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Mike Francesa, Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo Reunite On SiriusXM

“The hour-long conversation wasn’t exactly a throwback to classic Mike and the Mad Dog shows of decades ago, as the two featured little debate and disagreement. It was instead a rapid-fire Q&A between Mike and the Mad Dog with Russo dishing out the questions on a wide-ranging array of topics.”

Brandon Contes

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Just days after Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo told me he missed the discourse he had with his former partner of 19-years Mike Francesa, the dynamic duo reunited for a segment on Dog’s SiriusXM radio show. 

The hour-long conversation wasn’t exactly a throwback to classic Mike and the Mad Dog shows of decades ago, as the two featured little debate and disagreement. It was instead a rapid-fire Q&A between Mike and the Mad Dog with Russo dishing out the questions on a wide-ranging array of topics. 

Francesa opened the conversation after just having the worst day of his life, a two-and-a-half-hour surgery to repair an impacted wisdom tooth. 

They discussed the COVID vaccine, which Francesa said he already received both shots, and Russo adding that he’s scheduled to get his first soon. The Last Dance, Fernando Tatis Jr., the NCAA Tournament, ovah/undahs, Jordan vs LeBron, Zach Wilson, the Super Bowl and plenty more would follow. 

Russo asked Francesa how he would’ve fared hosting during the pandemic and the Sports Pope believes he would have ticked off his audience with too much political talk. Francesa added that he hated working Februarys during his solo tenure without Russo, and the last year would have featured an extended version of that. Although he was relegated to a greatly reduced evening timeslot, Francesa did do four-months of shows for WFAN during the pandemic, spending little time on politics. 

After the reunion, Russo joined Spence Checketts on ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City. The longtime Utah radio host is the son of former Knicks president Dave Checketts and grew up in the same town that Russo resides, New Canaan, CT.

Checketts quickly asked about his conversation with Francesa and Russo acknowledged he viewed it as an interview more than the two-way sports talk listeners are used to. The audience can hear Russo’s opinions everyday throughout the year, whereas Francesa has been mostly quiet in recent months, so he felt it was important to give his former partner the time and spotlight to talk. 

Geared up from the interview, Russo even acknowledged to Checketts he would be interested in doing some part-time work with his former partner, or at least listening to the offer if legalities aligned. Today, Mike and the Mad Dog appear to be in a great place, both sounding as if they miss the other. Tomorrow? Who knows? 

Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College.  The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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Sports Radio News

Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job

“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

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Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.

“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.

“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’

“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

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Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.

“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”

“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”

When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.

“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.

The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.

Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”

Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”

Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.

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