Sports radio talk show host Mike Francesa Feb 18, 2023; Queens, New York, USA; Sports radio talk show host Mike Francesa at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

If you wanted to suggest that Mike Francesa was out of touch with reality, few people, including us, would push back on that notion.

Yelling into the abyss on his Mike Francesa Podcast on the BetRivers Network, the “Sports Pope” recently slammed the New York Jets for wanting to be on HBO’s Hard Knocks.

“If the Jets are thinking about [‘Hard Knocks’] in this season, with what they are hoping to accomplish, with what they are going to deal with in terms of attention, this is already, to me, a colossal mistake by ownership, general manager, head coach, whoever had input into this,” Francesa said, via the New York Post.

The thing is, Mike, the Jets don’t want to be on Hard Knocks. And they’ve made that inherently clear.

Jets’ coach Robert Saleh, in particular, does not seem to be a fan of the idea of being on the show. He’s said things to that effect before and added to that discourse more last month.

“If you have decided to open your training camp and your development time this year to Hard Knocks, they are complete fools,” Francesa said. “That is the worst thing they can do right now.”

The Jets haven’t decided to do anything just yet. This is just another case of Francesa being well, Francesa, and jumping to conclusions without reading the full story. In fact, the NFL has yet to publicly make a decision one way or another, as the league has never gone this far into an offseason without announcing which team will be featured on Hard Knocks.

The thing is, even if the Jets don’t want Hard Knocks, the NFL doesn’t particularly care. The league implemented a rule in 2013 allowing for teams to be forced to participate in the training camp version of Hard Knocks (unlike the newer in-season version, which still needs team signoff) if they didn’t meet certain opt-out conditions. Those conditions include having a first-year head coach, reaching the playoffs in the past two seasons, and/or appearing on the show in the past decade.

“I can’t believe they could even be considering this,” Francesa said of the Jets front office.

Well, they are only considering it because they are about to be forced to do it.

“It is as bad of a decision as they could possibly make, and it scares me going forward that they will continue to make mistakes,” Francesa said. “Because ya know what? I don’t know yet whether the Jets or especially the coaching staff is ready for what it means to have Aaron Rodgers in the building. This would already be a step that tells me that they don’t.”

As per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Jets are “bracing” to be forced to participate in the program.


It’s hard to take anything said above seriously when Francesa is completely mixing up his facts. When the Jets are eventually picked to do Hard Knocks, even though they don’t want to do it, we’ll have to see if Francesa pulls an “I never said that” in reference to last week’s episode of his podcast.

Where are those WFAN callers when you need them?

[The Mike Francesa Podcast via New York Post]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.