The high point of 2012 for Mike Francesa was being named the number one personality on the first-ever “sports talk heavy hundred” list compiled by Talkers Magazine, which presents its popular “heavy hundred” list of regular radio talk show hosts each year.
And without question, the lowest point of the year for the WFAN/New York late midday/afternoon drive host was when YES Network cameras caught him sleeping during a segment.
Despite the clip going viral, and now fielding crank calls on his radio show jibing him about it on a regular basis as a result, Francesa still has his head held high and continues living his life off the air in the public eye.
On his radio show on Thursday, he confessed of an incident stemming from his big sleep, that lasted as long as a Yankee game.
In fact, it took place during a Yankee game.
Francesa recalled going to a game at Yankee Stadium, just days after his schmooze-and-snooze interview with Sweeny Murti, which would place him on the weekend of September 14-16, when the Yankees hosted the Tampa Bay Rays. (We’re guessing it was the Friday night game, when the Yankees lost; Francesa can be home team kryptonite.)
“There was a guy three rows behind me,” Francesa said. “He killed me for the whole game… He gave it to me for nine innings… He gave it to me… He rode me the whole game.”
Given the unique confrontational style that we’ve come to know from Francesa, one would expect him to react to the fan at the Yankee game – which could possibly turn into a bigger story about him than the one a few days before.
But Francesa took his lumps like a man, not once turning around to look at his heckler, or send his friend/driver Julio over to straighten him out.
“It comes with the territory,” he said. “It’s part of the deal, if you’re a public person.”
He also made it a point to be as conspicuous as possible during that week in September, just so he can put the fallout over him falling asleep behind him.
“I purposely didn’t go hide that week,” Francesa revealed to listeners. “I went out, because I said, ‘You know, I gotta get this over with.’
“That was an easy one,” he said of his decision to go to a Yankee game, and the vulnerability it presents after having fallen asleep during a tet-a-tet with Murti, WFAN’s resident Yankees reporter. “I knew it was gonna happen.”
Francesa added that it would be a different situation if the fan got testy with the host, or if members of Francesa’s family accompanied him to the game. “I don’t think my kids should be subjected to that,” he said.
And considering how he fell asleep on the air again in recent weeks, there’s not as much of a buzz as there was with the original. Now, had he exploded on the taunting Yankee fan, people might be looking at that second on-air snooze a little differently.
Hear the entire three-minute diatribe here:
And once Mike Francesa confessed about the time he was heckled at Yankee Stadium, the first thought that came to a lot of people’s minds was: How come no video of the fan heckling Mike Francesa exists?
But if Francesa says it, then it must be true… or is it?