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‘The Michael Kay Show’ pettiness overshadows Mike Francesa’s negatives

Finally, the name of Mike Francesa has made its name present, post-WFAN, on ‘The Michael Kay Show’ on ESPN Radio NY. As per a caller bringing up the possible honoring of the Sports Pope, Kay lashes out, especially in defense of one Peter Rosenberg. 

Come on. You knew it had to happen.

The name of Mike Francesa had to eventually surface post-WFAN in a meaningful manner on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio NY.

On Wednesday, Kay was forced to lash out regarding a caller’s claim that the trio should have honored Francesa in some fashion upon his leaving WFAN, the place he spent 30 years perfecting his craft.

Part of the mini-scuffle surrounded an article written by Ryan Glasspiegel of The Big Lead that slams Rosenberg for constantly “looking for attention” despite never possessing the ability to pass or even match Francesa, who will always “own New York.”

The first bullet in the fire came when Rosenberg responded to a Neil Best ratings tweet which put Kay in a rough-ratings light:

It didn’t end there:

Quite honestly, it’s tough to take. The pettiness displayed by all involved is simply ridiculous.

Why should Rosenberg care about what Neil Best is tweeting out? And then for the team to call the man “Neil Worst” on-air is a terrible move. New York doesn’t respect childishly easy name tweaks. It’s silly, and the fact that the team is doing such a thing exemplifies why they are where they are.

Nobody’s excusing Francesa here. The man is a New York legend, yes, but never made friends within this circle and Kay and his boys have no mandate to honor the man.

He didn’t create sports radio, either, but he sure did mold (with Christopher Russo) it in a way that’s never been witnessed prior.

The man I feel bad for is Don La Greca. La Greca, of the three, is the lone true New York sports mind who’s actively holding down an afternoon drive position (and this accounts for WFAN’s time). (Kay is solid too, but La Greca has the multi-sport mind that’s necessary for this area.) Many listeners like Rosenberg, but he wouldn’t know a Cover 1 Robber of the difference between control and command if it smacked him in the face.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. He brings an element to the show that both Kay and La Greca cannot and it works for most sports towns.

At the same time, they need to understand this is why the show has never experienced a ratings bonanza.

New York sports fans, especially via the airwaves, will always run with the diehard who can actually break the game on the field down.

The best thing for the ESPN trio now is to stop tweeting and responding immediately. Who cares what Neil Best tweets? Who cares if somebody’s praising Francesa while destroying you?

Any response you make that can be even portrayed in the slightest of petty fashions will wash away any Mike Francesa wrongdoing and elevate his legend that much more.

What is the Pope doing right now? He’s watching and listening to all of this, laughing all the way home with those royal feet up. And guess what? He won’t respond. Why? Becuase he understands that petty and self-serving responses aren’t what the New York sports fan respects. The intelligent person understands Francesa’s faults and absolutely understands what he says behind the scenes, but he plays is in a way that doesn’t allow the audience to become engulfed in the matter on his air time.

During that time, it’s about the actual game.

I’ve been a Francesa listener since the early 1990s when my pops had it running 24/7 in his old Ford Bronco. I was also there when Kay and La Greca got going during the 10 a.m. ET to 1 p.m. ET time slot during the early 2000s. They do some great things. They dig deep on certain topics that, at times, create fresh narratives.

But the silliness/pettiness angle while screaming for the rooftops looking for attention doesn’t work in this town. Any publicity certainly still does equal good publicity, but that doesn’t mean ratings and legendary respect will come.

Stay quiet and start breaking plays on the field, court and ice down. It’s what New York sports fans crave. Always has been. Always will be.

H/T Twitter, @BackAfterThis

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com