LISTEN: John Calipari quibbles, gets cut off Mike Francesa's radio show
Two legends in their respective games butt heads, and Francesa eventually elbows Calipari off the air.
Mike Francesa, a legendary sports radio host based out of New York City, has had many famous and infamous moments on the air over the years. The alleged falling asleep while on the air. The constant bickering with his callers. The holier-than-thou sports knowledge attitude. Francesa's built an empire on his ego, rightfully in large part because he -- and his former co-host, Chris Russo -- became the first major stars of sports-talk radio and paved the way for the format.
For all his knowings, college basketball has never been a strength of Francesa's. (I say this having listened to him on and off for more than a decade, and very much enjoying him during the NFL season.)
On Wednesday, Francesa had a rare bout of college hoops talk, which led to some discussion on John Calipari's coaching ability after Cal made an appearance on the show. That prompted "John from Kentucky" to call in soon thereafter, once Francesa made it clear that he didn't admire the Kentucky coach's ability to scheme the game.
The ensuing two-minute squabble was vintage chest-puffing from both men, each plenty envied and hated in their own profession.
OK, first off, Calipari's radio-caller voice is something to behold. But after that initial weirdness, the two of them get into it. Which makes for a good listen; these guys go way back, after all.
"How sensitive are you? You call me up?" Francesa asks Calipari at the outset. "You know what you're like? You're like a caller who doesn't listen, OK?"
Francesa reiterates what he told a caller: that he likes Calipari as a coach in essentially every facet except X-and-O acumen.
CALIPARI: "That's basically saying I can't coach. You know what they call me? The Magician. Cal, the Magician."
FRANCESA: "Waitaseckint. Are there better X's and O's guys than you?"
CALIPARI: "You think I believe that?"
CALIPARI: "I will pass a lie detector test and say, 'No.'"
FRANCESA: "No you won't. No you won't."
And less than 10 seconds after that, the Sports Pope goes vintage Pope and just cuts off Calipari's call and ends it before the Kentucky icon can even get in another word or say goodbye. Treating him just like he called it: as if Calipari was a typical caller from the Bronx or thereabouts. Harsh. Unnecessary. Hilarious.
That's Francesa for you, though. After the disconnection he doubles down on his thoughts on Calipari's defincies as a coach's coach. For the record, you talk to coaches today, and plenty believe Calipari's among the best in that regard. Many have spoken up on his behalf in the past half-decade or so, after this exact kind of thinking started to smear his reputation.
Anyway, that was weird. Fun! Now go to the Mike Francesa Soundboard. Back afta dis.
Hat tip, KSR.
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