He is widely known in the New York area , he has been called mockingly the sports pope by the New York media yet for all his bluster and noise people tune in everyday from 1pm to 6:30pm to hear Mike Francesa. There is never any shortage for comments that makes you go what???at the radio, this is both from Francesa and the callers that call in to his show. If he doesn’t like a question you will either get rebuked for it by hearing him tell you that is a stupid question or he will give you an answer that will leave you stunned. Put this one in the a different category of seriously Mike you really said that??? Recently, a caller cited the example of Becky Hammon being an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs asking Mike if Francesa believes he’ll see a woman coach a men’s sports team during his lifetime, Francesa answered bluntly, “No.”
“It’s a gender situation,” Francesa said. “They’re not players, they don’t have any way in the league.”
The caller countered that Geno Auriemma has coached the UConn women’s basketball team successfully, to which Francesa replied, “He’s coaching women.”
When the caller asked why people aren’t more outraged by that, Francesa seemed to argue women aren’t qualified to coach men’s sports because they haven’t played in men’s leagues and thus, don’t have experience.
“What would qualify her to be a coach on the professional level of a men’s team? … If you owned the team, would you take someone that has no experience and then make them the head coach of your team?”
He continued, “Do you know how difficult it would be on a female to have to manage 25 men? Or 50 men? Do you know how impossible that would be? It wouldn’t be tough, it would be impossible! You’re gonna tell me that you would think a woman would walk into an NFL team and coach as a head coach 15 assistants and 50-60 men?
The caller asked if Francesa believes former Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt would have been a good NBA coach.
“NBA? No,” Francesa said. “She would have said, ‘I don’t belong there.’ But she could not coach an NBA team, nor would she even wanna try.”
“You wanna see it because you think you’re closing off an avenue to your daughter, but that’s not closing off an avenue,” Francesa said. “That’s not something that’s realistic.”
In a twisted way Francesa has a point in that the mind set is it’s a men’s league it should be managed and coached by men, yet it is a double standard because the most successful women’s college basketball team is coached by a man. So there in lies the double standard. but by no means should that be the end of the discussion. This is something that should be open to more dialogue. For Francesa to say though that it is impossible that a woman could be coaching being a head coach in a men’s league is short sighted and shows lack of wisdom. Up until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball it was believed to be impossible that blacks could play baseball along side of whites and be successful and be good …that myth was shattered. The thought was in football that blacks were not smart enough to play quarterback in the NFL let along win a Super Bowl …Doug Williams was the first African American quarterback to win a Super bowl. Don’t forget one super bowl was coached by two head coaches who were African American in Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears and Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts. Not to mention that this country had a African American president for 2 terms. The point is all of those things were thought to be impossible. Yet for the exception of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball all f those things happened in Mike Francesa’s lifetime. These were at one time thought to be impossible yet they happened so to say that it is impossible for a woman like becky Hammon to be a head coach of a men’s team, if life has taught us anything is that nothing is impossible.