Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is a loveable relic from sports radio’s past. He’s strident, over the top, and plays into this character that he created 40 years ago. While doing his “What are you Mad about,” segment on ESPN’s First Take, Russo has admitted that it’s stupid and his antics are ridiculous. His loud takes are humorous, but on Monday he reached into the sports talk radio time machine and pulled out a technique that should be left in the past — name calling. Russo spoke in a derogatory way about ESPN colleague Dan Orlovsky and should be ashamed of himself.
On Monday, the First Take crew was Stephen A. Smith, Molly Qerim, and Russo. They were having fun with a video of Orlovsky from over the weekend. He attempted the Precision Passing challenge from the Pro Bowl Games and outperformed active NFL quarterbacks. After Smith was highly complementary, Russo took a completely opposite approach. He dismissed Orlovsky out-throwing current Pro-Bowl level quarterbacks while wearing a dress shirt. Russo even went so far as to say that the ESPN NFL analyst was a “scrub,” as a player. Orlovsky did not take too kindly to being talked about that way, and posted on Twitter that what Mad Dog said was “classless.”
No one who makes an NFL roster is a scrub. Nathan Peterman is arguably the worst quarterback in league history, but I would never call him a scrub. He has started in five NFL games. Orlovsky has a pretty good sense of humor about himself. He knows he started at quarterback for most of the Detroit Lions’ 0-16 season. Whenever an opportunity comes to discuss the classic clip of him running out of the end zone, he always laughs it off. His unseasoned diet is a source of far more ridicule from his coworkers than his pro football career. Orlovsky is well aware that he was not an upper-echelon NFL quarterback.
Still, he played 12 seasons in the NFL and started 15 games. People should not be called scrubs even if they are broke and hanging out the passenger side of their best friend’s ride. All name calling does is ruin fun. Everyone was enjoying the Orlosky video, and then Mad Dog decided to break out an old-school sports talk radio classic, calling professional athletes scrubs.
Russo went back to his old days on Monday, and it was not cool. Orlovsky was no scrub in his playing days. He was an NFL quarterback, something only a small percentage of the population can say about themselves.