The date for Mike Francesa’s final show at WFAN is December 15 and he’s not feeling melancholy. As he prepares to go to his final Super Bowl Radio Row in Houston, Francesa told Newsday’s Neil Best that callers are reminding him about his final year at the sports radio pioneer and he’s trying to work through it.
“Callers are starting to call about it a lot and I’ve really tried to back that off. Hey, I’m here for a year! I understand it’s all meant, from their standpoint, with goodwill. But I’ve tried to back that off.”
Throughout the year, Francesa will make stops at various places that have taken special meaning to him like the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, the annual Francesacon and the annual summer stop at Bar-A in New Jersey.
Newsday says there will be about one special event a month through December to mark his final year and he’ll do a show at the Museum of Broadcasting on December 14 in front of a live studio and audience with VIP’s in attendance (one has to think that his former partner Chris “Mad Dog” will make an appearance there) which will mark his next-to-last program, but Francesa has insisted that his final appearance will be at the WFAN studios in New York.
“They wanted to do a last show in front of an audience; I didn’t,” he said. “I wanted just myself and the callers. No audience, no media.”
So Francesa is going on as planned with his show and this despite a rivalry with co-workers Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason who like to have fun at the Sports Pope’s expense. There’s also the Sports Funhouse account which likes to play Francesa’s wrong predictions and errors.
Francesa says he pays them no mind:
“Now, to put me up there in a positive way probably doesn’t sell as well as putting me up there in a negative way. But they’re really stretching the issue on some of these things. It’s almost like there are stories where you’re taking one line out of context and trying to create stories out of them . . . Some of it is utterly ridiculous.”
But while Boomer & Carton and Funhouse use Mikey for their own good, Francesa hopes that no matter what happens come December 15 he’ll leave even if the Jets and/or the Giants are on playoff runs.
“It could happen. It won’t change me. I don’t think it can. I think this has to go the way it goes.”
So as we get ready for the farewell tour and the final goodbye, Francesa will leave on his own terms and that’s the way he likes it.