Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 5/16/12

After his angry old man “hey get off my media industry lawn” type rant against Twitter yesterday, WFAN’s Mike Francesa is deemed out of touch, behind the times by most people today. I’d say he’s 16 days AHEAD of his time. Doesn’t he know June, not May is “old line sports media vs. new sports media steel cage death match month?”

In June ’08 came the infamous Buzz Bissinger curmudgeonis extremis rant against Deadspin founder Will Leitch on HBO. June ’09 brought Raul Ibanez and a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist ganging up on Midwest Sports Fans Jerod Morris on ESPN “Outside the Lines.” June 2010 switched things up a bit as sports blogs became big enough to have civil war at Blogs with Balls 3, held at Wrigley Field’s Capt. Morgan Club. That conflict had With Leather and The Big Lead on one side versus everyone who cares about getting sued on the other.

June 2011 was an era of good feeling and peace. So in 2012, what blogger/tweeter takes on Francesa? I have some choice words for him, as does Awful Announcing:

Tweeting by athletes and media types should be against the law? Francesa sounds a lot like Tim McCarver, who called social networking the most disturbing thing in the world earlier this year. My guess is Mike was trying to make a joke along the lines of Timmy and his comedic delivery failed him. At least I hope that’s the explanation for saying any media member or athlete who tweets should be arrested. Francesa also says you’ll never catch him Tweeting (shocked he actually used the correct verbage there).

Yes, Francesa actually believes tweeting should be against the law??!! Watch the video below, and then scroll down to my debate points showing how/why the New York sports talk radio host IS AN IDIOT!

“the mystery in sport, a time and place where athletes share their thoughts”

Well, it certainly doesn’t happen in his medium, sports talk radio. So it’s okay for Francesa to incessantly opine and blather, but other people doing it is wrong? There’s plenty of time for athletes to voice their opinions- it’s called pre and post-game availability, it’s just they choose not to. Instead we get cliched crapola like “I’m just working hard, every day trying to get better,” and “I’m just one guy, it’s a team sport.” Nothing thoughtful or mysterious to 90% of what athletes say I’ll agree on that. I disagree that the opportunity is not there.

“who wants to hear what people are having for dinner, some of this stuff is so mundane…it’s mostly nonsense”

Well genius, that’s what the UNFOLLOW button is for. If you tell me about what you’re grilling out for dinner- unfollowed. What you’re buying at Starbucks for your bus ride- unfollowed. How many miles you ran today- unfollowed. This isn’t difficult, Mr. Mike’d up.

“eventually, this will cut out the middle man, by that I mean reporters and broadcasters.”

NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS. He’s dead wrong on this one. Club Media Relations and University Sports Information Departments will never allow this. They have too much money and power to let their “brand” deteriorate. They are obsessed with controlling their team’s brand, and the people who work for the team (the broadcasters) are part of propagating/exploiting the message. Also, these departments have limitations on their money and power that they can’t do it all alone, they NEED reporters to show up for their scripted charity appearance photo-ops in order to help spread their message.

This is one of Twitter’s biggest strengths, not weaknesses. Via tweets, athletes sometimes say something of substance, unlike in interviews. (See Bears RB Matt Forte)

“People are treating it like it’s a legitimate news source. who substantiates it before it goes out there.”

That’s because it’s where news often breaks first today, MORON! Where else can you get a brief message out instantly. (See Derrick Rose injury)

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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