A longtime staple of not only my mornings, but millions of other sports fans, has come to an end. ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” morning show, staring Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, aired for the final time Nov. 17th.
Making their debut on Jan. 2, 2000 the Mikes have spent 18 years entertaining sports fans in the morning. The show utilized the classic “odd couple” formula by pairing Golic, a former NFL player, with Greenberg, a Northwestern grad with not one athletic bone in his body.
Along with covering relevant sports topics of the day, in their 18 years of broadcasting the pair came up with plenty of popular segments – my personal favorite was their yearly “Sheet of Integrity” challenge. The contest pitted the hosts and their March Madness brackets, against one another with the winner choosing a punishment for the loser. Some of the more notable tasks that the loser was forced to complete include Golic recreating Kim Kardashian’s infamous ‘Paper’ magazine cover and Greenberg dressing as Justin Bieber for an entire show.
With the pair having such long-lasting success, it came as a shock to many when ESPN announced on May 16, of this year that they would be canceling the show. I guess that proves all good things eventually come to an end.
“Mike & Mike” utilized its final week as a goodbye tour, which featured many prominent past guests of the show calling in to give their appreciation to the hosts. Goodbye messages were heard from the likes of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, to pro golfer Tiger Woods – even former president Bill Clinton thanked and wished the Mikes well.
The show’s finale opened with Greenberg saying, “Math is not my strong suit. But with the help of a calculator and a whole lot of estimating, I believe we have done right around 14,000 hours of ‘Mike & Mike’ going back to January of 2000. We have four left to do and will make them count.”
By the time the final hour rolled around, both men’s families joined them on set and Greenberg fought back emotion as he thanked viewers for tuning in throughout the years.
While it’s only been two weeks since the final show, I have yet to find a replacement for “Mike & Mike,” and doubt I ever will. Greenberg and Golic will forever be the standard of early morning sports talk and the airways will be silent without them.