Sports radio icon and New York sports legend Mike Francesa ends his tenure at WFAN with a heartfelt message to his fans.
Mike Francesa’s final show was a spectacular send-off for one of the biggest names in sports media. Francesa’s final words were heartfelt and sincere. “I will miss you, I thank you, and from the bottom of my heart, I love you. Goodbye.” For someone who was widely known for his harshness towards callers, today saw a soft version of the big guy.
But the Sports Pope’s final show was full of memorable lines. At one point, Mike remarked that you “can’t spell Francesa without FAN.” It’s true that Mike Francesa and WFAN will be connected forever. Francesa was the consistent “numbah one” in the ratings in the biggest market in the country. Regardless of whether people loved him or hated him, he always moved the needle.
Francesa and his former co-host, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, were pioneers in sports talk radio and the landscape of the industry probably looks significantly different without them. Mike heaped praise on Mad Dog during his final thoughts segment. Those two definitely had their confrontations with one another, public and private, but there’s no doubt they made great radio together.
While the calls did get a bit over the top at times, isn’t that what you want? At one point I heard a caller thank Mike for helping him become a better father and husband. Mike fielded tons of calls today and most of them were well wishes toward him and his family for the future, but some were concerned about the future of WFAN.
Chris Carlin, Bart Scott, and Maggie Gray will be taking over afternoon drive. They have gigantic shoes to fill and many listeners remain skeptical. Afternoon drive has been occupied by the sports pope for thirty years. No matter what you thought of Francesa, one thing’s for sure: You’re going to miss him.