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Mike Francesa didn't hold Letterman against Russo

(Credit: Watchdog)

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. I’ve 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 doesn’t like me. That’s fine. That’s 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?’ He’s sensitive, so I don’t know if he’d like that.

“So I never knocked Letterman. I made sure to never knock Letterman because I didn’t want to jeopardize Dog’s appearances, because I knew they meant a lot to him. That’s a very tough spot. I’ve had a lot of people call me about the last one, which I didn’t see, call me and say, ‘Dog shouldn’t have yucked it up so much,’ and I’ve said, ‘Hey, that’s not fair. What are you going to do, go on Letterman’s show and not laugh at his jokes?’

“Even if they’re directed at me, that’s 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 doesn’t like me. I know that. Letterman has pounded me. This is not a new phenomenon. He’s been doing this for years and years and years.

“Let’s be honest: It was once or twice a year, at best. It wasn’t that big a deal. I’d get knocked. That’s fine. There’d be a little reaction afterward, but nothing big. It wasn’t like I’d walk down the street and people would say, ‘Oh, my God, what Letterman did!’ I’d 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.’’

Tags: mike francesa , chris russo , david letterman , cbs , wfan , francesa and russo

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