Chris "Mad Dog" Russo is not sure where he stands with Mike Francesa.
SiriusXM radio host, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo joined the latest episode of the The SI Media Podcast to talk about the drama surrounding his former partner, Mike Francesa, returning to WFAN this week. Russo also discussed the radio business, the challenges he faces working for satellite radio, the Internet's effect on sports-talk radio and much more.
But with Francesa, Russo's partner of 19 years on the popular New York radio show, "Mike and the Mad Dog," coming out of retirement after four months, the Doggie had plenty to say.
On WFAN morning host, Boomer Esiason, calling Russo "classless" for making a joke about Francesa's replacements, Chris Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray, during his MLB Network's "High Heat" show:
"The one thing about Boomer, and I like Boomer, I worked with Boomer a long time, Boomer calling everyone classless, Boomer sat there for 10 years when Craig Carton was murdering people left and right. I went on two or three times at the Super Bowl with those guys and Carton would always start being obnoxious—'Where have you gone,' 'That’s a disaster,' 'What a terrible decision you made,' 'Nobody listens,' 'Sirius is a joke,' 'Why would you do that'—and Boomer would do nothing but laugh. So I can’t listen to Boomer now telling us how classless everybody is when Boomer sat there, and he could sit there and wash his hands—'Well that was Carton'—Boomer you’re on the show, too. And Boomer never once said, 'Craig, relax.' Never once. So I can’t listen to Boomer now with the classless remark.
You know Boomer wants to be Mr. Above It All on Sundays with the NFL and be on that pregame, the blonde-haired quarterback and he does a good job with that. He does the radio because it gives him something to do and it’s fun, but he wants to be above the down and dirty stuff. It doesn’t work that way. Boomer’s got his hands dirty as much as Carton did and he has to understand that."
On where his relationship today and where he stands with Francesa:
"Maybe it got a little tarnished here because I’m a little perplexed by the return, too, and I’ve said it. So maybe it got tarnished a little bit. I can’t answer that. That would be up to Mike. I don’t have any issues with Mike. I love Mike. Thirty years, how do you not? And we did a lot together in the last couple of years. … I would hope we’re OK, but I have not heard from him in a three- or four-day period here."
Does Francesa's return to WFAN rule out any possibility of any regular Mike and the Mad Dog reunion down the road:
"I would never rule that out anyway. Who knows? I think maybe there’s a better chance at that happening now then there would’ve been when Mike was out because Mike’s back at FAN so if we had to do this, I would have to go to FAN to do it instead of Mike coming to Sirius, so you can make the argument that Mike returning might lead to that more from him at FAN than him over at Sirius. I wouldn’t rule it out. It has not been discussed. But after some time has passed, I would not rule it out."
You can listen to the full interview below or download it on iTunes.
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