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View Full Version : Mike Francesa - How the mighty have fallen Part 1 of 5



mezz1962
05-12-2011, 00:18
I will be doing a few articles on Mike Francesa, let me say first that I have been listening to him for the past 20+ years, and I have the utmost respect, but I realized that Francesa, is no longer the person he was before Dog left, so I am writing my reasons why he is no longer the "Sports Pope."

Part 1 STRAW MAN

How Francesa uses the "Straw man" argument to cover for his lack of knowledge of a particular subject, or his bias against certain teams and/or players.

According to the definition: The straw man argument, also called straw dog or scarecrow, deliberately misrepresents and weakens the argument of the opposing side. This can be done by leaving out key points of an opposing argument, quoting a person’s words out of context, or presenting a particular person’s poor defense as the entire defense of an opposing side.

Example:

Caller: Wright, and Reyes have really gotten off to a great start, and I think they may both have a really great 2011 season. Wright is hitting 324, and Reyes is hitting .359. Do you think they will be able to keep it up?

Francesa: They have gotten off to a good start, but They can't hit in the clutch, they both have never hit in the clutch

Caller: Yea, but Wright is hitting .292 with runners in scoring position this year

Francesa: (Waves to the booth indicating to them to hang up on the caller) Wright has never gotten a big hit ever, go back and look at what he did at the end of 2006, 2007, 2008 he never gets a big hit, Reyes has been even worse, just look at their stats...THEY ARE HORRIBLE! Next Caller.


You can see the Callers main point was to talk about this year, since he said 2011, he statement was Wright & Reyes have started well, and they both could have great 2011 season. Francesa, is the best at using the Straw Man, because he will focus on the parts he can use to disparage, players he does not like, and use it to turn the argument in his favor, while completely ignoring the original callers statement and/or question.

Using the Straw man technique Mike will only use key words that he can use to direct the conversation where ever he wishes. Mike will also make sure to add in his compliments, right at the start to cover the typical follow up caller..Example

Caller: Hello Mike?

Francesa: Hello

Caller: Why do you hate the Mets? That caller was just pointing out that Wright & Reyes are having terrific starts, but you just rip into the Mets all the time?

Francesa: (Waves to the booth indicating to them to hang up on the caller) What are you talking about? Didn't I just say Write and Reyes are having great starts? OMG I can't believe these Met callers never listen to what I say..Go back and listen, I agreed with the caller that Wright and Reyes are off to a good start, What more do you want? Next Caller.

So Mike makes sure to add his compliments in, but he does it in a way that will cover him, and also be trivialized by what he really wants to say.

So lets take this scenario just a bit further to show you how using the Straw Man technique Mike can make the original callers comments just disappear right before our very eyes.

Caller: Wright, and Reyes have really gotten off to a great start, and I think they may both have a really great 2011 season. Wright is hitting 324, and Reyes is hitting .359. Do you think they will be able to keep it up?

Francesa: They have gotten off to a good start, but They can't hit in the clutch, they both have never hit in the clutch.

Caller: "Yea, but Wright is hitting .292 with runners in scoring position this year?"

Francesa: "Wright has never gotten a big hit ever, go back look at his stats, and Reyes is even worse (Mike goes silent for a moment, but In the background you hear some page turning until Mike starts talking again) Tell me what is Reyes hitting with men in scoring position?

Caller: Umm I am not sure

Francesa I KNOW (Because he just looked it up, but saying "I KNOW" makes the listener believe Mike has all the info in his brain? "Reyes is only hitting (giggles) .083 with runners in scoring position (Laughs again), How can you call these two great? These two have never gotten a big hit in their lives

Caller: Well I think they hit in the clutch!"

Francesa (a little loud, because OMG you are not taking Francesa at his word) NAME ME ONE TIME?

Caller: "Umm well I really..."

Francesa: Cuts off caller by talking over him, before hanging up on him "SO YOU CAN'T! You can't name me one big hit, because THERE ARE NO BIG HITS! These two NEVER..EVER get a big hit"

Who will actually remember one hit from 2007? and even if they did, Francesa will come back with either "So he had one hit, big deal" or "So he had one hit, name me another one?" which of course that is NOT what Francesa asked for he asked for ONE and the caller would gave him one, but now he wants two just to show he is right and the caller is wrong.

OK Lets take this to the ultimate example, Now Francesa has taken at least 10 calls on this subject, and each time he is looking up stats and gathering more info, so by the 10th caller Francesa looks like he had all the numbers in his head when in fact he was gathering them as he went along as more and more callers started asking tougher questions. Always remember how far the conversation drifts from the original callers comments

The caller is BRILLIANT and Francesa realizes there is no way he can pull off his standard deflection, so he pulls out his trump card to finally pull out the victory


Caller: Wright, and Reyes have really gotten off to a great start, and I think they may both have a really great 2011 season. Wright is hitting 324, and Reyes is hitting .359. Do you think they will be able to keep it up?

Francesa: They have gotten off to a good start, but They can't hit in the clutch, they both have never hit in the clutch, Reyes is only hitting (giggles) .083 with runners in scoring position (Laughs again), How can you call these two great? These two have never

Caller: "I wasn't calling them great I said they are off to a great start, and besides Wright is hitting .292 with runners on this year."

Francesa: and what about Reyes with his .083? and go and look at what they did in 2007 when the Mets collapsed down the stretch"

Caller: Well in 2007 Reyes hit .259 and Wright hit .310 with men in scoring position

Francesa: "And you think 259 is a good average?" (completely ignoring Wrights 310)

Caller: "Your right 259 isn't great but...What about Wrights 310?"

Francesa "I am not asking about Wright I am asking you if Reyes hitting 259 is a good average?"

Caller: It doesn't matter you said they never ever hit in the clutch and I shown they have...

Francesa: Francesa cuts off his comment "259 is horrible (he does this so the listeners think Francesa is right and leads the audience to believe the caller is ignoring Mike's question) "Again,These two never hit in the clutch, just look at their postseason...THEY STINK" Francesca knows the guy has the regular season stats, so he can beat him on those, so he tries the post season stats to see if the caller has them.

Caller: what do you mean In 2006 they both hit 400 with runners in scoring position?"

Francesa: They made it to the playoffs ONCE in their careers, The never hit in the clutch, look at 2007 what did they hit down the stretch when the Mets lost a 7 game lead in the last 17 games?" Mike is screaming at this point, because he needs to show his audience that the caller is somehow ignoring his question, which he is not by the way.

Caller: but they hit 400 in...

Francesa" Wait a minute! How many times have the Mets been to the playoffs with these two?"

Caller: But, Mike they hit.....

Francesa: Keeps repeating Wait a second!...Wait a second!...Wait a second!

Caller: Finally the caller gives in and says "Once"

Francesa: "ONCE your telling me you're giving me these numbers based on ONE playoffs, What did they do the last 17 games in 2007 when they lost that 7 game lead...DID ANY OF THEM HAVE ANY CLUTCH HITS?

Caller Well, Wright hit 310 and Re....

Francesa: Pulls the the rug out on the caller "I didn't ask what they hit for the year, I asked what the did in those last 17 games?

Caller: I don't know"

Francesa: Ends the call and says, "I'll tell you how they hit down the stretch... they did nothing, These two NEVER EVER get a big hit." He then goes on a diatribe about how the callers just call up with these silly statements, and try to ignore the fact that these two never get a big hit down the stretch.

Mike knows since there is no breakdown of this 17 game stretch on MLB.com he knows he will always win because all he needs is for the caller to say "I don't know" just once and Francesa has got him.

Francesa knows that a caller could go and add the stats up game by game, but you never know what number of games Francesa will ask for. He could say "What did they do in their last 25 games", or "the Last month", or "the last 7 days"...So there is no way anyone can be prepared.

You notice Francesa will never give the answer himself, because he does not know the answer. He does not need to know the exact number because if you ask Francesa for it then he will say "I know it, and I am asking YOU if you know it, you're the one who called and said these two hit in the clutch, not me"

Reyes could have hit 500 down the stretch, but Francesa knows the odds are 99 to 1 that the caller won't so Francesa will always look like he is brilliant, and worse case scenario if someone does have the answer Francesa can always say "I am not sure that's accurate, but I will of course look it up and if I am wrong I'll say so"...Which of course he won't but if on the rare occasion he does admit to being wrong, he will do so when talking about the NFL labor talks.

By Dominick Mezzapesa
twitter dmezz1120
email mezz1962@gmail.com

The Boss
05-12-2011, 09:18
It amazes me how unprepared some callers are. Knowing they are going into the mouth of the Lion, some of these people try to make a point on a certain issue, but know nothing about it. Its a little different then what you are saying Dom. In the case above its different because, like you say Mike can always say "in the last year" or "for his career". I would like you to have a list of stats in front of you and try to stump him every time he throws on of those questions at you

Donal
05-12-2011, 09:55
I think your point would be better served if you actually had a specific instance to refer to. I've heard Francesa do this sort of thing myself, but if you had an actual call or series of calls (perhaps one of the ones posted on YouTube) and were able to break it down for the reader, you would really hit home.

Jersey John
05-12-2011, 10:15
Francesa has mastered this technique. I love the man but it is true that he will turn something around quicker then shit if it suits him

wolfbugs
05-12-2011, 10:33
I agree I think the callers have to come more prepared because Mike has turned into a twit, the callers are lucky if they get 10 seconds before he gives them the hook, unless you are calling to agree with him then have your stats ready and good luck. I think Francesa has lost it since Dog left. He is sometimes unbearable to watch or listen to. I need someone to explain to me how he gets away with his nasty and rude behavior......

wolfbugs
05-12-2011, 10:33
also I am looking forward to the rest of this series..

The Boss
05-12-2011, 10:38
I need someone to explain to me how he gets away with his nasty and rude behavior

$$$

Donal
05-12-2011, 14:14
Why exactly do people watch the simulcast? He's not exactly..shall we say...friendly to a visual medium. Its just a fat guy talking into a microphone.

Georgia Roddy
05-12-2011, 17:11
mezz1962, Great Post. Spot On.

Francesa's a jerk.

He gets away with it because of ratings Wolfbugs. If 1050's transmitter wasn't worthless, Mike may have to worry.

mezz1962
05-12-2011, 18:16
Donal asked for an example, and I did try my best to find something on you tube that would match what i was talking about, and did not find exactly what i was looking for. On my other article I do in fact use You Tube video to back up what i was writing.

Here is something close. The callers original statement was Do you think it is possible that Buddy Ryan called his son Jet coach Rex Ryan to discuss his 85 bears... But Mike cuts in and like a straw man argument Mike injects "Compare" into the conversation. Even the caller says I never said "Compare" but it's too late, by the end Mike is comparing the Jets to the Yankees and at one point mike says "HE! won more championships than Rex Ryan"

This is NOT a perfect example, I will start recording Mike shows till i find one, the problem is Mike no longer takes long calls, he is giving the caller 2 seconds before he hangs up on him (That will be part 3)

NOW Remember when watching this video The Caller called to ask mike "Do you think it is possible that Buddy Ryan called his son Rex?"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzLWcFYaS8A&feature=player_detailpage

Junior
05-12-2011, 18:47
With all the hate directed at him, he is still the best host around. Just saying

Jimmy from Brooklyn
05-13-2011, 08:41
Mikes good at what he does. Winning arguments and diverting conversations is a big part of that.

Disappointing
05-15-2011, 22:43
I think any critical analysis of Francesa is a waste of time. He has become a sports pundit and does not care about being knowledgeable or informed. It is a perfect example of Stephen Colbert's 'truthiness.' Francesa already has a narrative of what he believes worked out and the details be damned. He has lost touch with the audience and seemingly has contempt for them. He is free to do so because there are few serious challenges to him in his time slot, and the time slot itself is designed to get maximum ratings. The quality of his guests have declined and he seems far more interested in personal grudges. His entire quarrel with the Jets, for instance, seems more logically a result of their embargo of his show than any professional analysis of their performance on the field. No number of words on this topic will yield anything worthwhile I think. This is a man that seems profoundly bored with his profession but neither wants to nor has to step away. What we get is a lackluster product from 1:00 to 6:30 everyday that, lets face it, most of us will still tune in to because it is still better than anything else on at that time.

The Boss
05-16-2011, 13:47
Alright what happened to part 2?