Mike and the Mad Dog had their much-ballyhooed reunion show at Radio City Music Hall last night, and I went with my dad and my friend Marshall. In no particular order, these were my observations:
1) The most interesting thing of the evening was an anecdote about how the two went six months on-air together without ever otherwise talking to each other (at 1:55:00-mark of video). The falling out apparently came when Dog wanted to go to Indiana to do the show onsite for a Knicks-Pacers series, and Mike … did not. Their first flight got canceled, and instead of waiting for another one that would have had a layover in DC, Francesa just bailed.
I have so many questions about this. How the hell were they able to plan the show? Or carry on like that for so long without anyone ever noticing? Holy moly. The spat ended when Mike invited Chris to his wedding. “I didn’t invite you,” Mike corrected him. “[My wife] Roe did.”
2) When answering an audience member’s question of whether Mike and Dog would ever regularly do a radio show together again — a question I also asked Dog a couple weeks ago — Francesa said, “Never say never.”
3) Along that front, this is something that pretty much everyone (or, everyone who would have an opinion on the matter, anyway) agrees should happen. The parameters I proposed to Dog, which he did not shoot down, were that they each have one solo show per week, and three shows together. This way, they’d each be working four days a week instead of five. If he desired, Dog could spend his solo show talking about the French Open the whole time, and Mike could do Saratoga.
4) Bobby Valentine and Jeff Van Gundy were the best guests. Valentine relayed a story that he learned about the blockbuster trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and others from the Red Sox to the Dodgers via the ESPN ticker. Van Gundy talked about empathizing with criminals to plead temporary insanity, because he had no recollection of what was going through his mind when he grabbed onto Alonzo Mourning’s leg.
5) Francesa mentioned that the biggest change in the show over the years was how much the Knicks captivated the town during the Riley and Van Gundy years, and how they never talk about the team now. However, he and Dog stopped short of specifying that this has to do with the woeful mismanagement of the franchise dating back almost to the turn of the century. James Dolan’s Madison Square Garden oversaw this event on behalf of its charity, Garden of Dreams. Coincidence?
6) Neil Best estimated that the crowd was 80-95% male. I would peg it on the higher end of that range.
7) The Mark Messier interview could not end fast enough for Mongo Nation.
8) I know that secondary market tickets dropped a lot in the last couple days, but it’s nonetheless supremely impressive that these two could sell out Radio City, and fill nearly every seat. There was a bond that they developed with their listeners, whether it be helping them get through a drive or a workday or whatever else, that is something for which everyone in the sports media industry should aspire.
To be sure, there were some spots in the three hours that dragged a little bit, but there were also times where the greatness of their chemistry was rekindled. Again, it would be an opportunity squandered if these two do not figure out a way to revamp their partnership. Everybody should keep bothering them about making it happen.
[Top video via Poulos]