“More Deadly Than Cancer, COVID, or Nuclear War”: Dave Portnoy Highlights America’s Overarching Epidemic

Dave Portnoy is known for his strong opinions. He clearly does not believe in holding back. Portnoy started Barstool Sports in 2003 primarily to dissect sport and popular culture in an irreverent fashion. He stayed true to that promise thus far. Simultaneously, Portnoy is a diehard fan of the New England Patriots. Like any Patriots fan, he enjoyed their dynasty in the NFL, particularly the six Super Bowl rings.

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The Patriots have looked a shadow of their former selves following Tom Brady’s departure. Even so, Dave Portnoy remembers that team fondly, referring to their dynasty in a blog post. Thursday morning, Portnoy added an article to the Barstool Sports website with some strong words. In it, he highlighted an epidemic gripping America as a whole. Portnoy considered the infectious disease in question more dangerous than anything else to befall those shores.

The deadliest, most infectious, and debilitating disease, per Dave Portnoy


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Mere minutes after the addition of the blog post, Dave Portnoy shared a link to the same on his X, formerly Twitter, handle. He added the words, “Powerful Read – Excusism Is A Deadly Disease in America. More Deadly Than Cancer, COVID, or Nuclear War.” Portnoy christened the disease ‘excusism.’

According to Dave Portnoy, ‘excusism’ forces society’s so-called losers to blame external factors outside their control for their failings. He gave the success of Barstool Sports as an example. Portnoy noted that success was because of his team both outworking and being funnier than the competition. Simultaneously, he suggested their competition would beg to differ. Portnoy added his team was working to rake in the moolah while others were unionizing to get a raise without earning it. He also had other examples up in his sleeve.

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Excusism crept into the world of sports at multiple levels


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Dave Portnoy posited the disease infected professional sports long ago. As an example, Portnoy referred to the dynasties of the Patriots and the Houston Astros in Major League Baseball. During their respective heydays, opponents made every possible complaint under the sun concerning their success, he noted. The one thing, Portnoy added, they did not do was look at themselves and seek out improvement. He suggested this knack had seeped into college sports as well.

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Case in point, Dave Portnoy referred to the Michigan Wolverines. Their football team is currently ranked second in the country. They also put together a 7-0 record so far. Only the Minnesota Golden Gophers got to double digits against them, in a 52-10 loss. Instead of celebrating their hard work and eventual success, people were raising pointless questions, as per Portnoy.


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‘Excusism’, Dave Portnoy concluded, forced people away from growth. Instead of taking a good long look at their lives and seeking areas for improvement, they look to tear down the successful ones. As Portnoy put it, using excuses to justify failure will leave one a failure. The sooner one admits someone else is superior in accordance with the facts, the sooner one can attempt to close that gap, he added.

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