The Official Unofficial Mike and the Mad Dog Blog.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
CHRIS RUSSO AT HOME: A PORTRAIT
After a tumultuous week with speculation around the breakup of Mike and the Mad Dog, Chris Russo sits at home on Sunday, enjoying his weekend. As he finishes off a fascinating story on Federer’s Journey to five titles at the All England Club in Tennis magazine, Chris slips on his Wimbledon whites and heads over to New Canaan Tennis Club for a 9AM court time with Dr. Harry Greenstein. Russo sweats out a 3 set victory, hops in his BMW, blasts Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and makes the arduous 3 mile drive back to his palatial estate. At home, Jeanne is preparing lunch for the Russo clan. It’s a little past noon when Chris walks in the door. Seated around the kitchen table are Jeanne and the kids, highlighted by Chris’ favorite, Timmy. Upon seeing his offspring for the first time of the day, Chris lets out a customary “Gooood Afternooon Everybodyyyyyy. And how are you today??” Jeanne lets Chris know of the calls he missed while he was out, “Tony from Santa Fe. He wanted to talk Joba. He also thinks this Cano kid stinks.” Chris heads upstairs to change. Moments later, the smoke alarm can be heard throughout the house. Jeanne had a little mishap in the kitchen preparing some eggs. “Bad job Jeanne, bad job,” Chris mutters under his breath, as he heads back downstairs, sidestepping Theodore the hamster (or Milkshake or whatever the hell those damn kids named it he thinks to himself) who is running wild through the house. Chris enjoys his lunch out by the pool with the kids. Timmy asks dad to play in the pool with him. Chris knows he can’t swim. But really, his mind is occupied by the fact that Wimbledon coverage started a little while ago. A must watch he keeps thinking to himself. Chris can’t get the nagging thought out of his mind that Nadal or Federer might get upset. Chris is giddy at the thought. Not nearly as giddy as he was watching Tim Lincecum last night. But giddy nonetheless. It would be a HUGE story. That reminds Chris, he needs to make a phone call. He reaches for his cell phone and dials the unfamiliar number of radio partner Mike Francesa. Once again, no answer on the other end.
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)