Let’s put aside for a moment whether Dino Costa (above) being shuffled from weeknights on Sirius/XM’s Mad Dog Radio (where they’ve replaced him with….nothing*) to weekday early mornings on Sirius’ virtually unknown SportsZone channel constitutes a massive demotion or, as the host would contend, a massive opportunity. Certainly he’s never lacked for phony bravado confidence, though it’s hard to imagine Costa’s small cult of truck drivers & would-be Timothy McVeighs  quickly adapting to an barely-branded channel that seems to be rerunning old NHL programming the rest of the day. Either way, this changing of the guard at the satellite outlet might be the closest thing to a vote of confidence Steve Phillips has received in years.

For Costa’s dawn debut — on the redubbed, “Dino In The AM” show (perhaps in homage to that other megalomaniacal champion of the faux cowboy lifestyle, Don Imus), the matter of Keith Olbermann’s recent evisceration of CBS Sports.com scribe Pete Prisco took up much of the first hour.  Non Metallic K.O., in Costa’s view, had fallen prey to “political correctness” in buying into the sob stories of allegedly brain damaged ex-football players.  “Who put a fucking shotgun to Jamal Lewis’ head and forced him to play football?” howled Costa.   The thousands of former players who recently settled a class action suit with the NFL to the tune of $765 million, were described as “dogs”, and chastised for “biting the hand that fed them”.

In what might cause scholars to reassess the phrase, “adding insult to injury”, Costa promised that none of the players involved would ever appear on his program.  If zero short term memory weren’t harsh enough for Jim McMahon, he’ll now have to live out his twilight years with the knowledge that Dino Costa, “has lost all respect” for the onetime Punky QB.  I mean, if that wasn’t practically inviting someone to commit suicide!

Dino’s long been on record in blaming Roger Goodell for the emasculation of the NFL , though the complete lack of empathy for the likes of Dave Duerson and Junior Seau on Costa’s part is rather telling.  The NFL workforce aren’t actually human beings with families like you and I. They’re M-E-A-T. Cannon fodder.  Highly paid entertainers who have ceased to serve any useful purpose in Dino’s consciousness once they’re unable to physically perform.

That some of those involved in the settlement are hardly household names cannot be argued.  But if some of the players receiving their share of the $765 million played few or zero downs of competitive NFL football, exactly how many have Jerry Jones or Robert Kraft or Daniel Snyder played?  That these owners are somehow deserving of Costa’s support — after having greatly enriched themselves while their workers endure the physical risks — is hard to figure out, particularly when the players are routinely portrayed by Costa as pathetic ingrates.  Consider that Dino has used the auspices of Sirius/XM to complain endlessly about his own working conditions, to berate colleagues and ownership alike…yet the sad motherfuckers who’ve provided him with so many thousands of hours of televised entertainment (if not material for his radio shows) aren’t supposed to address whether or not their line of work has left some of them demented. Crippled. Or dead at far too early an age.

Last year, Costa famously insisted he’d never viewed male-on-male pornography before and wouldn’t have the first idea of where to find it.  Once again, I’m gonna have to call bullshit on that one.  Dino’s been watching guys fuck other guys for years.  Usually on Sunday afternoons. And it seems he’d prefer the performers just fade away quietly rather than complicate his precious entertainment with tales of the real life toll they paid.

*ADDENDUM : To be clear, Mad Dog Radio is broadcasting live MLB and NFL contests during Costa’s former time slot, programming that’s already available on other Sirius/XM channels. Curiously, they’ve added Dan Patrick’s syndicated show — also previously available on another satellite channel — and a half hour wrap up show following Chris Russo’s weekday afternoon slot. This essentially leaves MDR with no more than 3 shows featuring exclusive sports content per day (Evan Cohen and Steve Phillips, Adam Schein, Chris Russo). Either we’re to presume there are no qualified sports talk hosts capable of filling the hours previously occupied by Costa and Bill Lekas, or station management has simply given up. I’m presuming the latter.