As if morning sports television needed any more legendary screamers on the set. In a surprising move, Stephen A. Smith introduced legendary radio host Christopher Russo, who at his height spent decades (1989-2008) dominating the afternoon drive ratings with Mike Francesa on WFAN and now hosts the baseball show “High Heat” on MLB Network. Russo will be joining the “First Take” hot seat every Wednesday and debating Smith.
Is Dak Prescott Top 10?
The 62-year-old didn’t waste any time delivering his first scorching take of his “First Take” career, basically taking a dump all over Dak Prescott’s career, even going as far as to say Prescott doesn’t even fall in the top 10 best quarterbacks in football.
The “First Take” team started naming the top 10 quarterbacks in the league. Stephen A. Smith said Dak Prescott is definitely a top 10 quarterback, which opened the gate for the first royal rumble between two guys known for turning up the volume, rather than ever refusing to lose an argument or back down.
Smith started running off all of Prescott’s stats and blaming Dak’s teammates, the front office for any playoff shortcomings he may have had in his career and insisted Dak was easily a top 10 quarterback.
Russo wasn’t buying it. First, he attacked the level of competition in the NFC Least.
“Worst division in football. Does he have six games against that division all year? You don’t think that helps him?” Russo asked. “Look at the teams he beat this year.” basically insinuating that Dak feasted on garbage squads like the Carolina Panthers.
As the team continued to try and fill out the top 10 after spewing off seven names of guys like Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow, who haven’t played three seasons in the league yet, they got to 8 and Lamar Jackson’s name came up.
Lamar Jackson vs. Dak Prescott
“Be fair,” Russo said. “You got a game to win for your life, do you want Lamar Jackson, or do you want Dak Prescott?”
Russo implied that Prescott wasn’t as good as Kirk Cousins because he hasn’t won a playoff road game and Cousins has. At that point, Dak would still fall in his top 10 at No. 9.
“Bottom line is, he barely scratches the top 10. Barely. Barely,” Mad Dog said.
Sports Radio: Legends Of The Loud
For those of you who don’t know who Mad Dog is, he was the white version of SAS before SAS became the No. 1 bloviator in the game. Russo was spitting on microphones, shouting down co-hosts, fans and callers and giving hot takes for seven hours a day, five days a week doing sports radio in The Big Apple.
There’s even a “30 for 30” ESPN documentary on the most successful talk show radio hosts in history. “Mike & The Mad Dog” were both making like $1.5M a year to do radio, which was ridiculous cheddar for that job back then.
If you thought Michael Irvin and Stephen A. getting together forced us to put the ear plugs in, well, wait until Doggie gets comfortable. His legendary rants and tongue lashings are the stuff of radio lore and should make for some action-packed, heated debate
Russo wouldn’t go as far as to say that he’ll take New England rookie Matt Jones over Prescott, but his parting shot was telling.
“If you’re giving me a quarterback that affects the (NFL) next five years, am I taking Dak Prescott or Trevor Lawrence? I’m taking Trevor Lawrence,” Russo said.
So there you have it. Russo is an anti-Cowboys guy just like SAS, who admitted during the segment that he can’t believe Russo has him defending Prescott and the Cowboys.
Nice first run for Mad Dog. Stephen A. knows how to bring the eyes to the screen. Wednesdays will never be the same on “First Take” as the legends of the “loud” air it out weekly.
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