Thursday, June 27, 2019

Mike and the Mad Mets

(Awful Announcing)
Mike Francesa freaked out today and it was glorious.

I put Mike on while I was stuck in horrible traffic on the Merritt Parkway to see what was going on.

I've listened to Mike (and of course his former partner, Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo) since the late 1980s.

Given I didn't necessarily intend to wind up doing sports talk, few people have had more of an impact on me in that side of broadcasting than Mike and the Mad Dog.

Down in Philadelphia, the New York Mets had just taken a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning. Mike, watching the game on TV from his studio, felt the Mets had to win this game.

It ended badly, with the Phillies striking for six runs in the bottom of the ninth to grab a 6-3 win.

Mike flipped out and it made for great radio.
This was vintage Francesa. This was the kind of thing that made Mike and Mad Dog appointing listening for me. It was among the first things Shawn Sailer and I talked about when we met for the Fairfield American/Fairfield National little league baseball broadcast.

When Mike was on his game, he'd have me howling with laughter, even if it was about the Yankees.

Few interviewed like him (and Dog). Few were this compelling.

He spoke for all Mets fans today when said to just let the 1969 Mets play instead of the current dumpster fire.

My listening habits have changed over the past decade. There was a time when WFAN was all I listened to. But then Imus went over the WABC and Mike and Dog split up. Steve Somers is still great, but most of the rest of 'FAN isn't my cup of tea.

I turn off the Yankees on WFAN when Joe Benigno's voice comes on a commercial, for instance.

Look, I know you either love or hate Mike Francesa. There are times he infuriated me, but the brilliance of Mike and the Mad Dog was that ticking off the listener just made you want to come back the next day.

I feel that way today.

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