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Mike Ryan to Dan Le Batard: ‘I Will Quit This Company’ If You Put Up Billboards

The Florida Panthers are in jeopardy of forsaking a 3-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers, dropping the last two games and heading back to Edmonton, Alberta for a pivotal Game 6. The Stanley Cup will be inside Rogers Place as the two teams take the ice on Friday night, but there is a narrative taking place beyond the boards. Greg Cote, columnist at the Miami Herald and contributor to The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, wrote a column ahead of the series calling McDavid an underachiever and has remained firm in his take that he is an overrated hockey player.

Dan Le Batard began his program on Wednesday morning reacting to producer Mike Ryan’s public complaints about the program. Within his complaint, he stated that he works with “the most frustrating and most inconsiderate people imaginable” and that his contract is up in May 2025, which Le Batard added that everyone is up at that time. Someone who works with Le Batard texted him saying that he did not get what was going on if this was a bit and then proceeded to address the origin of Cote’s take on McDavid.

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“[Mike Ryan] is infuriated with your father and everything we’re doing in this series, and he’s furious with me even though I can’t execute the things that I want, and furthermore, when your father did this, I was not here,” Le Batard said, addressing producer Chris Cote. “I was as far away from here as you could be while remaining in the contiguous United States, and I’m getting blamed nationally – not you Mike Ryan, not you; not even Greg Cote. Nationally, I’m the one being blamed for saying, ‘McDavid is overrated’ even though I in no way endorse that take. What I do endorse is Greg Cote making a fool of himself nationally.”

Throughout the show, a montage of tweets and memes directed towards Greg Cote and the program were being displayed on all of the screens in the studio and shipping container. Ryan felt that Le Batard giving Cote’s take any oxygen was something that is ridiculous and called him the villain, claiming that he wants the seventh game of the series to go to overtime. Conversely, Le Batard wants to double down on the bet and put up a billboard of Cote in Edmonton, an action that Ryan said if taken would cause him to quit the company.

Le Batard told a story about how during the pandemic, the program needed to make a decision about its future and that he and co-host Jon “Stugotz” Weiner had a disagreement. Throughout his time, the Clevelander facility in Miami Beach was deteriorating, necessitating that changes be made. The show eventually signed a multiyear content distribution, monetization and sponsorship agreement with DraftKings, and the program is currently available to watch on the DraftKings Network FAST channel, along with several other distribution platforms.

“I wanted to go with DraftKings and [Stugotz] wanted to go with SiriusXM,” Le Batard said. “SiriusXM had a bunch of structure and marketing – they put our names on billboards and stuff – and they’ve done content before. DraftKings [had not], and we were stuck. Stugotz and I didn’t agree, and Mike Ryan’s in there and he’s the one with a baby. He’s the one who’s got to worry about what the future is, and Mike Ryan bet on DraftKings because Mike Ryan bet on us.”

Le Batard was incredulous that after making the bet on DraftKings, Ryan would be afraid of doubling down on putting up a billboard in Edmonton. Ryan went on to express that the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in sports and that the program is leaning into the nonsense despite his objections.

“I just need to win on Friday,” Ryan said. “I need this cup like I need oxygen, and I don’t like the silly games this show is playing around it because you’re messing with something that I care about deeply.”

While he was at Game 5 earlier in the week, Ryan shared that many Panthers fans were cursing out Le Batard and were mad at him for being lighthearted towards the Stanley Cup Final. The Panthers organization is trying to win its first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history,  and Ryan wishes that the program would be able to discuss more about the game than the hijinks surrounding the series.

“It’s about celebrating your own ignorance and bringing shame to this market,” Ryan said to Le Batard. “You’re the biggest show in the market and you want to make this whole thing a circus when I want to talk about, ‘Do we bring in Nick Cousins to the fourth line or not?’”

Even though Le Batard was not in Miami when the situation unfolded, he was delighted to see it because of how ridiculous the take was. Ryan felt disappointed that he was perceiving an opposite sentiment to that of when the Miami Heat were in the NBA Finals and Le Batard was defending the city, calling what has happened and the scrutiny towards which he has been subjected an embarrassment.

Ryan wanted to know when Le Batard would be satisfied, to which he replied by asking if a degenerate gambler stops when they are winning. Answering the statement, he said that he hedges and asked Le Batard where his was, leading him to reply by exclaiming that he is preventing him from doubling down on the stupidity of the situation. Le Batard also wants to have a live watch party and stated that he would pay everyone extra from now until the end of the game Friday to go nonstop.

“Dan, don’t be hurt by this, but I want to be around people that care and don’t want to make a joke out of this,” Ryan said. “I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be here as my team has a chance to win the Stanley Cup – I want to be with the people that have been in the trenches with me.”

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