Mad Dog, Indeed

     I was listening to Mike and the Mad Dog, a talk program on WFAN, an sports talk station in New York City.
     Today’s topic was the Duke lacrosse team. Chris Russo, aka, Mad Dog, was going off on how all the evidence — or lack thereof — points to the players’ innocence.
     One guest, who identified himself as a “former prosecutor,” lambasted Russo for basing all his information on newspaper accounts.
     I don’t claim to know anything about the situation; I wasn’t there. When it comes down to it, despite all the rhetoric, those are the only ones who know the truth. Someone is clearly lying. To give credence to the athletes because the woman involved was a stripper smacks of elitism. On the other hand, to condemn the boys because they were involved in a party that would engage a stripper in the first place is unfair, too.
     Earlier in the day, on the Imus in the Morning program, Nancy Grace, who appears on Court TV, clearly was on the side of the accuser. When Imus asked her point blank if she believed the woman’s story, Grace hesitated and evaded a direct answer.
     Nevertheless, given the radio duo’s history of histrionics, their downplay of all things Mets, their tangents, Russo’s endless fawning (“You’re absolutley right, Mike. I couldn’t agree with you more,” etc.), it’s difficult to lend any credence to anything they have to say on just about anything.
     Russo told the caller who criticized him, “I can say anything I want,” adding that the caller could ignore him or disagree with him. He left out one thing: The caller could call him a jerk.
      Sports are interesting in that there are facts (statistics, scores, standings) and opinion (Willie was better than Mickey, the ’86 Mets were better than the ’45 Cubs). But to devote endless hours listening and, worse, calling in to these shows, just to be able to say you were on the air, or that Mike and the Mad Dog said you made a good point (which they rarely do, from what I hear)…sorry, I just don’t get it.

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