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Mike Francesa and those ‘12 seconds’ caught on video

The retiring WFAN host can’t put dozing incident to bed.

WFAN's Yankees beat reporter Sweeny Murti discusses the infamous incident from more than five years ago when WFAN radio host Mike Francesa appeared to fall asleep during a YES Network simulcast. (Credit: Newsday / Casey Musarra)

It has been more than five years since Mike Francesa appeared to doze off during a phone conversation with WFAN’s Yankees beat reporter, Sweeny Murti, yet the incident — and the accompanying YES Network video — continues to stick to him.

Francesa has said his young son was ill the night before, so he started the day short on sleep. But he has admitted in the past that he could have had more of a sense of humor about that and other such glitches over which listeners poke fun at him.

“That was 12 seconds,” he said in a recent interview. “I’ve analyzed it. I don’t even think I was asleep. It wasn’t like it was 20 minutes where I can say there was no question. It was 12 seconds.”

Murti said he was stalling in that time as he searched for an answer to Francesa’s question.

“He had asked me a question that I didn’t know the answer off the top of my head and I was starting to look some stuff up on my computer,” Murti said. “So I had the phone in one hand and I’m browsing on my computer on the other trying to find this piece of information that I’m looking for, and I’m just stalling.”

Murti said he never has spoken to Francesa about it, nor does he feel the need to.

“It doesn’t reflect real favorably on me either, you know,” Murti said.

Francesa said the wave of attention over the apparent catnap illustrated the focus on his every move from fans and critics, some of whom are the same people.

“I just thought the whole thing was ridiculous, myself, but hey, that’s the way it goes,” he said. “I think a lot of it is inane. I have to be honest. I think a lot of it’s stupid. A lot of it’s silly. I haven’t taken it very seriously. Honestly, that one I didn’t even know how to judge it.

“I could be sitting there and maybe I did and maybe I didn’t . . . Sometimes you’re sitting there at 6 o’clock at night and you’re bored. You’ve been there all day. It’s a slow show. You’re sitting there and someone’s droning on and on for 20 minutes, you’re just sitting there listening to the answers. I mean, it happens.

“You’re in there 30-something hours a week. You want me to chronicle 12 seconds? . . . You know how many seconds I’ve been in that room? I’ve been in that room like 50 million seconds. So 12 seconds is hard for me to discuss.”

Murti said it really took off about 48 hours after the fact.

“One Yankee player texted me and said, ‘Are you really this boring?’ and sent me a link to what was going on,” Murti said. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is going places now.’ ”

With Casey Musarra

New York Sports