New York has been littered with poorly run sports organizations in recent years. According to Colin Cowherd, part of the problem is that they’re influenced by local media. Surely, Mike Francesa would agree.
As Cowherd watches the New York Jets debacle with Zach Wilson play out from afar, the Fox Sports Radio host took note of the quarterback’s brutal press conference and acknowledged the impact local media can have on a team or player.
“I think it’s fair to say in the big cities, especially northeast cities with larger, louder media, Philly, Boston, New York—GMs and owners listen to talk radio,” Cowherd said. “They read the columns. The northeast media has more influence than the west coast media.”
“When I used to live out east in Connecticut, you’d hear WFAN and you’d hear them Met fans complaining,” Cowherd continued, using the 2009 signing of Jason Bay as an example of making a bad decision to appease the fans screaming on sports radio. “And then they’d go out and make a signing in free agency because their fans were complaining.”
Interesting that Cowherd listened to WFAN and not 98.7 ESPN New York when he lived in Connecticut working for the Worldwide Leader as a national radio host.
“If you work for the Jets and you’re listening to WFAN, you’re the problem, not Zach Wilson,” said Cowherd’s Fox Sports Radio co-host Jason McIntyre.
For decades, former WFAN stalwarts Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo have claimed they were the reason the New York Mets traded for Mike Piazza in 1998, which proved to be a much better decision than signing Jason Bay. Francesa also believed he influenced the city to cancel the NYC Marathon after the area was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Further evidence of the influence WFAN has, Francesa stated former Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan used to call him to “pick his brain” while at the helm of the football team.
And while all of those examples are hearsay pushed by Francesa himself, there was the time former Mets manager Mickey Callaway was on the phone with Francesa for a live interview and he asked the Sports Pope for advice on how to handle Pete Alonso’s desire to compete in the Home Run Derby. Francesa advised Callaway to let Alonso compete, and the manager obliged.
While Francesa might ballyhoo some of the influence he had during his tenure with WFAN, Cowherd’s not wrong, sports radio in the northeast is a different beast than the rest of the country.