Monday, March 24, 2008


I NEVER thought the day would come … but it has. It’s like switching from the Yankees to the Mets, the Giants to the Jets.

It’s like waking up next to a different woman in the morning, replacing Grape-Nut Flakes with Cheerios, drinking tea instead of coffee.

Spending half an hour listening to sports-talk radio while I shave, shower and dress for work has become a daily ritual.

For the last three years, those precious 30 minutes or so have been devoted to Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio.

But now I’ve changed frequency. The dial has been moved from 1050 kilohertz to 660, home of WFAN – The Fan, and Boomer and Carton.

I’ve always enjoyed the on-air chemistry between Mike Greenberg, the sports journalist, and Mike Golic, the former football pro.

Like Lennon and McCartney, Rodgers and Hammerstein (only in a much lesser way!), the two feed off each other.

Greenberg isn’t afraid to persist with a pertinent line of questioning. There was a notable moment a few weeks ago when he risked the wrath of Bob Knight, former Texas Tech basketball coach and new ESPN analyst, by returning to a subject Knight clearly did not want to talk about.

But on the occasion when he takes himself a little too seriously, Golic is ready to pounce, bringing his co-host down a peg or two.

So why have Mike & Mike become a turn-off?

There are several reasons.

  • Adverts. These days, there’s too little sports talk and too many ads.

  • Days off. As their popularity has grown, so has the demand for their services, meaning there are too many days when they don’t appear together.

  • Why My Wife Thinks I’m An Idiot. This must be the worst sports book I’ve ever read, although somehow Greenberg’s ramblings on becoming a dad made it to No. 14 on the New York Times Bestseller list. 

  • March Madness. Every time I turn on the program, they’re talking about college basketball.

I know the NCAA Tournament is hugely popular but for some of us out here, it’s not the be-all and end-all.

And was it really that funny when Greeny ended up milking a cow when he lost the bracket bet to Golic last year?

There are more hilarious stunts planned for this year. Greeny will dye his hair if he loses while Golic will take part in a competitive eating contest. I can hardly wait.

I want a little balance to my sports diet

With the baseball season almost upon us, I want to hear about spring training. I want to know how Tiger’s doing at Doral. At the very least, I want a little balance to my sports diet.

WFAN could be accused of copying a winning formula following the infamous departure of “shock jock” Don Imus last year.

They paired former Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Boomer Esiason with the sometimes-controversial broadcaster Craig Carton.

Not only do the pair spend a lot more time talking about issues relevant to the New York teams but there’s much more variety to their show.

They may have some way to go to match the humor of the two Mikes but their relationship appears to be blossoming.

Apparently, more men between the age of 25 and 54 are tuning in to Boomer and Carton than were to Imus so they must be doing something right.

True, WFAN doesn’t have the same national network obligations and interruptions as ESPN.

But Mike & Mike are going to have to pump up the volume if they are to win back my allegiance.

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