Notes From the Sideline: Mad Dog back for more at Sirius

For the Recorder
Published: 4/26/2019 6:56:56 PM
Modified: 4/26/2019 6:56:46 PM

Christopher Russo has re-upped for another four years of doing Mad Dog Unleashed on Sirius XM Radio. The 59-year-old native of Syosset, N.Y., took a leap of faith in 2008 when he left WFAN for the fledgling network, and is now its second most popular personality behind Howard Stern.

Russo mixes malaprops with Yogi-isms. During Thursday’s show, he said the Blue Jays waited until the Maple Leafs had been eliminated before calling up Vlad Guerrero Jr. “That’s just my opinion,” said Russo. “But that is fact.”

His opinion has gotten him in Dutch with people, but most shrug it off as “Doggie being Doggie.” Before the Masters, he tried wooing CBS’s Jim Nantz onto the show. “Nantz isn’t talking to me,” he finally admitted.

That was likely because Russo ripped Nantz and Chris Berman the day after the Super Bowl. “A tough watch… Berman… Chris, ask a question that doesn’t take three-and-a-half minutes, please? Let Belichick talk! Answer a question and get out!”

Nantz is a network star, its top announcer for all games under the Eye. “Only Jim Nantz would know Bill Belichick’s grandddaughter’s name,” said Russo. “You get the idea Jim’s more wrapped up in making sure of Robert Kraft liking him than the guy in the upper deck liking him.”

He didn’t think there’d be fallout? “Boy, I am cranky today,” he said, which is why people tune in and listen. 

Former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms spoke with Peter King about the hit that nearly killed him in a game against the Carolina Panthers. “Thomas Davis put his helmet right on my spleen. I was in spasms, curtains coming down. Afterward, they threw me in the ambulance and the CAT scan got down to my pelvic region and they ran out of the room. I was bleeding internally and had to go to emergency surgery. I had lost nine pints of blood. I told the surgeon ‘you wanna open me up with a machete do what you gotta do.’ They cut me open and removed my spleen. That was a game changer for me, the price of doing business.” 

According to Nate Ewell of College Hockey Inc., 326 of the 1,000 players who skated in the NHL this season came from the college ranks. “Crushed the old number,” Ewell told Bernie Corbett on last week’s Hockey on Campus. “Players want to see a path to move to the NHL, and clearly that path is there in the college ranks.”

Ewell added that BC product Johnny Gaudreau came one point shy of being the first collegian to score 100 points for an NHL team this season. Gaudreau’s in his fifth season with the Calgary Flames.

Sunday was the 68th anniversary of Toronto’s Bill Barilko scoring the winning goal in OT against Montreal. A few months later on a fishing trip, his plane disappeared in northern Quebec. The wreckage wasn’t found for 11 years and a song in his memory is on the Maple Leafs’ playlist. Fans had hoped the karma would help Toronto beat Boston, but as Bruins announcer Jack Edwards put it: “The Leafs are mulch again!”

SQUIBBERS: Asked if Filip Lindberg could’ve withstood Minnesota-Duluth’s withering attack if he was older and more seasoned, Greg Carvel’s one-word answer was, “Yes.” UMass has the goaltender it needs to win a national title. … After the Miami Dolphins took Springfield’s Christian Wilkins with the 13th pick, the NFL Network’s Ross Tucker called it a “slam dunk, a Brian Flores pick all the way.” … Imposing southpaw Darwinson Hernandez made his big league debut for the Red Sox on Tuesday. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound prospect throws pitches that move like a wiffle ball. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out four in 2.1 innings. … Sports book William Hill has installed the Patriots as six-point favorites to beat the Steelers on Sept. 7. … Bernardston’s Jim White is in Texas visiting his daughter and taking in a Rangers game. His brother Skip stayed home to focus on next week’s Kentucky Derby. … Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella is the NHL’s version of Bill Belichick. … John Sterling’s home run call for Luke Voit: “Voit! Hits one to Beloit! gets the nod over his call for Austin Romine’s blast: “Romie! my Homie!” … Dave Lorenz spotted Jim Lonborg at Wednesday’s Red Sox game. “He looks pretty good,” Lorenz said of Gentleman Jim. … We hear Jake Sulda’s gearing up to handicap Spa-bound horses. I’ll be looking for him near the Carousel. … Wayne Borkowski sends word that Greenfield’s Todd Howe was at the Frozen Four. Todd and his father Bob were goal judges at the Mullins Center. … One-time Yankees phenom Chance Adams is 0-1 with a 10.32 ERA at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. …  Filip Larsson, the freshman goalie from Denver who lost in OT to UMass, has signed with the Red Wings. … Tigers announcer Dan Dickerson called Fenway Park’s infield one of the worst in the majors. “Year in and year out it’s noticeable the number of errors teams make.” ... After Nicholas Castellanos hit a home run at Fenway Park on Thursday, the top three hitters in the Detroit lineup (together with Jeimer Candelario and Miguel Cabrera) are now a combined 1-for-263 in the long ball department. … Blake Swihart singled in his first at-bat for the Diamondbacks. … Seeing Pittsburgh reliever Nick Burdi grab his pitching elbow and sink to his knees was gruesome, but the Pirates report he won’t need a second Tommy John surgery. … Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass is retiring after this season, which could pave the way for Tim Neverett to return to where his MLB career began. … The Marlins are averaging 9,951 fans, the only team under five figures. … SI reports that an Oklahoma woman was arrested for using a t-shirt gun to send contraband over a prison wall. … This week’s New Yorker article by Nick Paumgarten about downhill racing (The Descent of Man) is a must-read. When photographer Peter McBride asked two-time champion Anderl Molterer what it was like to challenge Austria’s cliff-like Streif he replied, “Peter, when you are in ze starting gate, you have s--t in ze pants.”




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