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Mike Francesa on Simmons: 'He has to answer to Big Brother'

Mike Francesa and Chris Russo during their radio

Mike Francesa and Chris Russo during their radio show. (Credit: Newsday photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Bill Simmons conducted a live chat Monday night to help launch ESPNBoston.com, and it included the following question and answer:

Q: Hey, SportsGuy, how about trying to get Mike Francesa onto a podcast to talk Sox-Yanks?

A: Francesa doesn't have the guts to come on. He knows I will bust his chops and he doesn't like having his chops busted. He's like Elvis - he wants to be surrounded by Joe Espositos. I'd love to have him on. He'd never do it.

When a caller named Keith from the Bronx - who is a dedicated member of WatchDog Nation, by the way - relayed this to Francesa on WFAN Tuesday, here is what he said:

"The one with no nerve is Bill Simmons. Bill Simmons didn't invite me on his show. Since you're so fascinated with this, why don't you call Bill Simmons and have him invite me onto his program if it's that important?

"And, by the way, I will equally invite him on my program, which he does not have the nerve to come on because he is banned by ESPN like everybody else. No ESPN guy can break the code there and come on this program. They're not allowed. They get a day in the woodshed if they come on.

"The only guy who's had the nerve to come on is Van Gundy . . . But I think Bill was kind of tongue in cheek in the whole thing. [Simmons and Francesa are friendly and Francesa briefly considered Simmons as a sidekick, post-Mad Dog].

"I would go on Bill's show, but he never has invited me. I have invited him on this show, but he's not allowed to come on because he has to answer to Big Brother with ESPN. He's banned from the program."

Photo: Newsday/Paul J. Bereswill

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