On the October 2 edition of Barstool Sports’ popular podcast Pardon My Take, hosts Dan “Big Cat” Katz and Eric “PFT Commenter” Sollenberger delivered an onslaught of sexist remarks targeted at Taylor Swift in an attempt to villainize the superstar’s viral impact on the National Football League.
The co-hosts, who had filmed the podcast the night prior, were discussing how the New York Jets had just completed an “octopus” — scoring a touchdown and then completing a two-point conversion for a total of eight points — when Katz noted that the team had scored “every single way this game.” Sollengberger added, “That’s what they should call Taylor Swift’s vagina."
Later in the episode, after recounting the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the Jets, the hosts lamented Swift’s presence at the game. Katz argued that Swift was detracting from the sport, declaring, “Taylor Swift is a problem for the NFL. We have to unite as a group of fans. We can't let this happen. … She’s got to stop going to games.” Sollenberger agreed: “She’s bad for football.”
Katz countered that he would tolerate Swift’s presence only if she and her rumored partner, Travis Kelce, “release a sex video.” Katz and Sollenberger then bantered about the crude types of videos they would accept.
While Katz later made it clear on Twitter/X that the remarks were made in jest, the lewd commentary tracks with Barstool’s lengthy history of misogyny and racism and reveling in the chaos that ensues. In line, another Barstool personality, Nick Fasoli, even challenged “all of these Swifties coming after my guy @BarstoolBigCat” to a physical fight at “Rough N’ Rowdy,” a series of amateur boxing fights put on by Barstool.
Fasoli wrote, “You guys don’t like jokes, I’ll leave you face down on the mat and make you into a meme."
The show has a large audience, regularly getting over a million listeners per episode. The hosts briefly partnered with ESPN before Barstool's “toxic reputation” led the network to cancel the arrangement. And once again, the sexist remarks here are quite similar to longstanding right-wing tropes; in particular, they are reminiscent of remarks that the late Rush Limbaugh made a decade ago demanding a sex tape after a woman testified about the availability of contraceptives.
But while these men stew over Swift’s fame, they’re missing a real threat to their beloved prime-time football as Fox Corp. aims to leverage its sports coverage to force consumers to pay higher fees for Fox News, meaning potential blackouts and missed games. Truly devastating for football fans across the political, and musical, spectrum.