Shortly after 10 am Russo, hosting on WFAN in New York, announced that the Mets-Yankees game scheduled for 1:05 that afternoon was being moved up to 11 am because of a threat of severe thunderstorms moving into the area at 4 pm. Given that they already had a rain-out the previous night that had to be made-up, the teams had to get Saturday’s game in.
Russo continued to assert that the game was going to start early, giving stats and info on the games starters. He wasn’t acting like Mad Dog (yelling, throwing out obviously absurd details, etc.) – he sold it very well.
As 10:30 approached Russo announced that Howie Rose had not arrived yet so he would host the pre-game Mets Extra. At 10:30 he played the intro to Mets Extra and went into a pregame show.
After dragging this on for over a half hour in total Russo finally admitted it was a hoax, but not before ESPN Radio had picked up the story and announced that the game was being moved up.
Now, the initial reaction may be to laugh and say that this was funny – however think about all the people that were going to be going to the game that day. I personally know several people that panicked when they heard the news, realizing they had paid a ridiculous amount of money for tickets to a game that they might not get to see. I received emails and text messages from at least half a dozen others. Who knows how many more ran out of the house in a frenzy trying to get to a game they were told was starting early on the OFFICIAL FLAGSHIP STATION of the Mets.
Seriously, Russo crossed a line on Saturday morning and on Monday he should be called on the carpet for it.