I was listening to WFAN 660AM in New York, and Sweeny Murti, Yankee Beat Reporter, was speaking with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts about the up and coming MLB season. It’s Openning Day and do you think they were talking about the great pennant race that’s beginning today? No, Sweeny was saying how the Yankees are not the favorites to make it to the post-season. Instead of talking about the potential for a 4 or 5 team pennant race in the AL East, Murti’s focus ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE SEASON is firmly fixed on October. I didn’t here any analyses of the other league either. Six months of great baseball is instantaneously made invisible. Yesterday, Mike Francesa was doing his yearly prediction of the over/under of individual team victories for the up-coming season. Again, by discussing individual teams, the concept of pennant races commencing was absent.
Sweeny went on to say that “the ultimate” experience will be seeing the two teams that win the division and the wild card. Instead of taking the season to watch who wins a pennant, we are given the treat of seeing which team will win the wild card. Since the wild card is there to increase participation in the post-season, the 162 game season is reduced to a competition for the post-season, instead of season long pennant races.
WFAN not only has talk shows, but also is involved in the broadcast of major sporting events such as: MLB’s New York Mets; NFL’s New York Giants; NBA’s New Jersey Nets; and numerous NFL and NCAA contests. Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton’s show in the morning is simulcast on MSG, which is owned by the Dolans The Dolans own the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers. Mike Francesa’s show in the afternoon is also simulcast on YES, which is owned by the New York Yankees. This makes for a cozy relationship that leads to on-air personalities acting as public relations and marketting spokespeople for every major sports team in the New York metropolitan area. It is interesting to note that all are proponents of the Wild Card; and a serious discussion of Pennant Races is not allowed.
While WFAN broadcasts on the Public’s airwaves, they provide “entertainment” for the fan, as part of product promotion for sports ownership. It appears that a more accurate presentation of the station’s interest would be represented if they changed their call letters to WBOSS