Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is many things. An innovator. A visionary. An entertainer. An American treasure. And thanks to Molly Qerim — his “ESPN First Take” colleague — we are able to catch a glance of his genius thinking.
Mad Dog’s Notes!!! As promised. @FirstTake pic.twitter.com/Ts2XNcbyTD
— Molly Qerim (@MollyQerim) May 24, 2023
This piece of paper belongs in the National Archives or Smithsonian. Weeb Ewbank’s inclusion alone makes this on par with the U.S. Constitution.
It really is amazing how Russo’s weekly residency on First Take is still a cultural phenomenon, even though he has been doing it for over a year now. Watching the WFAN legend experience this career renaissance has been tremendous. And the timing has been perfect too. Russo’s second wind coming after Mike Francesa shifted into semi-retirement has allowed the “Mike and the Mad Dog” flame to keep burning.
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Case in point: Russo’s rant about the NFL approving flex scheduling for Thursday Night Football. The nation had been bitching and moaning about it for two days. And yet, Doggie still made things feel fresh and new and fun.
Sunday! 1 o’clock! Play normal football!
Russo is right. God intended for football to be played at 7 p.m. on Friday (high school), noon on Saturday (college) and 1 p.m. on Sunday (professional). We’re pretty sure that is in the Bible somewhere. Maybe Ephesians.
As we wrote earlier in the week:
Say what you want about the NFL. But you cannot claim it has ever misrepresented itself. If there is an extra buck to be made, it will do whatever is necessary to make it. There will eventually be an 18th regular season game and flexing for the international games and any other money-making endeavor you can think of. This is what they have always done and will always do. The power and the glory of The Shield will not be denied. So stop acting shocked whenever a money grab is made.
As for the actual concept of Thursday night flexing: It is not a great idea. And it will be unpopular with players and an inconvenience for fans. But the NFL needs to keep Amazon happy for obvious reasons. And the parameters of flexing — a one-year trial where games in Weeks 13-17 can be changed with 28 days notice, and only two dates at most can be impacted — are as reasonable as they could be.
Mad Dog has some feelings on Thursday Night Football flex scheduling pic.twitter.com/2NaSHg2smt
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 24, 2023
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.