Michael Kay Shoots Peas at The Pope of NY Sports Radio
Michael Kay opens his first show on YES network with a salvo at the the departed Mike Francesa. Kay decided the high road was too tough when he took the simulcast reins at YES network and threw a Diet Coke bottle in the trash to symbolize his status as the new king of New York sports radio. (Mike Francesa is famous for guzzling Diet Coke on his broadcasts.) The jab didn’t go unnoticed as many fans were astonished at how petty Kay was in his first show in Francesa’s old time slot.
Let’s get this straight. I am not a fan of either talking head. If I’m being completely honest I’m not a big fan of the entire industry. Even though I am not a fan, I still respect what they have accomplished in their careers, especially Mike Francesa. Mike Francesa is idolized by sports fans all over the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey, and Connceticut) His throne looked to be in peril when his side kick, Chris “the Mad Dog” Russo left the show to start his own show on satellite radio, but Francesa managed to stay on top of the ratings.
Michael Kay has worked his way up from being a simple Yankee fan-boy sitting in the nose bleed seats at the old stadium to the cornerstone talent of the YES network. His radio show for ESPN New York is their highest rated program and his ratings have been growing overall. He has been nominated for over 20 Emmy’s and won 7 so obviously someone likes him. I’m just not one of those people that like him.
If you live in the New York area you hear lots of stories about these two. From the “He was dueche at a wedding for not taking pictures with people.” To “He asked a professional athlete why he was making small talk with a janitor.” I’ll let you figure out who is who, but either way you see what kind of people I am talking about. The wedding story was never a big deal to me because maybe he didn’t want to take attention away from the bride and groom, or maybe he had a long day. Who knows, but usually I will give the benefit of the doubt on stuff like that. The other one was more troubling. Asking someone why they talk to a stadium attendant says a lot about the individual. If you can’t do anything for them or aren’t on their economic level then you are excrement.
There are a lot of things I don’t like about what they do at their day jobs as well. I absolutely hate when Kay is teamed with Paul O’Neil in the booth and the two of them do shtick the entire broadcast. I can’t stand his wooden interviews on Center Stage for Yes Network. Francesa acts like hockey doesn’t exist unless a team is going for the Stanley Cup and then he only does the bare minimum for the hockey fans in the area. Francesa is also brutal when it comes to being biased in favor of the Yankees when compared to the Mets. My feelings aside, they both must be doing something very right because they have a lot of fans.
They may be worshiped by the blue collar crowd that props up their ratings, but these two are the furthest thing from blue collar. Francesa is most comfortable talking about the sport of kings or belittling callers for their ignorance. Michael Kay registered at CitiBank for his wedding and asked for cash in lieu of gifts. While many blue collar guys have just as much love for horse racing and soliciting money as these two, they just do it in very different ways.
While Francesa is visiting the stables and watching the horses he owns from the private boxes at Saratoga, Johnny Blue Collar is running to the OTB in between double shifts to try and hit the long shot in the 8th at the Meadowlands.
While Michael Kay is asking his rich friends to help pay for his wedding because he either owns too much or doesn’t trust their taste in gifts, ( Insert Derek Jeter gift package joke here.) Johnny Blue Collar is running a yard sale where he selling some treasured wedding gifts to pay for his children’s orthodontia.
They are both elitist and at times petty, but in this latest battle Michael Kay made himself look silly. Francesa is still the king. His radio show is number one in the ratings and it’s not even close. Kay recently said he was fine with being number two behind Francesa as long as he knew he was doing a better job, but he was quickly corrected by a caller who pointed out that Kay’s program is actually number seven in the ratings and not even in shouting distance.