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85 Guests Say Goodbye to Mike Francesa

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Closing out a remarkable 30 year run at WFAN, Mike Francesa’s second to last show was a celebration of his industry creating radio career. Five and a half hours, jam packed with 85 surprise guests live from the Paley Center for Media in Manhattan.

Beginning with Jim Nantz, ending with Lawrence Taylor and a full cast of surprises in between, Mike’s second to last WFAN performance was fast paced and unpredictable. Masterfully produced by Brian Monzo, to get 85 celebrities on and off the program in a timely manner was no easy task.

Highlights of the show were hearing Chris Russo and Don Imus back on WFAN.  John Calipari was the most entertaining guest of the evening, providing great banter and showcasing a special chemistry between the two.

Near the end of the show, station program director Mark Chernoff informed Mike his studio would be forever named the Mike Francesa studio. A well deserved honorary gesture for the host that not only helped build WFAN, but the entire sports radio landscape.

Lawrence Taylor being the final guest of the show was not necessarily a highlight, but his asking Mike for $100 of stripper money will certainly be infamously memorable.

Three guests that would have been interesting to hear from were Pat Riley, Bill Parcells and Boomer Esiason. Francesa often spoke of his severed relationship with Riley ever since he and Dog criticized Pat’s departure from the New York Knicks. A staple of the program during his time as head coach of the Knicks, Riley was requested by producer Brian Monzo, but the invitation was declined.

During Mike and the Maddog, Coach Parcells and Mike Francesa were very close friends, but they’ve distanced over the years. In a recent New York Post article Mike stated “Wish it was better. Sometimes you can be so close — and we were so close — that a lot of things get in the way,” regarding their relationship.

Francesa and Esiason have not had the warmest relationship, but for the last ten years they’ve both anchored the success of WFAN. A quick passing of the torch moment with Esiason remaining as the station’s most recognizable host would have been an interesting listen.

The full slate of 85 guests is listed below. Jim Nantz, Chris Christie, Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, Linda Cohn, Rich Eisen, Regis Philbin, Chris Russo and Don Imus to name a few of what made for an impressive send off for one of radio’s most important figures. The full show can be heard by clicking here.

Miscellaneous: 
Mitchell Etess
Chris Kay
Chris Christie
Steve Schirripa

WFAN:
Julio – Mike’s Driver
Suzyn Waldman
Marc Malusis
Eddie Coleman
Sweeny Murti
Carl Banks
Erica Herskowitz
Steve Somers
Joe Benigno
Evan Roberts
Bob Heussler
John Minko
Mark Chernoff
Don Imus
Chris Russo

Athlete/Coach/Front Office:
Victor Cruz
Otis Anderson
Tiki Barber
Steve Phillips
Willie Randolph
Joe Mihalich
Lonn Trost
Jerry Bailey
Brian Cashman
Bobby Valentine
Kurt Warner
Tim Cluess
Bobby Ojeda
Cliff Floyd
Darryl Strawberry
Bob Baffert
John Davidson
Jay Wright
David Diehl
Todd Pletcher
Shaun O’Hara
Jim Fassel
Bernie Williams
Tom Pecora
Neil Smith
Mike Tannenbaum
John Franco
Kenny Smith
PJ Carlesimo
Eli Manning
Brandon Marshall
Eddie Olczyk
Keith Hernandez
John Calipari
Joe Girardi
Tom Coughlin
Lawrence Taylor

Media:
Jim Nantz
Dan Patrick
Dick Ebersol
Jay Horwitz
Doug Gottlieb
Damon Amendolara
Mark Feinsand
Kim Jones
Kevin Burkhardt
Jim Cramer
Brendan Brown
Mike Breen
Joe Micheletti
Regis Philbin
Joel Hollander
Ira Winderman
Pierre McGuire
Julie Stewart-Binks
Linda Cohn
Michael Breed
Katie Nolan
Bob Costas
Jay Glazer
Peter Schrager
Tim McCarver
Ian Eagle
Rich Eisen
Lonnie Quinn
Barry Watkins
Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Industry Analyst Predicts Crypto Will Surpass Gambling In Sports World

Industry sources believe that crypto could grow into a $100 million dollar industry for sports television within the next year.

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Industry insiders have believed for quite a while that sports betting was the future for sponsorship and advertisement revenue, but it appears that there is a new venture on the rise that is quickly surpassing it.

Crypto.com made a huge statement in purchasing the Staples Center in what will be known as Crypto.com Arena come Christmas Day.

SponsorUnited Founder and President Bob Lynch believes that there is no doubt that Crypto and Blockchain will far exceed sports betting as the premiere revenue money maker for the sports industry over the next decade.

“They’re essentially buying equity,” which would be particularly valuable in an industry that is still widely doubted, Lynch said on Crypto.com’s purchase of the arena. “The Lakers and Clippers have global exposure, media value and mentions that give instant brand legitimacy with top-of-mind awareness through national/global TV exposure,”

Crypto has already started to push its way into major advertisements for key events in the world of sports. Cryptocurrency exchange FTX purchased an ad in this upcoming Super Bowl, and already has the backing of the biggest star in professional football. Tom Brady has an equity stake in the company.

Crypto.com is already the sponsor of FOX‘s college football studio show, Big Noon Kickoff, on top of running ads during broadcasts of the game as well.

Industry sources believe that crypto could grow into a $100 million dollar industry for sports television within the next year. It seems that the possibilities are endless for crypto within the sports landscape. While sports gambling certainly isn’t going away from the public eye, it could be overtaken by crypto in terms of ad spending and sponsorship visibility very soon.

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Sports Radio News

Colin Cowherd: Lincoln Riley At USC Is Good For Networks

“Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches.”

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FS1

Colin Cowherd is a self-professed college football fan. When the sport is interesting, he talks about it. The sport may never be more interesting than when the coaching carousel is spinning.

On Mondy’s edition of The Herd on FS1 and FOX Sports Radio, Cowherd dove in on USC’s hire of Lincoln Riley. He says that it is good for college football that Riley left Oklahoma for Los Angeles.

“My phone blew up yesterday, not only because people know I’m kind of a USC honk, but network people,” Cowherd said. “They’re like ‘do you understand how big this is for networks?’”.

Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches. He noted that when USC lost to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl, ABC scored a 22.5 rating in the city.

“The networks want USC to be good. You know why? Because New York, DC, and Boston have never watched college football. Chicago does and LA does. So the Big Ten being good is good for college football TV ratings. But LA doesn’t watch college football anymore. They will now.”

As for the hard times USC has fallen on and been stuck in mostly since Pete Carroll bolted for the NFL, Cowherd is not particularly worried. He pointed out that Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame were all down before they hired the right coach. Programs at the blue blood level in the sport have a way of bouncing back quickly.

Network executives are hoping Cowherd’s assessment is correct. USC is the only brand on the West Coast capable of resonating on a national level.

The Los Angeles sports landscape has changed though. When USC was a celebrity program under Pete Carroll, the city did not have an NFL team. Now it has two. The Dodgers were not annual contenders in Major League Baseball. The Lakers had stars, but the Clippers didn’t. Now both do.

Does LA love college football enough for the Trojans to turn some heads in the city with the most stars in the sports world?

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Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee’s Wife Shares Couple’s Pregnancy Struggles

“Saying that now the couple is no longer able to conceive naturally, Samantha went on to tell her followers that she and Pat will be pursuing in vitro fertilization when they are ready.”

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As hard as it can be as a celebrity, or as the spouse of a celebrity or popular media figure, to keep your personal life private and out of the limelight, sometimes it can be uplifting to put your personal struggles out there for all to see.

Enter Samantha McAfee, the wife of popular sports radio host Pat McAfee. Samantha took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to share a heartbreaking update on the couple’s journey to conceiving a child.

“On Tuesday, I had what we thought was a ‘normal’ miscarriage, it was painful and miserable,” Samantha wrote in part. “However, Saturday morning I woke up in extreme pain so Patrick took me to the ER. They found that I had internal bleeding again due to the pregnancy being in my (fallopian) tube and it had burst. I needed emergency surgery to remove my remaining tube.”

Samantha shared that this was not the first time she had experienced complications in the beginning weeks of a pregnancy. She said she had her right fallopian tube removed in 2020 due to an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy where a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus.

Saying that now the couple is no longer able to conceive naturally, Samantha went on to tell her followers that she and Pat will be pursuing in vitro fertilization when they are ready.

Additionally, McAfee noted that the point of her sharing the update was to give others who may be going through similar difficulties hope, but to also shed a light on the reality of fertility issues and emphasize that she will have a child someday.

“I KNOW I WILL BE A MOTHER somehow some way, I know Patrick and I will be the best parents we can be whenever the universe thinks it’s the right time,” she said.

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