Once upon a time there was a radio show in New York on WFAN called Mike & the Mad Dog. It was a great show. People loved it. The duo invented the term “Radio Row” at the Super Bowl, for pete’s sake!
Apologies if you are not from the New York Tri-State area and never listened to Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo break down Roger Maris’ year-by-year numbers from “the book” and whether they were Hall of Fame worthy or not over the course of two hours on a warm summer afternoon. This 2004 article from The New Yorker captures a lot of what made the pair amazing on the air together. Or just read it and laugh at the pair watching The Horse Whisperer together and breaking it down like Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals.
The pair went their separate ways in August of 2008. Russo moved to satellite radio where he started his own SirusXM channel Mad Dog Radio — aka Radio Nowhere — while Francesa stayed on WFAN where, thanks to the then-YES simulcast he became a cult Internet hero and a one-man meme who now has a yearly “Francesa-Con” in his honor.
Russo also hosts a daily TV show on MLB Network, High Heat, and apparently wanted to have his former partner come on to talk about the Derek Jeter retirement story. According to the Mad Dog Underground podcast, Francesa declined the chance for an on-air reunion. The clip is embedded below and starts at the 6:25 mark. You can listen to hosts Babchik and Billy Z speculate why the reunion didn’t happen. They speculate Russo tweaking Francesa’s chummy relationship with Alex Rodriguez during an interview in November 2013 last year might have played a part.
They have reunited on-air previously, once during the 2009 World Series:
And at Radio Row of the 2012 Super Bowl. (The pair tried for another one this year at the Super Bowl in New York but WFAN didn’t set up shop at Radio Row, opting instead for the M&M Store in Times Square):
For idiots like myself who still listen to WFAN it’s hard to believe it’s been over five years since the split. My Mondays just aren’t the same without Mike and Chris guessing the ratings (local and national) for the Bay Hill Invitational.