Barstool Sports has become what seems to be a major news network, specifically across college campuses. The company started in 2003 as a paper magazine handed out to local bars in Boston. Today Barstool Sports has 2.9 million Instagram followers and integrated other popular companies such as Oldrow. Barstool can be described as a “fratty ESPN.” Those behind the viral app have asserted themselves as the authority of college party life and reckless behavior. They have a history of starting nationwide trends such as “Fire Goodell,” “Saturdays are for the Boys” and most recentlym the JUUL and consuming Tide Pods.
The JUUL is form of e-cigarrete made popular on college campuses by aesthetic appearance, appealing flavors, potency of nicotine and social media presence. There is no doubt that the JUUL has been an upcoming trend for about a year now, however, over the past couple of months Barstool has blown it out of proportion. Barstool turned the JUUL from a social norm to a social necessity. It seems that every person out on the weekends has a JUUL now and you can’t help but feel left out if you don’t have one. However, as an e-cigarette, there are various associated health risks with the JUUL. It is by no means a safe alternative to cigarettes but when it comes to fitting in socially, who cares about health? At least that seems to be the mentality many students have taken.
Another almost comical trend Barstool Sports has encouraged recently is eating Tide Pods. It is unclear exactly how this movement began, but Barstool did not hesitate to jump on it and turn it into a national epidemic. Soon enough there were T-shirts being made endorsing the eating of laundry detergent and videos surfacing of more and more people doing so. This trend inspired many jokes to be made referring to Tide Pods as snacks and some applied the same principle to dishwasher detergent packets. Bars have even created drinks inspired by the infamous laundry detergent packets. This national trend made it to some major news networks where doctors had to warn people about the dangers of eating laundry detergent, as though common sense didn’t already cover the fact that eating cleaning products is simply idiocracy.
It’s clear that a company like Barstool will use anything they can to generate revenue and grow their publicity. The popularity of JUULs and consuming Tide Pods is evidence of that. However, most of their material is NOT to be taken seriously. The trends started by Barstool are purely for comedic value and should be recognized as such. They do not market themselves as a serious news network. Barstool Sports does an excellent job fulfilling the brand that they built for themselves and people need to recognize that, despite the questionable content found on their pages.