Mike Francesa has reaffirmed his commitment to getting us the sports any way that he can.
Hell has frozen over. The WFAN legend opened his latest BetRivers podcast with 10 minutes of soccer talk. Francesa broke down Tuesday’s critical USA-Iran World Cup matchup with analyst Mike Leboff. Yes, this is real and not a YouTube skit.
“I have to admit there is more interest in the World Cup and the [USA-Iran game] than I thought there would be. So I figured we’d do some of that,” Francesa said. “I grabbed [Leboff] to give me a couple of minutes on this because I know absolutely nothing about it.”
(Not that a lack of expertise has stopped the big guy on other fronts in the past.)
Leboff was optimistic about his audience with Francesa: “Maybe we’ll get you into it.”
The big guy, not as much: “Nah, I don’t think so.”
All kidding aside: This was an enjoyable listen. Francesa has come a long way from asking whether the guys can kick with both feet. And Leboff does a really good job of explaining the matchup, stakes and strategy in an easy-to-digest manner for those skeptical and/or uneducated about the beautiful game. Sports are sports in the end, you know? We also got a dash of amateur foreign affairs analysis, another Francesa tradition.
Now all we need is Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo doing a live reading of the Brazilian roster. And then soccer will have officially made it in America.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]