Re: Mike And The Mad Dog

I still can’t believe their show is over… anyways, this is a great piece that describe the sentiments of probably a majority of their listeners right now.

Sadly on Thursday August 14th, 2008 my childhood came to an end. A part of me has died. My life will never, ever be the same.

Mike and the Mad Dog, the long time afternoon drive show on WFAN in New York came to an end as Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo decided to leave the station for good.

Ever since 1989 my life has been based around that show. I didn’t exaggerate that statement. My schedule on a day to day basis was based on the fact that I had to be near a radio at 1pm in order to hear the “Aaaaaaaaaannnnndddd good afternoon everybody how are you today”. They were it for me, what they said was absolute gospel. When I say my life has been based around the show, I mean my life has been based around the show:

– I had / have friendships that are purely based on the mutual affection of Mike and the Mad Dog.
– My sister can recite the entire open to their show and she couldn’t even name five players in the NFL
– I have Tivo’d there show on YES every single day since 2002..-I bought my house based on the idea that I could get Direct TV so I can watch Mike and the Mad Dog on YES every single day

– I could tell you each of their kid’s name and I know that Dog’s dog is named Jordan

– I have read both of Mad Dog’s books and have had people mail me video tapes of “Mike’D Up”, Francessa’s Sunday night TV show on NBC in NY.
– I have been imitating them for the majority of my life both on air and off air…”Say something funny”… “I knew you would say something funny, Bill told me.”
– I have a picture in my room in NY of Dog and I from his old SportsChannel TV show when I was 8 years old.
– I force the Mike and the Mad Dog language “Oh is that all?” upon almost everyone at the station.
– I am so obsessed with them that my mom said to me tonight that its like my version of the Beatles breaking up.

They just did it better than everyone else. They would say things that others wouldn’t.

– Asking former Islanders GM Mike Milbury “How do you have a job”
– Telling Roger Gooddell to “show some guts” and “kick him out of the league” referring to Pac Man Jones
– Screaming and yelling at Joe Torre for taking too many Yankees to the All-Star Game a few years back
– Dog willing to give up kids to get a SF Giants post season series win.

They were absolutely fearless. There is nothing they wouldn’t ask a guest. They have been instrumental in major moves in NY Sports.
– Got Jeff Torborg fired from the Mets
– Got Mike Piazza traded to the Mets

Most kids grow up with athletes as their sports idols. My dad grew up as a Yankee fan loving Mickey Mantle and he like most kids in NY had their favorite players, I had Mike and the Mad Dog. There was no player on any team that even held a candle to those two. If there was a such thing as a Mike and the Mad Dog jersey I would have been wearing it, I would have been trading their “baseball cards” if they existed.

In conclusion, I do what I do because of them. They were the pioneers of sports talk radio and I only wish that one day I can affect someone the way they have affected me. I will miss them more than anyone could possibly imagine. They are everything to me, they are my vice. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I use them and listening to them as my fallback to everything in life. There has been truly no moment over their almost 19 years on the air that listening to them has not made me happier than I was prior to tuning in. I am going to miss them and I thank them for being there for me for almost 19 years and giving me a direction in my professional life. Thank you both for everything.

[Source: ESPN 760 – Have You Seen My Childhood?]

The End Of An Era

Well yesterday turned out to be the last show where both Mike (Francesa) and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo were on together, albeit it for 5 minutes, on the Mike and the Mad Dog radio program. For those not too familiar with the show they were the first sports radio talk where not many gave them hopes to last very long… This was all the way back in 1989. Now 19 years later, they are finally going their separate ways with Mad Dog probably accepting a multi-million dollar satellite radio offer pretty soon. Mike has just signed 5 year extension to stay on with WFAN 660 and will change the show name to “Francesa On The Fan”. It is quite impressive how they did a show from 1 PM to 6:30 PM every day for 19 years… that’s a lot to handle.

They literally set the stage for sports radio all across America when they first started and they have been a part of my daily routine for nearly 8 years now. I eventually became interested in doing sports radio and then broadcasting. I had always been interested in sports but never thought doing a show until I started listening to theirs and really enjoyed it.

I started doing my first radio show my freshman year on college where I co-hosted “Double Play” with my good friend Justin Eusebio and eventually Matt Fitzsimmons. We hosted it for two seasons where we discussed professional sports, collegiate athletics, sports picks and debated any other sports topic that came to mind.

Eventually college schedules began to take a toll ok everyone and the show folded but then I started working for the Stevens Athletics Department in doing Public Announcing for games and eventually Broadcasting games online with Matt. The games varied from basketball, soccer, lacrosse and volleyball for both men and women teams as well as doing field hockey games.

I plan on continuing broadcasting for as long as I’m in college and who knows what happens after that. However it’s safe to say that I would have zero interest in doing either the sports radio show nor broadcasting if it wasn’t for both Mike and the Mad Dog.

I don’t know too many people outside of my own personal and extended family who listened to the show regularly but it was truly stuff of legends the way those two worked with each other. There was doubt they would last 19 days, never mind 19 remarkable years of being atop of the ratings garnering national attention of those who wanted to make a name for themselves in tri-state area had to go through these two first.

Hopefully these two continue to have successes in their respective program but everyone can clearly admit, things will no longer be the same for the powerhouse of sports radio.