So on Tuesday afternoon, Mike Francesa had an interesting theory about Twitter. He’s of the opinion that it “should be against the law” for anybody with name recognition to be tweeting - specifically “broadcasters, media people and athletes.”
“Nobody needs to hear from any one of them,” Francesa ranted on WFAN/New York as well as on television via YES Network. “Including me, because you’re never going to catch me tweeting. It’ll never happen. I promise you, never.”
It’s a curious stand to take, especially when he swears that he will not sign up for a Twitter account. Could it be that he’s just gotten wind of the wildly popular Mike Francesa parody account on Twitter, that he’s taken such a harsh stance against the popular microblogging website?
The fact of the matter is, for such a high-profile personality on the premier sports radio station, Francesa joins Tony Paige – who hosts the overnight shift four times per week – as the only WFAN hosts without a presence on Twitter. Morning hosts Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason have operated their own Twitter accounts for years. Late morning hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts share a Twitter account (though a disclaimer reads, “Ev does the tweeting”). Heck, even Steve Somers, who’s been with the station since its inception in 1987, is even on Twitter.
Meanwhile, YES Network operates a Twitter account dedicated to Francesa’s program. And once Francesa was off and running about his “Twitter should be illegal” rant, YES Network staffer Anthony Griek informed all 11,000+ followers of the account that the purpose of the @MikeFrancesaYES account is “to promote news about the show”, usually guests that Francesa is scheduled to interview on his show that day. With that, Griek also made a point to write, “For those asking, Mike does not tweet here.”
Like YES Network, WFAN has its own way of keeping listeners updated with upcoming guests. The station’s parent company, CBS, calls it the “Audio Roadshow.” Among the other features of the app, specifically designed for Francesa’s program, are a convenient WFAN audio stream, a “spot poll,” and on most days, the first thing you’ll see when you open up the app is… a sports comment written by none other than Mike Francesa? We’ve archived one from mid-February about how Francesa “saw Lin in person last night” at the Garden - as in Jeremy Lin… remember him? – on what would be the first game the Knicks would lose with Lin being a starter. (This, of course, led to unsavory headlines that got a bunch of ESPN personnel in hot water.)
But wait a second… Wouldn’t Mike Francesa writing a brief blog about Jeremy Lin having nine turnovers in a game be equivalent to just going on Twitter and doing it? Even though he’s not officially on Twitter?
So Mike Francesa contends that “nobody needs to hear from” broadcasters, athletes and media types, himself included. So then why does Mike Francesa send these “un-tweets” through the “Audio Roadshow” app?
I suppose this wouldn’t be the first time Mike Francesa would be considered a hypocrite – in which case, he might get sent to Twitter jail for a long time.