Ha ha. From the way Mike Francesa pronounces Lionel Messi’s first name (making the FC Barcelona and team Argentina star sound more like a character in Charles Schultz’s Peanuts) to the gentle rhetorical questions posed throughout, the WFAN personality’s commentary this week about the May 30 issue of Sports Illustrated is some kind of fun to listen to. Think older guy, politely instructing: “Get off my lawn, and take that soccer ball with you.”
Francesa acknowledges that for devoted soccer fans, the upcoming Copa América is a big deal. But from the point of view of his beloved SI and mainstream America, he cannot understand why the editors would choose to put Messi on the cover and devote 11 pages inside to a tournament he had never heard of. At one point, Francesa frames it in simple WFAN terms, asking an on-air colleague:
“Has anybody every called you and said, ‘Listen, can you help promote Copa América on Mike’s show?’… Bottom line is not one person has ever, ever done that.”
Sports Illustrated, the host argues, is now just a “sad reminder of a different world.” Listen to the full segment below.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
This Summer, Lionel Messi Hopes to Meet Steph Curry