Mike Francesa says he still has passion for the job
It is a challenge for many middle-aged people in sports media - myself included - to sustain the same level of enthusiasm and interest in day-to-day debates and developments as they did earlier in life.
Mike Francesa and Chris Russo have been accused of falling into that trap by some critics, but Francesa insisted his level of passion for games people play has not waned.
Click below for his take on that, including an anecdote about his wife, Roe, marveling (to put it kindly) over his interest in last week's Monday nighter between Buffalo and Cleveland.On avoiding burnout, and the natural inclination as people age to care less about the minutiae of sports:
Its my blessing. And I think I can speak for Dog, too. I think Cherny could tell you this. There is not a day that I dont go in there and say, we have to be better, we have to do better. We have to get higher ratings. Im the same way about everything.
I watched the Buffalo-Cleveland game [Monday night] until 1 oclock in the morning. Heres an example. You know what Im doing this [Wednesday] morning? Im analyzing the AFC and NFC wild-card possibilities for each team to see who I think has the best road in. Heres the NFC. The AFCs on the next page. Thats what I do. I dont have to be here, thank God. Ill go home if thats the case. I enjoy it. I love it. I love sports.
When I cant do this at this level Im going home, because I only know how to do it one way. Im not going to mail it in. Im never going to mail it in. Im never going to be here when Im in 14th place. Im gone. Im never going to be here when I mail it in, and Im never going to be here when I dont count anymore. I cant do it. Ill go home and Ill never, ever going to have them carry me. When I dont count anymore Ill be the first one to leave. They dont have to throw me out. Ill leave.
That day might come. I understand it happens. Ive already had an incredible run. I know that. I feel a little bit in my business like Brett Favre. I know what Brett Favre says. I get nervous. Brett Favre said, I got nervous on that last drive. People say, What do you have to be nervous about, youre Brett Favre? Well you know what, he is nervous, because he cares about his performance.
I care about my performance, just like I did in 1989. I still care about my performance. I still want to be the best at what I do. Thats what I feel every day, otherwise, I cant do it. I cant do it. Its just not in me. Thank God for that. It drives my wife nuts. My wife said to me Monday night, You have to watch this stupid game? And I said, Every minute. She said, I give up.
Usually shes supportive. But she said, Not this game! It is the Bills and the Browns. And I said, You know what, I have to talk about it tomorrow. Plus it went to the last second. I feel that way. I swear. And I think Dog does do. I think that was one of our greatest strengths for 20 years. We never mailed it. Not one day for 20 years did we mail it in.