‘No one worse than Sam Ponder’: ESPN vs. Barstool tensions flare
Tensions continue to grow from bad to worse between Samantha Ponder and ESPN’s newest acquisition.
Less than 12 hours after the first-year “Sunday NFL Countdown” host chided Barstool Sports personality Dan “Big Cat” Katz on the eve of ESPN2’s debut of “Barstool Van Talk,” Ponder called out the show’s co-host again following resurfaced audio between Barstool president Dave Portnoy and Katz from 2014, in which she and husband Christian Ponder are profanely targeted.
“I was wrong in thinking @BarstoolBigCat wrote that article & called me a slut repeatedly,” Ponder, 31, tweeted Tuesday morning. “He just continuously laughed along. It was the PRESIDENT of @barstoolsports who said these things. Happy to clarify.”
Ponder falsely accused Katz of writing an article that was actually written by Barstool’s Feitelberg and included the offending editor’s note from Portnoy. On Monday night, Katz defended himself, insisting he did not write it.
ESPN’s EVP Burke Magnus told USA Today that the “the comments about Sam Ponder were offensive and inappropriate, and we understand her reaction. She is a valued colleague and doing a great job for us. As stated previously, we do not control the content of Barstool Sports. We are doing a show with Big Cat and PFT, and we do have final say on the content of that show.”
Those words from the blog were not Katz’s. However, these words were.
A recording from 2014, which Twitter user @sensitivemann shared with Ponder Monday evening, features a NSFW conversation between Portnoy and Katz. Portnoy took the harshest shots, suggesting Ponder “sex it up and be slutty” and claiming that ESPN was trying to think of ways to fire her. But Katz had plenty to say, as well.
“Let’s go on this rant for a second. There’s no one worse right now than Samantha Ponder,” Katz said, per Awful Announcing. “She is the absolute worst. I hate-follow her on Twitter. I can’t even stand her. Every time she tweets I want to puke all over my computer.”
The banter continued with Katz saying: “Show me one person who likes Sam Ponder. I don’t even think Christian Ponder likes Sam Ponder.”
Barstool Sports did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday morning.
Katz, the Barstool staple, also appeared to weigh in Tuesday morning on Twitter.
“TFW the haters and losers, of which there are many, try to get your show cancelled a day before the premiere, but you’re too busy pounding donuts,” Katz tweeted to his 436,000 followers.
After Ponder’s initial tweet Monday, the mother of three received support from fellow ESPN colleague Sage Steele.
Ponder’s spouse of five years also added, “Proud of you.”
Portnoy defended Barstool’s success.
“I’m very happy that Barstool for the most part is family,” he tweeted Monday night. “Poke fun, make fun, row together. Maybe that’s part of our success?”