So we've all postulated that there is going to be a winner and a loser in this internecine battle between Mike Francesa and Chris Russo. Well, I'm coming to terms that this isn't really a battle for listeners. MMD has become apples and oranges. As our astute commenters have pointed out, Mike's show will always be rooted in New York Sports. Meanwhile, Russo answers to the 'heartland' now, among others. If you are a suffering Met fan, you want to tune into Mike today. Instead of self-flagellating, you can have Mike leave the scars for you. Russo will talk about the Mets, but as is apparent in the early days of his show, he is self-conscious about being too 'New York-centric'. He used this term to preface Mets talk yesterday.
So now that we have separated the Apple(Mike) from the Orange(Russo), we can look at this as a battle for legacy. When great teams break up, we look to see who will be remembered at the end of the day. George Michael was always the favorite to make it without Andrew Ridgely and that was borne out. You could call it a push with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, although I guess the Nutty Professor wins because he's still above ground. Obviously at this blog(contributors and commenters included), the smart money is on Christopher Russo. After yesterday, Russo has become the heavy chalk, with Francesa making like AIG stock. Here's why...
First the meltdown...The cracks are showing already at Mike'd Up. Francesa's rant is too long to dissect with a fine tooth comb. But here's the headline I got from it. "Francesa admits defeat in court of public opinion." Mike was proud of the fact that he never spoke up about the situation over the summer. He had set some arbitrary deadline of Chris' show airing to state his case. Meanwhile, Russo did what any person in his position would do - Get publicity for his new show. Mike's approach? Play the sad clown and sit on his hands. Well, he's basically staked Russo a lead. Too little too late, Mike.
Second - Resources. Around the 4pm hour, Francesa started pumping up Keith Hernandez's appearance..."If you're a Met fan, this is the person you want to hear from." I don't remember Mike ever being that excited about a local guest. Along with Keith, there was a Jon Heyman and Tom McCarthy. Meanwhile, Chris was trotting out John Madden, Regis Philbin and Barry Sanders. I'm guessing that the contact list over at Sirius XM is a bit more robust than Sal Licata's. Plus, if Bruce Springstein is doing an appearance on a music channel over there, you think Russo's people have a chance of walking him down the hallway to talk with Chris? Yesterday, Russo did a simulcast with Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy. It wasn't a phoner. They just linked up both of their channels. It was a nice changeup. And it showed you what kind of resources Sirius XM has.
So if I'm Arnold Rothstein, Paulie Walnuts or McGonaghy from that gambling movie and I'm taking odds on who wins the legacy battle, I'm putting it all on the Orange.
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