Earlier this month ESPN unveiled its brand new ESPN Radio national lineup for the fall. One surprise on the Monday-Friday schedule was the continued existence of Greeny, the eponymous show “hosted” by Mike Greenberg.
Greeny has been a fixture on the ESPN Radio lineup since 2020 after the messy breakup of the successful Mike & Mike morning show hosted by Greenberg and Mike Golic.
While Golic left the company, Greenberg was given a big new contract and the right to host pretty much anything on the ESPN family of networks from Get Up to NBA Countdown to the NFL Draft and more.
Except it turns out, the radio show that bears his name.
Last year Greenberg’s long absences became something of a running gag as Pat McAfee teased him for going on insanely long vacations. During the summer of 2022, Greenberg only hosted Greeny on a possible 7 out of 61 shows according to the ESPN radio archives. Going back to the beginning of January 2022 through August 2022, Greenberg hosted the program just 35% of the time.
Have the numbers changed much in 2023? Well, Greenberg has shown up on Get Up quite a lot more, obviously buoyed by his beloved New York Jets signing Aaron Rodgers. And when confronted by McAfee about his vacation schedule again this year, he was ready to fire back about how much he actually punched the timeclock this summer.
“I’ve barely been off,” Greenberg told a very skeptical McAfee. “Look, after last year, when you got the entire world counting my days – thanks a lot for that – I have been paying some attention. I think I have worked more days this summer than you have.”
Sure Greenberg has worked more days, but that doesn’t mean he has stuck around to do his own radio show.
The strange thing about all of this is that Greeny’s face doesn’t appear on the side of a milk carton anywhere. In August, Greenberg was on Get Up for all but four days – August 2, 3, 4, and 31. However, he has yet to host his own radio show for the entire month of August. Greeny has featured its namesake for only three brief cameo appearances on August 1, 9, and 24.
Greeny’s been equally as MIA on Greeny throughout the entire summer. From June 1-August 31, Greenberg hosted Greeny on a total of 5 occasions out of a possible 66 shows or just 7.5% of the time. As for who actually hosted Greeny? It was mostly the hosts of other ESPN Radio shows – Chris Carlin and Chris Canty. The pair hosted Greeny 43 and 40 times respectively over the summer.
Here’s the full list of Greeny hosts from June-August with Greenberg coming in fifth place.
This is not just a summer phenomenon, though. Going back to April 16 on the show’s podcast page, Greeny has featured its star personality just 13 times with 6 cameo appearances where he either calls in or hosts a limited number of segments before turning the program over to others. All totaled, there are 100 separate shows listed on the Greeny page since April 16. So when you tune in to ESPN Radio from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET, you have about a 10% chance of the show’s namesake actually hosting and about a 20% chance of him making an appearance.
What makes it even more ridiculous is if you go to ESPN Radio’s homepage, one of the first things you see is an article from almost a year ago touting Greenberg as a “familiar voice” returning to ESPN Radio.
ESPN has been going through a tough time as a company and dealt with severe budget cuts all over the place, but is there nobody left in Bristol who can update the ESPN Radio website?!?
Whoever uploads the podcast descriptions seems in on the absurdity of it all because the description for Greenberg’s August 9th cameo begins with, “Greeny sticks around after Get Up to chat about Hard Knocks Episode 1″ as if he or she is in disbelief that Greenberg would actually be there and is not some kind of voice from the spirit world like on Ghost Adventures.
Would it cause ESPN any institutional harm to remove Greeny’s name from a show he never hosts? Would Apple or Amazon take a billion dollar deal off the table if Mike Greenberg’s name isn’t on that radio lineup?
At this point, it must just be some kind of weird joke that ESPN is playing on all of us and the show will continue to be named Greeny for decades to come even after Mike Greenberg is long retired. Maybe the network will get A.J. Green and Danny Green to host together and yet still promote the show as if Greenberg is there. Listen to Greeny??? 10 AM – 12 PM every weekday on ESPN Radio!