Mike Greenberg on The Pat McAfee Show Photo credit: The Pat McAfee Show

Mike Greenberg was the first host to welcome Pat McAfee as a guest on ESPN airwaves at the 2019 NFL Draft, and this week, he gave his take on the new ESPN star’s dust-up with former ESPN executive Norby Williamson.

In an interview on The Ryen Russillo Podcast on Thursday, Greenberg gave the most Greeny answer possible about the feud that led to Williamson’s departure this spring. Greenberg praised both men and called it a “shame” that McAfee and Williamson couldn’t get along.

“A lot of people told me that I worked for, ‘you can’t do that, he’s much too out-there, that’s dangerous, blah blah blah.’ And I said, ‘he strikes me as a smart guy.’ He’ll know where the line is, particularly with me,” Greenberg explained. “And I think he knew me well enough to know I won’t go past this line, and he never did. And the next thing I knew, he was on all these ESPN shows because he’s freaking great.”

McAfee called Williamson a “rat” on-air in January and accused Williamson of leaking negative viewership numbers to reporters to paint The Pat McAfee Show in a bad light.

As the former lead executive of studio and event production, Williamson oversaw Greenberg’s morning show Get Up. As you might expect, Greenberg got along well with Williamson but knows the veteran ESPNer wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

“Norby’s not always the easiest person in the world to deal with. Everyone knows that,” Greenberg said. “But he was great to me, and he and I always got along great. So I hated seeing that happen, I just thought that was awful for everyone, just the whole negativity of the relationship between the two of them.”

Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post reported ESPN content president Burke Magnus made the decision to fire Williamson over a difference in long-term vision, not The Pat McAfee Show.

“It was a shame that two people just kind of couldn’t get it together for whatever reason, but they were not the first and they won’t be the last,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg usually keeps quiet on controversy or internal ESPN drama. This was a departure for him but nevertheless still a very down the middle response given his relationships with both guys involved.

[The Ryen Russillo Podcast]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.