Raise your hand if you believe Jim Utter provides anything of value to NASCAR.
*look around at a room of people twiddling their thumbs*
That’s what we thought. So when Jim Utter got meme’d to death the biggest surprise of all was the number of people running to defend Utter. A man who has blocked most of NASCAR twitter, yet still has 65k followers (paid for those), and has generally treated fans with disgust for the better part of a decade. Utter getting a taste of his own behavior.
Sunday night after the Cup race a credentialed media member asked Joey Logano a rambling borderline incoherent question that had everyone confused. When asked by someone on Twitter who it was Utter said probably a Barstool guy.
Then when told that Barstool brings in the demographic NASCAR so desperately wants Utter responded with “yawn.”
For the record, it was not a Barstool thing. So when Barstool founder got word that Utter was trashing Barstool without merit he sicked his employee Vindog on Utter. Vindog is famous for meme-ing people to death.
Vindog then attacked as instructed by his boss. And me just kept sending Utter meme after meme after meme until Utter did what Utter does and blocked all Barstool accounts.
At no point in this argument did Portnoy instruct his followers to attack Utter. He didn’t call for an open season on Utter, he just trashed him and sent his employee after him. But that didn’t stop other NASCAR writers from coming to the aid of Utter and accusing Barstool of sicking their fans on poor Jim.
The Double Standard
Barstool is always held responsible for what their followers say by the “blue checkmark gang” and their holier than thou followers. It’s a weird dynamic considering no one holds sports teams accountable for what their fans say on the internet. The same goes for political candidates and their followers. Yet with Barstool, a satirical sports commentary website, they’re responsible for the actions of all of their followers.
Portnoy didn’t weaponize his followers explicitly, they acted on their own accord. Sure Jim Utter got his feelings hurt but it’s hard to sympathize with a guy who has been a bully on Twitter for years now. Did some of the tweets go over the line, sure it’s the internet and that’s what happens. However, that’s not on Portnoy or Barstool. That’s on the individual that put Utter’s face on a morbidly obese man.
Barstool’s detractors all brought up the same tired take today. “Barstool has a history of this behavior.” “Barstool is misogynistic” etc. etc. None of which is true. They aren’t journalist, they aren’t a news organization, they’re a satirical media company yet no one wants to admit that because it goes against the narrative.
Barstool is objectively good for the sport in terms of the audience it brings. Jim Utter and his content “20 to p10” brings absolutely nothing to sport. The real issue here is new media vs. old media and Barstool is winning that battle in a landslide.
RIP to Jim Utter. He didn’t physically die but he got meme’d to death on February 24th, 2020.
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