Yesterday, a video made the rounds of Mike Francesa appearing to fall asleep during Sweeny Murti's Yankees segment on Monday afternoon. And so at the urging of Francesa's wife and WFAN's operations manager, the host addressed the video on his show today. Neil Best has the details over at Newsday, but basically, Francesa says he did close his eyes during the segment, and that he hadn't slept the night before. (He said he was tending to his son, who'd suffered an exercise-induced asthma attack, and had a long day and night on the first regular-season Sunday of the NFL season.) But he swears he wasn't actually sleeping.
He says he's done plenty of shows while exhaused before, going back to the "Mike and the Mad Dog" days, but says he'll never again close his eyes during a broadcast. Said Francesa on today's show, via Best:
"I was exhausted," he said. "I've done that many times through the years. Twenty-five years, I can tell you, not just when my kids were born. Many times. I mean, Dog [Chris Russo] and I did 25 hours in a row. There were many nights where I've come in here and not slept all night and done a show.
"Maybe I have to never try that again at this stage because I was exhausted late in the show. But I can promise you this: I did close my eyes during the Sweeny interview for a minute and it was on TV and that's become this big bone of contention because I guess everything we do on this show does.
"But I can promise you as you can go listen to the interview, I was never asleep. I promise you. And I promise I'll never close my eyes again nor will I come in without sleeping because my wife says you can't do that anymore."
He also added a bit of that trademark Francesa humility: "Enough on this nonsense. Let's get back to doing what we do, which is not talking about this nonsense, but talking about sports and what we do and I think we do better than anybody else." Unfortunately for him, the Internet has a great appetite for nonsense: The video, titled "WFAN's Sweeny Murti Puts Mike Francesa to Sleep," has been viewed more than 225,000 times on YouTube since being uploaded on Tuesday.