At 3:12 p.m. on Saturday, Mike Francesa was watching Wofford lose to Kentucky. We know this because he was analyzing the game as only the surly monarch of sports talk radio can—by burping some lordly and not especially insightful analysis onto his Twitter timeline.
Eight minutes after that, Francesa decided that he’d had enough. Enough of the bullshit, enough of the misinformation and lies that so many in the media had been spreading, enough of the repeated requests for comment on those issues, just enough. At 3:20, with a puff of Diet Coke-scented smoke, the Sports Pope announced that a new encyclical would soon be posted to his timeline, addressing the issues.
Three hours later, Francesa had not made a statement. Even the most active and informed members of the Mikeological community were at a loss as to what Francesa was so upset about, although it was easy to guess the broad strokes. Perhaps Newsday had implied that Francesa was not extremely successful. Maybe someone noted that he had once been wrong about something. Probably it was something to do with the recent report by Francesa nemesis Andrew Marchand that WFAN had explored hiring SiriusXM host Adam Schein as Francesa’s replacement, and perhaps also briefly as his partner. It’s hard to say, because there has been so much outrageous misinformation and so many outright lies circulated about Mike Francesa recently. Price of success.
As time went by, though, the giddiness gave way to concern. Francesa was clearly agitated, but he is always agitated. The Trumpy syntax and fragmented expression suggests someone who is maybe having some sort of neurological incident, but rich people of a certain sort just talk like that now—speaking as if you were dictating a huffy telegram to parties unknown is a status signifier among Long Island’s landed gentry. While Francesa didn’t specify when he would be making a statement, the length of the wait was worrying. Two hours and 55 minutes after he said he would make a statement, Francesa finally made it.
The news that some things were happening—and some other things not happening—with regards to Francesa’s contract status sent shockwaves through the world of sports and sports media. For those who had forgotten, the tweets were a bracing reminder of a truth that proved all too easy to forget—that the Mike’s On app and its attendant business relationships are important, and must be considered. It was a lot to take in, but the three-hour lag suddenly made sense. Even through the reeling recalibration of the moment, it was clear that a statement had been made.
Mike Francesa will be back after this.