Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Enmity Spectrum of Mike & Mike

Over the past 24 hours or so, ESPN's Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic have been front and center in the sports broadcasting world. It started when USA Today reported yesterday that the Mikes had been tapped as the #2 Monday Night Football booth for next season along with Hall of Famer Mike Ditka and featuring the tasty-but-poorly-dressed Bonnie Bernstein on the sidelines.

This decision was, predictably, panned by pretty much every sports blog everywhere. At first I was annoyed by the decision but, really, it's not the worst thing ESPN could've done. It's not as if they decided to make a booth of Joe Buck, Joe Theismann and Rich Gannon with Tony Siragusa on the sidelines or anything (after I wrote that I realized, to my horror, that half of that booth has at one point existed on the same telecast). In the end it's only going to be one game and, granted it's Niners-Cardinals, it's not even going to be a game I'm going to watch, so I can't really get too upset. If I had to make one gripe about the whole thing it's that ESPN is using an idea they had with the AFL for a broadcast of a real football game. That's pretty lame.

I do, however, need to give the radio duo some credit here. They did the interminably hyped "Greeny Milking the Cow" segment this morning, and it was really funny. I honestly loved the concept of the sheltered metrosexual being forced to do some manual labor with farm animals and it made for pretty hilarious television.

In spite of their recent overexposure (AFL, Spelling Bee, MNF, etc), I personally believe Mike & Mike are two of the best that ESPN has got (along with Kornheiser and Wilbon) and I, to a large extent, don't mind their overexposure. Would you rather see more of Greenberg and Golic or more of Stuart Scott? Or more of John Kruk and Steve Phillips? John Clayton and Sean Salisbury? Precisely.

ESPN is, as I believe it's called, "pressing their advantage;" they're taking two personalities that aren't alienating people and giving them more face time. I know, it could be a move that turns the two into more of a polarizing combo, but I doubt it. Just like you haven't gotten sick of Wilbon in his expanded duties with the NBA, it just seems Greeny and Golic are middle-of-the-road enough to avoid becoming hated.

Now, as for the guy that follows them on ESPN Radio...

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