Like two old lovers agreeing to grab a quick bite during their stopover in Indy, Mike and the Mad Dog briefly reunited on radio row today. And as they cautiously circled each other, obviously overjoyed at being back together but careful not to seem too happy, we were reminded of a simpler time when Francesa and the Dawg reigned supreme.
For the uninitiated, Mike and the Mad Dog was — is — the greatest sports radio show of all time. From 1989 to 2008, Mike Francesa and Chris Russo enjoyed an unprecedented run as the unquestioned leader in drive-time New York sports radio, and were widely considered to be the godfathers of the modern day sports yak duo (there would be no Mike and Mike without Mike and the Mad Dog). And although the two split in 2008, reportedly due to the decline of their working relationship (they had been “fighting like cats and dogs” according to Russo), they occasionally reunite for some of that old magic.
When they’re apart, Francesa’s sourness (he hosts “Mike’s On” on WFAN) and Russo’s mania (he hosts “Mad Dog Unleashed” on Sirius Radio) can be a bit much for listeners to handle. But when they’re together, those polar opposite personalities make for some great radio; you feel like you’re eavesdropping on a particularly good conversation between old friends at your local sports bar. And even though we had no idea what they were talking about half the time (Duke? Brian Cashman?), it didn’t matter. Mike and the Mad Dog were back, if only for a few minutes.