When you spend a lot of time in the public eye, you're bound to make rather visible mistakes. Perhaps you'll trip and fall, or say something stupid, or appear to fall asleep on live television. Something will happen. When something does happen, and assuming it's something small and inadvertent — as opposed to something vile and deliberate — your best bet is almost always to have a laugh at your own expense. Even if you feel your public humiliation is unearned or ignorant in some way, the most adroit way to move past it is to absorb the hits and join in the deprecation. Those who mock tend to get bored when they find their jabs aren't upsetting anybody. This is as true in the Internet and media milieu as it was on the elementary-school playground.
A post-boner approach that almost never works is refusing to admit to the mishap or withdraw one's pride even a little. It's been over a week since Mike Francesa fell asleep briefly during a televised WFAN interview — or appeared to fall asleep, a distinction that has no bearing on the response — and he's still taking shit for it. Bob's Blitz (via Awful Announcing) shared a video today in which Francesa's show takes three separate callers seeking only to needle him over his on-air nap.
With the possible exception of the second caller (which actually took me a second listen to get), there's nothing especially clever or biting in there. Francesa, though, can't quite deflect them. He gets irritated, tries to counter (his own Smurfs jokes don't make sense, either. Not gonna find a lot of 5-year-olds watching the Smurfs these days), then makes the grave error of invoking his big salary (one might call this "pulling the platinum card"). This is a shame, and it only invites more, increasingly justified mockery. Even if Francesa thinks this is a big deal and a serious blow to his reputation (which ... gosh, I hope he doesn't think that), the only surefire way to bury it is to own it. Like he says, a short clip should mean nothing in the context of a 25-year career. And it wouldn't, if he'd just laugh it off.