Mike Francesa and "Mad Dog" Leave Impact on Sports Media
Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Ted Shaker, Executive Producer of ESPN Films’ “Mike and the Mad Dog,” who talks about the creation of the 30 for 30 film, the legacy of Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s WFAN sports radio show, and how their dynamic personalities impacted sports media.
"On September 5, 1989, there's gonna be the first show. Now, he and I never do a practice show together. We never have a warm up show, we barely had a meeting. I don't care about one game. Don't say it again. One game. That doesn't mean anything. Can I talk for a second? Yeah, but who cares about one game? Can I talk? Maybe the fans do, I don't care if you do. Maybe some of the fans do. Maybe they do. I hope they heard it already. But go ahead. Let's just go to calls. The first day, you know, to be quite honest, it didn't turn out too well. I can't understand what Chris is saying. Mike is stepping all over him. They're not really... they're not meshing. Yeah you want to say that's the whole injury. I mean... Well this is going to last year's. What is it that's... if it's not the home run, what stands out? Can I talk? It was a two person show with one man trying to dominate it, which was Francesa. I never thought that at that time, that Dog could stand up to me in a sports argument. I never thought he could. I walked out of there and I said, "Jeez, if I had to even stop to think, this is going to be freakin' hard!" That was an uncomfortable lesson. And you're right... No. ...that he got a little acid. You're right. And Francesa showed no respect for Russo, which is not good. Can this marriage be saved? [laughter] I got home that night and my wife looked at me, she said, "How did it go?" I said, "Terribly." She goes, "What do you mean? I'm listening to it. It's fabulous." I said, "Do you think so?" She said, "I've never heard anything like it." Oh, that is good stuff. And Ted Shaker is the Executive Producer of ESPN Films' Mike and the Mad Dog. Part of the great 30 for 30 series on ESPN Films, right now in the Tribeca Film Festival. It's going to premiere this Summer, July 13th, ESPN, 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. We are fans. How you doing? Good Steve. Thanks for having me. I gotta tell you, Mike and the Mad Dog, you cannot be a New Yorker, or anywhere in the New York area, without knowing these two guys. Yeah. They don't hate each other? Nope. But there is something about them, when they're in that studio, they have not been together doing their broadcast for a while. You were just saying they were at Radio City doing something, a charity for Field of Dreams. Yeah. Yeah Garden of Dreams. The Garden of Dreams. Yeah..."