This week's Off The Board podcast is a tribute show to Mike Francesa.
Mike Francesa ends his 30-year career at New York's WFAN on Friday, Dec. 15.
In honor of the Big Apple legend departing the airwaves, this week's Off The Board podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina is a tribute show dedicated to the man known as the Sports Pope.
Newsday media reporter Neil Best, who is the authority on Mike, joined the show to discuss several topics related to the radio icon. Best revealed what happened between Mike and WFAN in terms of Mike possibly sticking around after morning host Craig Carton got arrested
"It's a little vague, but he says that he needed to hear two things: One, they really, really, desperately need him and he would come to rescue the station and two, that the money would be right," Best said. "And the way he explains it, neither one of those things happened. According to him, the bigger problem was what they conveyed to him was not we desperately need you to stay after what happened to Carton, please stay, the station's in dire straits. He did not hear that from them. And then the money, he said the money was not an insult. They did not offer a pay cut, but I guess he still wanted more than they were offering. It's a little fuzzy, so to answer your question, it was definitely discussed, it was definitely possible, but it never came close to actually happening."
Best also talked about what Mike's next move may be, what it's been like covering Mike and Mike being a big player in the sports blogosphere.
"Covering him as been interesting," Best said on Off The Board. "Our web editor has really, really enjoyed it. Because the most correct thing Mike has said this entire year is that he is Internet gold. I tell people around the country and nobody believes me, on a consistent basis, he drives more traffic than Odell Beckham, Aaron Judge, Carmelo Anthony, anybody you can name, on a consistent basis he drives more traffic."
When it comes to Francesa's plans after his WFAN exit, Best says everything, including some type of reunion with his old partner, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, is still up in the air.
"No matter what he's saying now, I really don't know what's going to happen in April and again, I'm not sure he does, either," said Best. "I wouldn't rule out him having two hours every Friday afternoon with Chris on Sirius. Why not? But it's all TBD."
Good Morning Football host and Francesa die-hard fan, Peter Schrager, also joined Off The Board to reminisce about Mike's most memorable moments and talk about what made Mike so popular in New York.
In the final segment of the Mike Francesa tribute, the tables get turned on host Jimmy Traina, when SI.com colleague and fellow Francesa fan, Chris Chavez interviews Jimmy about his Francesa fandom. The show wraps up with a final non-Francesa segment when SI.com's Daniel Rapaport joins Jimmy to make NFL picks for Week 15.