Talkers, the self-proclaimed "Bible of Talk Radio and New Talk Media" has released their annual list of the 100 "most important" sports talk radio hosts in the country for 2013. While that's a peculiar designation that opens up quite the can of worms, that's how they frame the list. And at the top of said list, peering down at the unwashed masses, is the sports pope himself Mike Francesa. Clearly, Mike Francesa doesn't need a list from any publication to tell him he's the most important sports talk radio host in America, he knows that already. For what it's worth, former partner Chris Russo comes in at #29
Quantifiying and listing sports talk radio hosts from 1-100 and directly comparing local markets from across the country to national shows and vice versa seems like an impossible to quantify task. What factors make Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton come in at #92 ahead of Sedano & Stink at #93, who have been together for a very brief period of time? How does one compare an afternoon show in Seattle to a morning show in Washington DC? Furthermore, the list opens itself to even more questions. It's very WFAN friendly with 4 different shows making the list including #1 Mike Francesa and #2 Boomer and Carton. Evidently Keith Olbermann does not have any say in these rankings. Mike & Mike and Colin Cowherd appear in the Top 22 but there's no sign of SVP and Russillo. I don't know how anyone makes a list of the Top 100 most important sports talk radio shows and not include ESPN Radio's best pairing. At least the list didn't include Dan Sileo or Damon Bruce.
Nevertheless, in these rankings Mike Francesa is king. In spite of all his foibles, arguments, sleepy moments, and epic feuds, his radio empire is stronger than ever. It's just another feather in the cap Francesa can use when he's swatting away prank callers and peasants like Keith Olbermann.