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The Best of Neil's Watchdog

Mike Francesa made it through an entire hour Friday before responding on the air to my article about 1050 ESPN's ratings struggles against WFAN. But at 2:08 p.m., sure enough . . .

"I love when I read that the folks down the dial are competing to win. I mean, when is the game over? Is that over in the next hundred years? Two hundred years?

'"We're set up to compete and to win.' Over what time period would that be? . . . They've been in business 81/2 years. I've been hearing that for 81/2 years.

"When they're about to win, call me, 'cause they're not winning anytime soon. They've never even got in the game . . . I mean, it's comical.''

Dave Roberts, 1050 ESPN's general manager, didn't have anything bad to say about WFAN when I spoke to him Tuesday. He did say this:

"I'm not going to sit here and evaluate FAN. But let's be real. Whether it's in television or in radio, any time you have a heritage station with the history of a WFAN, that's always going to be a factor.

"But our strengths are rooted in the history of ESPN, and the brand and resources that come along with that is a competitive advantage we plan to take full advantage of.''

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