Tuesday, December 2, 2008

MIKE'D UP REPORT CARD

It has now been about three months since the end of the Mike and the Mad Dog radio program...a few months since Francesa and Russo split and went their own ways. Since the holiday season is upon us - a season for giving - I have decided to give my Mike'd Up Report Card. Here goes:

SHOW NAME - GRADE: D

After Dog bolted from FAN studios, Mike made it clear that the Mike and the Mad Dog name would be retired. Just like the surviving members of the Grateful Dead can never tour again using that name, Francesa realized he too would have to rebrand himself. So what did he do? He reached into his NBC handbag and grabbed the name from his Sunday night show "Mike'd Up." This did not happen instantly. If you recall, there were "teams" of lawyers involved. Eventually, the big man got his way. But the problem is that Mike has consistently called the show "Mike'd Up, Francesa on the Fan." Mike, which is it? Mike'd Up or Francesa on the Fan? It can't be both. That's too long and clunky. Much like your questions to guests. But anyway, thank God the lawyers were able to come to an agreement on the use of the title "Mike'd Up." Because it has made all the difference in the world. Or not. You decide.

JINGLE - GRADE: F

After Mike embarked on his new show, much like President-Elect Obama, Francesa promised change. And that change started with a new jingle. No longer would listeners hear "They're talking sports going at it as hard as they can..." A new jingle would be gracing Mike'd Up. This was big news. This was exciting. Could this new jingle possibly rival the old one? Would I find myself humming it to my wife on Sunday afternoons? At first, Mike reported on the progress of the jingle on a daily basis. But then days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months. There were lots of excuses. The jingle company is out West, so it takes longer to get stuff from them. The company is on vacation. Okay, maybe the company is not so good. Okay, maybe we are willing to take jingles that callers create at home. But not some crap that you record on your I-phone. These need to be professionally recorded. Then there were days where Mike would play a few contenders on the air. They were awful, but he seemed to like one or two. Then the jingle talk died, just as quickly as the Jets hopes of a Francesa-guaranteed 2 seed in the AFC. So here we are. No new jingle.

CO-HOSTS - Grade: F

With the new show Mike'd Up, Francesa promised that there would be some new blood in the studio with him. While he initially said he would never again have a co-host, he did say he would put together a few sort of revolving regular guests. He even opened the process up to the Fans, holding auditions at the debacle of a show that was known as the Bar A Disaster. Mike tried out several different people that summer day. They were mostly terrible. Mike's experiment failed miserably. So what did Mike do next? He just pretended that the Bar A auditions never happened. He never spoke of them again. Instead, he moved on to bigger targets. At least, that's what he hinted at for weeks and then months. There were BIG discussions going on. These were COMPLICATED folks. Just give us some time. It takes time to work these things out. We gave you time Mike. And instead of rewarding us, you tortured us with shows featuring Kim Jones, Chris Carlin, Evan Roberts, Joe Benigno and any other Daily News or Post writer you could assemble. This was not what you promised. This was not revolutionary. Now, almost three months later, you told us yesterday that were will be 2 weeks of Legends shows coming up, where legendary New York sports figures will be co-hosting with you. Mike, that's a nice gimmick, but it doesn't solve the issue that you cannot exist doing this show solo. You need another voice in that studio with you on a daily basis. Not for 2 weeks. And not another WFAN staffer. You promised fresh blood. You promised something new. You have not come through in a big spot.

HANDWAVE - Grade: A

Despite every aspect of his show falling to pieces, the one staple that has remained and appears stronger than ever is Mike's dismissive handwave to dump a caller from the line. It's almost as if, in a post Dog world, that this handwave has become more ferocious than it ever was. It's even got to the point where Mike has discussed the handwave on air with a caller. The handwave, in many ways has become the last line of defense for Francesa.

HOST/OVERALL SHOW GRADE: D -

Since Dog went packing to Satellite radio, Mike Francesa has promised a lot. A new jingle. A new format. A new set of co-hosts. A completely new show - one that would make loyal listeners forget one Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo. He has delivered on none of these promises. Instead, he has bemoaned the lack of positive media coverage he received after the break-up, continued to come to work unprepared, launched a war with one of his old-time callers Mike from Montclair, and bored the rest of the audience to death on a daily basis. Perhaps the most alarming aspect of this post Mike and the Mad Dog world is that Francesa seems somewhat oblivious to all of this. He continues to exist in his cocoon of arrogance. He talks and boasts of number 1 ranked shows. He continues to fancy himself as the one and only authoritative voice on sports. He still considers himself the General Manager/Coach of all New York sports teams. To quote my good friend, Colonel Nathan Jessep "You can't handle the truth!" There is no getting around this - Mike'd Up, Francesa on the Fan has failed miserably in its first term. Hell, if it wasn't for the handwave, I would have given the show an "F."

23 comments:

loki said...

blog fail.

bigjf said...

I tuned in today and yesterday for the Plaxico thing. When Mike has a subject like this, that's when he is much better and actually a very good listen.

That dumb lawyer/professor spot he just had now was great because he allowed his arrogance to flow as he screams at this moron. When he has a subject like this that he can't possibly botch, he's a much better listen.

bigjf said...

Just to clarify, that's not to say I'm defending the guy. His show is mostly intolerable. He has broken countless promises, as you mentioned, and there are several far better hosts more deserving of his timeslot.

The idea that Dog isn't doing so well either just shows that these two needed each other. If this trend continues, I don't think either man will maintain his current position come this time next year.

Anonymous said...

You're right bigjf!

Todays show and calls has been very entertaining. Some of these callers seem to be bringing Mike back to life a bit.

I did mention to my girlfriend (who has been equally entertained) just how much better todays show would be if Dog were also there to join in on the fun.

Maybe it's a sad statement that it takes a incident like this to get Mike back on track yet it's good to see him showing all his traits that we love/hate him for.

JD

Ryan T. said...

"The idea that Dog isn't doing so well either"

Where did you get this "idea" from. I subscribe to Sirius and listen to Dog regularly. I think his show is quite competent and most importantly, entertaining. Sure you have to deal with the occasional Maddogisms but it's just like his old Saturday morning WFAN show, a consistent and enjoyable listen.

Do you listen to his show and this is your opinion? If so, ok, fair enough. If not, I'd be interested to see these reviews you seem to have read that say he's not doing well.

David said...

No wedding band on. Day 2.

Where is Raissman to investigate?

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Dead on. Except I don't get yes. So the hand wave ain't helping...

Did anyone count how many times he said "wonderful" to describe the new Yankee Stadium?

And "Mohegus Sun is a great family place"...it's a gambling casino...

Anonymous said...

THE POWERS THAT BE DON,T GIVE A HOOT HOW MANY PEOPLE LISTEN TO THIS OR ANY OTHER PROGRAM ON COMMERCIAL RADIO ANY MORE AS LONG AS THEY Can control every, 25mns., of the hour for commercials. Thats why they love these formats. Even curtis sliwa is given a airtime.

Rock said...

First Time, Long Time,

That was fucking hilarious! LOL

Thanks for the laugh and I agree 100%.

Mike sucks.

Listen to Russo.

Anonymous said...

Bud, I didn't count how many times he said "wonderful", but he did say, "every player has a computer" or some variation on that theme five times

brian12566 said...

Wednesday December 3rd 1:40pm: Mike talks hockey for the very first time. Ever.

Whatdoyouhave? said...

Mike likes to almost brag about how he doesn't understand hockey. he is acting so disrespectful / condescending to the Islanders coach in this interview. Also cutting him off midsentence over and over so he can just repeat his own stupid basketball analogy for the 18th time

Anonymous said...

Here's Mike Hocking for a charity again instead of being a sports show..

Mike should be the new Jerry Lewis. We can roll him out once a year for a sports related telethon around superbowl then put him in a closet somewhere

Whatdoyouhave? said...

There goes Mike not knowing anything about Stephan Curry being held scoreless, sounding like an idiot, and going on to annoy the Hofstra coach by asking him 8 times what the coach was thinking - how the hell should the Hofstra coach know what the idiot coach from Loyola was thinking with that strategy? Took the Hofstra coach like 5 times saying "I don't know, I wasn't there, I'm just telling you what I heard" and getting a chuckle out of the "crowd" there to finally get Mike off that question.

And now Mike just dove into the NBA for way too long and Hofstra coach had to literally say "well let's get back to college basketball"

Anonymous said...

Mike sounds more and more like Jerome from Manhattan with his McClouth Mancrush

Anonymous said...

I really hate how Mike always has to add that he doesn't watch hockey. It's like constant little jabs at the sport because he didn't grow up enjoying it. And I don't understand how Sweeny always comes back. Mike is so rude and condescending to him. I know Sweeny talks a lot, but jesus, let him finish a sentence.

Whatdoyouhave? said...

Completely agree Anon on both the hockey and Sweeny points. And of course Mike had to say "do it right now. I'd do it right now. I'll drive you to the airport. Let's go pick him up from the airport. I'll do it right now" about 317 times about trading for McClouth

Anonymous said...

what did he say about Avery? I missed it.

Whatdoyouhave? said...

Someone should call up and ask Mike, "So just to reiterate, these hospitals are connected, and the Giants have some connections to these hospitals?"

Is Mike repeating b/c he is a) getting old and loses his places when talking, b) has to fill air time, c) is stupid

Rock said...

All the above.

brian12566 said...

Mike should not say a thing about Avery. As dog would have put it, "He wouldn't know Avery he he fell on him."

Anonymous said...

the only funny thing on this show in months is when he had on the "Fat Man" this week. One Fat Man talking to another. Great stuff.

Thanks for taking my call said...

I think Ronnie Barnes, the Giants trainer, has officially passed Brandon Inge and Bronson Arroyo on Mike's favorite person list.

And why is Mike opening the show talking about Ball St?