Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Mike Tirico was a big fan of 'Mike and the Mad Dog'

(Credit: Watchdog)

What did ESPN's Mike Tirico, whose national show went head-to-head with "Mike and the Mad Dog" from 1 to 3 p.m., think of Mike Francesa and Chris Russo splitting?

I asked him about it Tuesday at ESPN's pre-season NFL breakfast. Here is what he said:

"They're the best local radio sports combo ever. It's a short 'ever,' but they were the perfect mix of information guy/fan, steady guy/off-the-edge guy, and both could play each role and both brought their individual passions to it.

"But they were almost never out of bounds, which is what can happen in 19 years when you become big and people need to go on your show, you don't them to go on your show, when you kind of set the sports table for people.

"The fact they weren't best friends is what I think made the show really good, because it was natural, genuine head-butting.

"I didn't appreciate Mike and Chris until I started traveling a lot and listening to other sports talk and you go, 'Those guys are so good at what they do.' I'm really interested to see how they do, how Mike does with a cast of people."

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