Mike Francesa didn't hold Letterman against Russo
Among the many theories posed in the spring and summer about the tension between Mike Francesa and Chris Russo was that Francesa was mad at Russo for not coming to his defense during Russo's visits to David Letterman's late-night TV show.
Francesa flatly denied that in my Sunday newspaper column, and at greater length below, saying he "never took any umbrage" about the Letterman shtick.On the speculation that Francesa was mad at Russo for not sufficiently defending him when David Letterman joked about him during an appearance by Russo:
Not true, totally never an issue. Those have been going on forever. Ive never had a problem with it. I could have sabotaged those if I wanted to. I knew Letterman always killed me on those shows. For whatever reason, he doesnt like me. Thats fine. Thats his prerogative. If I wanted to sabotage those, all I would have to do is slaughter Letterman when Dog went on and then Letterman is going to think, Wait a minute. Why do I want to put Dog on and have this guy whack me for an hour? Hes sensitive, so I dont know if hed like that.
So I never knocked Letterman. I made sure to never knock Letterman because I didnt want to jeopardize Dogs appearances, because I knew they meant a lot to him. Thats a very tough spot. Ive had a lot of people call me about the last one, which I didnt see, call me and say, Dog shouldnt have yucked it up so much, and Ive said, Hey, thats not fair. What are you going to do, go on Lettermans show and not laugh at his jokes?
Even if theyre directed at me, thats impossible. I can totally tell you honestly I never took any umbrage, never, ever took any umbrage with anything about the Letterman stuff. I know Letterman doesnt like me. I know that. Letterman has pounded me. This is not a new phenomenon. Hes been doing this for years and years and years.
Lets be honest: It was once or twice a year, at best. It wasnt that big a deal. Id get knocked. Thats fine. Thered be a little reaction afterward, but nothing big. It wasnt like Id walk down the street and people would say, Oh, my God, what Letterman did! Id get a call or two about it. But honestly I was used to that. Why would it bother me this year? This was something ongoing for 20 years.