NEW YORK (WFAN) — Mike and the Mad Dog were trailblazers in sports talk radio, although they admit that’s still strange for them to hear.
“Not in a million years would I have believed that, that we’d have that pioneer aspect to it,” Chris “Mad Dog” Russo said during a SiriusXM Town Hall on Thursday night.
“The advantage is being lucky enough to be first,” Francesa said. “If you’re first and you’re successful, then you own it. It’s kind of you’re the brand, you’re the gold standard, whatever you want to call it.”
Francesa and Russo teamed together for 19 years on WFAN before their show ended in 2008. Francesa still hosts a show on weekday afternoons on WFAN, but plans to leave the station in December. Russo now has his own channel on Sirius XM.
Thursday’s event, moderated by actor Chazz Palminteri, was held a week before ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary on the duo airs.
Mike and the Mad Dog shared plenty of stories from their nearly two decades on the air together, from their first shows, which Francesa called “an absolute trainwreck,” to their split in 2008.
It turns out they almost split up eight years earlier. Francesa said he went on vacation in the summer of 2000 and told WFAN to figure something out because he refused to work with Russo again when he returned.
Francesa got married that summer, and his wife invited Russo to the wedding behind his back.
“And that was what thawed out the relationship,” Francesa said.
“She saved the relationship. It was over. There would have been no more Mike and the Mad Dog after 2000 if it wasn’t for Roe.”
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio player above.