mike francesa
Peter Ackermann | Asbury Park Press

Mike Francesa would like to handwave Roger Goodell.

The WFAN legend mocked the NFL commissioner for his emcee efforts while opening the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday. Francesa called Goodell’s schtick “so played out and so lame” and “sadly comical” during his latest BetRivers podcast, declaring it a “clown act.”

Francesa hammered Goodell for awkwardly calling rapped Ice Cube out of the crowd and onto the stage. He also took issue with the commissioner dragging Las Vegas Raiders players, including quarterback Derek Carr, with him in a (failed) effort to keep the Sin City crowd from booing him incessantly.

“He came out in the lamest of ways,” Francesa said. “The commissioner, trying to act like he can introduce a rapper. And the commissioner coming out with Raider reinforcements so he doesn’t get booed off the stage to start the draft. I mean, his act is so old there, it’s just laughable. He is such a clown act at the draft. It just boggles the mind. He is nothing short of a clown act at the draft.”

This has been going on for years, of course, and the boos are more performative than passionate. And to his credit, the charisma-less Goodell is doing his best to lean into the situation. But that does not make it any less cringeworthy. So Francesa has a point.


The big guy was also not digging the pre-draft red carpet show with the prospects.

“Let’s not turn the NFL draft into a fashion show,” Francesa said. “That stuff was ridiculous. We’re going to have players tell you what they’re wearing? Who the hell … I don’t care if they come out in a pair of Bermuda shorts. Who cares what these guys are wearing. I mean, how mindless is that? That’s where this has gone to. … Let’s lose the fashion show, OK?”

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.