Michael Kay spent about 4.5 minutes on 1050 ESPN radio this afternoon expressing his displeasure with my New York Post counterpart, Phil Mushnick.
Here's my transcript of the rant, which doesn't do justice to Kay's tone, which was venomous, to put it mildlly:
“This is a quote from Phil Mushnick’s column in the Post today: ‘Now a scold: When Kay lifts a chunk from a newspaper column, repeats it almost word for word on his radio show as if it’s his original thought and he doesn’t credit the author, or at least the publication in which it appeared, that’s dishonest, a form of theft.’
“First things first: Who the hell are you to scold me? My mother and father scolded me and they’re dead. You’re not, OK? Don’t ever scold me. You don’t have that right to be scolding me, nor do you have that gravitas. You’re nothing, OK? And what you wrote is untrue. Because of all the people that you talk to, even people at this station, I’m obsessed with giving credit. Some of my best friends in the world are newspaper writers and I always give credit.
“If I inadvertently or unknowingly gave the same kind of thought that was in a newspaper column without crediting it, well then I apologize for that. But I want you to tell me what I did and when I did it. Because the way you write it it’s like it’s a constant thing, and that’s fraudulent on your part. Fraudulent. That is not true. And I’ve got stuff on you. You want to question ethics? I’ll bring it out, too. I’ve got plenty of things that would question your ethics and your morals and the way you do your job. And I’m going to leave it open-ended, too. How does that feel?
“You guys have thin skins. If you think about, what are critics? Critics are parasites that live off the work of others and critique it. Do something on your own. I’d never steal a line from your column, Phil, because I know every single day exactly what you’re going to write.
“Let’s see: You’ll rip Mike Francesa, who’s one of the most successful people in this business. You’re going to rip John Sterling, who’s one of the most popular people that does major league baseball. Oh, yeah, you also don’t like when people say, ‘Let’s break it down.’
“And you don’t like the term ‘walk off.’ And you think that ESPN self-congratulates itself. Oh, yeah, and black uniforms. You’re a six-trick pony, baby. You write the same thing. You don’t get off your couch in your living room and you have the nerve to question my ethics and my honesty? How dare you? You have no right and you have no credibility to do it.
“Get off your couch and cover an event! Do something that comes from your mind rather than critique other people. And look at the people that you do like. Most of the people that you think are good, you couldn’t pick them out of a lineup if you’re an average fan. Gee, I guess if you look at the people that you don’t like, they happen to be successful and popular.
“I wish I could overtake Mike Francesa. I try to do that every single day. And you have the nerve every day to hammer that guy and John Sterling? For the last 20 years you’ve written the same column. Now you’ve gone too far when you question the fact that I steal people’s ideas, when I don’t have enough of a frame of mind to come up with my own stuff, I have to steal people’s ideas without giving them credit? I don’t do it. I’ve never done it. And you write an open-ended thing like that without giving a specific case? How dare you?
“Don’t scold me. I’m not your son. How dare you scold me? You ever scolded me to my face I’d punch you in the face. Scold me in print? No. That’s not the way it works. I’m not going to let you get away with it. I know what I just did because I know how thin-skinned people like you are. Now you’re going to come back every single column and you’re going to rip me for something I say. Good. I like where I am.
“Because one day when I die more people are going to be sad than happy. And when you die it’s going to be the complete opposite. Because people hate your guts in the business. Nobody respects you and then you have the nerve to take me on? Well, it’s not going to happen. The next time you rip me, I’ll rip you again, and I’ll say all the things I know about you. I’ll rip you again! So don’t you ever come after me, with my ethics and my morals and my honesty, because I am beyond reproach with that.
“I’m obsessive with giving credit if I see something on the Internet, if I read something in the newspaper and you say I’m picking up people’s ideas? That’s a load of crap. You’re full of it. You’ve run out of things to write. Now I’m in your bull’s eye? Go for it. Bring it on. I’m ready for you. I have no respect for you. I have no respect for what you write after what you wrote today.
“I used to think that you were a straight shooter and that you really believed what you wrote. But you just write an open-ended thing like that like I stole somebody’s idea and didn’t give credit, like I don’t have ideas of my own? Please, stop yourself. You make me sick.
“It’s 3:57. Let’s go back to the phones.’’