On Tuesday, Michael Kay added another new job to his many list of jobs. Not only is he the voice of the New York Yankees on YES and a host of The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN Radio in New York City, he is now an author. His book, CenterStage: My Most Fascinating Interviews – From A-Rod to Jay-Z was this week released recapping all the memorable interviews he’s done on YES Network’s CenterStage since it first aired in 2002.
Kay was recently a guest on the Sports Media with Richard Deitsch podcast to talk about the book among other topics. Being a host in a large sports market comes with a fair share of criticism and for Kay, it is not easy for him to handle it and at times, he wants to fight back, but knows he can’t.
“I am so incredibly thin-skinned. There are parts of me that when someone say something nasty about me in the newspaper that I think is unfair, my first inclination is to strike back at them. But, my bosses at both places go ‘that doesn’t help you. It’s not productive.’ I think it is.
“People that criticize people do not like to be criticized. My skin is so thin, it is translucent. If I mess up a call and you say wow, Michael messed up a call. Bring it, I deserve it. When you say stuff just the way I do stuff or something that rubs you the wrong way, it bothers me. I don’t understand the meanness of it.”
Kay went into detail with Deitsch about going off on the radio show five years ago about New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick for a criticism Mushnick had about him.
“I went off on the radio like a lunatic. About 21 minutes of lunacy by me. I go to a break and my phone rings and it’s [Mike] Lupica. He goes, you’re happy? I go, yeah. He goes, ok, he’s not going to let you up for 5 years. He goes, what you just did made you feel good for 20 minutes and now you are in his crosshairs for 5 years, so be ready.”
Whenever Kay does play-by-play for a Yankees game or hosts the radio show, the key for him is honesty with the viewer or listener. He doesn’t think there is anybody more critical of the team they broadcast than he is and he credits the Yankees for allowing him to do that.
“The reason I can do it is that the Yankees never say a word because they realize the value of honesty. If you are going to tell people the food stinks, then they are going to believe you when they tell you the food is great. There are so many people around the country that are blowing smoke constantly and I guess that’s what the fanbase wants. I don’t think that would play in New York. I think honesty plays in New York.”
Kay also addressed his competition in afternoon drive. He said that he thought WFAN’s Carton and Roberts, who have overtaken the Michael Kay Show in the ratings have a bit of an advantage because of the content they can do that he cannot.
“I work for two Tiffany brands. I can’t really go low on ESPN. I can’t go low and be connected to the Yankees. Now, Michael Kay the person, if I wasn’t connected, I can go as low as anybody, believe me. But I’ve kind of got handcuffs on, and Craig and Evan, they don’t. … The early ratings would indicate (beating Carton and Roberts is) going to be very difficult to do. That’s a destination station, FAN. People think of sports talk, they think of FAN in New York.”
WynnBET, Cumulus Announce Partnership
“WynnBET will hold multiple studio sponsorships for Cumulus’s local clusters. Hosts in those markets will also be providing live endorsements.”
WynnBET is now one of Cumulus’s largest marketing and advertising partners. The two companies announced a deal today that will give the mobile betting app a major presence on Westwood One sports programming and on the Jim Rome Show.
Local stations will see the benefits as well. WynnBET will hold multiple studio sponsorships for Cumulus’s local clusters. Hosts in those markets will also be providing live endorsements. Messaging supporting the app will also be a part of digital products, including podcasts, station streams, and social media.
Cumulus Media’s unique advanced targeting technology allows WynnBET to customize multiple brand messages and deliver tailored content to different markets and demographics across hundreds of radio stations.
“With Wynn’s focus on exceptional quality and high-touch customer experiences, we believe WynnBET will be a leader among the sports betting apps, and we are excited to deploy our unique assets to grow its business,” Cumulus Media CEO Mary G. Berner said in a press release. “The sports betting market is now the fastest growing advertising category, and this innovative partnership solidifies Cumulus’s position in this exciting arena.”
The deal will also see Cumulus create original, WynnBET branded content.
Pat McAfee: ‘People Attacking Simone Biles Are Insane’
Pat McAfee was effusive in his praise for Olympic gymnast Simone Biles who recently withdrew from an event.
Olympic phenom Simone Biles was the talk of the Olympics for the American side coming into this year’s games. She has also become the largest story so far after bowing out of the team competition, citing her mental health. This has drummed up significant conversation on social media and sports radio. Most of the feedback has been supportive of Biles, but plenty of detractors questioned the 4-time gold medalist’s and 19-time world champion’s mental toughness. Pat McAfee took to his SiriusXM show to loudly object to those talking points.
“People attacking her for that is insane to me,” McAfee said. “She was going through something and said I’m not going to be the reason that these Olympic dreams are f***** completely.”
McAfee knows first-hand what it is like to compete at the highest level, having punted for the Indianapolis Colts before getting into a meteoric podcasting career. The Pittsburgh-native has been quite vocal on Twitter in support of Biles, with numerous clips from the show also echoing that sentiment.
“We need her to remember that she is Simone f****** Biles,” he said. “She’s conquered more than anybody else in this sport. She’s been through adversity in the past and stood on the other side victorious, and she’ll do it again.”
Bucks Fans Can Dunk Amin Elhassan For Wrong Prediction
Meadowlark’s Amin Elhassan will make an appearance at a dunk tank in Milwaukee as part of a loud-wrong tour for takes on the 2021 NBA Finals.
Dan Le Batard often pokes fun at himself or others at Meadowlark for when they are “loud wrong.” The phrase is similar to the content found on the Cold Takes Exposed Twitter account where old prognostications are revisited after the result is known, proving the prior prediction to be very, well, loudly wrong.
Such is the case for Meadowlark’s Amin Elhassan who severely downplayed the Milwaukee Bucks’ chances in the NBA Finals. After the Bucks won in six games, Elhassan is paying his retribution to the city of Milwaukee with a stint inside of a dunk tank.
The appearance has been championed on Twitter and Instagram on the Le Batard accounts, full of embarrassing moments from Elhassan in the past caught on television and streaming cameras. An extra joke is built in for regular Le Batard listeners, as the host site of the dunk tank is none other than McGillycuddy’s. The overtly Irish walking-stereotype is a long-running joke by regular guest Greg Cote in which he refers to his physician as Dr. McGillycuddy.
The show has received a lot of play from Amin Elhassan, a noted NBA expert who previously worked for ESPN and also in the Phoenix Suns front office. Earlier this week, Le Batard and Stugotz played the clip for Bucks forward Bobby Portis, whose reaction was one of shock and disgust.
Bucks fans will get the chance to dunk Amin into the tank, or dunk on him with their words, from 11-6 on Wednesday.
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