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Why a Popular New York Radio Personality is Not a Fan of Giants on Hard Knocks



Why a Popular New York Radio Personality is Not a Fan of Giants on Hard Knocks

After years of declining to appear on HBO’s popular Hard Knocks series, the New York Giants made their debut on a new iteration of the program focusing on the team’s off-season.

While the interest seems high following the airing of the first episode of Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants, one well-known New York sports personality is not particularly keen to tune in to the program: radio host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.

Russo’s objection over the program isn’t so much that the Giants finally allowed themselves to be featured on the show but more so because of how the franchise insisted on having final editing rights, which, in Russo’s mind resulted in a watered-down product.  

“Do you think (Giants co-owner) John Mara is going to allow you to see anything that is a bit controversial [that] happens with Joe Schoen or Brian Daboll or Wink Martindale, who was fired, any of these scenarios between January and May?,” Russo said during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take (h/t Barrett Sports Media). 

“You’re not going to see a word. It’s going to be sugar-coated and vanilla, so why would you watch five hours? Are you that desperate to see how the Giants work some draft pick out?”

While Russo’s opinion is valid–head coach Brian Daboll, during the team’s recent Night with Legends event, revealed that when he didn’t want the cameras picking up what he wanted to discuss with general manager Joe Schoen, he’d play some music because he knew it couldn’t be used in the final production–his disappointment over not seeing the alleged Wink Martindale-Brian Daboll fireworks is misplaced.

That’s because filming at the Giants facility didn’t begin until February, well after Martindale stormed out following a terse meeting with Daboll.

Russo also voiced concerns about how much of the Saquon Barkley contract saga might have made it to the air. Thus far, that storyline has been one of the main ones of the first episode, with more promised to come through a clip seen in the series trailer.

Still, it’s apparently not enough to convince Russo to tune in.

“This is television,” he said. “If you don’t like it, you know what? You don’t like it, but it’s good TV, it’s good for football, and the fact that the Giants will tell you what they want to see makes it not worthwhile. I wouldn’t watch that if it was in my backyard – I’d close the blinds.”

That of course is Russo’s prerogative, but so far through one episode of the series, while there was nothing earth-shattering revealed, it was nice to see Schoen admit that the offensive line was a problem last year and to hear his thought process when prioritizing the team’s off-season needs.  

The five-part series airs every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO/Max throughout July.

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