MLB

Chris ‘Mad Dog' Russo accepts Howard Stern's bikini punishment after reneging on retirement promise

Sports personality Chris Russo said he would "retire on the spot" if the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 7 of the NLCS

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Chris "Mad Dog" Russo
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo attends the SiriusXM’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo returns to Bar A at the Jersey Shore on August 04, 2023 in New York City.

The Mad Dog is all bark and no bite.

Sports personality Chris "Mad Dog" Russo reneged on his promise to retire "on the spot"  if the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday.

The underdog Diamondbacks, playing on the road, went on to win 4-2, leading to the team chanting "Mad Dog" during their postgame celebration in the clubhouse. 

And then Russo still showed up for work on Wednesday. 

Howard Stern refused to let him off that easy.

While Russo appeared on SiriusXM's "The Howard Stern Show" Wednesday, the two negotiated a compromise after Stern's initial NSFW proposal was rejected. The 64-year-old Russo agreed to walk down a Manhattan block wearing a bikini while holding a sign that reads "I'm a liar and a dope."

"That's a little more reasonable," Russo told Stern. "That's fair. I can live with that. That's not the worst idea."

"If you do that," Stern said, "it will make all the media and everyone will say, ‘Wow, this guy was standup...Obviously he couldn’t retire, but he was humiliated.’”

Russo was the longtime co-host along with Mike Francesa of the pioneering sports talk radio duo "Mike and the Mad Dog" on WFAN in New York. He currently hosts a daily talk show on SiriusXM's "Mad Dog Radio." He also hosts MLB Network's "High Heat" and makes weekly appearances on ESPN's "First Take." 

But his takes have lost value now that he has gone back on his word.

Russo had been picking against an 84-78 Diamondbacks throughout the postseason, making his bold retirement statement after the Phillies won Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead.

“To make a long story short, I’ve been wrong on Arizona from Day 1,” Russo said. “I’m stunned they beat Milwaukee, I thought they’d get swept by the Dodgers, I never thought they’d even go back to Philly for a Game 6.

“I’ll try it one more time: I would not be stunned if they won [Monday night], I would be floored…If they win the next two days, they win the next two games and win this series in seven games, if they win, I will retire on the spot.”

Russo was then put on the spot the morning after the Diamondbacks advanced to the World Series to play the Texas Rangers. While appearing on "First Take" Wednesday morning, Russo was told repeatedly by Stephen A. Smith that he "went too far."

"This show is going to be dedicated to the Diamondbacks shutting you up," said Smith, who added that Russo will spend the show running intern-like errands and "being silent when we say so."

Later on "First Take," Russo wore sunglasses and a boating hat while standing in front of a beach backdrop. He continued to tease his retirement, and he continued to pick against the Diamondbacks.

"I am gonna say goodbye to everything, the tie comes off, the shirt," Russo said. "Texas in six, I ain't jumping on the bandwagon now. Texas in six. A Mai Tai on the beach in the Caribbean. Adios."

When Russo's radio show began later in the day, he was absent. But his "retirement" lasted only a few minutes.

"I have returned!" Russo shouted. "I'm here. I ain't going anywhere. Retiring my a--. I'm here to do a talk show."

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