Sports Media

Stephen A Smith

(Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)

Stephen A. Smith Pays Respect to Mike Francesa

Stephen A Smith
(Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)

Stephen A. Smith Pays Respect To Mike Francesa

Stephen A. Smith is speaking facts for once! Ahead of a highly anticipated First Take episode next week, the ESPN legend shared some very kind words about WFAN icon Mike Francesa.

On the Pardon My Take podcast, the native New Yorker shared some love about one of the all-time greats in sports talk radio.

“In terms of Mike Francesa and Mad Dog, I have such respect for them,” Smith said. “We are where we are in this business in large part because of them [and] what they established. And I know that for anything that’s gonna be successful we’re usually targeting the younger demographic and I understand that, but the young have to learn to respect those that need and deserve to be paid homage to. When you think about Francesa and Mad Dog, what talk radio became, what the podcast world ultimately morphed into, it’s by and large because of Mike and the Mad Dog.

“What an incredible level of gratitude we owe them, and for me, the fact that they wanted to come on First Take to reunite with one another is an honor.”

Stephen A. Smith via Pardon My Take

This is something that we should all love to see. No ego. No jealousy. Nothing but love and respect.

Next Wednesday, along with Smith, Francesa and the Mad Dog will make a reunion on ESPN for what should be a thrilling episode of debates. Chris Russo has turned into somewhat of a regular on First Take but will be back on the airwaves with Francesa for the first time since Russo left WFAN in 2008.

Smith has rightfully heaped praise on both Francesa and the Mad Dog for ultimately setting up the foundation for a large portion of the sports media industry.

From One Icon to Another

Stephen A. Smith will also have his rightful place in the mountaintop of sports media history. He has carried out quite the career over the years. And ultimately, similar to Mike and the Mad Dog, it was the original First Take with Skip Bayless that caught fire and made him an ESPN legend.

But make no mistake. It is quite possible that there is no Stephen A. Smith without Mike Francesa and Chris Russo teaming up back in the ’80s. As a New Jersey guy I can tell you, you don’t have to look far to find Francesa’s name when looking up New York sports. I was just a little bit before his time with Russo, but he is in my pantheon of sports talk personalities.



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