Mike Francesa's relationship with Donald Trump goes back five decades. The two men are from the same place and possess many of the same qualities. Francesa has not been reticent to praise the president and defend him through many permutations of the indefensible.
But recently, things have changed. Mismanagement of the coronavirus response is radicalizing him. His ire has moved from the federal government broadly to Trump personally. Here's the Sports Pope reaching his breaking point yesterday in a moment I, like so many others, did not have on the bingo card.
"That’s what’s wrong here," Francesa said of the gulf between Trump's press conference reality and actual reality. "There’s a disconnect. We’re watching one thing happen in our city on the 11 o’clock news every night. We’re watching people die and now we know people who die. And we’re not seeing one or two people die now in neighborhood. We’re seeing them die by the tens and the twenties every day. They’re bringing people out of a hospital in Queens in body bags, five minutes from where he grew up.
We here know this isn’t right. You get the guys in the metropolitan area and ask the cops in New York if it’s right, right now. Ask the firemen in New York who are answering those police calls, answering those ambulance calls if it’s right, right now. Ask the nurses and the doctors in the hospital if it’s right, right now. They know it’s not. They don’t have the supplies they need. So don’t give me the MyPillow guy doing a song and dance up here on a Monday afternoon when people are dying in Queens!"
Francesa's prescription? Get to work!
“Get the stuff made! Get the stuff where it needs to go and get the boots on the ground. Treat this like the crisis it is. And how can you have a scoreboard that says 2,000 people have died, and tell us it’s OK if another 198,000 die, that’s a good job. How is that a good job in our country? It’s a good job if nobody else dies. Not if another 198,000 people die. So now 200,000 people are disposable?”
This is the most passionate we've seen the radio host in a long, long time. And it's understandable because the stakes here are a bit higher than, say, the Yankees solving a middle relief problem or the Giants' third-and-long playcalling.
We're a few weeks from Francesa calling for open revolution. Truly a harrowing, but interesting time to be alive and have a broadband connection.