Christopher ‘Mad Dog’ Russo is not alone in wondering if ESPN Radio’s new morning show will work. The combination of Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti was a surprising choice to replace Mike Golic after more than two decades.
During his Thursday afternoon show on SiriusXM, Russo noted the grind that is morning radio, and questioned if ESPN Radio’s new trio has the ability to “move the needle around America.”
“Every day you gotta be funny and nutty and stupid,” Russo said, noting morning hosts need an eccentric quality like Craig Carton or Mad Dog Radio’s Mike Babchik.
Russo also quickly turned his attention to WFAN and made sure to sneak a jab in at his old station. He compared ESPN’s new morning show to WFAN’s first attempt at replacing his former co-host Mike Francesa in 2017.
“I know everybody killed me about the Bart Scott thing, which didn’t work over there at FAN.”
Russo ripped WFAN when they hired Scott, as a Detroit-born linebacker who played his best football in Baltimore and “urinated on the New York media when he was here.”
“Nothing has worked over there at FAN,” Russo added during his short rant, originally intended for ESPN Radio.
Russo has previously been on the receiving end of those shots when his Mad Dog Radio Channel was struggling and WFAN was performing well without him over the course of the last dozen years. But Russo was within his right to be critical of his former station after the spring ratings were released. WFAN’s afternoon show lost its third straight book to ESPN, the gap has been narrowed in middays and Francesa awkwardly fills one-hour in the evening.
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“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit.
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“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.
On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.
“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.
“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”
Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.
The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.
“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”