Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sounding Off on Mike and Mike

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media
Ahh… Nothing like a cup of coffee, the newspaper, and perhaps a morning show to start the day. In college, I used Mike and Mike in the Morning to jumpstart my day. I love the fact that the two of them come off average enough to be your buddy down the street.

At the same time, you know the two everymen have a firm grasp on what they’re talking about. The question is, does what you hear on the radio/TV carry over into print form? Today, we’re talking about Mike and Mike’s Rules for Sports and Life.

Here’s what you should know about the book:
1. True or false: One reason we enjoy broadcasts is that they are a break from reading.

I vote true. I’m not suggesting that we should be lazy and not read. After all, that’s one of the foundations of this blog. What I am saying is a good broadcast should put you in the middle of the action. When I watch Mike and Mike, it’s as if I were nodding or arguing with them. That’s not how I felt when I read the book. It was a lifeless script with no one to give it breath. The book is divided into four “hours” plus overtime, but it could take days to plow through.

2. Greeny and Golic do offer some interesting perspectives, as always.
For instance: Rule 1.26 states “Get rid of the Fourth of July.” Golic wastes no time stating, “I can tell you already that I’m going to veto this one.” Greeny’s defense – “I’ve looked into this, and in 1776, the Fourth of July – the actual date – fell on a Thursday.” Celebrating Independence Day, as opposed to July 4 would simplify the calendar and the holiday work week, the hosts decide (Mike, 26).

How about Rule 3.49? “Fans are crazy because people are crazy.”
Golic introduces this one with a story about attending a Holy War football game. Recall, Golic played eight years in the NFL. Clearly, he earned the right to cheer however he wanted to cheer. Or maybe not. “I was sitting on the very end of a row, and the disruptions were constant,” Golic says. “With the BC quarterback calling the signals on a key third-and-short play, I heard, Dude, get up. You’ve got to be kidding me. At one point, I looked around, stunned by what was going on. Everybody just glared back at me like I was the problem. Then a guy who had gotten up at least eight times already starts walking down the row again. I don’t say a word to him. I just give him the death stare.” (98-101)

Check out Rule 4.71 – Elect current players into the Hall.
Greeny starts, “Each sport’s Hall of Fame is nothing more than a museum. Do you think the Louvre and the Met had to wait five years after Picasso died before they could hang his stuff? Was Joe Montana a tough call in 1989? Or Magic Johnson? Why the holdup, exactly?” (171)

3. Getting back to those guys that I previously mentioned, Rule 3.50 reads, “Never forget where you came from.”

Greeny and Golic project themselves to be the same guys they were when they started the show 10 years ago: The “On Air” light flashed, and I just felt like making fun of this [Golic.] I’m thinking that if I do it, one of two things will happen. Either he’ll laugh and the next two days will be fun, or he’ll rear back and punch me in the face, Greeny shares. (150) Maintaining long-term relationships is something we should all strive for, even as we reach for success.

Before you go thinking these guys are all laughs and giggles, realize in 2002, Major League Baseball took Greeny seriously. Despite Golic’s overwhelming doubts, the powers that be took Greeny’s suggestion and made the All-Star Game determine home-field advantage in the World Series (7). Who’s laughing now?

In closing, Mike and Mike have their moments in this brand new book. But if you want to see a better example of a media crossover, check out Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball instead. Leave Mike and Mike to the airwaves.

Sam Miller/Free Keon

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