Chris Russo and Stephen A. Smith on First Take Photo credit: ESPN

Stephen A. Smith has been going sleeveless and boasting about his weight loss in recent weeks, but Chris “Mad Dog” Russo just took a blowtorch to his body positivity.

During his “What are you mad about” segment Wednesday morning on ESPN’s First Take, Russo took aim at Smith, roasting the popular ESPN personality for munching on a carrot during the show Tuesday.  The skinny radio host, who has shed his shirt a few times for the camera, suggested Smith start spending more time in the gym.

“You know, Stevie? Here’s what I want you to do. We all saw the pictures. We all saw them. The world saw them. That was not a pretty sight. Head to the gym,” Russo said. “Did you see those abs? Oh my god. I’d show you mine, but I don’t want to embarrass him. You can eat all the rice, you can eat all the carrots, and drink all the herbal tea you want, you are woefully out of shape. And you are heavy…We all saw it. Biden saw it, the world saw it.”

Harsh. The “pictures” Russo was referring to were shared by The New York Post last month, showing a a shirtless Stephen A. Smith while on vacation in Barbados. The unsuspecting ESPN host was wearing a bit of a belly, but it probably didn’t warrant the harsh ridicule from Russo. Since the photos were released, Smith has referenced his weight loss several times and even showed up on his podcast with a sleeveless shirt to flaunt his arms.

“You’re right about the picture, if that truly did look like me,” Smith claimed of the tabloid photos. “But it doesn’t matter, cause I can take the heat. I promise you I don’t look like that.”

Russo responded by challenging Smith to do 20 push-ups on set, prompting Dan Orlovsky to wager $100 that the First Take host couldn’t complete the feat. Smith dropped to give Russo 20, and while the push-ups looked great, there weren’t enough of them.

Smith can do 20 legitimate push-ups, unfortunately Russo can’t count push-ups. Russo challenged Smith to do 20 push-ups on First Take and set him up for failure with a miscount. If you watch the video of Smith doing push-ups, you’ll hear Russo count to 20 before epically celebrating the achievement with a massive fist pump. But if you watch again with the video on mute and count Smith’s push-ups, you’ll see he only did 19.

Luckily, Awful Announcing is here to properly vet Smith’s push-ups by looking beyond Russo’s counting. Not only did Russo roast Smith for his unflattering tabloid photos, but he lost him $100 of Orlovsky’s money by not being able to count properly.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to