Today's interview of Darrelle Revis with Mike Francesa has generated huge headlines. I am going to give a comprehensive breakdown of where everybody went wrong.
Francesa's ego shines through
The first rule of interviewing somebody is that the interviewer should never be the story. Francesa does this by not letting the issue go of a penalty that should or should not have been called. His first question about it is kind of lighthearted and in good fun. He just will not let up, though. The interview is to get Revis' take. It eventually becomes obvious that Revis disagrees with Francesa. Instead of letting the matter go, Francesa pushes ahead. His opinion must be accepted. It becomes a debate instead of something that could prove insightful. This is an extremely poor interview.
At some point, whether there really was a penalty becomes irrelevant. Revis gave his answer. It is time to move on.
Francesa's agenda shines through
Francesa's lack of objectivity regarding the Jets is now legendary. Its roots are much simpler than people think. The
flagship station on the Jets radio network is 1050 ESPN Radio. That is WFAN's, Francesa's station, biggest rival. Jets players are constantly doing shows on that network. Appearances on Francesa's show are much less frequent. By taking constant shots at the Jets, he gets to take subtle shots at his competitor. The Jets are unattractive. There is no reason to listen to their network. I doubt Justin Tuck would have been treated like that.
On top of this, Francesa wants to fan the flames. He can tell Revis is irritated so he keeps digging a little deeper. This gives the potential for something that will generate headlines. That is exactly what happened. Now this story has taken on a life of its own, Francesa is getting a ton of free publicity, and more people will tune into his show even if to fester over how much they hate him. Ratings are ratings, and more listeners and viewers make Francesa money no matter whether they love or hate him.
Revis should not have lost his cool
Revis knew what he was getting himself into. Francesa is incapable of being objective about the Jets. He takes as many shots as humanly possible whether fair or not. Revis is a professional. He has been through contentious interviews before. He should have simply stood his ground. Francesa is an influential guy. Retreating gives him the only voice. Revis being on his show to rebut Francesa's unobjective comments allows viewers and listeners to think critically and realize when Francesa is wrong.
Jared Winley had no business calling the show and telling Revis to hang up
My guess is Winley did not want Revis to say something he would regret and turn this interview into a major story. By calling in at all, Winley did that. It was like a mother jumping into a fight to pull out her son. Maybe the boy would have gotten beaten up and made fun of. Now it is happening no matter what. Revis is a professional. He needs to be trusted to handle himself during an interview. Doing what Winley did gives Francesa what he wants. Now he can point to the Jets pulling a player out of a "tough" interview. He played that card immediately with his crack about why he does not talk to the Jets. It legitimizes his illegitimate criticism of the Jets being unfair. Winley seems to be at the center of a lot of PR blunders for the Jets. He also is rumored to have played a big role in the Jenn Sterger and Inez Sainz incidents. Now the story is not about Francesa giving a poor interview. It is about the Jets pulling a player out of an interview.
This will likely lead to a Jets embargo of Francesa and even more extreme Francesa ravings. I think the tactic is wrong. They should not let him go unchecked. They should engage him so there is a counter to his voice.