Aug 15, 2008

Mike and the Mad Dog - RIP

Mike Francesa and Chris Russo, better known as Mike and the Mad Dog have called it quits. Two New York Sports Radio Legends decided to part ways today with Russo reportedly having a deal already in place with Sirius radio.

I served as their engineer for about 5 years and loved working on the program. They are exactly the same way off the air that they are on the show. Mike is gruff and alwaqys gets right to the point. Chris is zany and always full of enthusiasm. They both did me tons of favors when I was just a young kid trying to break into the business. One of my highlights was being on their show as a reporter from (of all places) the Gaucho Gym in Harlem covering (of all things) Felipe Lopez's (the basketball one not the baseball one) press conference on where he was going to attend college (St. John's).

It was interesting being behind the scenes with those guys. Bob Gelb was their longtime producer and he was a great guy too. We saw all the fights between them and their disagreements with those in the sports world. They broke tons of stories. It was exciting to be there when Magic Johnson told the world that he was HIV positive and every Fall Saturday and Sunday when they were by themselves, there was no better place to be during Football season...well, except Friday night when they made their football picks together.

One memory stands out. Chris was a really good natured guy and we used to tease him about being a San Francisco Giants fan. Because I had interned at WFAN and was later hired by them, he'd tease me and say--"Have they promoted you from intern yet?"

Anyway, the Braves were playing the Giants in a crucial game and Russo was touting the Giants all day long on the air. We'd play Giants highlights everytime something good would happen because he'd be in the newsroom screaming at us for them. So we got revenge. The Giants had two men on and were down a run. Russo yelled to me, "I want the next highlight on the air ASAP, Mikey!" I had just about had it with him, to be honest--but it was hard not to like the guy's enthusiasm for his team. So when the next play was a 6-4-3 double play--I did exactly as he asked. That double play for the Braves was on the air as fast as possible followed by the Braves theme song--the Tommohawk Chop.

Later in the evening the Braves were pretty much in commmand and I called Russo at HOME and played the chop song down the phone line!

He immediately hung up on me.

Next day on the air:

Russo: "Everyone's killing me. You're killing me. Gelb is killing me. Spitz (executive producer) is killing me. That dope intern Mike Hayes is killing me calling me up and playing the tommohawk chop down the line last night. I can't win!"

I think this is a good move by Russo who will bring hundreds of sports fans to Sirius. If Mike is smart he'll sign an NFL deal with them too.

Aug 9, 2008

If you're not listening to KT Tunstall...

Than you are missing out. Go to her website here. For the uninitiated, she's a Scottish singer who is a bit folky, a bit rocky, a bit country but a whole lot of fun. My wife and I caught her in Atlantic City last night and she rocked. We had mezzanine seats at The Music Box which is a small intimate theatre (translation, we were up high and there were "floor seats" down the stairs from us. So there isn't a "bad" seat per se. But regardless, KT said the following during the show:

"So either the people in the back are very shy, or the people up front have imaginary friends sitting next to them. There's plenty of seats up here so why don't you all just come on up! They should do this on an airplane!

So we went from row V (10 rows up the stairs plus the 10 rows of floor seats) to row EE (5th row). Awesome. She rocked! I snapped some shots with my camera phone--here's the best one.

Aug 7, 2008

Summer Retreat

A wonderful summer retreat at Mt. Paul Retreat Center. 43 people took in the lakefront and had a fab time.

The retreat team did an outstanding job--some of the better talks I have heard. They made me look good especially since I was away for awhile in Australia.

Blogging will be sporadic as I am down at the Jersey Shore taking some rest at our uncle's house.

Googling God

Googling God
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