Mike Francesa — the No. 1 seed in the Sports Talk region of our March Media Madness bracket, TBL reader favorite and the once and future King of New York — is going to Fox Sports. On Wednesday Francesa announced a four-year deal to simulcast his WFAN show on Fox Sports beginning March 24. From 1 p.m. through 4 p.m. the show will air on Fox Sports 1 and the final two hours will air on Fox Sports 2.
This looks like a win-win for both parties. Francesa returns to a national platform after his YES contract ran out in February. Fox, meanwhile, gets some low-cost programming to fill the afternoon hours which are currently occupied by a potpourri including European soccer and NASCAR racing coverage. It also leaves room for its current late-afternoon programming, such as Crowd Goes Wild to air concurrently with the Sports Pope.(It remains to be seen how Francesa will appreciate being pre-empted by afternoon Champions League coverage on FOX, as would be the case this afternoon.)
Francesa, after nearly three decades behind the mic at WFAN, isn’t going to change his show to cater to a fully national audience. It means America will be treated to loads of Yankees lineup discussion (in December) and tweaks for the Mets. In other words, don’t expect Francesa to start breaking down UFC or NASCAR any time soon. He’ll likely continue to ignore hockey until the playoffs, though.
On Tuesday, Francesa treated listeners to 30 enjoyable minutes of anger, ranting, skewed logic and yelling Tuesday afternoon on his popular WFAN radio show. The target of the Big Guy’s ire? You guessed it, young golfer Patrick Reed, who won the Doral Tournament over the weekend by playing it safe on the 18th hole with a two-stroke lead.
At issue was Reed’s quote after the tournament:
“I believe in myself, especially with how hard I’ve worked. I’m one of the top five players in the world,” Reed said. “I feel like I’ve proven myself.”
Francesa couldn’t wrap his mind around someone proclaiming that they’re a top five golfer and using an iron off the tee instead of a wood. (I’m not a golf expert by any means, but it seems like a smart move by Reed especially since he won the tournament.) There’s also the possibility that Francesa interpreted Reed’s quote as a knock on Phil Mickelson, a golfer he has a massive man-crush on.
The shame here is that the rant wasn’t captured on television, as it would have provided readers with two of their favorites in one post: Francesa and GIFs.
Here’s Fox’s first Francesa promo:
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