Job Opening at WFAN Sports Radio (Hopefully Soon)

sports radio host mike francesa

Mike Francesa, sports radio host at New York’s WFAN believes paternity leave is a “scam” and “gimmick”

The loudest voices in the loudest city are making waves as only sports radio hosts can do, manufacturing unnecessary controversy when in reality, there is nothing to see here.

WFAN sports radio host Mike Francesa, the unofficial arbiter of your life and how you should live it, believes Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy shouldn’t have been allowed to leave the team for more than one day to be with his wife for the birth of his first child.

The 60-year old Francesa, who famously fell asleep during his own radio show back in 2012, isn’t alone in his criticism of Murphy, who has battle partners in WFAN morning show hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton.

Esiason: Murphy should have insisted his wife “have a C-section before the season starts. I need to be at Opening Day, I’m sorry.”

Carton: “Assuming the birth went well, the wife is fine, the baby is fine, 24 hours and then you get your ass back to your team and you play baseball.”

Francesa: “One day, go see the baby be born and come back. You’re a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help.”

To keep the facts in perspective, Murphy is allowed 1-3 days paternity leave as part of the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011; he left the team on Monday,  the team was off on Tuesday, he stayed with his wife on Wednesday and came back to play on Thursday.

So by the standards set forth by Francesa & Carton (i.e. ‘one day and get your ass back to work’) Murphy missed one game on Wednesday that they did not approve of. One game. One game to be with his wife and family.

As Allen Iverson would hypothetically say, ‘We’re talking about 1/162nd of a season?’

Just another sports media soapbox where machismo wins out over logic and creates another in a long list of fabricated controversies.

“What are you going to do? Are going to sit there and look at your wife in a hospital bed for two days?”

This isn’t about being the right father, role model or husband – although those arguments could be made – this is about our relationship with the athletes we watch perform.

We do not own them.

sports radio hosts manufactur controversy

Francesa wasn’t alone in his criticism of paternity leave, buoyed by fellow sports radio hosts Craig Carton (left) and Boomer Esiason (right)

They are free to make their own choices, and frankly some of those choices should be supported with grace. It is easy for these hosts to blast Murphy – too easy – what would have been really inspiring would be for someone to support his decision, and willing to take on the ensuing fanboy attacks of ‘not being man enough’. Now that would have taken some stones.

Preaching testosterone to a bunch of rabid sports fans is not exactly the road less traveled, it’s like crafting the 1,000th April Fools joke post on Facebook… Ha, Ha, I’m not really pregnant! (Yawn).

The Choices We All Get To Make

During one of my stops in my sports career I became close with a local NFL star – his wife was set to give birth during the season and I felt comfortable asking him what he would do.

NFL player: “If she goes into labor I will be there with her”

Me: “What if it’s on Saturday or Sunday?”

NFL Player: “I will be there”

Me: “You’ll miss the game? You’ll get slaughtered by the media”

He then shot me a look that said ‘how dare you’, but with 10x more venom  and intention. I left the conversation thinking he was a fool.

His child was born on a Tuesday and the controversy was avoided, but that moment stuck with me for years. Later after having my own kids, I discovered it was I that was the fool.

We Do Not Own Them

Drunk driving, skipping meetings, busted for PED’s have at ’em – that is the fodder for sports talk – but blasted for being with your wife and family while missing two games out of 162. Seriously?

Athletes are not well-paid court jesters forced to dance for us and if they fail to bring us joy, thrown to the lions. They are people just like us that deserve the right to make their own choices. If Daniel Murphy gets Wally Pipped and never finds his way back into the lineup, then he can look back at his choice and decide if it was worth it for him. It is not for us to decide.

Frankly, I wish his teammates, and the teammates of every expecting father in every league, pushed him out the door with high fives, cigars and best-wishes…and then refused to go on WFAN.

This article is a commentary from WorkinSports Director of Content, and sports media veteran, Brian Clapp, it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else associated with WorkInSports.

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for &

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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  1. I can’t wait to apply for Francesa’s job… in fact I’m sending in my resume to WFAN right now!

    Brian, why hasn’t WIS posted this job opening yet?!

  2. It’s not about when or if Daniel Murphy, or anyone else, misses games or the CBA, it’s about being a dad. Period.That this is even an issue is an insult to fathers everywhere.

    I was lucky enough nearly 18 years ago that when my sons were born my boss gave me two paid weeks off. I didn’t even have to burn vacation time. He *gave* me the time. I told him I’d saved up time so I could take a few days off and his exact words to me were, “Don’t worry about it. Go home and be a father.”

    There is no job – none – more important for a man than being a father. Absolutely none. There is also no amount of money that will replace the time Murphy is going to lose away from his child. Apart from the Mets’ trips to Florida and the All-Star break he won’t see his son until October. Unless you’re a father you can’t understand what that means. When my boys were 3½ months old I spent a month away from them in Atlanta as I prepared my family for a move and it hurt every single day. For people in the media – who are fathers, no less – to criticize someone for using their allotted time to bond with their child is asinine.

    There are athletes who rush back to be with their teams and that’s their choice. I don’t agree with it but again it’s their choice. However if they stay with their newborns and their significant others and miss a game or two – regular season or otherwise – the Earth won’t fall off its axis and their teams and teammates will survive. 15 years from now Daniel Murphy won’t be playing his sport. 15 years from now, if life is kind to him, he will still be a father.

  3. Just another example of the overblown, windbag, empty, opinionated, biased sports commentary taking place all over the country. These “journalists” are a joke and a disgrace to mass media. If he was in shock-radio, no one would give it a second thought. But this guy is supposed to be credible, fair, honest, and stick to the facts. The gall to say such things… We see it almost every year, some announcer, some host, some “broadcast journalist” over stepping and voicing a warped opinion on cultural values, or making a dumb ass comment such as this, either racist or derogatory. Murphy can take the whole damn season off if he wants too! Get bent scrub “reporter”, you are trash! Good riddance. How about a little praise for a sports role model displaying how he values family over one meaningless game? No one gives a damn about opening day, the baseball season, or your idiotic opinion on the personal lives of athletes.

  4. Dan Sveaver says

    All the points that I would’ve made have already been stated, so I won’t be unnecessarily redundant. However, my “in a nutshell” opinion was simply that this scenario should be between the organization and the player. End of story.

  5. I thought the article was bad. I think you are attacking someone’s opinion because like most in the media, that’s all you know how to do. Anyone with an opinion different from yours, the media attacks them. I do listen to Mike but do not agree with everything he says and at times drives me crazy with the things that come out of his mouth. The show is more for humor for me aside from anything else. But in the end it is talk radio. That’s what talk radio host do, voice their opinions. If you agree or disagree that’s YOUR own opinion. If you think he should be fired for that, Grow Up! There are greater problems in the world, do some real research and write about real issues.

    • Appreciate the response Bill – that’s the great thing about sports; we can all have different opinions, share them publicly and still respect another person’s viewpoint. I thought what he said was moronic, and considering that Boomer came out and apologized shortly thereafter, he may have had a little regret too. I’m actually a pretty open-minded member of the media, and can usually see things from both sides of the fence – this struck a nerve with me, as I’m sure many things have struck you in your life. Thankfully, I have a channel to express my opinion and I know that I open myself up to criticism when I do. I’m glad you found our comment section as your channel to express your opinion as well. Nothing but respect for you Bill, I can see where you are coming from whether I agree with it or not. All the best, Brian