Mike Francesa Made A Legendary Appearance On The Final Episode Of Desus & Mero

Last night was the final episode of Desus & Mero. Before the tears started to flow, the Bodega Boys saved their best guest for last. Barack Obama? No. LeBron James? No. The final guest of the show was the Sports Pope, Mike Zaun, The Diet Coke King himself, Mike Francesa.

The video is 26 minutes and it was not long enough. I could’ve listened to these three talk for hours. Desus and Mero are always referencing Mike so it was finally great to see this trio talk bout 27 RINGS BRO and the New York sports scene. What are the odds that Mike knew who Desus and Mero were before yesterday? 100 to 1? 200 to 1? But now, they’re best friends. The Power of Francesa.

Just like Mike went on a break (not calling it a retirement), Desus and Mero are about to do the same thing before their new show on Showtime premieres in 2019. If you haven’t bought your stock in Desus and Mero, do it now. Buy as much stock in the Bodega Boys as possible. They are going to be a staple in the late night game for years to come. These two are original, innovative, and hilarious. Now, all that needs to happen is for Mike, Desus, and Mero to do a podcast once a week and I can die happy.

More Changes Coming Soon To WFAN

A recent Newsday article by Neil Best profiled Tony Paige and John Jastremski. The two WFAN hosts take listeners through the overnight. Jastremski seems destined for greatness at WFAN. His knowledge and passion have the rising star gaining attention. John already has a loyal following, and his recent appearance with Mike Francesa left callers comparing him to Chris Russo. The segment (and Jastremski’s similarities to Mike’s former partner) had people speculating that perhaps Francesa could team up with Jastremski at some point.

In addition to hosting shows on WFAN, the 30-year-old Jastremski can be heard on CBS Sports Radio. He also makes appearances on SNY. In the article, John mentions how people think it’s easy to get through overnight. It’s not. I know from experience. At least not when John is hosting. Honestly, it depends who is working.

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As for Paige, he mentioned only wanting to stay for another year before leaving to pursue other interests. Tony said that he doesn’t want to die on the air. Paige spoke about never asking to work during the day. I’ll be nice and leave his comment alone without throwing in my own two cents on this subject. Tony will be 65 in September.

Perhaps the WFAN Fantasy Phenom contest will return. At some point, Jastremski will probably land a daytime gig. That would leave both overnight slots open for the station. Joe Benigno figures to be nearing retirement. He speaks about it often. Francesa already left before returning. He might not stick around much longer, but with Mike, you never know.

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Steve Somers has been at the station for over 30 years. Like Paige, Somers also missed some time this year. Steve is in his 70s. The CMB program already lost their drive time slot. That show does not figure to be around longer than their current contract, but one or two hosts could potentially stick around and get repackaged. So, we will likely see a lot of changes in the next couple years. You youngsters who stream radio shows will not understand this term, but don’t touch that dial!

Mike Francesa’s Return to WFAN Makes Life Meaningful Once Again

I have been very depressed lately. Ever since March Madness ended. You just can’t find that thrill anywhere else. At least I can’t. Football comes close, but we are still months away. Plus, I’ve been struggling to come up with good writing topics. I had some lingering March Madness thoughts, but time got away from me. It became too late to go down that road again. Other than previewing and reviewing HBO’s Andre The Giant documentary, I have not had much to say.

Last week I was ready to write about all the postponements in baseball. Evan Roberts discussed this. He hit on all of my points. Writing an article that recapped what he said seemed foolish. People who had heard him would think I just stole his ideas, and even giving him credit would not really accomplish a whole lot. I’d just be typing points that had been said on WFAN earlier that day.

Suddenly, the sky brightened. Mike Francesa will be returning to WFAN. People never thought he would leave. They said they’ll believe that when they see it. I remember thinking that he had a chance to change his mind when Craig Carton was arrested. A friend texted me the same thing. Mike offered to stay around. At least for a little bit. This was our first hint about Mike regretting the decision to leave.

After Mike’s departure, we started to hear that he missed it more than anticipated. Everybody except Francesa knew that he would miss it, and we also knew that his fans would miss him. More importantly, WFAN was missing him from a ratings standpoint. Clearly losing to Michael Kay was unacceptable. The way to fix their ratings was obvious. I kept thinking about when Jay Leno left. Conan replaced him. They tried putting Leno on before Conan and local news. Leno ultimately proved that you could go home again. I figured, “Why not Francesa?” Mike always said that you didn’t want to replace a legend. Only Francesa could replace himself. Kind of like when Mike called in during the summer as Joe and Evan filled in for him. Benigno would say that only Mike could come on his own show as a guest.

Carlin and the gang handled an incredibly tough situation with class. I wonder if they will work from different studios. They are likely going to be signing off when Mike gets ready to come on. Seeing each other would be extra awkward. Anyway, remember the important thing. My life will once again have meaning.

UPDATE: Mike Francesa WILL Return To WFAN In 3PM-7PM Time Slot

NY Daily News – Unless there is a last minute snag in the negotiations, Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa will soon return to WFAN, the Daily News has learned.

Francesa will be back in the 3 p.m.-7 p.m. slot, according to well-embedded Hudson Street (FAN Headquarters) rats. The sources said the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. slot will be divided between Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, currently FAN’s 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. team, and CMB, aka Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott, who replaced Francesa earlier this year.

Holy holy holy holy holy holy holy holy holy shit. Is this the biggest power move of all-time? Just one hour ago, I’m talking about the possibility of Mike returning to WFAN. Now, he is officially coming back. What a world we live in. Thankfully, CMB will get to keep their jobs and will go to the mid-afternoon slot, where they should have been in the first place. It’s hard not to feel bad for them because they were put into an impossible situation.

The lineup will probably be: Boomer and Gio 6-10am, Joe & Evan 10-1pm, CMB 1pm-3pm, Mike 3pm-7pm. That’s actually a pretty solid lineup.

I need more time to digest this news but for now, Zaun is coming home.

The Sports Pope Is Back: Mike Francesa Wants To Return To WFAN

Newsday – Saying “it is time to return to WFAN,” Mike Francesa told Newsday Tuesday morning that he has been working on a project with the agency CAA that includes working with WFAN in some form.

Francesa also alluded cryptically to a “campaign” to keep him from returning to the station that he left in December. Francesa declined to answer follow-up questions about that or any other aspect of what he said, which was, “I have been working on a project with CAA for months. That will be explained in the days ahead.

“This is for those who started this campaign in recent days. I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back. For those behind it, that was the moment I decided to return. I will do everything to work WFAN into an integral part of the project. It is time to return to WFAN.”

Mike Francesa is back…maybe…I think? I am not surprised that Mike wants to come back to the sports media world. He’s probably chomping at the bits, ready to unleash on Giancarlo Stanton and the QB options for both New York football teams. However, I am surprised that Mike may be coming back to WFAN so quickly.

Ever since the Sports Pope signed off for good, WFAN has tried to move on from Francesa as best as they could and rightfully so. WFAN had to now make a name for themselves without Mike. I’ll get into the Afternoon Drive with CMB in a second. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want Francesa back on the airwaves in some capacity. Sports radio is not the same without him. I’m not sure what this project is all about. If I had to guess, I would say Mike gets his Sunday morning football show back on WFAN as well as a TV spot on a local network. Unless WFAN really lets him come back and gives him a mid afternoon slot for a few hours. That would be nuts. The underrated part about this is how Mike said he’s coming back because there was a campaign to not let him come back. Essentially, Mike is fighting with the station that is going to take him back. What a world we live in!

I want to address the Afternoon Drive with Carlin, Maggie, and Bart. To put it nicely, the show has struggled since its inception. Losing to The Michael Kay Show in the ratings and getting destroyed on Twitter is not a recipe for success. It takes time for a radio show to find its groove so I’m not surprised at all that they have experienced some growing pains. However, there has been a lot of unfair criticism of the show. The biggest thing that is being held against them is their identity. They are not Mike Francesa, and some people can’t get that through their heads. The whole buildup to the show was an immediate red flag. Talks of no clear-cut replacements and the idea of bringing Mike back for another year were in the media constantly last summer. Carlin, Maggie, and Bart were named the replacements to Mike in November, which was not met with a positive reception. I don’t want to say the trio was destined to fail, but replacing Mike was an impossible task. This wasn’t Aaron Rodgers replacing Brett Favre. This process was putting three personalities together in the most important timeslot at a station and saying “make it work.” WFAN should’ve went with an established duo like Joe and Evan or brought in personalities that have had previous experience working together. I still think the show can find its stride, but in the afternoon drive slot, time may be running out.

Mike and WFAN both need each other. Mike realized that he wasn’t in such high demand as he thought once he retired. WFAN realized that putting an inexperienced trio together would not be a ratings hit. They have such a love / hate relationship with each other that it only makes sense for them to reunite. Regardless of whether Mike goes to WFAN or not, I’m just excited to hear his voice and opinions again. Leave it to a Mike Francesa parody account to have the perfect tweet to describe the situation. See you soon, Zaun.

A Predictably Rocky Start For Mike Francesa’s Replacements at WFAN

Things have not exactly gone smoothly for the new afternoon trio on WFAN. The schedule has been very strange. Their debut was promoted as January 2. Chris Carlin hosted on Monday. He worked all week. WFAN’s weekly schedule was announced late, and just had Chris listed. It seemed to be a secret, or maybe the schedule was tweaked. We never really seemed to know what was happening. Bart ended up working with Carlin on Monday. There had been talk of Carlin’s partners joining him later on in the week. Maggie worked with Chris on Tuesday. All three worked Wednesday-Friday. So much for their January 2 debut.

Right off the bat, everything about their show seemed chaotic. It has been called The Afternoon Drive. Now CMB seems to be sticking. Before that it was Carlin, Maggie, and Bart. That itself is a little odd because you have two first names and a last. I think there was at least one more name combination for a show title at some point. Nothing about this has been simple.

So far Bart has been an absolute disaster. In a previous article I wrote about his WFAN appearance years ago. He was picking scores by saying the lower score first. I think 14 to 24 was his pick. Does that sound like a sports analyst? He tried to talk basketball. Scott mentioned Enes Kanter. Well, kind of. Bart called him Chris Kanter.

A caller tested Bart’s baseball knowledge by asking what happens on a pop fly with the bases loaded. Obviously it’s the infield fly rule. Scott’s answer was not close. He then explained that it was the first thing his father taught him. Not sure if Bart meant the rule or baseball in general. Either way, that’s a fail. Bart had to be taught about spreads. He didn’t grasp it very quickly. Scott picked the Browns. Cleveland is an underdog. Scott thought they needed to win by more than 6.5 points. Instead of being humble, Scott just yells and babbles arrogantly. He also shouts out “Dilly Dilly”. I don’t really see how this is relevant when discussing a sports topic.

There were actually more cringeworthy baseball moments. Scott said Mets ownership should give Sandy Alderson a salary cap. That didn’t sound quite right. He started to add something about how Alderson could improve the football team. Bart corrected himself after realizing they do not play football. Scott then topped it off by talking about how the big bullpen arms were going to be up for new contracts. Maggie mumbled that it was the starting rotation. One painful moment after another. All indications are that he does little to no preparation.

Carlin has been fine. I was surprised by his shock that the James play last weekend was not a touchdown. Chris has seen plenty of football. He should know that you need to keep possession after hitting the ground. Even if you cross over the goal line, a player must survive the ground as was said during the reversal announcement. Like Jody Mac, Chris has worked at different places and struggled with WFAN’s phone number. That’s understandable. Old habits die hard. DOmjUigW4AE-AnH.jpg Maggie has been good. I am reaching when looking for ways to play devil’s advocate by knocking her and Chris. Maggie has stressed that she grew up upstate and is a Mets fan, but not everybody listens to entire shows. Hosts will occasionally repeat themselves. I feel like by saying these minor complaints are all I can come up with for Chris and Maggie I’m actually saying something nice. Yes, the show will get better. It has to. Still, people like Chris Russo who said Scott can’t talk baseball have been proven right. He was given a job that he’s not qualified for, and I have not found him very entertaining either. Oh, one more thing. On Monday Bart spoke about the man he is replacing. According to Scott, it’s Mike Franchesa. Good luck in 2018.

One More Week of Cherishing Mike Francesa

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Five more days. That is all Francesa has left. People can write weekly reviews of shows they watch, so I can write another article about Mike. It’s not like I’ll be able to do it for much longer. Besides, it’s basically all I think of and care about these days. Okay, that’s a stretch. It isn’t far from the truth though. These final shows are pretty much my priority. Plans and appointments are made around them.

Obviously many people have been thanking Mike for his 30 years. One person brought up the 1993 Giants-Braves pennant race. That time was one of my absolute favorites. I remember things from that summer, but this caller brought up a memory of Mike and Chris calling into Ian Eagle after San Francisco won a game against Atlanta. Russo screamed the name of a Giant who had won the game by homering and breaking a tie. John Patterson. Honestly, I had to look up the name. It became a footnote as Atlanta won out eventually. Mike had no memory of this. The caller didn’t have every detail, but I did know what he was talking about. Ira in Rochester is the guy who called in. Years ago he called Benigno one afternoon and spoke about how Joey from Yonkers was his favorite caller from the overnight. He also said that someone else who listened and talked to him agreed. They both liked Joey the best. Maybe I was just looking for an excuse to tell that story.

Anyway, despite our memories not quite being crystal clear, we did recall something fun from that crazy summer nearly 25 years ago. I feel like 1992 was when I became a regular listener, but 1993 got me hooked and provided some special moments. Speaking of memories, it was an amazing week. Twitter supplied incredible material. Funhouse did his usual stellar work. OrdioMongo went into the vault and pulled out some classics. Christmas came early for us fans.

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Despite Mike becoming a shell of himself in recent years, he really used to know his stuff. People would say that he might have flaws like being arrogant, but Mike was extremely intelligent. Russo seemed more like a sidekick who was just there for entertainment. Chris tweaked Yankee fans with the payroll argument. Last month Francesa talked about how Chris has some memory. He went out of his way to defend Russo, and praised him for things like hockey knowledge. Mike admits that it isn’t his area of expertise.

Fans have thanked Mike for his class. This is one thing that drew me to the show. He often liked to prioritize behavior. Even today Francesa criticizes athletes. Odell Beckham comes to mind. However, he just talked about sports. Broke it down. Reviewed games. Came at you straight. Guys like Jim Rome were too busy acting like morons. Search his name and Jim Everett. When other hosts were talking about Tiger Woods in 2009, Mike was professional. He didn’t discuss Tiger’s marriage, cheating, or what might have happened in great detail. It wasn’t a sports issue, other than the golf part. Francesa wasn’t about sleazy radio.

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Also, he has been able to get on great guests for 30 years. Except when people are mad at him. There is a long list. Thanks again, Mike. Good luck with your future endeavors. Sorry that things didn’t work out with the revolutionary app.

Mike Francesa Eviscerates New York Giants Brass After Eli Manning Benching

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Days like today remind you why Mike Francesa has been number one and a must listen at WFAN for thirty years. Days like today also remind us why we’re going to miss the legendary broadcaster dearly when he departs, as we savor the remaining 14 shows. Francesa has never been afraid to get on someone who he believes deserves it, and he’s not holding back to close out his time at the FAN.

Once the Eli Manning news broke Tuesday afternoon that he would be heading to the bench, Mike continued to eviscerate the Giants as an organization just firing haymakers at everyone from Coach Mcadoo, to Jerry Reese, Steve Tisch and the entire Mara family. Nobody was safe from the harsh criticism, which has been described as the “hardest he’s ever went after a coach,” according to Mike’s producer, Brian Monzo. He called the Head Coach “worthless” and said Reese would be “unemployed” without Eli.

For someone that many believe may have lost a step at his advanced age, the 64-year-old was on the money today and has been for much of this week. The Big Fella has been locked in, destroying whoever he wants in his path, turning the WFAN studios into a war zone. I’m happy we got a polarizing moment like this to experience while he’s still on the radio, rather than this “gutless move” happening in a few weeks when Francesa is nowhere to be found on the NYC airwaves.

Where as many of our sports heroes become a shell of themselves at the end of the road, Mike turned back the clock to come to the aide of the two-time Super Bowl MVP and remind everyone he’s still got a lot left in the tank. He’s not retiring anytime soon. The Father of three even got under the skin of Giants All-Pro DT Damon Harrison.

Not many things will get me out of bed the Sunday after Santa Con, but seeing Mike one last time at WFAN sure will. See you soon Mikey F. Two NYC legends going out together, Eli Manning and Mike Francesa. The end of an era.

P.S. Enjoy this clip of Francesa rightly demolish Dean Blandino for his awful performance interpreting calls wrongly for FOX time and time again.