An E-mail Interview with "Glenny Balls" of Barstool Sports
By Patrick Hoffman
It is that time again, folks.
Time for me to once again express my admiration for all things Barstool Sports. This time, I am proud to present an e-mail interview I conducted with the great "Glenny Balls".
Glenny was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into following hockey, how he became a New York Rangers fan, how he got a gig with Barstool Sports and much more.
I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed conducting it!
PH: Growing up, how did you get into hockey?
GB: I've never played Hockey. Hell, I can't even skate.
I honestly didn't even get into it until October 15th, 2005 - I'll remember that date forever. Granted my family had always brought me to games & decked me out in Rangers stuff. For example, I was at Wayne Gretzky's last game (don't remember a lick of it) and have a plethora of cute baby pics in Rangers jerseys, but I never really enjoyed it until that faithful day I mentioned in October of '05.
It was the first game I actually remember experiencing and coincidentally, it was Henrik Lundqvist's second or third game ever. I can legitimately recall the whole day...Got lunch at this random diner in my town that I haven't been to since, on the drive home I unbuckled my seat belt a block before home which resulted in my dad threatening to not take me to the game, going inside and attempting to throw on an Alfonso Soriano Rangers jersey (got scolded for it), then hitting the Garden later that night. I've been obsessed ever since.
PH: Who is your favorite team/player?
GB: My favorite team is the New York Rangers and my favorite player is Henrik Lundqvist. Obviously it's the easy answer, but like I said in answer #1 he's pretty much the reason I became a hockey fan.
I was mesmerized hearing those "HENRIK! HENRIK!" chants that night.
PH: Considering The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave is filled with tons and tons of hockey memorabilia, what is your favorite piece of hockey memorabilia that you own?
GB: This is a tough one. El Pres gave me a huge JT Miller Signed "Saturdays Are For The Boys" Picture which I have right above my TV in my basement.
I have a Leetch signed jersey, a random Ovechkin signed picture I won in a Topps Contest one time, and even a Jagr/Lundqvist signed picture of Jagr shooting on Hank from the 2006 Olympics. Meeting Jagr at the Steiner store that day was like $95 & Lundqvist was only something like $20. A simpler time.
That's definitely my #2, but I think my #1 is a Bryan McCabe signed jersey I got from this "Blueshirts off our Backs" thing the Rangers do every year at the last regular season home game. The Rangers lineup on the blue line after the game then skate up to a person holding their number to give them the Jersey off their backs...Blueshirts off our Backs indeed.
Anyways, my uncle was selected for being a group ticket sales rep at work and he let me go on the ice to get it which was awesome. I lined up and got McCabe's #28 - sandwiched right between a rookie Ryan McDonagh and backup goalie Chad Johnson. Two away from Henrik!
Can't win 'em all, nonetheless I think that makes for the best memorabilia I have.
PH: How did you get a gig with Barstool Sports?
September 16th, 2016! Another date I'll always remember.
A couple weeks before that I was getting into bed one night and saw Erika Nardini, our CEO, tweet about Fall Interns at the new Barstool NY HQ. I was going to Baruch College at the time and I literally walked by HQ every day.
I applied immediately right there in bed. I vividly remember getting the first email back while I was visiting my buddy at Wake Forest and instantly went to his dorm to type back. A couple more emails were exchanged and I got an interview at 12:30 on September 16th, 2016.
I don't know if I've ever even told people this, but my mom actually drove me to the interview and waited outside even though I told her not to. So I went up to the office as my heart was beating faster than it ever has.
I'm a GINORMOUS Stoolie so it was literally like an elevator opening up to a room full of your heroes. Anyways, Caleb interviewed me and asked if I was fast. I told him I was because I do have wheels for my size.
We then went downstairs to run down the street with my mom waiting right outside. That made it 10 times more petrifying. I was, in fact, fast & Caleb hired me. I've been here ever since!
PH: What is it like working for the best sports media outlet out there?
GB: Working for the best media outlet in the world is pretty much what you'd expect - amazing. As I just said in the previous question, I was such a huge Stoolie before this that I honestly don't even think working here has hit me yet.
If you asked me anytime before September '16 what your dream job would be, I 100% would've said this. It's been a fantastic 18 months and I can't wait for more. Jeez typing 18 months there was crazy.
Time flies when you're having fun.
PH: What are your thoughts on what the Rangers did at the deadline?
GB: I'm indifferent about the deadline. It's hard to really make a judgement when majority of the haul back is prospects/draft picks.
I was heartbroken to see McDonagh go as he was pretty much the last straw of breaking up the core of those great teams. The '11-'12 playoff run was great, but watching those '13-'14 & '14-'15 playoff runs were probably the most fun I've ever had in my entire life.
Coming back down 3-1 against Pitt & Washington back-to-back years, St. Louis' goal against Montreal in Game 4, McDonagh & Stepan's Game winners against the Caps the next year. All amazing.
So as sad as I am that that's officially over, I can't help but be excited about the Rangers' next chapter. If they hit on the some of the picks and some of the prospect pan out - great trades!
PH: Where do you think the Blueshirts go from here? Do you think the fans will be patient with the retooling/building phase?
One downfall about myself is being very optimistic. I'm that way with any team, even the Mets, and it sucks.
So I'm convinced the Rangers will be contenders in two to three years. There's still a good core of players there with Hank, Zucc, Vesey, Buch, Hayes, Skjei, Shattenkirk, Zibanejad, and more.
Add in some backup with what we have in the upcoming off-season and I'm thinking Hank will have a cup before he hits 40!
PH: Considering that the Rangers will not be making the playoffs this season, will you be rooting for any former Rangers in the playoffs? If so, which ones and why?
GB: I guess I have to root for the Lightning right? As much as I loved Brassard & Hagelin, I am gonna take a hard pass on rooting for Pittsburgh.
Tampa on the other hand is the lesser of two evils. They aren't in the Metro, we get a 2019 1st round pick as opposed to a 2nd if they win the cup this year or next, and they have some of my favorite Rangers ever highlighted by McDonagh & Callahan. Those are two guys I would have NEVER thought would wear anything other than a blue sweater yet here we are. So godspeed to them.
I just don't want that to solidify the Rangers having a Good Luck Chuck effect. Pretty sure that'd put a former Ranger on the last four Stanley Cup Champs.
PH: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us puckheads?
I'm not really sure if there's anything else I'd like to share. Here's a picture of me with the Stanley Cup. Can't wait till the Rangers win in it 2020. Book it! (Also please follow my Instagram)
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.