Friday, October 24, 2008

THE MIKE AND JOE SHOW? BENIGNO WINS THE CO HOST SWEEPSTAKES?

This from Neil Best...

October 24, 2008

Is Joe Benigno new sidekick for Mike Francesa?
Neil Best
October 24, 2008

If Joe Benigno lands the gig as Mike Francesa's WFAN sidekick, they ought to put up a historic marker to commemorate the occasion in the station's third-floor men's room.It is there, Benigno informed the world on Oct. 10, that he spends an hour or more before dawn most days, reading newspapers, seeking solitude and, um, getting his game face on."We've learned too much new," Francesa said, speaking for all of us as Benigno described his morning routine in their first segment together - and everyone in the studio vowed never again to borrow a tabloid from him.Gross, yes, but also good radio, and reminiscent of another quirky character who used to sit across from Francesa in Astoria.
Will that sort of thing be enough to land him in Chris Russo's old seat? Quite possibly, yes.Until I can get Francesa or Mark Chernoff to confirm it, it doesn't count, but the buzz around the station is that Benigno is the favorite in a sweepstakes that likely will conclude within a week or so.No further guest co-hosts are scheduled after Ron Darling today, and barring a late entrant from outside the station, the choice will come from those who already have been paired with Mike.There are shortcomings in each candidacy, but Kim Jones left Francesa and Chernoff with an interesting contrast to ponder after her session with Francesa on Wednesday worked better than the crowded sessions with Chris Carlin two weeks ago.Jones brings a non-male, non-fan, non-native New Yorker sensibility that tends to elevate the level of discussion - assuming that's allowed on sports talk radio.Most importantly, Francesa seems comfortable with her, as in an amusing exchange as the show ended Wednesday:"You can never be too rich, too thin or have too much pitching; that's all you have to know about life," Francesa said."Amen," Jones said. "I wish I knew the first two. I don't care about pitching."Let's just say that line wouldn't have worked as well from Benigno. (Much as the third-floor bathroom story would not have come out quite the same if Jones had told it.)And that hints at the only real negative of going with Joe.It would be a widely popular pick, preserve some of the "Mike and the Mad Dog" vibe and allow for a seamless transition in the afternoon from midday, where Carlin would be a logical pick to replace Benigno opposite Evan Roberts. But it also would represent a missed opportunity.Francesa originally hoped for a creative solution, such as finding someone younger to broaden the show and to develop a potential successor. He explored several possibilities, none of which worked out before he began his guest host parade three weeks ago.So, here we are. Benigno is older than Francesa and is at his best ranting about the Jets and Mets, which often is entertaining but can wear thin over 5 1/2 hours.And a new lineup with Benigno in the afternoon and Carlin in midday would have the following effect on the diversity of the hosts on the three most prominent shows post-Russo:It would evolve from six white guys (four who grew up on Long Island, one in New Jersey and one in Westchester) to six white guys (three from the Island, two from Jersey and one from Westchester).Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that. Benigno would be a safe pick for our risky times, and there is something to be said for that.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think I could listen anymore if Beningo is the guy. Terrible choice. Gotta be Evan if all we're getting is all we've heard.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the Francesa/Benigno fued? Is that not going to rear it's very entertaining head at some point in the future? That would make for interesting radio. Maybe even better than He & Dog's. Benigno is more likely to speak up about it on the show. And isn't Francesa responsible for Joe getting his job fresh out of the Ct School for Broadcasting?

Peteski said...

This just in: Ron Darling does NOT want to break up the Mets.

Bill.... from Hauppauge said...

Benigno should be a partner though, not a sidekick. He needs to be able to assert himself, which is critical to.

Bill.... from Hauppauge said...

to offset the dominating personality of Francesa

gman26 said...

I've been predicting Joe is the guy. He has that same type of vibe that Dog had which was, you can't take them too seriously. It nicely offsets the 'I take myself very seriously' vibe of Francesa.

Anonymous said...

How come Carlin constantly gets bashed for having a slight lisp, but no one ever mentions that Ron Darling's is even worse? He talkth like a thithy.

gabagool said...

Benigno has FORGOTTEN more about NY city sports than ANY OTHER HOST on the Fan.

And that is WHY MF hates him. JB knows MORE than him, LOVES sports more than him and would talk about sports all day FOR FREE if he could.

You know MIke wouldn't.

Benign is the BEST on FAN, hands down.

Anonymous said...

Joe B. is great....although watching him sit there rocking while talking with Mike reminded me of the rat from the ninja turtles..

nrmax88 said...

"Benigno has FORGOTTEN more about NY city sports than ANY OTHER HOST on the Fan.

And that is WHY MF hates him. JB knows MORE than him, LOVES sports more than him and would talk about sports all day FOR FREE if he could.

You know MIke wouldn't.

Benign is the BEST on FAN, hands down."


I'm sorry man, but this is just absolutely laughable. Joe Benigno doesn't really have any sports knowledge. He just yells a lot and makes no sense. Mike Francessa is incredibly well versed in all things local sports. I don't even care for Mike, because i am a Met fan, but saying Joe knows more then Mike is just incredibly laughable. It is like saying Derek Jeter is a better baseball player then Alex Rodriguez. I know some of you probably think this is the case, but anybody who knows anything about baseball knows who is the better player. The same holds true between Joe and Mike. Benigno just yells all the time and he uses ancient caveman stats like RBI, R, batting average, wins-losses, etc. I like the guy, but it is laughable to say he knows more then Mike.