A coupla years back The Sports Guy wrote a running diary account of a day in the life of Mike and the Mad Dog, the world’s single greatest wadio pwogwam. I remember at the time thinking this was a Sports Guy Classic, one for the ages; my friends and I reveled in it for weeks. As it always is when time puts some space between the actual and the memory, the aura of the article grew larger and larger in my mind as the greatest, funniest collection of words put together since that Sunday edition of Bloom County where Opus is buying Preparation H. Recently I found the article and read it for the first time since it appeared and, me being Xmastime, of course I can only think one thing: I can do better.
Not only can I do better, I say to myself, but I’m going to point out the Sports Guy’s article for comparison –I’m not gonna pretend I never saw his article. Here it is, in your face, I’m better. Here it is...one man’s thoughts on the greatest show on Earth.
(for a quick primer, click thru this link to the Youtube clip...)
1:04pm for the intro they’re busting on Dawg being a Yankee hater by playing clips of him declaring the Yankees’ season over at various points throughout the year. The main one being on May 1...with 139 games left in a 162-game season. Hmm. This is like a father calling his son a loser who will never become a goddam thing at the age of 7. Flash forward a quarter century and well well well, look who’s sittin’ pretty on his own sofa-bed, hasn’t drunk-pissed himself in 2 years and is on the verge of getting his own checking account? FUCK you, “Dad”, fuuuuccckkkk you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1:06 one of the great things about these two is that after 20 years, sometimes they talk as if they’re dancing with each other. Rhythmic. Like right now Mike is starting in about the Mets, with Dawg chirping in. “Folks, we are watching a team in udder collapse. Udder (tewwible, Mikey!!) udder (tewwible!) udder (terrible!) collapse” Dawg is like your mother chirping behind your father while he’s giving you a belt-whupping, driving him even crazier and making it worse for your ass.
1:14 They guys have been hyperventilating re: the Mets collapse for ten minutes now. Nobody’s seen Mike this animated since Sonic started serving breakfast - must be why he’s actually in his seat coming out of commercial; for some reason, 90% of the time Mike insists on walking back into the studio about 20 seconds after Dawg has already started the segment. His rock star moment, I guess.
1:17 after screaming/laughing bout the Mets choking, Mike admits that no, he didn’t actually see the game. Yet he sounds off as an authority. Typical. But then Mike hasn’t seen his dick in about 25 years and he just had a kid, so I guess somehow he really does just know things.
1:18 Seriously, I’ve never seen Mike this happy. Did Ben & Jerry stock just split? Mike is usually so stoic, but now he is singing along and tapping on the desk to “If This is It” (NOT the Huey Lewis one, the other 70's one.) I've seen it all, and wanna throw up.
1:25 one thing The Sports Guy got right is that Mike kinda sounds like Yogi Bear. Anytime he references Yogi Berra, he should hafta do the voice. And how nobody’s come up with a M&MD Yogi the Bear cartoon with Dawg as the Boo-Boo character is beside me. “Hey hey Doggy, looks like Ranger Smith left some food out!” “Oh, that’s a TEWWIBLE job by Ranger Smith, Mikey!” “Ugh.” “Tewwible!” “Ugh” “Tewwible!”
"AAAAAAAAND now those jagoffs won't fuck with us ever again, Doggie."
"Wow! GWEAT job, Mikey! One for the Big Guy!!"
1:27 Dog just tried to say "Colorado." After three fly-bys, finally just plowed thru it "Carararro." Sounds like a Chinese guy ordering Sammy Hagar’s tequila. Ugly.
1:30 Mike now makes his official Yankee declaration “You will have your October.” Of course those 5 words took about 120 seconds to say as Mike inhales the fumes of his own genius. This kicks off the first hellacious Doggie laugh of the day, which sounds like someone shredding cardboard while stepping on a cat, but not as calming.
1:38 Now they’re yapping about some goofy throwing contest by fans. I guess they’re cutting on Boomer from the morning show. No idea what they’re talking about. But Mike is still giddy, which to me has become the story of the day.
1:39 our first “hahahahaha say something funny Mike!” yelp from Dawg. Ironically, Mike is actually the funny one. Which makes no sense. He stares down at his desk and makes serious proclamations like he’s the voice of the almighty, but he actually gets off a few funny lines a day. I guess it’s true that a fat, dour, self-righteous, condescending, smarmy know-it-all clock is right twice a day.
1:42 how does YES pay these guys a million each a year and they have two commercials? Wtf?
1:43 and how is it possible that these guys haven’t been on Michael Kay’s CenterStage yet? Emmanual Lewis, Lambchop w/o Shari Lewis and the guy in the “Safety Dance” video, but no Mike and Dawg? I guess Mike somehow sees this as competition to his NBC show Mike’d Up. The best part of that show is for some reason they place a HUGE bowl of candy or chips on the table in front of Mike throughout the ½ hour – my dream is to hire some kid who during commercials can sneak in there and put a dent in the candy each time, so it looks like Fatcessa has been devouring the bowl on each break. Shit disappears as the show goes on. Kills me. Well, and I dream that men would be angels, and angels would be God. But the candy thing, camon....
1:46 I love it when the callers announce that they’re gonna ask their question and then “I’m gonna hang up and listen to your answer.” Really? Just once I’d like to hear “then I’m gonna hang up and drop the radio in my bathtub so the last words I hear on this Earth are ‘oh, Dawg, brutal. Ugh.’” Or “then I’m gonna drop the phone and sprint away as quickly as possible, just run as far as I can. thanks guys!"
1:50 John from Staten Island calls in to cry about the Mets bullpen, and Mike is incredulous: “if you can't get 6 or 7 outs, why bother even talking about the bullpen? They’re awful!!” I feel we’re only minutes away from a “Mariano Rivera is a God, on a different level” speech. Only question is how will Mike tie in his precious ’61 Yankees/Rivera/guzzling another crate of Diet Coke, which is the Mikey hat trick.
2:00 now we’re listening to a clip of David Wright saying the Mets have to “dig down deep” and “find that something extra” so they can “finish strong.” You think an alarm is going off cross town in Derek Jeter’s locker to warn that another player is trying to out-cliche him? I can’t wait for 40 years from now and old-timers try to school youngsters on what a great cliche-er Jeter once was. “You fucking call that a cluster of cliches? Derek Jeter, young man, did the intangible cliches, the cliches that don’t always show up in the papers the next day! Derek Jeter could put a reporter to sleep in four questions, you fucking punk!!! Know your history!!!” And David Wright sounds like Jermaine Jackson. Which is funny, cause there’s are only 4 other males on Earth who have heard Jermaine speak, but this is how I’d picture his voice.
2:05 Mike declares that he never thought the Yankees would win the division. Wow, what a genius. He stuck to his guns, even when the Yanks were 14 ½ back. Can’t wait for Mike’s “I knew Suri Cruise was gonna be a screwed-up kid” proclamation 20 years from now. Right again, Mikey!!! You did it!
2:08 Now Doggie’s going thru the Yankees season and its big turning points. Tuff for Dog, who is the King of all Yankee haters. Which makes the show great. And he somehow just found a way to toss tennis into the discussion three times. Nothing’s worse than when Mike’s on vacation in the summer and Dawg regales us with the play by play of whatever local tennis match he played the night before. “high wob, I fwoat back, cwossstwoke aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannd....15-wuv, storms coming fwom the northwest, I know I gotta huwwy!!!” For 5 hours. A brutal test for any listener. Like sitting there for hours listening to a girl prattle on and on cause you know this is the night she’s finally gonna give it up. Just hang in there, fellas.
2:11 Mike seems distracted; now I see he’s staring at the computer beside him, ready to pounce like a bear. Sniffing it. Like great white sharks mating in nature, humans have never witnessed Francesa on a computer. He is the original proud Luddite; a few years back Dawg tried to get him to admit he knew what the internet was and after about an hour Mike finally admitted that sometimes he went online to “check out my stories.” Nobody even wants to know what these stories are. And....BAM! There he goes, to the computer! See the bright colors, big guy! Sniff sniff!
2:12 be amazing if all of a sudden he pulled a ham sandwich out from inside the monitor, wouldn’t it?
2:30 Sorry. Just took a dump so big a doctor came in and made me name it before I flushed.
2:38 Dog loves that the guy is gonna put an asterisk on Bonds’ home run ball. Mike sniffs he’s a “fashion designer.” I guess Mike thinks XXXL plain white button-down shirts with pit stains and Cheetos dust design themselves.
2:50 Biff from Philly calling in... a “Biff” from Philly? Are you kidding me?
2:52 I’m always amazed more crank calls don’t get through. Anytime someone slips thru, the guys bitch at their call screener. Like it’s impossible to be lied to over the phone. I don’t see how stopping a caller is even possible. If I wanted to call in and tell Mike to eat his own fat ass, couldn’t I fool the screener long enuff? Or does it go “Okay, what’dya wanna ask the guys?” “I wanna tell Mike to eat his own fat ass.” “Sorry (click)” I would think I’d have the brains to pull off:
“Okay, what’dya wanna ask the guys?”
“I wanna ask if they’d start Clemens over Chad on Sunday.”
“Please hold...” now they switch to another voice, try to make me slip up
“Okay, what’d you say you wanted to ask about?”
“I wanna tell Mike to...”
SHIT! couldn't even pull it off here...guess it is tough after all. Fucking hell.
2:55 Mike’s at the door with his back to us, talking to someone...right now, every single YES viewer is making the exact same joke: “Lemme check before you take off, make sure they put on double pepperoni...”
2:57 first “in the mix”sighting, one of Doggie’s pet phrases. Though it almost gets lost in the wreckage of Dog using it with the word “strategy;” “there’s some stwategy in the mix!” fucking christ; is there a St. Bernard lapping at his face that I just don't see?
3:01 I get a kick outta the fact that at every break Dog has to say “Sports Radio 66.” And you know Mike makes him be the one to say it, just to be a dick. When I first started listening, I was amazed that someone with Doggie’s speech um, “patterns” could get a job on radio. I decided that this guy must be amazing, must REALLY know what he’s doing to get a gig on radio. It’s like going to the track and betting on the three-legged dog: why else would he be running?
3:02 hooker with one titty mighta worked back there, too.
3:08 Dog’s blowing his nose into some toilet paper. Not television’s proudest moment. Looks like a dachshund putting on a surgical mask.
3:09 Now they’re going thru playbacks of different announcers from the game last night, trying to detect panic in Met announcers. Are they psychiatrists? Should they be a carnival act? “Step right up, Doggie will guess your feelings while exploding into 1000 pieces as Mike sits in a chair to ease his ‘mysterious knee pain.’”
3:10 “oh, Dawg...ugh...ugh” Mike’s pretending to be sad re: Mets collapse panic.
3:11 now they’re trashing Keith Hernandez’s handling of a play while in the booth. I wonder how they woulda done on Seinfeld? Dude was in an hour-long episode and made out with Elaine!!! Tho be fair, Mike mighta played Newman, so.
3:12 Dawg is pissed no one’s showing up to support the Mets: “they should boo the fans for not showing up!!!!!” Really? If there’s no fans showing up, who’ll be doing the booing? And at who? Dog’s a little slap-happy now, he’s been fighting to hold Mike off his Hot Pockets for 2 hours now.
3:14 Clip of Willie Randolph trying to break David Wright’s cliche record for the day. Stumbles after saying “we gotta go get em tomorrow” by missing the chance to say “we gotta take it day by day.” Can hear Wright goffawing in the background, Willie’s pissed.
3:18 John Minko, the update guy, is walking in to give some scores as he does every hour. Camon, one time, do it naked! Or in a chicken costume. Just walk in, do the news in a chicken suit. Have Mike and Dog pretend to not even notice.
3:26 Chris from Jersey gives us our first “first time/long time” moment. Everyfuckingbody does this: “hey it’s Chris, first-time caller/long-time listener...” I’d like to call in “hey it’s Xmas, this is my ninth call since this morning when I first heard of you guys...” Surely I’m not the first person to think of this?
3:28 is Mike reading a magazine? This is what its come to?
3:31 Mike coming in late from commercial again. They should have the train from Silver Spoons cart him back and forth every break.
3:38 Mike never says “hi” to a caller, just quickly gruffs their name. “Hey guys, it’s Ricky.” “Ricky.” If you set it up perfectly, listening to Mike could be like an Abbott & Costello routine.
3:40 seriously...what the fuck does Mike do every break? Sprints outta the chair every time. I assume the shitter; but we’re now 2 & ½ hours in, how much of the Velveeta pony keg can still be left? Fuck!
3:58 Mike just spent 2 minutes trying to explain “Sal wanted a pony for Xmas”, a metaphor for a Mets win, which takes Dawg about 7 passes to finally get. Which leads to Dog asking if Mike wanted a pony when he was a kid, to which Mike seriously says oh, no no. Definitely not. Sad solemnly, in case we were to ever get the wrong and presumably dangerous impression that at one time he would’ve wanted of all things a pony.
3:59 Now Dawg’s talking about his cat as a kid. Yum Yum. After destroying some upholstery, Dawg’s dad got rid of Yum Yum. Mike, in one of the rare moments he’s curious about another person’s life, asks Dawg what he means by this. Dawg says they found another home for it, to which Eddie from the booth chimes in “under a tree.” Hardest I’ve ever seen Mike laff, and all it took was a young child’s dead kitten. Nice. I think I’ll make sure Mike’s around next time I read “Where the Red Fern Grows” to, you know...”keep things light.” Ugh.
4:14 Dan O’Dowd is talking. GM of the Colorado Rockies. I missed the last 15 minutes. Why is he on? I have no idea.
4:17 Mike declares this year’s umps have been the worst ever. That’s it! In the books, 2007 the worst ever. Prolly already on Wikipedia as fact.
4:18 Just occurred to me - I hope they brought this guy in just to make Dawg hafta say Colorado again. Poor bastard, he can’t even fall back on “Rockies” and sound like an adult.
4:19 “Good job Dan!” Dawg always says that you did a good job when the interview’s over, like a pat on the head. Always seems vaguely surprised a guest comes on and isn’t completely retarded. You’d think being in a room with Mike all this years, he’d be programmed to always assume whomever he’s talking to is a genius. But then, you’d also think we could get Cuba Gooding, Jr into a second movie that’s almost watchable, so I guess you never know.
4:29 Dawg just said that El Duque had a “weird bunion problem.” How can Mike not jump on this? Oh, right...he’s been asleep for the last ½ hour. Don’t wake the bear, Doggie!!!
4:37 they’re reading a quote from Skip Carey, who’s upset about being left off playoff telecasts. But apparently not about being named “Skip.” Interesting.
4:38 Wait - there’s Skip AND a Chip Carey? The Keebler Elves had children? What the fuck?!!!
4:39 You know, they’re right about bringing in announcers for playoffs that haven’t even seen any of the teams all year. It’s complete bullshit. It’s like bringing in Richard Simmons and Lance Bass to judge a Cameltoe Contest. Why wouldn’t they bring one local announcer from each team?
4:41 I gotta take break for a second, flip over to Beverly Hills 90210. Valerie is irked her latest conquest is leaving: “what do you hafta do, balance the federal deficit?” Fair question; if I'm in bed with Valerie Malone the only reason I'm getting out is if a King Cobra has announced its presence.
4:47 Is anybody alive out there? Dawg’s gettin amped up re: Bruce on The Today Show the next morning. It's a good thing Bruce didn't play for the Giants last year, Tiki would SHRED him on Today for sure.
4:48 Dawg is outlining his morning for watching Bruce on The Today Show. Trying to decide if he’ll buy his kid a little guitar to take. Wow. Now we find out from an uproarious Mike that at some Bruce shows, Dawg actually takes a toy guitar along to “jam” on during the show. Again: wow. There’s air guitar, there’s being the kid in the “quit being mean to Britney” video, and then there’s that. Dawg's kid’s gonna be thrilled. “Thanks Dad, being your son doesn’t get my ass kicked quite enuff at school, this should definitely take it over the top. You’re the best!”
4:49 almost 4 hours in, just now getting our first call from a Vinny? There a massive hair-gel sale going on all day I don't know about?
5:07 Dawg’s pounding himself for dissing the Yankees so early. Now comes the time of the day where they get lazy and just repeat themselves from earlier, saying the same shit they’ve already blathered. This is like a father calling his son a loser who will never become a goddam thing at the age of 7. Flash forward a quarter century and well well well, look who’s sittin’ pretty on his own sofa-bed, hasn’t drunk-pissed himself in 2 years and is on the verge of getting his own checking account? FUCK you, “Dad”, fuuuuccckkkk you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5:09 Joe Torre’s on. I’d make a child abuse joke here, but isn’t getting drunk and slapping little people around funny enough already?
5:11 Jesus Christ. Torre. Lulling me to sleep. Blah blah blah.
5:22 You know what’s creepy? During phone calls when they put the person’s picture on screen; you can hear the dude talking but they have a still picture there, staring back at you. Do we need this? You find yourself staring at the person’s photo, hypnotized. Like whenever I watch something with subtitles, I find myself staring at the words on the screen and not the actors. Which is why it takes me so long to “issue” during “Rencontres Anales 4.”
5:24 Joe gives his thoughts on each team. Hmm. Lemme guess. “solid, good team. Will be tough to beat.” Thanks, Joe. Really going out on a limb here.
5:30 The last hour or so usually sucks, I always hope they go off topic such as “top ten movies.” This is fun cause now Mike has to pretend he’s never seen a movie in color except The Godfather. "Tom Hanks? Who's that?" And Dawg always asks Mike for his lists, never vice versa. Of course the Babe Ruth of these time-wasters is the Ratings Game, wherein Dawg reads out recent games to Mike who then tries to guess that games national and local television rating. At first you think they’re kidding, they GOTTA be putting you on, but you look at Mike and he looks like he's cracking logarithms on the bowl over there. And no matter how far off he is, he always nods his head as if he understand WHY he was off. “Dawg I’m gonna say for Giants/Boys, I’m gonna say 8.2 national, 10.1 local.” “They did a 6.6 national and 8.9 local.” Now Mike starts nodding his head, “okay, okay, I can see that.” And Dawg acts like he’s at a funeral, crestfallen “Mikey, that a tewwible wating! That’s an awful job by CBS, Mikey...just awful...” while Mike nods his head. "Well Dawg, it was the 3rd-to-the-last nice day left in the summer, so I knew that..." Are we supposed to take this seriously, that Mike really thinks he can guess these numbers? This reminds me of a guy I used to work with, Harry. EEEEEVery day Harry would check his lotto numbers from the night before and try to match them with his and see what he did wrong. “Okay, they have a 12, I chose 14...okay...22, I said 28...” I’m like Harry, it doesn’t matter, it’s completely random! But he insisted he was figuring it all out. My secret hope for the stupid ratings game is this is actually an inside joke they’ve been playing on listeners for years and are just waiting for the day someone finally phones in and calls bullshit on ‘em. “This ratings game, you’re fucking with us, right?!” Dude “wins” a weekend at Hooters with Mike, we never hear this stupid game again.
5:37 Now they’re talking about clothes, and Mike has just revealed that he has “active” socks and “inactive” socks. There’s no way I’m topping that sentence with anything else.
5:40 commercial, flipping to "MASH"...why did Hot Lips pick Frank Burns? All the doctors there to fuck, she picks him? Camon!
5:47 Now Mike and Doggie are talking to Ed Coleman, local beat guy for the Mets. Its official: Pedro Martinez will save millions of Mets fans from killing themselves tonite with a win. Comforting. This is the most the city has had to depend on a Latino since it got J-Lo to hide P-Diddy’s guns back in the day. HUGE game, Mike tells us 14,000 times in a row.
5:57 fuck!! They’re cutting the show early to get to the Yankees game. Mike and the Mad Dog. My life!! For you people outside of NY who wanna listen in, hit them every weekday starting at 1pm at WFAN.
The greatest post ever about the greatest sports talk show they is. Mad Dog trying to pronounce "Colorado" and ending up sounding like a Chinese guy trying to order Sammy Hagar's tequila. Tears. Bill Simmons who?
Great to see this one again. It really is an all-time top fiver. And seeing Mad Dog go - although long rumored - is sad. As long as they don't pair Fatcessa with Steve "The Schmooze" Sommers the show could still be good.
"The Cheesesteaks, the Tasty Cakes, the Bobby Rydells, visiting this weekend to face your New York Metropolitans..."
I'll definitely miss the theme song at 1:00.
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