With Chris “Mad Dog” Russo becoming a staple on First Take each Wednesday, the show, led by Stephen A. Smith, wanted to reunite Russo with his WFAN partner of 19 years, Mike Francesa, for a special episode earlier this year.
The date for Mike and the Mad Dog on First Take was set for Feb. 1.
There ended up being one big problem. A couple of hours before the show was set to begin, Tom Brady announced his second retirement from the NFL from a beach via an Instagram video.
First Take then turned into a two-hour Tom Brady show, and, instead of Russo and Francesa reminiscing and doing their thing about a bunch current topics, they ended up talking about the future Hall of Fame quarterback for most of the two hours.
When Russo appeared on this week’s SI Media With Jimmy Traina, he was asked whether he was bummed out that the Brady news ruined the reunion show.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” Russo said. “That hurt us a lot.”
The current SiriusXM radio host continued:
“I could’ve argued that you’re gonna do enough of Brady, we did it a ton on that show, maybe you do Brady twice for a couple of minutes. And remember that happened at 8 o’clock in the morning. We’d already had our meeting about what to do that day, and all of a sudden Brady announces it at five after 8. So Tommy wasn’t a Mike and the Mad Dog fan by any stretch of the imagination.
“I felt bad. That hurt the power of that show. No question about it.”
Also during the podcast, Russo talks about radio shows vs. podcasts, how radio has changed over the years and how sports talk hosts can no longer just do sports.
He also shares his thoughts on reupping with First Take for another year, how his relationship with JJ Redick has improved over the past few months and Pat McAfee’s joining ESPN.
Other topics covered with Russo include flex scheduling coming to Thursday Night Football, the NFL putting a playoff game exclusively on Peacock, the problem MLB and the NBA face in this day and age, getting blowback for not liking the WBC, Bruce Springsteen’s latest tour, his son landing a job as an assistant basketball coach at Northern Arizona, why it’s so awful to fly in America and much more.
You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on YouTube.