WFAN’s Super Bowl trivia contest will return on Tuesday or Wednesday after a near-death experience that had many long-time listeners lamenting the apparent end of a decades-old tradition at the radio station.
On Monday morning Mark Chernoff, WFAN’s vice president of programming, told Newsday, “As of now, we’re not doing the contest,” citing a lack of sponsorship.
But he added he still hoped to salvage it, and by late afternoon he had. Bose will sponsor the event, which this season will lead to only one winning package to attend the big game in Houston. Usually there are several.
This will be the final contest overseen by Mike Francesa, who plans to leave the station Dec. 15. He began it with his former partner, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, early in the “Mike and the Mad Dog” show’s history. That added to the urgency to get a deal done. Some fans mounted a fund-raising effort to keep the contest going.
Russo had dressed up for the occasion as a character known as “The Marquis.” After Russo left in 2008, Francesa experimented with former Giants running back O.J. Anderson, the MVP of Super Bowl XXV, as his contest partner.
That did not work out, so in recent years Francesa has worked alone in giving callers a series of up to four questions, with winners securing a free travel and ticket package to the big game, through a sponsor. The questions were prepared by WFAN staffer John Schweibacher.
Earlier on Monday, Francesa had said the issue is not securing a prize but rather about securing permission. “You have to have a ‘pass through’ with an active Super Bowl sponsor,” he said. “They are still seeking that, but time is running out.”
Bose is an official Super Bowl sponsor.
Russo continued with a contest of his own on his SiriusXM Satellite Radio program.