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Gregg Giannotti: Some ‘Mike and The Mad Dog’ Off-Air Fights Were ‘Unbelievable’

“I remember Dog kicking the studio door open and screaming. It was intense.”

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A computer issue during the first hour of Boomer & Gio on WFAN brought up memories of Mike and The Mad Dog for Gregg Giannotti Friday morning.

The call screening software on Boomer Esiason’s in-studio computer wasn’t working, and was told the computers “weren’t talking with each other”. That triggered Esiason’s mind to ask Giannotti about his former on-air cohorts.

“Have you ever worked with a guy that you’ve ever not spoken to outside of the studio and you come back in and everything seems fine? You ever have a problem with anybody?,” Esiason asked.

“Yes. I did. There was a guy I worked on the air with that we did not speak off the air, only on the air,” Giannotti revealed.

“And how did that go?”, questioned Esiason.

“Not great. Not great at all,” Giannotti said. When asked if it was during his time in Pittsburgh, Giannotti confirmed that was the case. Esiason then asked if Giannotti was the offending party, which he denied. “I think it was sort of the opposite.”

Boomer then brought up he had heard that Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo wouldn’t speak to each other at times, which update anchor Jerry Recco confirmed.

“I worked with them in one of those terrible periods where they did not speak a word to each other off the air,” Recco said.

“But could you tell when they were on the air?”, Esiason asked.

“Yes and no,” Recco admitted. “You could tell because there was — so I was on the board at that time and (Chris) Carlin was the producer — there was a period of time where Chris would open up the show and say ‘Good afternoon, Mike. How are you?’ and he would say ‘I’m fine, Dog. How are you?’ and Chris would do the whole thing, and Mike would just go into sports and not acknowledge him.”

“There was a period, too, where I was working there as the midday producer and they were still there together,” Giannotti reminisced. “Dog would be in the studio, Mike would leave, and Mike would wait outside of the studio until the on-air light would come on to go back into the studio so there wasn’t any time they were together off the air.”

“I just can’t imagine working with someone that I couldn’t just come in and totally feel relaxed with,” Esisason said.

“It’s not a great environment,” Recco admitted.

“I’m very fortunate for 16 years to not have that happen to me,” Esiason concluded. “What were they fighting about?”

“That I don’t know,” Recco said.

Boomer then asked if the disagreements were over money or sports, and Giannotti remembered a specific fight.

“There was a whole — Dog had a problem one time that Mike wasn’t pay as much attention as he should have. I remember that,” said Giannotti. “I saw that fight. It was just me and (John) Minko in the newsroom. I remember they were going at it. They were fighting off the air.”

“Going as hard as they could?”, Boomer asked.

“Yeah, as hard as they can,” Giannotti remembered. “I remember Dog kicking the studio door open and screaming. It was intense. And the way you could tell they were fighting off the air — on the air — was like the littlest arguments or disagreements would turn into these huge debates. Like the one about the Fenway Stadium (sic) bathroom. Do you remember this? Oh my god. It was like a throwaway line one of them had. I think it was Mike saying it wasn’t that difficult to get in and out of the bathrooms in Fenway. And Dog was like ‘ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY CRAZY? IT’S 45 MINUTES OF STANDING OUTSIDE!’,” Giannotti said as he impersonated both former WFAN hosts.

“‘No you’re crazy, Dog’, it was just back and forth screaming at each other about the Fenway Stadium (sic) bathrooms. And you’re like ‘Why?!’ I remember going over and turning the speaker up in the newsroom thinking ‘Woah! This is great!’ Unbelievable.”

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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