OK...finally had a chance to listen to Francesa, who doesn't even need Chris "Mad Dog" Russo to sound like...well, in the olden dayes, Francesa was the sober, thoughtful, smart guy and the godawful Mad Dog was just maddog.
Point one, for context: nobody ever takes the Mets seriously. Remember the 2000 WS, when Temo Martinez slowed to watch the home-run-that-wasn't hit the top of the wall, pop back to David Justice, who fired to Jeter who threw to Posada who tagged Temo? That is the eternal Mets, aside from the '69 WS and the '86 season.
Point two, for even broader context: Francesa was the smart one in the pair with Chris Russo. As best I remember, Don Imus was a funny guy with his morning show on that station...until it became a sports-talk station. Imus used to do skits about Radio Reverend Billy Joe Haggerty..."everybody put your hand on the radio and as we pray together if you'll just send me a check for $25 for a guaranteed prayer rug"...or the interview with John DeLorean's coke-dealer.
Russo ruined Imus. Took away his inventiveness. Russo would do his hour or two of sports screaming, 6am to 8 or so, and Imus would just begin the show: "That guy is an idiot". Imus no longer had to work to be funny...just point to Russo, make his voice deeper, and say four or five words.
Imus leaves, so WFAN teams Francesa with Mad Dog Russo. All WFAN needs now is somebody to burp loudly at the end of a Francesa howl.