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Pistons/Magic tensions spill into the media room

From Chris McCosky's blog Friday afternoon:

So I go on this talk radio show down here Thursday afternoon. I thought they wanted a Chauncey Billups update. But no, this guy -- I don't remember his name -- says, "Now that the Magic have control of the series..." And I stopped him. Control of the series? How does being down 2-1 with two games still to be played in Detroit give the Magic control of the series. [...] It was his show, so I tried to be diplomatic. I said from the Magic point of view, sure, they probably feel like the tide had turned. But I said the Pistons didn't feel that way at all. Well, the jackass just couldn't accept that. He must asked me three more times, in three different ways, if the Pistons feared the Magic now. I was like, Dude, they have a healthy respect for the Magic, they always have. But they don't fear them. My God, get a grip.

I was thinking about this -- early in the series, the Magic players made a big deal about not being intimidated by the Pistons, not backing down and all that. But where did that come from? The Pistons never talked like they were out to punk the Magic. They never talked like they didn't respect them. The Pistons were actually surprised that the Magic had that mind-set. So where did it come from? It came from the Magic's own inferiority complex. They are the ones who felt punked. Their media buys into it and perpetuates it. Even this half-baked talk show guy was all, "I'm going to stand up to this Detroit writer. I am going to show how tough I am." Whatever.

Here's how tough this guy was. He apparently kept ripping on me AFTER I was off the air. Real braveheart, this guy. He had no retort when I was talking to him, but boy, he tore me up when he knew I couldn't answer back. Piece of work. But that's how they roll down here.

From Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel following Saturday's game:

Many of us in the press room before the game could see this coming.

That's when a hulking Pistons beat writer for the Detroit News nearly beat up undersized Orlando sports radio host Jerry O'Neill before the game. Even the Magic media came up small.

And that's how we roll in Detroit. I've never seen this O'Neill fellow, but my money is on McCosky.

(And by the way, even the locals down in Florida are embarrassed by Orlando's media. The Magic look like they'll be good for quite some time -- hopefully in a few years the media down there will catch up and learn how to act like a big league sports market.)

Update: McCosky explains what happened in his blog today:

Anyway, I walk up to him and I said, "You always rip on your guests once they are off the air and can't respond?" He said something about how it was his show and for me not to tell him how to run his show. I questioned his courage and some other things and we went back and forth. I was holding my laptop, so it wasn't like I was about to strike him. But I was up in his face, and I suppose I might have cursed a bit. Again, sort of what I do. I remember him saying that I talked down to him, and I said something like, I only talk down to stupid people. I suppose that wasn't very nice.

It was getting pretty heated when Sherrod Blakely from Booth Newspapers stepped between us and guided me away. I am embarrassed how many times Sherrod has had to pull me away -- usually its from a visiting camera guy or an overzealous security guard. God bless you, Sherrod.

His whole post is worth a read -- if I blockquoted the interesting parts, I'd be re-printing the whole thing. You know, for a guy who says he's not a fan of blogs, he does a pretty good job writing one. There's obviously no place for this type of stuff in the actually paper but it's certainly entertaining.