Dear ESPN: Please Let Mike and Mike Go!!
Despite some of your issues, I have always been a fan and steadfastly defended you. However there are certain decisions you have made that even I an ESPN fan-boy can not defend. I'm speaking of course of your slew of radio talk shows; most specifically Mike and Mike in the Morning.
Now don't get me wrong, as a commentator/anchor for your network Mike Greenberg has done a great job. He is eloquent, somber when necessary and sets a standard of professionalism and candor that I very much enjoy.
However on his day job as his alter ego of sorts "Greeny", Greenberg too often comes off as gullible, misinformed and most of all he is just plain boring. He neither informs me nor entertains me with his thoughts on sports.
If I was an outsider who knew nothing of Greenberg outside of Mike and Mike, I would probably come to the opinion that he was just some guy ESPN picked off the street to host their boring morning show. Not a veteran of the sports media business.
This monotony is somewhat shaken up by Greenberg's partner and friend former NFL lineman Mike Golic. Golic succeeds at being cuddly, loveable and at times humorous and provides a nice contrast to Greeny's style of being overly melodramatic, self deprecating and a bit of a downer. But under no circumstance do I feel besides talking about locker room chemisty in football and Notre Dame football that Golic has any insight or candor when it comes to talking about sports.
Too often his comments sound like other former players like Mark Schlereth, a jealous old timer who feels his life experience now entitles him to judge young athletes just because it's now his job to do so.
Now you may be wondering by now what I do like about Mike and Mike, since I have thoroughly ripped them apart thus far. Well firstly these guys are real friends. Much like your other popular opinion show, Pardon the Interruption; Greeny and Golic have a genuine like/dislike for each other that come with being longtime friends, as well as a chemistry and candor with each other that is only matched by Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon on the aforementioned PTI.
Also I love Greeny's geeky, self deprecating and often panicky nature and it feels like a great albeit unintentional parody of the mindset of the average sports fan. Too often we as fans panic or complain too early about our favorite teams or feel paying the price of a ticket entitles us to judge and critique athletes without often understanding or fully knowing the facts.
And I love Golic's aww shucks, I'm just a fat, dumb guy who was lucky enough to play football shtick. Which is a welcome parody to the likes of Fox sports football Analysts Terry Bradshaw.
I find their parodies of popular pop songs to be some of the most hilarious things I have ever heard. And their general teasing of one another is always fun, such as on their Christmas giveaway episode last year where Greeny made fun of Golic as he happily rode a giant Ferris Wheel located inside a Times Square Toys R Us store.
Also for two middle aged, married with kids, seemingly boring guys; Greeny and Golic succeed at making married life/having kids seemed like the funniest, most entertaining thing you could ever do with your life. Which to this 21 year old sports fan seems nuts. But just goes to show how funny and entertaining this guys are if they can make the married life/having kids, something that always seemed a bit mundane to me seem so full of laughs and fun.
But to be perfectly honest and frank, those discussions of married life, their kids, etc are the most fun and funny parts of Mike and Mike besides there hilarious sports related takes on popular pop songs and the two host constant ragging of one another.
Which is why you need to let them go, as a member of the corporate sports media along with Fox Sports, TNT, TBS, NBC sports and CBS sports you can not take Mike and Mike's best aspects to the next level, as making fun of your competitors would only fuel backlash and further disdain for your company.
Also if Mike and Mike was a show about two guys who are friends, making fun of themselves, athletes, sports personalities and their families in a fun and humorous way, it'd be alot better show. Unfortunately your position as "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" forces them to talk about their boring and dull sports takes and detracts from what is otherwise a very fun and engaging show.
No one is saying let them go to Fox or NBC, but you are owned by The Disney Corporation, who also owns ABC perhaps a move to ABC radio/television work best for both parties. You guys keep your clearly valued employees and they get the freedom to become the show they should be. All I ask is that you think about it and consider everything I've said in this letter.
Ignore me if you wish but I hope you take my opinions to heart. I
f not, hey I'll still love you and defend your honor, just not on this issue.
Sincerely your biggest fan, Philip D Powell
P.s.: If you would could you also consider cancelling the Scott Van Pelt show that would be greatly appreciated, thus far it's simply been a more boring and bland version of Mike and Mike, only without being funny in any way. Also please get rid of Around the Horn, I realize guys like Woody Paige and Jay Mariotti have been loyal to you guys for years, but neither guy is all that smart or thought provoking when talking about sports. ATH represents all that's bad with sports media, just a bunch of rambling talking heads desperate for a little spot light and speaking without any thought provoking insight or humor. Please remove that abomination from my television at once and get Toni Reali a real job, he's much too talented to be on a show with the likes of Paige and Mariotti. That is all.
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