The Real Reason Mike Francesa Decided To Return To WFAN

Mike Francesa Returns

Photo: By Peteykirchner [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Following in the foot steps of Cher, Elton John, Kiss, George Foreman and the thousands of other famous personalities that have retired only to come back rather quickly, Mike Francesa announced on April 24th 2018, that he plans to return to Sports Radio WFAN possibly within even a week. To be fair, Mike Francesa did not retire, he merely left WFAN to pursue other options. However the manner in which he left and the reasons behind his return have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many of his fans and colleagues. In an interview with Newsday, Mike Francesa defined that the reason he was going back to WFAN was that there were certain people who told him he “better not go back.” Utilizing the reason that he was going back because he was told not too, well just does not really cut it with New Yorkers. Yes, its feisty and rings of rebellion, but does anyone really believe that is the reason. Of course not. Yes, he did say he missed it, but the real reason is simple. The glory of the stage is just too difficult to leave behind for so many.

When you are loved by millions and told how great you are everyday, it becomes such an addition that once it stops, the withdrawal process begins. Celebrities feed on attention even though most of them deny it. Think of the Rocky movies. Rocky has retired and now owns his little restaurant. He sits around telling stories to a handful of people every day. However, at the end of the night he stares at that picture on the wall of him and Apollo Creed and it begins to tear him apart. Rocky needs those crowds chanting his name. A handful of people at a dinner table listening to Rocky stories comes no where close to the thrill of large crowds screaming for victory.

Stars have a hard time returning back to earth. Many people get upset over celebrities return to the stage after their retirement.It’s not because of their return, but because of the retirement parties that were thrown in their name as heartfelt goodbyes. People spend money on purchasing retirement gifts. Fans spend mega bucks on those expensive concert tickets billed as the last chance to see your favorite artists. It kind of feels like you were ripped off when they return so quickly. At least the Eagles admitted there return ironically when they labeled their comeback tour the Hell Freezes Over Tour after publicly stating that they would not return “until hell freezes over.”

Jerry Seinfeld left, he came back, Dave Letterman left, he is trying to come back. Only Johnny Carson left and never came back. Johnny Carson was always one of the most well-respected talents in the entertainment industry. Carson’s adherence to his retirement and his disappearance from the public spotlight only fueled his legend even more.

The other significant factor about returning to a stage where you once reigned supreme, is what happens to those now performing on your old stage. Do people get fired because of Mike Francesa’s return or are they just asked to simply move over to the right, a little bit more, just a few more steps…..  I actually like Bart, Maggie and Carlin. Hopefully they will still find a spot. WFAN has hinted at actually just moving them up earlier in the day. On Tuesday, the day of the announcement it was interesting to hear their reactions to the news. They were very professional in the way they handled it, defining why I probably like them as much as I do. It was fun listening to Boomer Esiason pounce on Francesa this morning. Boomer is Boomer!

I always liked Mike Francesa, but I cringed every time he took a call. His excuse for destroying fan callers because they themselves had chosen to be a part of his show, was just an excuse for being impatient and mean. Mike Francesa was brilliant when he spoke by himself. Even though sometimes he put his foot in his mouth, he was just so entertaining in his delivery.

Time and time again, Rocky retired, but it just wouldn’t let him go. Is this just the beginning of a series of break ups and returns between Mike Francesa and WFAN? Probably so.


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