Unlike on most mornings, I didn't turn on my radio today. My daughter, who's five, had her first soccer practice of the summer. There were shin pads to be found, hair to be tied into pony tails and breakfast to be hurriedly consumed so that we could dash out the door in time for her to arrive at the park with her fellow distracted post-toddlers to learn how to kick a tiny soccer ball with the inside of her foot.
I certainly didn't think I would miss much. We are, after all, well into the dog days of summer. The radio dudes have to work pretty hard to find subjects to tackle. The Nuggets and the Avalanche are a distant memory, the Rockies completely blow chunks and Broncos season is still three months away. I fugured that all I could possibly be missing out on is more Lebron talk.
Boy was I wrong.
As it turns out, a rather epic clash was occurring between the morning factions on two Denver Sports Radio stations: Mile High Sports Radio and the Fan.
Since I wasn't listening I haven't been able to determine how much, if any, of the battle unfolded on the radio air-waves. All I can do is try and reconstruct what happened by looking at Twitter. And that's precisely what I did. I had little choice. A story like this one only comes around so often, after all. It's a tale practically scripted for the South Stands.
The whole mess surrounds Mark Kiszla's piece in the Denver Post this morning.
Kiszla, who, in addition to writing for the Post for a few decades, co-hosts the Mile HIgh Club on Mile High Sports with Peter Burns and Eric Goodman, put forth the proposition that Todd Helton should be traded to a contender. He interviewed Helton for the piece and Helton emphasised that he had no interest in relocating. He loves living in Colorado and he hopes to someday work for the Rockies in some capacity off the field.
Kiszla's "take" was pretty typical. He has made a career of suggesting that players get traded. Most recently he suggested that the Nuggets move Lawson, Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari for Lebron James. Kiszla throws stuff out there and waits to see if it sticks to the wall. That's his job. He says ridiculous shit because, if he doesn't ,nobody will read him in the paper.
The question that came up this morning was whether or not somebody else said ridiculous shit first.
Mike Evans and Joel Klatt who pilot the morning show on 104.3 the Fan believe that Kisza stole their take on Helton and they straight-out accused him of it this morning, prompting a backlash so beautiful that snarky Sports Bloggers are reeling.
Now, Evans and Klatt must have said something on the air, becuase the opening salvo in the Twitter battle appears to have been fired by Peter Burns who at precisely 7am offered:
My guess is that Peter was listening to Evans and Klatt (who take to the air at 6 am) before he went on at 7 am.
Joel Klatt fired back at 7:05 am:
Do I have permission to say the word Friday today? RT
Klatt granted Burns permission to use the word "Friday" at 7:17 am .
At 7:35 am Mike Evans explained to a follower:
@markkiszla can't let that kind of stealing go on. flat out unprofessional. Have to call it out and move on"
Clearly, he was accusing Kiszla of plagerism. Not a charge taken lightly by newspaper guys.
Evans wanted Kiszla to confess:
"@PeterBurnsRadio just have Kiz admit he got caught and we'll let it go. One unfortunate incident doesn't ruin a stellar career." @PeterBurnsRadio tape don't lie. Direct quote from Kiz column was said by us in our first hour. Admit it, you got caught.
Somewhat stunned, Burns needed some clarification:
@EvansAndKlatt So we are clear. You are accusing Kiszla of plagiarism?
Mike Evans clarified himself:
@PeterBurnsRadio Lets just say it. Peter heard us talking about it and used it as his own and Kiz ran with it and it blew up in your faces
The way I interpret all of this is that Evans and Klatt had a discussion on their show yesterday morning that Helton should be traded to a contender the way that Ray Borque was when he came to the Avalanche. They believe that Peter Burns listened to their show, introduced the same topic on his show with Mark Kiszla and that Kiszla then ran with it as the subject of his newspaper column in the Post. It seems as though Evans and Klatt have enough deference for Kiszla to blame Burns, a relative newcomer to the Denver area, for lifting their mojo. Evans chided Burns:
@PeterBurnsRadio I'm sure by this point Kiz has realized, "damn, Peter just screwed me!" @PeterBurnsRadio Lets just say it. Peter heard us talking about it and used it as his own and Kiz ran with it and it blew up in your faces
As absolutely delicious all of this is to someone in my position, it's ridiculous - as Burns pointed out to Klatt and Evans via Twitter:
@EvansAndKlatt Again. You are losing face here. Love you guys, but pick better battles. @EvansAndKlatt Again. Who's manning this account today. Just wondering? @EvansAndKlatt Laughable & again showing your ignorance. You should shut down today, the hole you are digging is sad. I expected more of you @EvansAndKlatt Not once did we talk about Bourque, and Kiszla doesn't listen to you. So your sad theory is blown apart. Do better please
Again. We had a blast with
@EvansAndKlatt today. I have no problem bringing it up if they accuse my cohost of plagiarism
The idea of trading Helton, who has played for the Rockies since he was drafted in 1997, to a team that has a snowball's chance in hell of making it to the post-series (unlike the Rockies) has been in the Sports ether in Denver for a couple of years now. It is in no way the intellectual property of any individual commentator in the market - not a radio personality, not a newspaper guy, not a television host. Christ, the subject has been part of the Rockies conversation amongst fans who have no "cred" with the media whatsoever - the very same fans that the media thinks are idiots because they still attend games.
For Klatt and Evans to suggest that the Mile High Club and the Denver Post knowingly and intentionally plagiarized their points is ludicrous. In a time on the sports calendar with so few available discussion topics there is bound to be duplication between shows.There's not much about the Rockies worth talking about besides Todd Helton.
Where were these accusations of plagiarism during Tebowmania? Does anyone think that Klatt was parroting Les Shapiro's routine when he blathered on and on about Tebow's lack of quarterbacking ability? He sounded just like the crusty old bastard.
Some subjects will naturally cross people's minds simultaniously. It happens.
From my perspective the egg is on the faces of the guys at the Fan, Evans and Klatt, for callling out the Mile High Club. It was completely unprofessional. And, to accuse Kiszla of plagerism is a dangerous thing to do. That's like pulling a gun and not being willing to use it. The "P word" doesn't play.
This final Tweet from Evans and Klatt toward pretty well sums up the douchey way we percieve them as having behaved through the whole mess:
@PeterBurnsRadio and, hey, I don't blame you. Guys at Triple A are always watching what the guys in the bigs are doing.