Mike and the Mad Dog reunited for an hour on Radio Row on Thursday. As was the case in last year’s reunions, their impeccable chemistry was rekindled just like riding a bike, and it made their longtime listeners wistful for them to somehow figure out a way to make it happen more often. I was lucky enough to be standing right there for it in a group of 5-10 people, which was surreal because the last time they were together they literally sold out Radio City Music Hall.
At the beginning of the hour, Russo badgered Francesa about what he’s going to do next. Francesa reiterated for the thousandth time that his final day at WFAN will be on December 15th, but for the first time revealed that he will be back on the air in some capacity just days after the New Year, and that he has over half a dozen logs in the fire in terms of talks on what that might be. Dog tried to pitch him on Sirius XM, which would pay him handsomely, treat him well, and enable them to do one day a week together. Alas, that didn’t sound like something Francesa was especially interested in.
Much of the show was reminiscing. They broadcasted from the Super Bowl before there was a Radio Row. Now, said Francesa, it’s a “convention.” Marv Levy once made Dog ask him the same long question three times. Pat Riley was great to them and would give them a half hour before Game 7, but their relationship deteriorated when they crushed him for faxing in his Knicks resignation.
Towards the end, Francesa revealed a vulnerability we haven’t often seen from him, saying that the fear of failing after Russo left WFAN for satellite radio kept him up at night; he’s maintained a stranglehold on first in the New York ratings.
And now the world he presides over breathlessly awaits for what comes next.