I’ve been a reader of Barstool Sports for almost eight years now. While their content might not be for everyone, I still maintain they have some really good takes on the sports world, and the culture around it. They have gone through a massive expansion over the last few years, and have spread to podcasts. While they seem to have a new one every couple weeks or so, I would say the best so far has been Pardon My Take.
While I was unsure about it at first, and it can still be hit or miss, the hosts definitely put in the time and effort to make a good show, and use a lifetime of watching ESPN, Fox Sports, and all the 24-hour sports news channels and sites. It’s definitely not for everyone, however, you don’t need to be a sports fan to enjoy it.
The show boasts two hosts, Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter. Big Cat has been a blogger and contributor at Barstool for quite a few years now, and was based in Chicago (they opened an NYC HQ a few months ago). PFT Commenter (standing for “Pro Football Talk”) is newer to Barstool, and is the persona of a “typical” commenter on the site “Pro Football Talk.” So they are well-versed in parody to start.
I won’t get too much into the hosts (if you want to read more, GQ did an interview with both), but they can be a lot to take. I will get into the format more below, but sometimes their guests aren’t in on the joke, causing them to fall flat. Although, one could argue that makes it funnier, and both are good at keeping things moving. I’m not sure if anyone else at Barstool could host this type of show, as Big Cat and PFT are quick on their feet and don’t let miscues slow them down.
For anyone who has watched ESPN in the last decade, you probably realized the name sounds familiar. ESPN sure noticed earlier this year when it filed a lawsuit. But this is a clear parody on “Pardon the Interruption” and “First Take,” and really any sports talk show, whether it be TV or radio. Pardon My Take often likes to take aim at the popular ESPN radio show “Mike and Mike,” as well.
They keep a wide range on guests, from the Nature Boy Ric Flair (WOOOOOO!), to Jared Goff (1st Round Pick of the LA Rams), to Tim Meadows (actor, former SNL cast member) and everyone in between. They approach every guest the same, like roided up jocks, or more so, the stereotypical ESPN/Fox Sports viewer. And it is hilarious.
They ask each guest if they “wash their apples” before they eat them, mocking them if they do as its not macho. PFT compared his broken toe to recent guest, former NFL offensive lineman Mark Schlereth’s 15 knee surgeries, because both worked hurt. It’s all great. Every now and then they will even do “reenactments” of popular sports shows. The best part is, as outlandish as they get, they also get very close to how those shows actually are, making it even better.
I love sports. I love watching them and playing them. However, with the advent of these 24-hour networks, and Social Media, it’s getting tougher and tougher to follow. From the Baseball writers getting on their high-horses every Hall of Fame voting season, to the talking heads on ESPN saying outlandish things just to get attention, it’s getting harder to want to spend my time on it. Pardon My Take does a pretty damn good job of mocking the absolute Hell out of it.
While I understand this type of show isn’t for everyone, and it can get kind of vulgar as well, Pardon My Take is an entertaining listen. They perfectly skewer modern sports coverage, the absurd comments, predictions, and questioning an athlete’s mindset, so well. It’s a refreshing take on the medium, and I would call it the podcast version of The League. You don’t need to be a sports fan to be entertained, and even being a non-sports fan might be an advantage. Either way, Big Cat and PFT are legit funny, and this show really highlights their skill in mocking sports coverage and fans.