Mike Francesa, the host of WFAN’s “Mike’d Up,” who has been one of the harshest critics of Rex Ryan’s Jets, will broadcast live from Florham Park later this afternoon on 660 AM and the YES Network.
Over the past two years, Francesa has sparred with the Jets and their fans, taking issue with Ryan’s brash proclamations and the team’s swagger, all while Gang Green has reached the AFC title game in consecutive seasons.
In the past, the Jets clearly were not happy with Francesa’s opinions of the organization. WFAN’s main competitor, 1050 ESPN Radio, broadcasts the Jets games and it seemed that the team steered its players, coaches, and management away from WFAN. In my opinion, 1050, which is way behind WFAN in ratings – always has been - may have had something to do with this as well. I could see the flagship station of the Jets, one that has struggled for years against 660, asking the organization for a huge favor by giving the station exclusive access to the team, most notably during the afternoon drive time hours. That seems to me to be what happened. Obviously it hasn’t worked for 1050, which WFAN continues to beat in the ratings, and it makes sense for the Jets to appear on New York’s premier sports radio station and its marquee program.
In any event, the Jets need WFAN just as much as WFAN needs the Jets. Who knows what will come of Francesa’s visit, but when he sits down with Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum, Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Plaxico Burress, and others, it will be entertaining radio. (There’s word that Woody Johnson will not be at Jets camp today, or else he would appear on the show as well.)
One more note: WFAN used to broadcast the Jets games, way back when this was Boomer Esiason’s team. Francesa never hid his feelings about the team. Years before Bill Parcells (a good friend of Mike’s) became Gang Green’s coach, there were rumors that he would return to the Meadowlands to coach the Jets. I remember Mike telling Chris Russo something along the lines of (I’m paraphrasing) ”please, not the Jets.”
Still, when Mike and the Mad Dog interviewed Bruce Coslet and Boomer Esiason back when the Jets were far from being an AFC contender, it made for great radio. I expect today to be the same.
The broadcast will start upon the completion of the Mets game on WFAN, and YES will pick up coverage following its airing of the Yankees game.