Interview with Barstool Sports Personality, Ben Mintz

Diego Sierra

About a month ago, on March 5th, I was able to go to Day 2 of the Shriners’ College Classic. Well during that day I was able to get an exclusive one-on-one interview with Barstool Sports personality, Ben Mintz outside of section 125 at Minute Maid Park.

A little background on Ben Mintz he grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana. He went to the University of Mississippi at the age of 31 after being a professional poker player for 8 years. The way he got hired by Barstool Sports is very unique as he went viral on Twitter for a video posted by his friend of Ben cheering on the Ole Miss Rebels during a football game. Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, saw the video and immediately hired Ben Mintz. Ben was working at ESPN Baton Rouge, LSU flagship, before he had gotten hired by Barstool.

Knowing he had been a part of the sports industry for almost a decade I asked Ben is “How is it that he got his start in the sports industry?” He answered saying “A friend of mine was getting hired by a radio station in Shreveport, LA and he said that he had a buddy (Ben) who has a fun personality knows a lot about sports but doesn’t have experience in the sports industry. Well, they were able to interview me and I got the job.” He then followed up with “I’m not the type of guy that could have an 8 to 5 job I have to do something I’m interested in. Or I’m not gonna make it.”

It wasn’t a very easy road for Ben as he talked about his journey getting to Barstool saying “I was in Shreveport Bossier for 4 years doing drive time sports radio in the northwest Louisiana Market. Then I got let go when Covid started in 2020. Then I got hired by ESPN Baton Rouge, the LSU flagship, so I gotta lot of LSU ties and then I got hired by Barstool.” So it wasn’t just a viral video that got him hired at Barstool Sports it took a lot of hours of dedication for Ben to be where he is at in life.

Me being a communications and digital media major and interested in how to get into the media industry I asked “What advice would you give to somebody who’s just getting started in the media industry?” He responded “You can’t learn enough about the digital world. We are in this world now that sports radio and the newspapers are done. It’s all about learning how to edit video, having versatile skillsets being good at a lot of stuff on youtube, vlogs, and podcasts. You know be forward-thinking and then also don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty trying to learn the side of production and make your way into it. The other thing I would say is don’t be afraid to fail. There’s a whole thing in our society where everybody is worried about what everybody else thinks. Screw that, be yourself if you look like an idiot who gives a damn it doesn’t matter.”

Mintz had been down south for the better part of a month at that time helping promote the launch of the Barstool Sportbook app in Louisiana so I asked him “What was his background on gambling that made him such a good fit to help promote the Barstool Sportsbook in Lousiana?” He answered saying “I love it because I’m an old-school gambler. I’ve been gambling for about 20 years. I know the gambling background because I was a pro poker player for 18 years. So I’m a great fit for this because I know the gambling world, I’ve lived on the road, I know the casino life and I’ve built the relationships so I know the industry.”

Ben has not forgotten about his roots in Lousiana. When I asked, “What had been his favorite moments so far being back in the south?” He said, “My favorite moments so far have been riding in Krewe Of Freret float during Mardi Gras it was an unbelievable experience, and also having dinner with my dad was really special.”

What I took away from this interview is that Ben Mintz is a very humble person, he loves and is passionate about what he does for a living, and he isn’t afraid of what other people think about him.

I also took some life lessons from him during this interview. Number 1 is it’s never too late in life to pursue your dreams and passions. Number 2 is don’t be afraid to take risks in life it’s ok to mistakes in life as you learn from them. Finally, It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks about you. If you love the work you’re putting out there in the world and you’re proud of it that’s the only thing that matters.