Roger Goodell on First Take Credit: ESPN

We know you may find this hard to believe, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ran into Chris “Mad Dog” Russo at ESPN’s studio in New York City, and let’s just say their meeting didn’t go particularly well.

Goodell was in Bristol to tape a live interview on First Take alongside Stephen A. Smith and Russo was notably absent from the set. This is the same “Mad Dog” who absolutely lost it over the NFL gambling suspensions and complained about the difficulty of the process of signing up for NFL’s Sunday Ticket via YouTube TV.

Going to go out on a limb and say neither ESPN nor Goodell wanted to touch those topics.

“I noticed today the lack of power that Christopher Russo has,” he said tongue-in-cheek on his Sirius XM podcast, Mad Dog’s Daily Bite. “I mean I sat there today over at ESPN, all revved up, ready to go. My little Wednesdays, I can go out there and scream and yell, fun. I was told today we got Roger Goodell in. ‘Wow, we got Roger Goodell in?’”

Russo said he got himself revved up and thought on the trip into the city that he really had the opportunity to talk to the NFL Commissioner. Russo hasn’t had the pleasure of “bothering” Goodell since he ran into him and tried to convince him that the Minnesota Vikings should maybe consider moving to Los Angeles.

“He didn’t talk to me for the last seven or eight years,” admitted Russo. 

Russo said he made sure Molly Qerim and Marcus Spears had their chances to shine because he knew he was going to have his chance to shine during the last hour of Wednesday’s edition of First Take

“And so I sat down and came in and they said, ‘Chris, what are you doing?’ ‘What do you mean what am I doing?’ These are not even producers, these are floor tech guys,” said Russo. “‘Chris, scoot over.’ ‘I’ll scoot over, where is Roger gonna sit?’ ‘No, scoot.’ ‘Alright, I’ll give him enough room. I’m not gonna bite him. ‘No Chris, scoot out.’”

Russo was incredulous to find out he was not a part of Stephen A. Smith’s interview with Goodell. He claims that he was told that they didn’t want him on television for this particular segment and that the hour-long interview was a “Stephen A. production.”

“So I left with my tail between my legs and I realized, ‘Wow, I am a piece of garbage. I couldn’t get a couple of seconds in with Rog.’ I saw him after the interview and he said, ‘Hi, Chris, how are you? Where are you again?”

Goodell had no idea that Russo was at Sirius XM. According to Russo, whether this was exaggerated or not is anyone’s guess, but he claims Goodell said that the NFL hasn’t had anything to do with Sirius in years and “Who cares about Sirius?”

He talked to Goodell’s PR people about getting the commissioner on his radio show and was told that they would try.

Russo said that he has since learned and complained that ESPN will be having MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on First Take, but he won’t be in on the interview. Instead, Manfred will sit down with Smith and Dominque Foxworth.

“That’s a kick in the you know what right there,” Russo said.

Russo, who has interviewed Manfred previously on MLB Network, will be in the green room and not interviewing him, despite having the strongest baseball background between him, Foxworth, and Smith.

Wednesday was a lesson in humility for Russo, it seems.

[Mad Dog’s Daily Bite]

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.