Long-time Chris “Mad Dog” Russo fans know two things, One, he’s infatuated with Bruce Springsteen, and two, he could benefit from something that will help to mellow him out.
Wednesday morning on First Take, host Molly Qerim set the stage for a clip of Russo vibing at a Springsteen concert. An elated Russo proceeded to stun ESPN’s First Take set featuring Qerim, JJ Redick and Stephen A. Smith by casually revealing he took a gummy before the concert.
“Yes sir! I was so happy,” Russo exclaimed. “I needed a gummy, a couple of cocktails and ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.’ What could go wrong with that? For crying out loud. What could go wrong with that?”
A First Take discussion of Chris “Mad Dog” Russo at a Bruce Springsteen show took a turn. “A gummy, a couple of cocktails, and Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out! What could go wrong with that!” …”This is a Disney operation!” “Gummy bear! Gummy bear!” pic.twitter.com/K340dqpuCV
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 22, 2023
Uh oh, did Russo just admit to taking a cannabis edible on the show hosted by the person who coined the phrase “stay off the weed!” Yes, he did.
This is what makes Russo’s addition to First Take great, he’s a wild card. Russo will rail against the UFC despite their ESPN partnership, and he’ll also admit to consuming a cannabis edible despite their Mickey Mouse connection. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
As Qerim, Redick and Smith offered a few awkward chuckles, Russo responded with one of his favorite catchphrases to break the discomfort, “Say something funny!”
“Okay, you said gummy, so that was fine,” Qerim said. “We’re good. You lost me at gummy. We’re gonna leave it there.”
“This is a Disney operation!” Redick added as Qerim yelled “Gummy Bears!” before the show was sent to a commercial break.
Despite their surprise, Russo has been a noted gummy user for years. In 2021. Russo told Howard Stern he was gifted an edible by his children for Christmas and now likes to eat them before going for a weekend walk around his neighborhood to wind down.
Russo is often criticized for failing to modernize his sports takes. But the 63-year-old can clearly change with the times, embracing the legalization of marijuana in New York despite Stephen A. Smith marking cannabis with a stigma for decades.