Five Questions With Barstool Sports Writer Jerry Thornton
As we continue our five questions series that has seen the likes of Chad Finn and Jared Carrabis we are always looking for new and interesting ways to bring Boston sports influencers into potentially a new light. This week I had the pleasure of interviewing former WEEI radio personality and current Barstool Sports writer Jerry Thornton five questions revolving around the New England Patriots.
Jerry is one of the more talented Patriots writers in the region and his experiences range from writing a book on the Pat’s all the way to partaking in weekly interviews with Bill Belichick. Below are the five questions I asked Jerry and a special bonus one below where he shed some light on the behind the scenes of interviewing the hooded one.
1. What has been your favorite Patriots story to write about so far?
You might think it’d be one of the Boston championships. But as great as those have been and as much as I appreciate how lucky we are, my favorite story to write about has been Deflategate. It just has everything. Conspiracy. Lies. Cover ups. Us against the world. Smear campaigns. Courts. The great vengeance and furious anger of the most energized, motivated and tech-savvy fan base in all of sports.
I pride myself on being The Man Who Was Right About Deflategate From Minute One. I read everything about it with a skeptical eye from the beginning and as much abuse as I took for being a Denier, I never had to move off my spot as more and more haters came over to the side of the angels on that. I must have written a million posts about it, and I rocked ’em all.
2. During your time at WEEI, what was the most memorable time on the radio?
Well this happened slightly off the air. But we talked about it quite a bit. When I first got my hands on a copy of my first book, “From Darkness to Dynast: The First 40 Years of the New England Patriots” (sorry about the shameless plug, but not sorry), I brought a copy to the studio at Gillette with the idea of offering it to Bill Belichick.
Well, this was during training camp, and whether it was a bad day of practice or what, he was being a little cranky during the interview. (I guess he’s like that some times? I never noticed.) Anyway, when we were done he had to race off to his press conference but I handed him a copy anyway. And his whole demeanor changed. He was really appreciative, especially when I told him “Spoiler alter: At the end, you win the Super Bowl.” So he thanked me and left. Then came back a full minute later and asked if I wouldn’t mind signing it.
I kid you not. If there are an infinite number of parallel universes all existing simultaneously, we live in the only one where he has my autograph and I never asked for his. Like any Patriots fan worthy of the name, I’d take a bullet for that man.
3. With your book From Darkness to Dynasty already under your belt, can we expect another one in the future?
Absolutely, Having spent years working on FD2D (its droid name), nights and weekends, off and on, I can honestly tell you it’s worth the time and effort. In that way ballplayers will win a title and say “This why we lift all them weights.” You can write a million blogs but there’s something about having something tangible that will outlive you that it really gratifying. So I’ve met with my publisher and the ball is rolling on the next project.
4. What made you decide to leave WEEI and go back to Barstool?
I’ll put it the way my former co-host Dale Arnold put it to me on the air: “Wait. So you’ll get a national audience, more money, and less work and you’re leaving … WHY?” I loved being at WEEI. It was an amazing opportunity. And a success. Our ratings were great and getting better and management said nothing but positive things as they offered me a new contract. But Barstool offered me opportunities and pay WEEI couldn’t. Plus I always did miss being connected to that Stoolie audience.
I’ve always felt pride and some ownership of what Barstool has accomplished. And still a part of things. Fortunately I left on the same good terms with WEEI I did with the Stool back in 2014. So they’ve kept me on the payroll and given me some great part time roles. That means a lot.
5. With Barstools podcast network growing what seems to be daily, can we expect to see a Jerry Thornton run football podcast in the near future?
Yes. That was part of the original plan when I signed back on in November. We were waiting for the right co-host to become available, and he has. So I’m working on a date certain to launch this thing because I love the podcast format even more than radio. And to have one on that Barstool platform will be living the dream.
Optional: When the you were off air during the weekly Bill Belichick interviews on the Dale and Holley show, what was coach Belichick like
It’s not like I’m objective on this question because I make no effort to hide my appreciation for the man who saved my football team. But honestly, Belichick was great off the air. Even when he was being super guarded during the interview, he wasn’t above admitting off air that he didn’t give us much to work with. But more often than not, he’d get chatting about something, stay right through the break and we’d have to shoo him out of the room. Either way, I always took it as he was doing and saying what he needed to to keep his team focused. Which was fine by me.
Thank you to Jerry for agreeing to come onto the five questions series, stay tuned for future editions of the series.