Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press

If it were up to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, it sounds like everyone should be allowed to bet on everything, including Phil Mickelson on the Ryder Cup.

Last week, an excerpt was released from the book Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk written by sports bettor Billy Walters, which detailed his relationship with Phil Mickelson. While Mickelson being a prolific gambler is not breaking news, it was still jarring to read the famed golfer has lost close to $100 million in gambling, according to Walters. One of the more salacious details revealed in the excerpt is that Mickelson attempted to bet $400,000 on the 2012 Ryder Cup, an event he was competing in.

Russo, however, doesn’t care about Mickelson’s gambling escapades. He cares more about why Walters is trying to use Mickelson to sell books. Wednesday morning, Russo was on First Take and he obliterated Walters during his “What are you mad about?” segment.

“Listen, I love Armen Keteyian, he’s a big writer,” Russo began. “But I gotta read about Billy Walters, the professional gambler, trying to sell books by using Phil Mickelson, by saying how much money he bet in the last 15-20 years whether it’s baseball, NFL games, college games, whatever the case may be. And then somehow he was trying to place a bet on the Ryder Cup.”

In the wake of Walters’ book excerpt being released, Mickelson has stated he never bet on the Ryder Cup and “would never undermine the integrity of the game.” Just to reiterate, Walters’ book only states Mickelson tried to bet $400,000 on the American team to win the 2012 Ryder Cup. But even if Mickelson did manage to make the wager, Russo seems to think it would just be par for the course.

“Listen, everybody in golf bets!” Russo ranted. “Tiger goes out there…he bets! McIlroy bets! Who cares if Phil Mickelson bet at the Ryder Cup? He didn’t bet on his team to lose, it’s not a big deal. Plus, he didn’t place the bet anyway! It drives me crazy. A guy that we have never heard of, that nobody knows who he is, he’s gotta use Mickelson to sell his books? We all knew Mickelson had a gambling problem. Why do you think he went to LIV in the first place?”

Does Russo know that Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy bet on matches they’re playing in? That’s a fairly strong allegation without offering any supporting evidence. It’s also not the first time Russo recklessly made this sort of claim, recently alleging Roger Goodell and several NFL owners partake in gambling.

Is there something kind of dirty about using someone else’s name to sell books? Sure, but this isn’t exactly a new tactic in the world of news and entertainment.

[First Take]

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