An Awful Announcing rendering of Chris "Mad Dog" Russo and Howard Stern. An Awful Announcing rendering of Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and Howard Stern.

The Arizona Diamondbacks punched their ticket to the World Series Tuesday night, subsequently sending Chris Russo into retirement. But with no plans of actually retiring, Russo sought the help of Howard Stern, who is no stranger to outlandish radio bits.

Monday afternoon, Russo attempted to emphasize his doubt in the Diamondbacks by claiming he would retire from his SiriusXM Radio show if they overcome their 3-2 NLCS deficit against the Philadelphia Phillies. And after the Diamondbacks forced a Game 7, Russo doubled down on his wager Tuesday afternoon, claiming, “I stand by my promise.” And after the Diamondbacks won Game 7, seemingly sending Russo into retirement, Russo joined The Howard Stern Show and admitted he doesn’t want to retire.

“Mad Dog lost his mind,” Stern said. “I’m a radio guy, and so is Mad Dog and I know when you’re on the air sometimes, you want to please people and make things fun and interesting, but he f***ing went over the line because he was trying to make things fun and interesting.”

Radio hosts and entertainers have long been known to say outlandish things to emphasize their point or garner added attention. But this wasn’t meant to be a bit by Russo. He deemed it a “throwaway line” and certainly didn’t expect it to get aggregated, let alone picked up by the Diamondbacks themselves. But Russo said he would retire if the Diamondbacks won, the Diamondbacks won, and social media doesn’t seem inclined to move on from his wager.

So, if Chris Russo doesn’t really plan on retiring, what does he do? He can take a page out of the book of his former partner, Mike Francesa, who briefly entered retirement from his WFAN radio show in 2017, only to unretire shortly after.

Russo said he was planning to get Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on his show to apologize, hoping that might be enough to get him out of retirement. Stern, however, thought that seemed too schticky. Instead, Stern presented an option that was even more schticky.

“You gotta do something so outrageous that they forget about the fact that you said you were gonna retire over a baseball game,” Stern said, initially proposing a couple of ideas that weren’t family friendly enough for Russo to consider. “What were you thinking though, saying you’re gonna retire if the Diamondbacks win, that’s crazy!”

“How bout this,” Stern continued. “You come on my show, I’ll come into Manhattan for this, we put you in a bikini and you walk down the street with a sign that says, ‘I’m a d****e.’ If you do that…it will make all the media and everyone say, ‘Wow, this guy was standup, he took it, obviously he couldn’t retire, but he was humiliated.’”

Russo agreed. He will not retire. He will wear a Diamondbacks branded bikini and walk down a Manhattan city block holding a sign that says, “I’m a liar and a dope.” Because that’s not schticky at all.

“The deal is done,” Russo said, noting he will make a charitable donation to an organization picked by the Diamondbacks in addition to following through on the bikini bit being orchestrated by Stern. “As far as the public humiliation, I think you hit it right on the head.”

This is a terrible idea. People will eventually move on from Russo’s retirement promise because his audience doesn’t want him to retire and his critics will relish getting to hold it against him for the rest of his career. But if Russo wants people to forgive and forget, a 90s radio shock jock bikini bit isn’t the answer. Russo has to do a show while eating gummies. He has to sit across from Stephen A. Smith on First Take and eat a gummy, he has to do a SiriusXM Radio show while eating gummies. That’s the bit, not parading around the streets of Manhattan in a bikini.


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