ESPN’s “First Take” is a show that has a tendency to get out of hand at times. With Stephen A. Smith often screaming to get his point across, the debates heat up fast.
One special guest who’s known to yell is renowned Sirius XM radio host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who’s made a living doing so since the late 1980s. On Monday that yelling and screaming got him a stern warning from NFL analyst Ryan Clark, during a heated segment about Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp’s Hall of Fame worthiness. Russo implied that Kupp doesn’t have to play another down to make it to Canton, and that’s where the disagreement and yelling began. Clark took a shot at Russo’s method of voting for the Heisman Trophy, which didn’t seem to sit too well with the original sports radio shock jock.
“They must be voting like you for the Heisman where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based on the fact that they played quarterback,” Clark said.
Mad Dog responded by yelling Clark’s name while insisting he’s been voting for the Heisman for 30 years. Clark seemed to ignore that as instead his mood immediately shifted and it seemed to be more than a sports conversation.
Clark intervened with a stern warning to the loud and loquacious Russo.
“Back up. You stop screaming at me, bro! That’s the last time. You will stop screaming at me.”
“Lower your voice.”
Once Russo finished by exaggerating that his tenure as a Heisman voter began before the 42-year-old Clark was born, “RC25” replied:
“I don’t care about that.”
Things got heated between Ryan Clark & Mad Dog on first take 😭😭😭
Mad Dog said Cooper Kupp Will be in the Hall Of Fame if he stopped playing football today 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/nGiuq9XFDK
— Shannonnn sharpes burner (@shannonsharpeee) August 8, 2022
It’s safe to say Russo wasn’t going to get away with his bullying tactics with Clark, who’s well-spoken, knowledgeable and always has good points of views.
Russo Isn’t The First One Clark Had To Lean On At ESPN
While Clark has become one of the most respected analysts at ESPN, he admits it wasn’t easy at the beginning. During an April 2021 appearance on the “Bussin With The Boys,” podcast Clark recounted his initial interaction with Stephen A. Smith. Clark recalls his reaction to statements made by Smith, about athletes wanting his job with no degree.
Clark was quick to say he has a communications degree from LSU and went right for SAS’s head.
“I can do your job, I do have a degree, and my hairline ain’t pushed back.”
The next time on the show Smith had a rebuttal.
“As for anything else, Ryan Clark knows what he can kiss,” Smith proclaimed.
Clark took that comment as Smith wanted to fight him.
“Oh, Stephen A. Smith wants to fight me. I’m gonna whip him. Straight up. All the other stuff was cool, but the man’s gonna tell me to kiss his A-S-S? That means he wants to fight me.”
Clark Says Smith Apologized: Strong Friendship Formed
While SAS did apologize for his tasteless comments, and the two strong personalities have formed a strong bond on and off the camera, that probably won’t be the case with Clark and Russo, and Clark is OK with that