Sports Pope Coming Back


New York Daily News – Unless there is a last-minute snag in the negotiations, Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa will soon return to WFAN, the Daily News has learned.

Francesa will be back in the 3 p.m.-7 p.m. slot, according to well-embedded Hudson Street (FAN Headquarters) rats…

Sources did not know Francesa’s exact starting date, but said it would be soon.

Francesa “retired” from WFAN four months ago. During his “farewell” tour, he repeatedly said “no more FAN.”

I don’t live in New York, I’m not from New York and I’m not a New York sports fan but this is good news.  This is good news for for anyone who consumes sports radio or sports media in general. There are so few people or programs in the sports media that matter any more. Look at ESPN, they couldn’t get anyone to watch SC6 with Michael and Jemele and Get Up! looks to be on the same path. Mike may have lost a little off his fastball, but at least he still matters. You don’t need to be a New Yorker to recognize that.

Is it a little awkward to go on an 18 month farewell tour, just to come back five months later? You bet, but let’s not pretend like this is unprecedented. Johnny Carson is the gold standard of retirement. He signed off at age 66 in 1992 and was on screen for less than 90 seconds the rest of his life. He’s also the exception. Michael Jordan and Brett Favre each made multiple comebacks. Jay Leno (in)famously returned to The Tonight Show. Francesa will be in a similar situation as Leno. If you didn’t like him before, this will be another thing to jab him about. Otherwise, what’s the big deal?

Underrated in all of this may be the fact that Francesa is coming back almost entirely out of spite. Here’s what he said to the New York Post:

“This is for those who started this campaign in recent days. I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back,” Francesa told the paper. “For those behind it, that was the moment I decided to return.

I love a good grudge. Makes for must-listen radio, too.

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