ESPN has featured Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic’s Mike and Mike show as a centerpiece of their radio lineup since 2000, and the two Mikes got some major outside recognition this week with an induction into the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Broadcasting Hall of Fame. (Is that title from the Department of Redundancy Department?) Both said in an ESPN Media Zone release that the honor meant a lot to them:
“It is certainly the greatest honor of my professional life,” said Greenberg of the recognition. “When I see the list of people who have been inducted it is impossible to imagine being included. But I’m thrilled and very grateful to everyone who supported us.”
Golic stated, “I’m stunned. When you look at the list of people in this Hall of Fame and think that my name is next to these names, I thought one of two things. We’re in a separate category not associated with these great names or it’s a down year and they had to name somebody. I certainly don’t feel I belong with these great names.”
Mike and Mike has taken some criticism over the years, specifically with former ESPN colleague Bill Simmons’ “absolute garbage” rant and former ESPN colleague Colin Cowherd’s jab that their safe, non-controversial, sometimes groupthink-enabling style that works well for ESPN’s corporate parent Disney makes them “Mickey and Mickey In The Morning.” Some of that’s justified; there’s a reason their show was the preferred image-rehabilitation destination for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, an interview which Simmons later called “giving Goodell a lap dance.”However, their ability to stay on the air in a prime slot at ESPN for 16 years is impressive in its own right, as is their significant audience, and there’s something to be said for the general lack of PR headaches they create for the Worldwide Leader (unlike the likes of Cowherd). The biggest controversy they’ve created lately is with Greenberg’s 14-2 Jets’ prediction. Also, notice how everything gets much more controversial when they’re not there?
Mike and Mike do an excellent job of providing exactly what ESPN wants for that slot. Their show is non-political, non-controversial, non-inflammatory sports talk that attracts a decent audience, and it doesn’t usually cause too many problems or turn any particular group of viewers off. They do it so well that they’ve now landed in the Hall of Fame. Good for them.
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