Mandel’s Musings: Take Francesa Off The Air in New York

Published on: 11th March, 2010

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New York — It was fun to put on WFAN Sports Talk Radio in New York City last week and not be forced to listen to Mike Francesa during afternoon drive time. It hasn’t been an easy listen since his partner, Chris Russo took off for greener pastures (green as in the color of money) at the Sirius Network. But, it was refreshing to hear a couple of new voices who actually respect the opinions of their listeners and understand that the most interesting piece of listening to sports call-in shows is the actual give-and-take between callers and the host. Francesa, whose expanding waistline is almost as big as his bloated ego, lost his hunger for the job many years ago. He rarely gets out to events, has little contact with the teams and players he purports to report on, and condescends to those who disagree with him. If I didn’t know better, I would almost guess his call screeners, the folks who take the names and subjects of each caller, are instructed to only accept phone calls of Francesa sycophants.

The Big East tournament, being played here in New York City, remains a singular event worth watching. The momentum builds from each game until you have on the final three days, eight of the top teams in the country tearing at each other in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden. Nothing like it.

What exactly is all the talk about Lance Stephenson, the freshman from Cincinnati? I’m not seeing what all the press clippings said about him during the recruiting season last year. He seems to take lots of possessions off, and doesn’t have a semblance of a jump shot. Maybe, a little bit chubby….like by 25 pounds.

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