Mike Francesa on “Guy Talk” vs. “Sports Talk”

Peter Ackerman, Asbury Park Press via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Not a ton going on in Philly sports talk radio right now. I actually have no clue what’s happening with Angelo’s replacement, so maybe we gotta make some phone calls here, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a quote from New York guy Mike Francesa, who is doing a podcast these days.

From James Kratch at ESNY:

He answered a slew of listener emails Monday on his latest BetRivers show. One of the inquiries: What is something during his career that is not necessarily well-known, but that he is proud of?

“You know I’ve never been a big guy talk person. I don’t like guy talk. It’s not something we subscribe to. It’s not something Dog (Chris “Mad Dog” Russo) and I have ever done. It’s not something we believe in.

“We do sports talk, not guy talk, OK. We don’t do T and A, we don’t talk about girls, we don’t talk about sex, we don’t talk about scatological issues. We don’t do that stuff. We never did. Never had to. A lot of that is an easy avenue to try and get ratings, because you think, ‘Hey, everyone is interested in that stuff.’ And in some places, I’m sure they are, that sensational stuff.”

First things first, I have to laugh at the term “scatological issues.” Maybe that’s his way of saying “fart jokes.”

But it’s actually kind of an interesting topic. Francesa and Mad Dog, if they were doing radio today, wouldn’t have said anything about Zach Wilson’s “hot” mom when that story was gaining traction. Former WIP guy Craig Carton, who replaced Francesa at WFAN and may be a recipient of shade in this instance, asked Wilson about his mom straight up and then went on a four-minute rant defending himself.

How many Philly radio guys did the Howard Stern/morning zoo/guy talk routine? Not a ton, I don’t think. Cataldi did it in the heyday of the Wing Bowl, where various chicks would come into the studio and you’d have the “smoke show” thing and all of that. That died a few years ago as the #MeToo movement became prominent and lecher radio became untenable. You’re not bringing in the wingettes anymore and talking about their tits in 2022, because you’d probably be cancelled and/or lose half of your sponsors (and to Angelo’s credit, he’s said as much in recent interviews).

Seems like we’ve replaced the “guy talk” approach to radio with the low-hanging fruit of hot takes, i.e. just saying shit to say it, even if you don’t believe it. If you’re looking for something cheap to latch on to, maybe you carve out that brand instead of reverting to “T and A” or “scatological issues,” because you can’t really go there anyway.