WFAN Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Mike Francesa – Hour 4
NEW YORK (WFAN) – In arguably the most anticipated part of the show, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo called in to reunite with his old partner.
Mad Dog and Mike Francesa reminisced and shot the breeze. Russo told Mike about his middle school-aged son’s basketball career and how his wife still isn’t over the fact that the two don’t work together anymore. They also went on about how they’ve been through girlfriends, marriages, births and other such monumental moments together over the years.
And of course, they had to talk some baseball. Russo boasted about his beloved Giants, and couldn’t help but knock on Mike’s beloved Yankees.
“I think the Giants are going to the World Series, they have the best pitching in the National League!,” Mad Dog said. “And is Rafael Soriano going to get big outs against the Rangers in October?”
Joining Mad Dog along with Mike were three old producers of the “Mike and the Mad Dog” program, Bob Gelb, Chris Carlin and Marc Malusis. The three of them told old stories about the hosts, and Carlin easily told the best.
According to Carlin, Mike and the Mad Dog took Carlin to Indianapolis in 2000 during a Knicks-Pacers playoff series. Mike’s suite was not ready and Russo’s was, so the two of them ended up sitting on the couch together, watching none other than “The Horse Whisperer.” Carlin claimed that when he attempted to speak to Mike, Francesa would tell him to be quiet, as he and Dog were in a heated discussion about the movie, as if it were the Knicks-Pacers game itself.
Russo went on to comment on his greatest memories at the station, such as the 1996 Yankees’ World Championship, the 1990 Giants’ Super Bowl and the 1994 Rangers’ Stanley Cup. He also admitted — and Francesa concurred — that the toughest guest that they ever tried to get but couldn’t was Joe DiMaggio.
“You deserve a ton of credit,” Francesa told Russo. “You’re a huge part of this family and always will be. You were a tremendous part of this station’s history.”
Following Russo was a rather unusual guest. A former board operator with the Mike and the Mad Dog program, well-known network sports broadcaster Ian Eagle joined Francesa. The two talked about the old days working together in 1992, and Mike admitted that he knew that Ian wanted to be a broadcaster. To that end, Mike told Eagle that he was horrible on the board. Francesa said that Mad Dog thought of Eagle as his little brother, though Eagle didn’t necessarily want to be under Russo’s wing.
“You are a little brother to the Mike and the Mad Dog program,” Francesa told Eagle.
The show didn’t exactly disappoint after that.
The next guest was none other than the legendary Derek Jeter, who was voted the No. 1 New York sports personality over the last 25 years.
“Congratulations to you on 25 years,” Jeter said. “I don’t know if anyway would want to listen to me for 25 years.”
Jeter remarked that the years feel like they go quicker and quicker each year, and then said that when George Steinbrenner comes to mind, the thought is simply, “The Boss.”
“He’s like a second father to me,” Jeter said about former manager Joe Torre. “He’s known me since I was 21 years old, and I have the utmost respect for him.”
Turning the channel from player to coach, Bill Parcells called into the program. Parcells coached the Giants for eight years (winning two Super Bowls), coached the Jets and had a huge impact on current Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
“The Giants were a huge part of the early years with the FAN,” Francesa told Parcells.
The legendary coach said that Lawrence Taylor was the greatest player that he ever coached and remarked that he’s also been a huge Coughlin fan. He also went on to say that if he never had Phil Simms (his Super Bowl-winning quarterback), “you very well may not have heard of Bill Parcells.” In regard to the Jets, Parcells maintained that future Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin was “one of the few players that inspired you to coach at your highest level.”