Mike Francesa has a unique ability to spit out blatantly false sports takes with destabilizing confidence.
Take Tuesday. A caller to Francesa’s WFAN-New York radio show asked whether Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was “turning into a Shockey” — referring to Jeremy Shockey, the former Giants tight end whose off-field headaches generally overshadowed his production. Francesa had a head-scratching response:
“He’s long ago turned into a Shockey. And Shockey got away with it because it was early in his career, early in Eli’s (Manning’s) career, he couldn’t put the hammer down. But what happened is Shockey left, and they won two Super Bowls. Shockey never saw anything close to a Super Bowl.”
A totally valid statement if A) Shockey doesn’t have a ring, and B) Shockey has never played in a Super Bowl. Here’s the thing: A) he does, and B) he has.
For starters, Shockey wasn’t traded until after the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2008. To be fair, it wouldn’t be completely inaccurate to say he “never saw” the Super Bowl that year, since he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 15 of that season. But he still earned a ring for being a member of that team, pulling in 57 catches for 619 yards.
He was traded to the New Orleans Saints that offseason and they won the Super Bowl two years later. Not only did Shockey play in that win over the Colts, he even caught a touchdown pass.
It wasn’t Francesa’s only bold take of the week. On Monday, another caller asked whether the Chicago Bears – who play the Giants this week – had the type of defense that could stop an offensive juggernaut like the Saints. His response?
“Chicago is not a good defense,” he said. “They have a good pass rush. They’re not a good defense. There’s a big difference … if they don’t get to the quarterback, they’re going to get cut to ribbons.”
The Bears are fourth in the NFL in total defense and second in rushing defense. They lead the league in takeaways, interceptions and turnover differential. Their 211 points against is the best in the NFC.
So, yeah. Maybe they are pretty good.