Mike Greenberg of ESPN joins the show to talk about his career at the WWL, the many hats he wears, and yes, germs.
Being under the weather, there was no better guest to have on the show than a noted germophobe in Greenberg. He gives me some tips on how to get better fast. As of writing this, I’m not sure any of it is working.
We run though a typical day in the life of Greeny, including a discussion about how he’s able to get on the air at 6am and talk about events that end well after he’s in bed. Basically Tivo has changed the landscape of early-morning sports talk.
We talk about the vastness of ESPN Radio and if he feels he has to be all things to all people. ESPN Radio is really trying hard to brand themselves in Philly, so we talk about going up against an institution that is WIP’s Morning Show. Is it hard in a town like this to get a foothold on the sports landscape?
People have called Mike and Mike the USA Today of sports talk, because of the aforementioned size of their show and diversity of their listeners. I ask if he feels he has to ‘dumb it down’ to appeal to more people. His wry reply:
“I think I have to dumb it down because of Golic. It is impossible to have a conversation on a high, intellectual level with a man whose idea of fine literature begins with Doctor and ends with Seuss.
“I remember one time I referenced ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ and Golic honestly did not know who had written it or what it was. That was the day I realized, ‘you know, I’m not going to be able to do some things here.’
“I would never say that we ‘dumb it down.’ I don’t know that I’m that smart or that dumb, but I think we talk about sports on the same level that most people talk about sports. I don’t know that you have to be all that smart to talk about sports on a very high level.”
We talk about his relationship with Mike Golic and why it has worked for nearly a decade. We spin that to talk about the demise of Mike and the Mad Dog.
“We have never had a real serious disagreement. I think that our off the air relationship is the reason for that. I honestly think our partnership should be a model for all business partnerships everywhere and that is that our relationship is purely professional. And by that I mean that we get along well, we don’t have any problems, but we really don’t socialize outside of work.
“In all the years we’ve been together, I think our wives have met three or four times. His kids and my kids have never been in the same room at the same time…we have a PERFECT professional relationship. We get along great…but we really don’t do much together off the air and I really think that has been to our benefit. ”
We joked with Sal Pal that Greeny should have been mad that he was scooped with the Favre story. Sal said that Greeny is a fan, not a reporter, so I wanted to get Greeny’s response to that comment. We also talk some Favre, and talk about what but more about if he thought the story was over-covered. That spins into MNF and what it was like getting to call a game on Monday night two years in a row. And we talk about what it’s like working these games with Ditka.
We end with some MetroSexual talk and Greeny’s assertion that he’s the Kelly Ripa of sports talk radio.
Last, is there anything he hasn’t done in his career that he wants to do before he’s done?