As we continue to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the DetroitSportsRag this week, I figured I would share with you one of my favorite stories that I’ve never fully told.
(By the way, the official birthdate of the site is March 18, 2003. The day before the second Iraq war commenced to eradicate Saddam Hussein of non-existent weapons of mass destruction.)
Back when the DSR started I had no way of advertising the website to the masses. Twitter was still years away from debuting. Facebook wasn’t around and I am not sure if MySpace existed but I didn’t use it anyway.
So I had the brilliant idea of using AOL to spread the word. I had utilized the Member Search feature to meet girls for years (including my eventual wife) and was very adept at targeting people. A simple hunt for the words “Michigan”, “Red Wings”, “Pistons”, “Lions”, “Tigers”, “Wolverines”, etc., provided me with hundreds and hundreds of user names to spam with the hyperlink for the DSR.
One of the unsuspecting recipients of an instant message was the user stoney16. You know him better as Michael Stone. The longtime sports talk radio host on WDFN and WXYT-FM.
I was a fan of the “Stoney and Wojo” show at the time and thought Stone might appreciate this site and its focus on the Detroit sports media. Eventually, I would assist Stoney and Bob Wojnowski during their successful Radiothons to raise money in the fight against leukemia.
I would basically liveblog the marathon broadcast while updating their Tournament of 64 bracket in real time. I would actually do that for all of their tourneys. Remarkably enough, no one at WDFN had thought to do this so I made it a feature of the DSR.
Back in the early- to mid-aughts I would obsessively listen to Detroit sports talk radio in order to provide content for this place. It was a lot of hate-listening for articles and features like the now-defunct “Moronic Media Quote of the Day.” But when Howard Stern left terrestrial radio for Sirius in 2006, I completely stopped listening to Detroit sports talk.
Stern had two satellite channels and I’d obsessively listen to his show, Bubba the Love Sponge and archival episodes of The King of All Media’s greatest hits. I dropped 1130 and 1270 like a bad habit. Cold turkey.
Whenever you read my current commentary regarding 97.1 it’s now based on a tip from a reader. Fortunately, I have cultivated a robust fan base that will alert me to Jamie Samuelsen and Mike Valenti’s idiocy so I don’t have to torture my eardrums.
But I had always remained pretty cordial with Stoney over the years. I never really attacked him on here like I did many of his friends and co-workers. Considering we are both Jews in West Bloomfield, we knew many of the same people. Hell, we even had a common goy friend stemming from Stoney’s wife’s love of horses.
In fact, I took Stoney to Hazel Park a few years back to bet on some horses after he graciously invited me into his home to do a podcast interview with him.
But at some point, Stoney clearly had had enough of my shenanigans. He blocked me on my @JeffMossDSR Twat account years ago. And when I was recently forced to switch to my @DetSportsRag account I made a joke about the West Bloomfield boys’ varsity basketball team losing in the playoffs — leading Stoney to block me again.
This was the highly offensive Tweet that got me How Abouted last week ….
Well, that was brutal. I mean, the only reason I even Tweeted that in the first place is because an assistant coach on WB’s team is Stoney’s next-door neighbor and a mutual acquaintance. And I went to West Bloomfield High School. It was clearly a goof.
Anyway, all of this reminded me of a story from a couple of years ago. When my dad passed away in March of 2016, I received many condolence texts, emails and Direct Messages on Twitter from a variety of Detroit media members.
Some whom I’ve been friendly with for years and others who probably wouldn’t mind if I got hit by a truck. And I wouldn’t share those with you.
But I will make an exception in Stoney’s case since his text was so god damn ridiculous. I received the message from Stoney a few days after my dad died of cancer at the age of 69. It was an awful ordeal that ended in hospice after doctors had given him a death sentence a few weeks earlier. To make matters worse, my dad and I had just reconciled when he was diagnosed after years of estrangement.
Well, I am making it public because:
1] He keeps blocking me on Twitter.
2] Who the fuck offers condolences and includes “please don’t make this text public”?
An off-the-record sympathy message? This sounds like something Larry David had come up with for Season 10 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” but even L.D. realized it was too preposterous a premise.
Who does THAT? Better to not say anything at all than to send a condolence message with a caveat.
It’s insulting. And crass.
And I have to believe the first off-the-record commiserative iMessage in the history of the smartphone.
Either I am such an awful human being that I don’t deserve sympathy, or you don’t give a fuck that I might thank you publicly for your kindness and you tell Scott Anderson to shove it if he brings it up.
But you can’t have both.
Of course, this is the same man who always predicts that close playoff series will go the distance so his trying to have it both ways shouldn’t surprise anyone.
I am dealing with the death of my dad from an extremely painful tumor on his neck which led to months of radiation and chemotherapy and this guy sends me a compassion message that includes a QUALIFIER.
An off-the-record condolence call. I am shocked he didn’t show up for shiva wearing a brown paper bag over his head.
Phony Stoney™ (Donald Trump)!!!!
(You can temporarily follow Moss on Twitter @DetSportsRag until his Twitter suspension ends. You can discuss this article on Facebook by clicking here. You can also go fuck yourself if you’d like. Totally up to you.)