Sports fans love gathering information after games and there's little better way to do so than gauging reactions from those that are paid to express their views on various subjects.
The radio shows generally have cult followings, viewers that are dedicated to a few or only one program only. Many of the talking heads cannot be tolerated, but it makes the shows' consistent followers make them like the main character even more.
The list sticks to the main shows while providing a few programs that are local in huge markets like New York City. Surely many shows are great that aren't mentioned but these six have national exposure.
These men are paid to give their opinions and now it's time we give them ours.
Many cannot stand ESPN entirely, citing the repetitiveness of all the network's programming. Bristol, Connecticut's main radio program is a good example of that. Count me as one who falls in the middle on this issue.
If you catch Mike Greenburg and Mike Golic for around an hour, you'll get the gist of what the two will be cackling about for their total four hours on ESPN2 and ESPN Radio.
The humor between the two sometimes feels forced but sometimes there are genuine disagreements that make the two men bring up valid points.
The biggest negative is all the commercials of the program. Once the listener and/or viewer figures out the commercial break schedule, Mike and Mike is sufficient enough to receive a decent amount of sports' information and reaction.
The scrawny, non-athlete and the big goof make the list because of the two men's wide appeal. Whether that appeal is forced is a debate for another day. Golic's career as an average player being in the NFL for about 10 seasons makes him respectable because he knows more about the majority of the field rather than someone like Cris Carter would.
Scott Van Pelt is a good radio personality, but the main topics on his show aren't as entertaining for many like myself.
The show that airs on ESPNEWS from 1 to 3 Eastern Time Zone discusses College Football at length. While I enjoy the sport, I'm not thrilled about hearing constant chatter about conference realignment. Why does ESPN in general push this topic so hard?
Ryan Russilo is a great number two to Van Pelt. He has good knowledge about the NBA and he's good when it comes to everything NBA Draft related. When others fill in for various ESPN Sports Radio programs, it's easily noticeable. Russilo can be alone on the program for the entire length and there's no drop off.
During golf majors, the Scott Van Pelt Show provides much better information and discussing than the Golf Channel's Morning Drive.
Another ESPN talking head, Colin Cowherd generally gets entirely dedicated fans or people that cannot stand him and his radio program now on ESPNEWS from 10 to 1 Eastern Time Zone.
Even if you happen to disagree with Cowherd, he presents a unique side to every debate. His program is better than Mike and Mike's not only because of that, but he opens up the phone lines to listeners that are more than free to debate his stance on multiple issues.
The Herd involves sports gambling in a fun way that interacts with the viewers and listeners because Cowherd sometimes bets on his Blazing Five picks that he reveals every Friday.
While Cowherd may talk too much during his interviews, he asks relevant questions instead of the trash many others drill their guests on.
These two men bring sarcasm that is greatly entertaining, unless they're talking about your team. The show is definitely centered around the Patriots and Red Sox and that doesn't attract a large, nation-based audience.
However, the show is a great source when it comes to learning small stories that are largely funny, like Rob Gronkowski getting with a porn star during New England's bye week. Where else would one learn this?
Maybe there's too much criticism thrown in the way of teams and players by Dennis and Callahan, but it's better to have definitive negatives talked about rather than hearing Jon Gruden-like compliments all the time.
Boston sports irritate me and I still enjoy hearing the two men go at it bright and early.
Dan Patrick, formerly of SportsCenter, has established a nice follow-up after his days with ESPN, or what he'd call "The Mothership".
The "Danettes" are what makes Patrick's radio program unique. The four men in the back interject in conversations when they feel they have a valid point to raise, but most of the time they do not. That isn't to say that there isn't great humor in many of the conversations during the radio program that airs from 9 to 12 in Eastern Time Zone.
Patrick is the best at interviewing of anyone on this list by far which puts him at the top of all sports radio programs in many listener's eyes. Despite the great interviews with often times pop culture figures, there could be more actual sports talk.
Patrick's personality is anything from bland and it makes him personable to his listeners.
Mike Francesa acknowledges that his loyalties lay with the Yankees and Giants but that fact shouldn't turn everyone off from hearing the New York talk radio icon.
The Darrelle Revis interview didn't go well and it was handled poorly from both sides, but Francesa still gets relevant figures to appear on his show even if many feel his interviewing techniques are poor. Francesa also fields questions on wide-ranging topics from any American team.
Francesa could certainly treat the call-in listeners better, but it would get sickening hearing the same old schmucks. While he may be condescending to questions by callers, Francesa generally fully answers the questions without sidestepping, something Mike and Mike do all too often.
While Francesa's New York program runs a long time on the YES Network, the hour-to-hour basis isn't repetitive like all of ESPN's.