Quitting On Mike and Mike

Okay, so I'm pretty much done with Mike and Mike In The Morning as part of my official morning routine. For the past few years, I've listened to them pretty much every morning. I put the radio on when I got up and was getting ready for work and then I had it on in the car during my commute. I never really liked them or found them amusing so the logical question one might ask is why did I listen?

Well, I live in the New York listening area and if you want to listen to sports talk in the morning, they're the lone option. It's the same reason I have Cablevision service -- I have no other choice if I want cable.

So I listened and tried not to let them completely annoy me as I waited for their one redeeming quality to occur -- their outstanding guests.

Because they are an ESPN mouthpiece, they have excellent guests on a lot of the time. During the baseball season, Peter Gammons, Jason Stark and Tim Kurkjian are always on. They also get GMs of random teams and broadcasters from teams in the news, largely because (and I'm just guessing) they're ESPN. The ESPN personalities absolutely must be mandated to come on this abomination of a show and there are occasionally times when you can tell they're less than amused at Mike and Mike's "antics."

So let's get to the point. Why am I done with them? I don't even know where to begin. For one thing, they're annoying and forced and scripted and I've recently found myself getting more and more pissed off. Yes, Golic is fat. We get it. You two are like the Odd Couple. We get it. Mike Greenberg likes the Jets. We understand. Thanks for hitting us over the head with it. They laugh uproariaously at their "jokes," if you can call them that, and act like the two of them are the "wackiest" guys out there. Ugh.

One of Greenberg's most annoying habits, though, is the way in which he asks questions. Some of the most famous interviewers and sports reporters have been noted for asking very simple open-ended questions, thus the proliferation of the now-ubiquitous "How do you feel?" question. It's short, it's open, it leaves itself out there for all sorts of responses. And yes, we're tired of it, but it still gets asked because it's hard to ask a better question that is that short. The general rule of thumb is you shouldn't make any interview about yourself more than your interview subject and Greenberg rambles on every time he ever interviews anyone. It's infuriating. A sample question might be something like this:

Greenberg: "What about the quarterback situation in Miami because you've got Daunte Culpepper who was one of the best but isn't happy now and now you're going to have a new coach and there's also Cleo Lemon in the mix and, the reality is, Culpepper wants to play and play like he did when he was an MVP candidate back in Minnesota with those good Minnesota teams with Randy Moss, but doesn't this have the potential to be a Terrell Owens kind of situation with a star player feeling disrespected and having to kind of fill the shoes of a great, great player like Dan Marino?"

I'm not even exaggerating for effect. This is probably a short question by Greenberg standards. Related to this, he also doesn't know how to greet an interview subject on the radio show. Someone will be coming on and before the person even speaks, Greenberg will ask one of his long questions but he'll start is with, "...and now we bring in Boomer Esiason, and good morning to you Boomer and we'll start with the AFC quarterback situation..." and then he'll literally go on with a 500 word "question" so the first time the interviewee gets to speak they don't know what to say. And I loved Boomer one time when he came on and said, "Wow, that was probably the longest question I've ever been asked."

Next on the list: The "man up" crap. A while back, they began this inane bullshit where Golic would explain to us all how you "man up" in certain situations. They dragged it out to the point where listeners would supposedly send in questions for the guys to answer and of course every time it was discussed, Golic would take shots at Greenberg for not being a real man. Yes, hit us over the head with it again. We get it.

What's more annoying and obnoxious really, though, is the way they often imply that Greenberg is gay. They equate him being a wimp and uncoordinated with having played tennis and being kind of feminine. He claims to love the song "It's Raining Men" and plays it while gyrating homo-erotically in his chair (this abomination is simulcast on ESPN2) and he often comments that he and Golic are "like a married couple," to which Golic reacts with clearly scripted discomfort and disgust. Whenever Chad Pennington is mentioned -- and I mean every damn time -- they BLAST "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston. These examples not only drive home the point that every joke is smashed over our heads on a daily basis but it also makes it look like these two think it's funny to pretend to be gay. Given how the world just crashed down around Tim Hardaway, why isn't this more of an issue ever?

Last year, they made the ill-advised move of having their "First Annual Marriage Madness" right around the end of NCAA tourney time. In it, couples submitted themselves for the chance to get married on Mike and Mike's show in May. What?? What the f-ck does this have to do with sports?? They took up tons of time on the show comparing the couples, telling us all about them and then asking their listeners to vote on the couples they wanted to see win. I DON'T CARE. No self-respecting male did care! It was stupid and contrived (one of the most contrived things they've done on a show that seems to have contrivance in the mission statement) and just impossible to listen to. I contacted ESPN's ombudsman, George Solomon, to complain. I received an email back saying that George would most likely discuss it in his next column. I don't believe he ever did but that's not the point. I definitely think I wasn't alone because as the Marriage Madness stupidity approached and reached its culmination, Greenberg would often start off by saying, "We realize this isn't for everybody and if it's not for you, we respect that." Yeah, so either he was also getting eviscerating emails by the thousands or he was told of the complaints and the thousands of radios being switched to another channel.

More recently, they've seemed to get more annoying and fake if that's possible. Last week, Golic made a comment about Greenberg always interrupting him and Greenberg then faux-interrupted Golic literally about twelve straight times, much in the way a child would do it when trying to be "funny." It wasn't funny; it was stupid. And yet these are the childish, wholly uncreative things that go on during this train wreck of a show.

One of the ways in which the horrid-ness of this show was crystalized for me was around the holidays when Mike and Mike take off for a week or so. They do it every year, as do many radio hosts, and others fill in for them. The past two Christmas weeks the fill-in has been Mark Schlereth and another guy, somtimes Eric Kusillias and sometimes Trey Wingo. The point is, without the fake Odd Couple schtick, the show is actually...good. Schlereth is a breath of fresh air whenever he's on the show, always seeming to be the voice of reason, logic and sound analysis. While Golic is the kind of moron who says things like "Well, I picked the Colts at the beginning so I have to keep picking them" (No, you fat moron! You don't!), Schlereth is more cerebral and has legitimate reasons for his opinions. When Schlereth guest-hosts (as I said, with another co-host), the show is 100% sports and sports talk with no stupid stories about Greenberg's home life or how Mike Golic likes food.

One more thing I'll discuss is their disgustingly PC approach to things. The best example I can quickly think of is from last year when they did their "Mount Rushmore of Sports" and were lamely debating who should go on a Mt. Rushmore of sports figures. In an effort to be as politically correct as possible, Greenberg would always say, "There are people screaming at their radios, 'You idiots! What about Jackie Robinson?'" And he's right, there are those of us who scream at our radio that these two are idiots. But I digress.

No, the reason that Jackie Robinson wasn't on their Mt. Rushmore of sports was -- get this -- because he's "above it all" and he's "smiling down from above" on this. What...the...f-ck?? Smiling down??

Look, cowards, if you're creating a monument to the most revered and influential sports figures of modern times, you don't exclude certain people because they're too good for it. Mike and Mike were excluding Jackie Robinson because they simply didn't want him on their monument. It wasn't racist and I'm not trying to suggest it was, but just have the balls to say "We're not putting him on it," instead of being chicken PC suckups.

I do not for the life of me understand why this show is still on the air. I mean, there's definitely an element of ESPN forcing it upon us but they've shown in the past that they're willing to cancel terrible shows (see Smith, Stephen A.). I guess there are people out there who like the same lame-ass jokes and making fun of each other that these two putzs do every....single...morning. The people who find this funny are probably the same people who rank The King of Queens as one of the funniest shows they've ever seen.

I also don't understand why there isn't more vitriol out there about these guys. If you do Google searches, you don't find much

What I wouldn't give for a true sports morning show on the radio. Until I get one, I'll have to tune in for as much as I can stand from these imbeciles and simply rejoice when I hear they're not hosting.

Tim, Really, Just Stop Talking

A Little Purdue History

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