First Take is ostensibly a sports television show, one that needs to fill hours and hours of airtime with takes every single week, even when there might not be all that many take-worthy things out there.
This is where the decision to bring in Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who is a professional Person Who Gets Riled Up About Things, pays off in a big way. You see, Russo’s been on New York sports talk radio since Reagan was president, meaning he knows how to go from 0 to 60 on literally any subject better than basically anyone else on earth. We got a very good glimpse of this on Wednesday morning during one of his cameos as Stephen A. Smith’s primary foil on First Take, as Russo — in his segment What Are You Mad About? — got the chance to scream on television about Lionel Richie canceling and rescheduling a concert at Madison Square Garden on Saturday due to inclement weather.
From what I can tell about this (i.e., what I learned by looking at his Twitter account), Richie claims he got caught in some nasty weather and rescheduled his show with Earth, Wind & Fire — the show would happen two nights later in the exact same building. Waiting until 8:30 p.m. to announce this when people were in the building stinks, sure, but it seems very plausible that Richie wanted to exhaust all options until he had to cancel the show, or wanted to make sure things were all buttoned up for a performance on Monday.
But Mad Dog does not exist in a world where people get the benefit of the doubt, where any sort of gray area can be acknowledged. A thing is either good or it is bad, there is no in between, and Lionel Richie rescheduling a show is bad. To be fair to Mad Dog here, I would probably be upset about this, as well, especially if (as he claims) the weather was very nice in New York and therefore made it hard for him to accept Richie’s excuse. The real genius in this is that Mad Dog, at no point, indicated if he was in attendance, which would have made a lot more sense. He might have just been hollering about all of this because he saw it while reading the New York Post or something and it made him upset.
Anyway, this is compelling television.