For over a decade sports fans across the world know they can catch Mike & Mike talking sports EVERY single morning. The duo has recently been inducted into the broadcasters Hall of Fame and they have earned the trust of fans and players alike. I had the privilege to interview Mike Greenberg, Co-host of the show and hear from him how the show has become such a success. Here’s how it went:
Jay: Mike & Mike has become such a household name for millions of people across the world. What has been your secret which has allowed you to develop relationships with the greatest players in the entire world of sports?
Mike: When we first started the show, we had no idea what to expect and to be honest the opportunity was extremely intimidating. What we slowly learned was that in our industry “you need to let it bake”. It takes time until the show develops its own personality and the listeners start taking to it. I think a large part of our success is that we’ve been around for so long. In today’s time when everything is constantly changing people find comfort knowing that from 6am-10am these two idiots will be arguing with each other about sports. To the point that the players we now talk to on the show grew up listening to us!
Jay: To your point that so much has changed, there are so many changes happening in so many sports. Many former players aren’t happy with the way the sport looks today and many current players say there needs to be more change. What’s your take?
Mike: That’s a great point Jay and there’s no question that change is everywhere. To deal with change there are two categories. Adopt and pivot to meet the needs of the times or stay stuck in your old ways and become obsolete. Getting upset when things change never works and the ones who succeed are the ones who stay ahead of the curve at all times. During my first Radio job in Chicago back in the 90’s I remember starting the show looking to take some sort of poll with the audience. We’d be running in and out of the room with the fax machine reading what people had responded to us and now everything is instantaneous with social media. Hosting a daily four hour talk show is like trying to catch a train as it pulls out of the station. You never quite catch up, but if you run fast enough it never gets far enough away that you give up.
Jay: I’ve always believed that players have an amazing skill set which can be utilized in so many other areas in life. Do you see a common thread that connects success in sports to success in other areas?
Mike: I absolutely agree. I think the biggest commonality between sports and business is the process. Players that make it to the highest levels have been working at their craft from a very young age, through their high school years, college and finally to the pro’s. It takes a tremendous amount of time, focus and determination and you’ve got to take it one day at a time. Setting goals is certainly necessary, but ultimately the way to get there is to forget the goal and stay focused on the process and I think the same is true in any endeavor you pursue. To succeed you have to be able to balance the ability to have a goal and then follow the process step by step.
Jay: With the advancement of technology, players today have access to information in a way that didn’t exist a decade ago. How can players utilize that to develop their growth after their career in sports?
Mike: Over the years we’ve seen players who in their prime were making a lot of money and seemed to have it all made and then after a few short years of retirement were dead broke. The reality is that sports as a career is short lived. Just a couple years ago, we interviewed Jerry Seinfeld who is an avid baseball fan, and we asked him, if you could trade the success you had as a comedian into a career in sports, would you do it? He immediately said- “absolutely not”. He said, “I’m almost 60 years old and I think I’m getting better every day. If I was a baseball player I would have been done 20-30 years ago and I can’t even comprehend what that would be like”. There’s no question that players face a career challenge when their careers come to a close, but today they have many more opportunities than in years past. I think we’ll see a lot of players harness their social media platforms to power their way into different businesses and I’m excited to see where that takes them.