Francesa 'wasn't invited' to Parcells' Hall of Fame | Big Blue Interactive
Francesa and Parcells are famously good pals, after all—famously so in part because Mike wouldn't stop talking about what good pals they. Mike Francesa: The biggest influences on me were Brent Musburger and Don Imus. I started a close relationship with Bill Parcells in the '80s. Mike Francesa on Parcells relationship, brother's suicide and one Bill [Parcells] didn't try and outsmart you, Bill tried to get his guys to where.
She was an interesting woman. But she was very opinionated. She was someone who I always felt was dealt a tough set of circumstances, and probably thought she deserved a different life. Did your father abandoning the family when you were a boy shape you as a father yourself? It made me first not want to have kids. Along with having a great wife, they are the joys of my life.
You never knew him. We knew he died, because my mother never divorced him, and he was a veteran, he was in the Air Force, so my mother got notification from Social Security when he died. And he lived to be in his 80s. Probably a lot more than I know. He and I were very close. Two years before he died, the first weekend that I was ever gonna be on national TV [CBS], the day before I was gonna be on TV, he broke down and I had to carry him into the psychiatric ward of Long Beach Hospital and put him in the hospital for a month.
You let your sons — Jack, 13 next month along with fraternal twins Emily Grace and Harrison, 11 — play football. I try to teach them to tackle. I even spent time with them the other day on the [Ryan] Shazier hit. Describe your wife, Roe. And she keeps me in line. What do you listen to when Julio drives you back and forth to the studio?
Or we listen to music, and most of the time we listen to music on Sirius. We never listen to sports talk. What is it like being called a bully?
I disagree with that. I detest people that mistreat people. I never fought with anybody except management. How has your on-air style changed from the two-man show? The two-man show, you have to be adaptive. I had certain roles I had to play. I challenge the callers. I have expectations for that person. I cherish the audience.
My whole theory is this: Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs. Who is not in the Hall of Fame that should be? Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.
Q&A With Mike Francesa Part 2: Memorable Interviews, Mad Dog Years « CBS New York
Pete Rose, for his accomplishments, belongs in the Hall of Fame. But nowhere near the game of baseball. You had opportunities to leave WFAN early on. Made me a very lucrative offer.
Any advice for Mets ownership? Be as aggressive as finances allow. I actually had a sit-down with him, just to show you how his mind works. My wife and I were on vacation at Loews Santa Monica.
This is a few years into his job with the Miami Heat.
My wife told me he was sitting by the pool. So I walked over and asked him if I could sit with him. And we never could agree on what happened. The entire issue was loyalty. You owed it to me to have my back.
Q&A With Mike Francesa Part 2: Memorable Interviews, Mad Dog Years, More
Did at least part of you agree with him? I totally got his point. I thought he had a fair point of view. And I understood what he was saying. But we thought he was wrong. We hurt him, for some reason. It really hurt him. He had given us so much unfettered access, and he wanted us to look out for him. Riles is a big loyalty guy. Who had you awestruck? He was my only idol. I interviewed him four times.
I was scared to death of him. First time he was great. Second time he was drunk and ornery. He would ask us to do a show from his restaurant when he had a book signing.
The last time or two he was on the wagon, but he was a shell of himself. We got along in the beginning, then we had some kind of falling out, probably 20 years ago.
I remember when he started attacking me all the time, and then it got so absurd I gave up. And so I stopped reading him at least 10 years ago. Ever consider a political show? You have to cater to the crazy right or crazy left. The closest to being down the middle is Chris Wallace. I want unvarnished news, and let me make up my mind.
How much of the show is Mike the sports fan and how much is Mike the New Yorker? I consider myself a sportscaster, not a fan. Before you met Chris Russo, had you heard anything about him? I knew Imus was pushing him.
This was before Imus and I were really tight. In fact, I think Imus liked Dog more than he liked me at first, because he was zany. The crazier, the better for Imus. Is there something you wish you could have changed with Mad Dog? It just caused a lot of friction when he kept denying it. I just wish he said he was leaving.
I would have been fine with that. Later on, Chris admitted he handled it wrong because he lied to us. But he was instructed to handle it that way. Is it almost impossible to maintain that kind of celebrity as a duo? We did 20 years and people think we hated each other. Did we have fights?
Did we have protracted fights? But what made us work is we treated our show differently than anyone else.
Francesa 'wasn't invited' to Parcells' Hall of Fame
And we did a show on our own — Dog did a Saturday show, and I did my Sunday show — and we both thought we could do this show without the other. And we brought that kind of intensity to the show. And other two-man shows take time off at the same time. We did the opposite. One of us was always hosting.
It created a special kind of chemistry. Two guys thought they could be the man going at each other. We made the team work. Before us, the gig was a one-man show.