(l-r : Doggie, Young Mike, back in the days when transgressive types like Boomer Esiason couldn’t break into radio)
From last Thursday earlier today, I took a week break from listening to WFAN. The good news is, I think my hair has stopped falling out, the splitting headaches have ceased and at least one colleague remarked that I’ve been speaking at normal volume levels for the first time in memory.
The bad news, however, is that said WFAN sabbatical meant I missed Mike Francesca’s reaction to Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton ribbing the “Mike’d Up” host for giving Chris Carlin an audition as one of Francesca’s many possible sidekicks. From Newsday’s Neil Best :
“At least he’s on SNY,” Francesa said of Carlin. “These two have gone hat in hand trying to get their show on television and have failed . . . They™ve gone begging. They™re still begging. I’ve even tried to help them, throwing a little bit of a life raft. It™s not easy, though. It™s not an easy thing to sell. Without this show, they wouldn™t get fed.”
Francesa said that he realized he might simply be being exploited to help promote the morning show, and said, “If the idea is they want to somehow drag me into one of these stupid radio wars . . . I™ve got better things to do here than worry about this. The only reason I brought this up today is I™ve had newspaper people call me and ask me to react to this utter nonsense.”
After saying he would not be dragged into a verbal war, Mike said “there is a meanness” to Carton. He also said, “If I want to take care of him I could do it in five minutes. It wouldn™t even take me five minutes. He can™t kiss up enough when he™s around here. If he wants a war, bring it on, it won™t be a long one.”
After a break, Francesa sarcastically said he only was kidding, while making it clear he certainly was not.
“I™m only kidding. It™s just meant to cross-promote,” he said. “Soon they™ll get it together. Really, it™s meant in fun. All meant as cross-promotion. It™s a little radio hi-jinx. Don™t take it seriously. Really, they™ll get it together soon. I really love those guys. They do a great job. They™ll get it together. They™ll fix what they have to fix. It™s coming, it™s coming. I promise. Within a couple of years, it™ll all come together . . . They™ll get funny soon. I promise. It™s coming. They™ll pick it up. They™ve only been at it a short amount of time.”
Is Francesca a savvy enough team player to participate in a worked feud? I didn’t hear the program in question (see above), but I am open to the possibility that large chunks of his radio career have been a deep exercise in conceptual humor.