Mike Francesa woke up on this fine summer Sunday and chose violence.
The WFAN legend proved he still has it and blasted New York Post media columnist and long-time adversary Phil Mushnick in a pair of scathing tweets. Francesa appears to be taking umbrage with Mushnick’s recent column mocking his picks to win the first three golf majors of the year. The golfer Francesa has predicted to win the Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open has failed to make the cut in each tournament.
“Sad, pathetic Mushnick’s lies and distortions continue to make him look like the jealous old man that he is,” Francesa tweeted initially. He then followed up with, “Ask him to add up how much the horses I own have won the past two years. What a complete, obsessed fool.”
An excerpt from the Mushnick column in question:
[O]h-for-three on winners — no big deal — but all missed cuts? Nah! Can’t happen. But it did. Who is this soothsayer of colossal doom?
That’s the best part: The guy sells himself as an expert professional tout, someone whose “picks have value,” though evidence exists only to the extreme contrary. But his legacy as a self-deluded, boastful blowhard is now solidified — in faux stone.
That’s right, Sitting Bull, now heard as a gambling tout on a podcast — despite his claim that he’d never sink so low as to host one — touted Brooks Koepka to win the Masters, Scottie Scheffler to win the PGA and Cameron Smith to win the Open. Win? They all missed the cut! Didn’t even make it to the third round!
A few thoughts.
It’s an extreme stretch for Mushnick to label Francesa a “tout.” Yes, he hosts a podcast for the BetRivers sportsbook. Yes, he discusses sporting events through a sports betting lens on the podcast. Yes, he offers picks on the podcast. But listeners are not consuming the podcast solely to hear Francesa’s picks and use (or fade) them. He’s not trying to be Stu Feiner. It’s still basically the same show he did on WFAN for 30 years, just in condensed form on a different platform.
Does Francesa deliver his picks with an air of superior sporting intellect? Yes. And does that make it more amusing when they prove colossally wrong? No doubt. But it’s disingenuous to suggest that Francesa is portraying himself as some oracle who will make you rich if you follow his lead. Yes, they’ve been bad picks. But no one should be taking them that seriously.
Also: Classic Francesa move bringing up his successful race horses. Mushnick didn’t say a single thing in the column about Francesa, his stable or the general act of betting the ponies. But yet Francesa realized it was a sports betting-adjacent topic he could brag about and move the goalposts with. That’s why he’s the king, folks.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]