If you follow sports radio anywhere in the United States chances are you have heard of “Mike and the Maddog.”
For almost two decades they ruled the New York airwaves. They’re credited as being the original sports talk show guys. WFAN was the first all sports station in the country and they became a major part of it. It was an odd pairing. At times….very odd. They fought a lot in the early days…..and eventually one of those fights let to the end of their great partnership.
Last year Chris Russo left for Sirus Radio to never be heard from again (I kid!). Couldn’t really blame him. For years it was reported that he was always paid less then his partner. That never made any sense to me. They were a team….a solid one at that. They contrasted each other’s styles well and brought the best out of each other on the air.
“Mike and the Mad Dog,” the most successful, influential show in sports talk radio history, could soon be history itself.
Barring a change of heart, the partnership between Mike Francesa and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is not expected to survive to see its 19th anniversary Sept. 5, industry sources with knowledge of the situation said.
They may have already done their final show together; their next scheduled broadcast is not until July 11.
It is not clear which host would remain on WFAN, only that it would not be both of them. One factor appears to be a fraying of their personal relationship in recent months
Is it the end of an era? I’ve been listening to the show on a regular basis since 2003 and on and off for the 3 years prior to that. Like them or hate them it is really good radio. Is it the most in depth analysis around? Definitely no. But somehow they’ve carved out their niche over the years and have set the standard by which other sports talk shows are graded.
From time to time (don’t ask me why) I check in on this message board. Its filled with the most crazed lunatics in the world. It is pretty much a critique site of WFAN….created by a fan. What you’ll find there is a minute by minute critique of most WFAN shows….but a definite daily Mike and the Maddog thread. The site has been mentioned on air. These crazy people do everything from knocking Mike’s weight, to laughing at Russo stumbling through the English language to how these two are reacting to each other. A couple of months ago several members started to feel some tension between the two. Do any regular human being…..it’d sound crazy. But these people apparently were right. It all started from Chris’ last appearance on Letterman. For whatever reason Letterman doesn’t like Francesa….and always has a joke or to about Mike. Ever since Russo’s last appearance people have been speculating that something was up.
If they go through with this it’ll be a huge blow for WFAN having already lost Don Imus last year. Only if WFAN had sensed this coming…..they could have tried to push Mike Francesa to take the morning show at that time.
Now I’m listening to Mike and the Mad Dog this afternoon and they were tossing around possible particiapants in next year’s Super Bowl and that ofcourse led me to ponder my picks. Now ofcourse there are several teams on the rise like the Redskins, Bills, Bengals, Lions, Texans, etc and pretty much everyone is gonna have major personnel changes between now and opening weekend but….here’s my early picks for next season.
AFC East Jets Patriots* Bills Dolphins
North Steelers Bengals Ravens Browns
South Colts Jaguars* Texans Titans
West Chiefs Chargers Broncos Raiders
NFC East Giants Eagles* Redskins Cowboys
North Lions Vikings* Packers Bears
South Falcons Panthers Buccaneers Saints
West Seahawks Cardinals 49ers Rams
Wildcard Round Jets over Jaguars Patriots over Chiefs
Eagles over Lions Giants over Vikings
Divisional Round Colts over Patriots Jets over Steelers
Falcons over Giants Seahawks over Vikings
Conference Championship Colts over Jets Falcons over Seahawks