The Eternal Struggle: Mike Francesa vs Prank Callers

It all started on September 12, 2012.  That was the day WFAN radio host Mike Francesa appeared to fall asleep while talking to colleague Sweeney Murti.  Since that wonderful clip, the prank calls in to Mike Francesa's afternoon radio show, and the soundbytes that thankfully make their way to YouTube, have exploded in popularity.

Mike Francesa battling prank callers is nothing short of magical radio.  It may be the best rivalry in sports, exceeding the likes of Yankees-Red Sox, Ohio State-Michigan, and Lakers-Celtics.  Without longtime partner Chris "Mad Dog" Russo by his side, Francesa needs a foil, he needs someone to battle, he needs someone to break up the monotony of pontificating for several hours on end every weekday.

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That someone is the prank caller.  

But it's not just the fact that bozos wait for an hour just for their few seconds of fame and a chance to annoy the sports pope.  It's how Francesa responds, with equal parts anger and arrogance, trying to swat them away like gnats and reminding everyone of his fame and fortune.  Trying to downplay them by saying they're people with nothing better to do than sit around for an hour just to get under his skin.  

But it's also how the prank callers keep coming relentlessly by making fun of his sleeping habits, weather predictions, way of speaking, and asking his opinion on Jerry Stackhouse leading N'Sync.

Here now the best of The Eternal Struggle: Mike Francesa vs Prank Callers…

September 14, 2012 – The prank calls began in earnest after Mikey fell asleep on air.  Who could blame him, by now his immune system has become impervious to caffeine after drinking what amounts to Long Island Sound in Diet Cokes over the years.  After Mike in Long Island had his fun, those next prank callers would learn their lesson.  Or not…

September 17, 2012 – A prank caller trifecta!  Ken on the car phone makes a Smurfs joke.  Then Charlie in Queens kicks it up a couple notches by giving shoutouts to Sleepy Floyd and Hakeem the Dream.  Finally, Justin in Queens flat out asks if Mike fell asleep again during an interview.  Three straight prank callers causes the New York radio kingpin to remind his peasant audience how much money he's made sermonizing on the radio 5 hours a day for 25 years…

September 19, 2012 – Leo in Flushing scolds Mike for being unoriginal by falling asleep and manages to get the word "blumpkin" on the air…

October 26, 2012 – Andrew in Connecticut tries to test Mikey by asking him if the Yankees have a chance at the Stanley Cup.  GO WATAH DA FLOWAHZ ANDREW!!

January 29, 2013 – Two callers fail to get through before Drew in Milford asks if Jerry Stackhouse would make for a good lead singer of a reunited N'Sync.  AT LEAST CONNECT THE DOTS FOR THE SPORTS POPE!

February 7, 2013 – Derek in Queens asks if Mike should be in the Hall of Fame for stuttering and repeating himself.  Then, Joe in Englewood makes fun of his weather predictions…

June 10, 2013 – Mike can't even take a compliment when Anthony in Long Island tries to pay tribute to his armpit hair…

June 10, 2013 – TJ in New Hyde Park asks who has lower expectations on a nightly basis – the Islanders or Mike's wife.  Ouch.  That walks the tightrope between "funny prank caller" and "downright cruel"…

June 24, 2013 – Rich in Rye asks Francesa about that Urkel kid on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Sadly, Mikey never watched that show… errr… both of them…

October 21, 2013 – Frank in Astoria tries to have an in-depth conversation with Mike about "mounting from behind"…

October 22, 2013 – Steve on Long Island wants to know how much Mike weighs.  THIS ISN'T A CAHNIVAL GAME YOU DOPE!!!

This eternal struggle rages on.  Right now I'd say Francesa still holds a slight edge over his creative adversaries, but something tells me this fierce rivalry and national treasure will continue in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Matt Yoder

About Matt Yoder

Managing Editor of Awful Announcing and award winning sportswriter. Bloguin consigliere. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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