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Media Meltdowns

Michael Kay Apologizes For Ripping Brian Daboll Over Child’s Birthday Celebration

10:54 AM EDT on September 14, 2023

Brian Daboll stands on the sideline during New York's blowout loss.
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Michael Kay, veteran sports radio guy for YES Network and ESPN Radio, apologized Tuesday to Brian Daboll, head coach of the New York Giants, for the substance of a scoop Kay reported in the aftermath of New York's surreal, nightmarish 40–0 opening day home loss to the Dallas Cowboys. "I need to make a heartfelt apology to Brian Daboll," Kay said Tuesday on The Michael Kay Show, run by ESPN New York. "I should have done more work. I’m a complete ass for doing this, and I feel sorry for any pain I might have caused that family by insinuating anything."

A fuming Kay reported Monday (skip to about the final four minutes of this podcast) that Daboll threw "a huge party" at his home Saturday night, approximately 24 hours before his team's primetime season opener. To Kay, that Daboll was entertaining guests and boogying down Saturday night was "proof positive" that Daboll is generally clueless about the true quality of his team, and therefore is clueless about what a real competitive NFL team is supposed to look like. A head coach who suspects his team might be bad enough to lose 40–0 on their home field to a divisional foe, said Kay, would not think that he had time or bandwidth for partying so close to kickoff. Every minute—every second—would be devoted to preparation. "That scares me, guys," explained Kay. "That tells me that they don’t even know their own team. There’s no way the head coach of a team throws a huge party like that the night before the opener if they think that there’s a chance that they’re going to get blown out."

Kay's apology Tuesday came after he learned—evidently from more reliable sources than whatever neighborhood snitch put him onto the "huge party" in the first place—that the event held at Daboll's house Saturday was, in fact, a birthday celebration for Daboll's six-year-old child. "I was told by somebody that Brian Daboll had a big party on Saturday. And I said that that would indicate that they didn't think that they were going to get blown out: If he felt good about the team, that's why he had a party," explained Kay (skip ahead to 17:45). "I found out later that it was a party for his six-year-old, it was a birthday party. I should've dug deeper. I didn't think it was gonna be a big thing, and it became sort of a big thing last night."

"I didn't say it was a big bacchanal," said Kay, toward the end of his apology. "But I did say 'a party.' It leaves it open for any kind of interpretation. Again, it was a party for his six-year-old son, it was a birthday party."

This incident marks at least the one jillionth time that a news scoop from a sports radio host has turned out to be erroneous, if not entirely manufactured. Kay may not have used the words "big bacchanal," but he specifically emphasized the party's hugeness, as though the scale of it corresponded to the depth of Daboll's misapprehension of his own team. Kay's apology clarifies that holding Saturday evening festivities—even large ones!—is not categorically out of bounds, even for a coach of an outfit about to be converted into roadkill, provided they are the right type of festivities. A child's birthday party is fine; a huge rowdy grown-up bash is a disturbing red flag of incompetence.

But that is where Kay is wrong. I would like to know what kind of unserious football man, climbing the ranks of what we are supposed to take seriously as a coaching career, is out here fathering a child with a birthday in mid-September. Did they change the football schedule recently? Does the NFL season not always begin in autumn? I am checking my notes here and I see that the New York Football Giants have started their regular seasons no earlier than Aug. 31 and no later than Sept. 21 going back to at least 1975. Know what else happened in 1975? Brain Daboll was born, in the month of April. Know what else happens in the month of April? Not football! Sounds like the Daboll (rhymes more or less with "apple") has fallen pretty far from the tree when it comes to knowing the right time for one's child to be born.

September, you may have noticed, is also the ninth month of the year. Nine months is also the length of gestation in human reproduction. This means that Brian Daboll, professional football coach, was having sex in the month of January, in the year 2017. Know what else was happening in Jan. 2017? The NFL playoffs. Know what else Daboll was doing in Jan. 2017, other than "the horizontal mambo"? He was an assistant coach for the New England Patriots, who were participating in the playoffs. Does this mean that this man was ignoring his professional responsibilities so that he could have sex with his wife in the middle of the NFL playoffs? Yes. Wow!

Also, it's fine to skip a child's birthday at any point before they are 10 years old. Children have awful memories and are easily manipulated. Simply allow the child's birthday to pass unmentioned, then six months later remind them of how much fun you all had at their big birthday bash. Don't you remember, sweetie? The clown? Wow that clown was awesome. They don't fuckin' know.

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