I don’t like taking credit for crawling inside someone’s head, laying an egg and then waiting for it to hatch, but I’ll let you do it for me:

So what happened here? The full story is on the podcast today, but here are the basics: At around 2:30 on Friday, a caller brought me up to Mike Missanelli and said I run a “Blogspot” and that Mike should call me out. Mike said he wasn’t going to take the bait, as he took the bait. He proceeded to call me a weasel for not coming on to do his show (I never declined), created a straw man argument about me claiming sports talk radio was easy (which I never did), and dismissed blogs as being unworthy of sports talk radio, which is “legitimate,” according to Mike.

I didn’t hear it, but was informed by you, the reader, on Twitter and followed it up with these two Tweets:

About 20 minutes later, Mike’s boss, Matt Nahigian called me out of the blue, riled up, and asked if they could use our podcast audio to critique us on the air, just like we do to them. I said “go ahead.” He then proceeded to berate me about our podcast, and podcasts in general, not being good, and explained that if people want quality, they’ll listen to Mike. Noted. This during a week when a podcast, one hosted by his rival contemporary, filled Xfinity Live!

We broke off into a conversation about sports talk radio in general and why I (and many others) think it’s repetitive. We talked about ratings meters, the Eagles, why they drive conversation, and so on. He complained that there’s not much to talk about right now (agreed!), but I pointed out that Mike Missanelli gave literally 38 seconds to the Flyers landing the number two pick in the draft, which was both legitimately interesting and a big deal, and something a good sports talk radio host would’ve been able to explain to his audience if he had a clue what the fuck it meant.

Our convo went back and forth along these lines. We had it on the same day Mike said on-the-air that he hates Flyers fans.

So fast forward to today. We discussed it on our highly ranked podcast – which reached number 11 in sports in iTunes! [update: we’re in the top 10] – while 97.5 spent the day doing some self-reflection and Mike opened his show by apologizing to Flyers fans. Maestro reigns.

Here’s the thing with Mike: Out of all the local sports talk radio hosts, I’ve perhaps been most complimentary of him. He’s good at what he does. Most of my ripping relates to the medium in general and has a lot to do with its format and business incentives, which are not any one host’s fault, even if it is their problem. The medium is based on appealing to the lowest common denominator and getting listeners to stick around for 15 minute bursts. That leads to stale content.* Again, not Mike’s fault. But he’s such a small, transparent man that he can’t take even generic criticism without turning into a big baby. I find it hilarious that he can go on the air with a straight face and say that someone doesn’t matter and then talk about them every week. The same guy who he emailed multiple times trying to spin a story in his favor, or to rip a recently fired peer, whom he had clearly already defeated. But he can’t let anything go. Forget about the high road– he can’t even acknowledge other cars exist. To do so would show vulnerability. So, low road it is. That’s what he does when he’s backed into a corner, it’s what’s made him successful on the radio– he won’t concede a point, so he’ll resort to insults and his ability to yell louder than you through a bigger megaphone (is it bigger if someone has more unique visitors than he does listeners?). He does all this without even a hint of irony or awareness of how much of an idiot he sounds like and then can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t leap at the chance to come into his studio so he can jump all over the tiniest mistake and beat it into the ground so he can feel better about himself for a few minutes, which I suppose would be a fair reward for him since a blogger and podcast brain-fucked him and his station. God, that’s gotta hurt.

Oh, and hey, you’re welcome for that little bit of hockey talk you got today.

*Also uninformed content. This morning Brian Baldinger wondered aloud why baseball contracts are getting so big. How someone on a sports talk radio show in a major market doesn’t know that it’s because of an influx of TV money is beyond me.