For four decades Mike Francesa has been the dominant sports talk voice in the nation’s biggest market—New York City—including one half of arguably the most famous sports-talk show in history, Mike and the Mad Dog Show. Francesa will leave his afternoon show on WFAN on Dec. 15.
As the guest on this week’s Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Francesa did offer some news regarding working with Bill Simmons as part of a long conversation that included the following topics: why he decided to walk away now; his longevity in New York City; the art of a great sports radio rant; how emotional he will be at the end of his show; his fractured relationship with ESPN; why sports radio is always provincial; where he stands on talking about politics or social issues and his public support of Donald Trump; how social media helped give him currency; why he loved former NBA Commissioner David Stern as a guest; whether he will listen to his replacements at WFAN and much more.
“It is no secret that Bill and I like to work together,” Francesa said about Simmons. “A lot of people want to know where I will go to finish my football picks, which are very popular. A couple of people have asked me to sell them. I said no. Bill has offered me a home to pick them on his podcast, which I am thinking about. The NFL Network has offered me the opportunity to do it. So I will do it somewhere. I don’t know where. But I would say the likeliest place is Simmons’s podcast because of my relationship with him. … I love working with Simmons and I love how his mind works. As far as someone who just gets sports and culture and is able to enunciate it and to be provocative but also poignant, to me, I think he is the best there is out there. I don’t think they have found the right vehicle for him on television yet and I think that is partially because he should be the two man. He should not be the point guard … I have tried to tell him that. But he will find that. I like people who have a good take on things and he has a great take on things.”
Francesa said he would consider any kind of reunion with Russo a very unlikely pairing “for a lot of reasons including economics.”