'It blew up': Coach's staggering $20k bar tab after epic beer pledge
An American football coach is being hailed a hero after following through with an extraordinary pledge to shout fans beer if they turned up to his side's first game.
Portland State coach Bruce Barnum picked up a win during the team's home opener against Western Oregon over the weekend but it came at an eye-watering cost.
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Barnum may have been half-joking when he announced on radio before the game that he'd buy fans (of legal drinking age) all the beer they could drink if they turned out for the team's season-opening match.
Credit to the man though, he followed through with his extraordinary promise after picking up a bar tab of more than $US14,000 ($A20,0000), following the team's 21-17 win.
Barnum admitted afterwards that his bold declaration "blew up a little bit" after sharing a receipt of the eye-watering bill from local establishment, Barny’s Beer Garden.
— Bruce Barnum (@CoachBarnum69) September 21, 2021
Fans had to say they heard Barnum appear on the program and he would cover the cost of their beer.
Turns out, Portland State fans and students can drink, with more than 2000 beers poured a staggering US$14,448 tab for Barnum to pick up.
“It blew up a little bit,” Barnum told KGW TV this week.
“I was thinking, ‘Pandemic, college football hasn’t been around, let’s kind of get a little crew and have beers on top of the roof like Shawshank Redemption’. But this blew up a little too much. But I don’t back down.”
Coach hailed after stunning act of generosity
Portland State HC Bruce Barnum bought $14K of beer for Vikings fans last Saturday 🍻
(via @CoachBarnum69) pic.twitter.com/WJvqXq0S1T
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 22, 2021
We applauded Portland State coach Bruce Barnum on the podcast for agreeing to buy beer for any fan at Saturday’s game. He’s got the receipt to prove it. https://t.co/tW5rW2SY5n
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 22, 2021
Portland State HC Bruce Barnum personally purchased $14K of free beer for fans at their game against Western Oregon this Saturday, and is probably better than your coach. https://t.co/mWpupCNbx8
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 22, 2021
No need for debate, here's the Coach of the Year 🏆
Portland State head coach Bruce Barnum dropped $14K on beer for his team's fans pic.twitter.com/1hat7NPI6X
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) September 22, 2021
Last week I interview Portland State HC Bruce Barnum. He was terrific...and so was his idea to buy beer for anybody that bought a ticket to see his Vikings play. Here’s the price of Victory! https://t.co/uUArNLpEOF
— Mark Packer (@MarkPacker) September 22, 2021
Portland State head coach Bruce Barnum keeps his word that he'd buy every beer for fans who attended Saturday's game: https://t.co/UCK6opoCHx pic.twitter.com/z3b6hERvTD
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) September 22, 2021
Pretty fun stuff here! @psuviks football coach Bruce Barnum offered to buy anyone who came to his team’s home opener as much beer as they could drink (If legal age). Here’s the bill. I may start covering this team ? https://t.co/74oFVDxI4P
— Chris Egan King-5 TV (@ChrisEgan5) September 22, 2021
Barnum posted that image with no caption. If he has any regrets, he's not sharing them yet.
The Portland State coach hasn't stated this gesture was a one-time thing, but it's hard to see it continuing.
College football coaches are compensated well, though a coach in the Big Sky Conference won't earn anywhere near as much as the coaches from the top FCS schools.
It's probably not a good idea for Barnum to drop close to $15,000 a week on beer.
Given how much attention Barnum got from the stunt, maybe he'll turn it into a regular thing for the team's home opener every season.
Or perhaps he'll find some type of sponsorship that will cover some of those costs.
Either way it was an epic - if rather unsustainable gesture - that has earned the coach 'legendary' status among fans.
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