The Official Unofficial Mike and the Mad Dog Blog.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
RUSSO OVER THE HILL?
It happens to everyone. That moment in life when age finally starts to catch up with you. Mike Piazza knew it all too well. Carlos Delgado is finding out about it right now. That point in your life where you have literally lost a good deal of pop on your fast ball. It's time to face a sad, but true fact - Chris Russo is starting to decline. Russo, 48, has been showing signs of his age all year long. Initially, fans assumed it was just rust. "I kept hearing Dog and it was like 'something's not right, but I just assumed it was my radio," said longtime listener, Gman. But over the past several months, it has become clear Russo might be over the hill. Those listening on a daily basis have noticed that Chris incessantly complains about the late starting times for playoff games – a sign, that at his advanced age, Russo needs his sleep. In addition, Chris is the one responsible for disconnecting each caller. Recently, we’ve heard some callers get in quality shots, whereas a younger, nimbler Mad Dog would have hung up on them sooner. “You can just tell he’s not as sharp as he was in the ‘90s,” Gman added. Even more disconcerting to fans of the Mike and the Mad Dog show are the alarmingly weakened “Goood Afternoon Everybodyyyy’s!” that have long been Russo’s trademark way of opening each show.. “Chris used to toss his headphones on in a matter of seconds, but now it seems to take considerably longer,” 20/20 update guru John Minko said. Chris Russo declined to comment for this story, but there are those who point to another possible factor in Russo’s weakened performance. “I think it’s Timmy,” co-host Mike Francesa added. “Ever since Timmy has gotten a little older, I think Chris is worried that he’s after his job.” Sports Radio psychologist Eleanor E suggests there could be hope. “Usually sports radio hosts peak in their ‘30s and ‘40s. But Chris has unusual amounts of energy. He might be going through a rough patch right now, but I think he has several good years left.”
Be careful: Mike and Chris' way of telling sports fans not to fall in love with a player or team ("Be Careful about falling in love with Pagan")
Let's be fair here: Russo's counter-argument to callers that attack someone ("Let's be fair here. If you are going to knock Rick Peterson, you gotta give him credit for John Maine")
This whole notion: When Francesa or Russo declares something to be fact when in actuality, they are making it up themselves ("This whole notion that Mike D'Antoni is going to make the Knicks a playoff team is a joke")
Pipe Down: Russo's way of telling a player to shut up ("Pipe down there Figueroa")
Tough Spot: This is usually a negative. 'Tough spot. Aaron Heilman. Can't trust him.' They rarely say, "I really like Chauncey Billups in a tough spot." Even though Mike and Dog don't trust a lot of athletes in a tough spot, you can earn your way out of this label. For example, they couldn't trust Eli Manning in a tough spot until the Super Bowl. Now he can basically retire and still be a legend. He proved he can perform in a tough spot. This phrase is used by both Mike and Dog.
Tricky Spot: This really means an awkward position. For example, Ian Eagle running into Marv Albert at the Garden. Or I'm sure that the Giants last game of the 2007 was a tricky spot. "Coughlin wants to get ready for the postseason but you have to try to end the Patriots' undefeated season. Tricky spot, Mike." And for clarification. This phrase is used primarily by Russo.
Timmy: Russo's son. ("I mean, let's be fair here Mike, Timmy can throw harder than Igawa")
Say Something Funny Mike (When Russo can't control himself and breaks out into laughter and tries to egg Francesa on to keep it going. Picture Russo hysterically laughing followed by "Say Something Funny Mike")
First time, long time (this term is announced by a fan calling to the show, who has been a long time listener of the show, but is making his first ever call in - hence, first time (caller), long time (listener)
I can't go too crazy - This is a Mad Dog special. Dog uses this phrase to throw cold water on enthusiastic callers("I can't go too crazy about the D-Rays in May. Talk to me in September.") or admit that he doesn't have strong feelings about a subject("I can't go too crazy about the Olympic torch protesters.").
A-Game - This is Mike's new terminology that he applies to a Yankees win in which the starter goes 7 innings, Joba pitches a perfect 8th and Mariano closes it out. "The Yanks need an A Game tonight."
Bad Job: This is Mad Dog's way of criticizing something. It can be applied to players, coaches, general managers, fans - even networks, as in "That's a bad job out of NBC on the Derby Broadcast."
I'm not a big believer in: This is mainly a Mike comment. It means he doesn't have much confidence in something. And just like other comments, this is mainly used in negative, eg. 'I'm not a big believer in starting someone on 3 days rest.'
The whole bit - Russo's phrase when he is alone and wants to keep the conversation moving along. Without Mike there to add any details, Russo will use 'the whole bit' to sum up a person or issue. 'Selig will make it into the Hall of Fame. Steroids, the whole bit.'
Mike and the Mad Dog Photos
One of the more uncomfortable shots you will ever see of them
Mike and the Mad Dog Photos
On Location (yes, the show does sometimes travel forcing the duo to sit awkwardly next to each other)
Russo going off on Pacman Jones, one of the classic rants in show history (see Video section for link)
Mike and the Dog Photos
Posed (notice Francesa has to be slightly more upfront and center)
Mike and the Dog Photos
At work (the traditional YES split screen - Dog on the left, Francesa on the right)