Mike Francesa
Asbury Park Press

Mike Francesa has no problem saying it.

“It’s the best show ever,” the WFAN legend said Tuesday on his BetRivers podcast while reflecting on his “Mike and the Mad Dog” partnership with Christopher Russo.

“It is. I have no problem saying that, because it’s just a fact. No one has come close to what we did. Nobody.”

Francesa went into further detail while answering a listener email asking him what he felt Russo’s strengths were as a co-host:

So many strengths. We were so different, that was a great strength. He had a great passion for sports that we both shared. We both loved sports. We both ate and drank and slept sports. That was a big positive.

You didn’t have to wonder if your partner was into it. If he was going to be into the game, or into the trip, or into this or into that. We were always into every big event. We were always into every big game, whenever it was. So we didn’t have to fake that. We didn’t have to manufacture that. And I think a lot of sports talk show hosts do. And that’s something that you had better have.

You better love the games, you better love going to the games, you better love watching the games,  you better love talking about the games. Because if you don’t, what are you doing? Because the games are really what it’s about. And obviously that he could be naturally — and I underline naturally — amusing with all of his quirks and all his little idiosyncrasies, you couldn’t manufacture those.

That’s who he is. And if he wasn’t that, it wouldn’t have played that way. But on top of that, he had a wonderful ability and timing to know when to play his role that made the performance and made the program highly entertaining. And we both understood what roles we had to play to entertain the audience. That was our job. That was what we were good at. And that’s why that show had a chemistry and a timing and just a great balance to it that was extraordinary.

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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.