Mike Francesa: I Didn’t Fall Asleep On The Air

Regular listeners to Mike Francesa’s talk show on WFAN radio (simulcasted on the YES television network) are well aware of his tendency to rewrite history as far as his sports predictions.

But now he claims that he didn’t fall asleep on the air on Monday even though he was caught on a video clip posted to YouTube apparently dozing off during an interview with WFAN Yankee reporter Sweeny Murti.

Francesa says he was just tired.

In this afternoon’s broadcast, Francesa explained that he had been up late the night before (i.e., Sunday night) watching the Steelers-Broncos game and then because one of his kids was sick. But he insisted he wasn’t asleep during the broadcast even though his eyes were closed.

“I did close my eyes during the Sweeny interview and that was on TV and it’s become this bone of contention because I guess everything we do on this show does. But I promise you, I was never asleep. I promise you. I promise you I won’t come in without sleeping because my wife said I can’t do that anymore.”

As many people have noted, that big-eyed look of bewilderment/horror when he snaps back to attention hardly seems like a man who was awake the entire time. The New York Post reports that Mike Francesa was going to ignore the whole falling-asleep incident, but his wife convinced him to address it on the air.

Up until August 2008, Mike Francesa’s on-air partner on his long-running show was Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, but Russo departed for satellite radio. Francesa has been been flying solo since September 20008, although apparently on-and-off discussions have occurred about adding a new co-host.

Added: On his Sirius/XM radio show, Chris Russo made the following comments about his former partner’s sleep deprivation according to the New York Daily News:

“Yeah, Mike fell asleep…We’ve gotta be fair. I mean, Mike nodded off. He probably would’ve been better off just saying, ‘I nodded off, my error.’ It can happen. Listen, he’s been doing that show forever so it can happen. I don’t think Sweeny took offense to it but Mike did nod off, no question about it.”

Do you accept Mike Francesa’s promise that he wasn’t asleep during the show?