Chris "Mad Dog" Russo unloads on Roger Goodell during ESPN's "First Take." Chris “Mad Dog” Russo unloads on Roger Goodell during ESPN’s “First Take.”

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo isn’t particularly fond of NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell. He also isn’t particularly fond of streaming services either. He’s previously blown a gasket over Goodell calling Amazon Prime’s NFL broadcast “historic” and has held a similar stance on the Miami Dolphins-Kansas City Chiefs Peacock exclusive playoff game.

Russo was openly miserable back in Septemeber when ESPN left him out of its Roger Goodell interview on First Take despite scheduling the interview during Russo’s Wednesday slot. His rant this Wednesday should be further introspective as to why.

He torched Goodell for defending the Peacock playoff game, in which the NFL commissioner said, “We have to fish where the fish are.”

“The answers that they give you, ‘Well, our younger audience; we all have sorts of surveys that indicate that they’re going to streaming. And the Dolphins-Chiefs game this year, the younger audience attendance was superb, so essentially, we also have to go to streaming for our business model.’ Now, hold on,” began Russo. “What are we, an idiot? I met younger kids; they stream. But they’re sports fans; do you think they couldn’t find the game on NBC, CBS, Fox, or our network (ESPN) if the game is there?

“Ah, come on, it’s the football playoffs! They had 23 million for the Chiefs-Dolphins game. The next night — with the Lions against the Rams on NBC — they had 38 million. So, the idea that they’re doing the younger audience a tremendous service by showing a game in the postseason on streaming is a bunch of freaking nonsense. They did it because the NBC people gave them $110 million for the one stupid game. So, all the owners split the $55 million, and they make a fortune.

“They can stay at The Venetian. They can stay at The Wynn Hotel. They can have their commissioner parties. This isn’t about little Timmy Russo, little Colin Russo, little Kiera Russo — this is about making money. And next year, another postseason game is on Peacock, and their answer is, ‘Well, our young fan(s) they stream.’ Nonsense! It’s NFL Playoff football. 110 million people are gonna watch the Super Bowl — and it’s not being streamed!”

Please tell us how you really feel, Mad Dog.

In all seriousness, Russo sees the push towards streaming as pure greed, prioritizing owner profits over accessibility for fans. He highlights the disparity in viewership between the streamed Dolphins-Chiefs game and the later NBC broadcast, suggesting fans, even younger ones, can find games on traditional channels.

Additionally, Russo took issue with the claim that younger audiences exclusively prefer streaming, suggesting their interest may be overstated as justification for streaming deals.

While Russo’s tirade may be laced with fiery rhetoric — it’s who he is — it still forces many to confront uncomfortable questions about the NFL’s priorities and the potential consequences of its streaming push. And we likely — as Russo alluded to — already know the answer to said question.

[Awful Announcing on X/Twitter]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.