever the fuck he wants to do with his spare time, he went out of his way to castigate Barstool for every misstep they’ve made after choosing to engage with an innocuous tweet from a complete stranger who didn’t work at Barstool. He used it as a springboard to make a statement which is the very fucking definition of Virtue Signaling. Gord has the absolute right to have that opinion and he’s not wrong. Barstool has dealt with misogyny and racist bullshit for years.
Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool, defends his brand because he can’t help himself. I get that too. He started this company in his garage and he’s grown it into a 20 billion dollar company largely based on fucking politically correct entertainment in the rear. Last year he refused to be ‘canceled’ after a video surfaced of Partnoy dropping the n-word in a couple of rap songs, so I doubt he’s rattled that Gord doesn’t like his website. Again, this is where we see virtue-signaling come into play.
Dave was right. He shouldn’t really give a shit about what a hockey PXP guy thinks of his multi-billion dollar network. Maybe he doesn’t and he looks at these skirmishes as a way to acquire more users, but he’s doing the exact same thing Gord is doing in response to Gord’s virtue signaling.
This isn’t a fight. It’s a convenient opportunity for Gord Miller to drum up some virtue dialing points and it turned into a family affair.
Gord Miller’s 16-year-old daughter got in on the action, too.
It’s easy for people to scream ‘Yay Gord’ after that interaction but the bottom line is Gord doesn’t like the content Barstool Sports puts out so he won’t attach his name to it professionally. It makes sense.
What Gord is also saying is that anyone who does appear on a Barstool property supports misogyny, racism and non-consensual sex, which probably isn’t sitting well with some of Gord’s colleagues like Bob McKenzie, who’s been on ‘Spitting Chiclets’ a million times. Does that mean Bob McKenzie is a racist, misogynist who supports the concept of non-consensual sex because that’s exactly what Gord Miller and his family are suggesting? He’s saying anyone associated with that brand condones those things, so what about Darren Dreger and Ray Ferraro? Are they racist bigots too? They’ve been on Barstool properties a bunch.
Gord had an opportunity to put himself above his colleagues last night and even though it might not have been intentional, that’s what he did. At least that’s one of my take-aways.
For all that Barstool is, or was, taking time to point out that you’re better than anyone who associates with them is a bad look when all your friends use them for a professional bump, in hopes of endearing themselves to a younger demo to grow their own brand.
I’m not saying Barstool isn’t what Gord Miller says it is and I’m not saying he doesn’t have a legitimate point. What I’m saying is Gord’s effort to create a circular purity firing squad isn’t going to sit well with the guys in the office who’ve used Barstool sports to further their own brands over the past few years.
If Gord doesn’t want to do something, he doesn’t need to tell us why unless A) he’s trying to make a difference in this big bad world or B) there is something in it for him. I think B came before A here and he’s passing off the experience like he’s some sturdy moral oak tree in a forest of degenerates.
I wonder if Gord takes umbrage with his other employer, NBC, covering up Matt Lauer’s multiple sexual assaults? Or is it different because they pay him and Barstool doesn’t?
Good for Gordo. I didn’t know he was so pure and flawless. Maybe Bob and Ray did.