Mike Francesa’s Master of the Universe Complex has become too profound to any longer be regarded as funny. He’s becoming sad, pathetic. And unless he gets hold of himself — as unlikely as that is — he’ll remain a clear and present danger to himself, the last to take him seriously.
Francesa, still the top sports radio listen here — aided in large part by a lack of competition — has sustained and confused his popularity, unaware that car wrecks draw crowds.
Two weeks ago, there was that brazenly dishonest Al Alburquerque episode, transparent to all except Francesa. Although he presents himself as a baseball expert, he’d never heard of the Tigers’ third-year reliever — who just had pitched against the Yankees in the ALDS — thus, when a caller brought up Alburquerque’s name, Francesa slam-dunked the phone, as if a prank caller had slipped through.
Later, after learning off-air Al Alburquerque is for real, he might have apologized to that caller and admitted his mistake. Instead, he lied his way in deeper, claiming he knows Alburquerque as Alberto Jose Alburquerque, likely meaning Francesa and Alburquerque’s mother are the only two.
Last week, same thing. Although he regards himself as an unparalleled NFL expert, a widely reported story escaped him: Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall, extremely talented but just as troubled — his presence and participation in felonious street crime and domestic violence has been steady — months ago was clinically diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Although such diagnoses often lead to cynicism (Don’t we all have such lines that we border?), that’s not the point. The professional diagnosis was BPD.
So when Marshall, with tonight’s Dolphins-Jets game on his fragile mind, spewed delusional inanities, both his words and disorder made more news. Except Francesa, the condescending, conceited, big-talking expert on all matters was the last to know.
Thus, when a caller matter-of-factly stated that Marshall has BPD, Francesa stopped him cold, belittled him, hollered at him, indignantly demanded to know — without allowing the caller to answer — if he’s a psychiatrist, if he examined Marshall, if he has any idea what he’s talking about. And then, bully that he is, Francesa slam-dunked the phone.
Minutes later, clearly having been informed off-air that Marshall in facthasbeen clinically declared to have BPD, Francesa returned to the issue — not to apologize to that abused, ridiculed and bullied caller, nor to admit his error — but to again perform his transparent liar’s dance, the Megalomaniac’s Waltz, as if he, of course, was well aware of Marshall’s BPD (Who isn’t?), but regards that as no excuse for Marshall’s antisocial behavior.
But what of Francesa’s now ceaseless antisocial behavior? The Emperor’s same old new clothes. For his sake, before whatever corpuscle of credibility he may still have is destroyed from the inside, out, it’s time for a new wardrobe.