Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo reunite the Mike and the Mad Dog show during FrancesaCon 2016 at Irving Plaza featuring WFAN’s Mike Francesa. 3/12/16 New York, NY
By Randy Miller
We know Mike Francesa can’t stomach WFAN’s morning show hosts, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton — and even believes they have persuaded callers to dial Francesa and torment him on the air.
Here’s what Mad Dog told the New York Post after renewing his contract with Sirius:
“[We’re] much closer,” Russo said. “I’ve texted Mike a lot, he reached out when I got hit in the head with the golf ball and we talked about his horse that ran at Saratoga. That show secured the bond. We hadn’t talked in a long time and I think we both thought we did as well as we could under the circumstances. I feel the relationship with Mike and I now is very, very good.”
Russo said he didn’t huddle with Francesa before re-signing with Sirius, because there really weren’t any options for reuniting on the air.
“I know people are going to bring up the “Mike and the Mad Dog” thing — I understand that — I didn’t run it by Mike or ask him, ‘What do you think, you and I?’ This was just an independent decision that I had to make based on the fact that Sirius was good to me,” Russo said.
He added: “I didn’t look around for demand this time, I probably did four years ago. Mike was settled in, there was a scenario of, “Where was I going to go?” When you do these deals you have to have somebody that wants you. You have to be in demand. Sometimes you hit it right, and sometimes you don’t. I knew Mike wasn’t going to go anywhere at WFAN, I knew they weren’t going to pay the both of us. It was smart to settle in, supplement it with MLB Network — because they wanted me — and figure out a way to do both shows.”
Boomer and Carton took a shot at Francesa in June when Francesa botched an injury report on Mets pitcher Zach Wheeler. Francesa fired back in Newsday:
“They can’t see straight, they’re so jealous. And that’s sad. I mean, I feel bad for them. You know what, soon I’ll be retired and then they can go about their business like they do now. And I won’t know any difference because I never paid attention to them since the day they’ve been here. Not one day. They don’t affect me or my show. So I don’t worry about that stuff. … You’d have to have some respect for someone before you could ever let what they say bother you.”
Francesa later admitted in a podcast he might have been cold to the morning drive hosts:
“We probably weren’t very accommodating to them when they first got there because we were very loyal to Imus. If I did anything wrong I probably just ignored them. I didn’t promote them, I didn’t try to sabotage them, I don’t do negative things to people. I don’t sabotage anybody. The worst I’m going to do is ignore you.”