Mad Dog Russo Snaps at Stephen A. Smith For Interrupting Him During Brock Purdy MVP Debate

'First Take'
'First Take' /

As the San Francisco 49ers continue to steamroll whoever has the misfortune of lining up across from them, the Brock Purdy MVP debate is heating up. We're going into Week 16 and there is still no clear frontrunner for the NFL's highest individual honor so debate has defaulted to arguing whether being the quarterback for the best team in the league is good enough for MVP, even if there are better quarterbacks putting up equal statlines.

It is a question that has no answer and that makes it perfect for the Wednesday before Christmas, so it was no surprise First Take tackled the topic during Chris "Mad Dog" Russo's A-block on the show. However, the facade cracked a bit between Russo and Stephen A. Smith. While the screaming that ensues between the two has been good-natured since Russo joined the show, it got to be too much for the longtime radio show host. He snapped at Smith for interrupting him several times.

You can see in Mad Dog's eyes that he actually got, well, a bit mad there. And he wouldn't be the first to be frustrated by Stephen A. in this regard. Smith's career has been defined, in part, by out-shouting the person across from him. That tends to upset people sometimes, even when they know it's all part of the schtick. Russo was a premiere sports-shouter before Smith so he understands the game perhaps better than anyone. Yet patience wears thin all the same.

Or maybe this is just him being sick of the Purdy conversation. Which would be fair. How much credit Purdy deserves for making the throws in Kyle Shanahan's offense has been arguably the most annoying back-and-forth of the 2023 NFL discourse. It is impossible for we the people to separate Purdy's individual skills from the gameplan he's tasked with running yet we keep trying, either in an effort to discredit him (Shanahan schemes everyone open!) or boost his case even more (Shanahan can't make the throws!).

Ultimately the right answer is probably Christian McCaffrey but that won't stop the debate train from chugging down the tracks. And this time it caused Smith to get on Russo's nerves.