For better than a dozen years now, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic have trudged through the predawn gloom on the way to work as hosts of their daily sports talk show, 'Mike and Mike' on ESPN Radio. And for that entire time, they've had to wrestle with the difficulty of waking up early, shaking off fatigue, and getting sharp and up-to-speed with the latest news before signing onto the airwaves at 6 am. "My alarm goes off every day at 4 o'clock," says Greenberg, who joined ESPN in 1996 as a TV anchor. "People always ask me if you get used to it. And the answer to that is, no." Golic, who played eight seasons as an NFL defensive lineman before becoming a broadcaster in 1995, shares his partner's agony. "I just don't think you can ever get used to it," he says.
The duo is billed as an odd couple: Greenberg is the nebbishy New Yorker and nerdy lifelong fanboy, whereas Golic is the beefy Notre Dame alumnus and former NFL enforcer. The contrast between their personalities was all the more apparent when the two discussed their strategies for shaking off the sandman during a recent "Subtember" event in New York sponsored by Subway. Here are their tips for how to rise and shine when you have to wake up before the rooster crows.
Get to bed early.
It is important to respect the burden of a daily predawn wake-up time, and so for Mike and Mike, the best offense is a good defense. That means not succumbing to the temptation of a thrilling West Coast game, or even 'Monday Night Football,' for that matter. To the contrary, these two are putting head to pillow while the sun is still out and even toddlers are just being tucked in, at a time not long after dinner. "I have zero trouble falling asleep," Greenberg boasts. "When you've woken up at 4 o'clock in the morning, you'd be surprised how easy it is to fall asleep anytime you want." That capacity is a double-edged sword, of course, and both Mikes agree that their issue isn't struggling to get to bed early, but staying awake. "The bigger problem is not falling asleep at times when you don't want to," Greenberg says. Golic, ever the smart-ass, agrees: "Without a doubt – I could fall asleep anytime, anywhere," he says. "In fact, I was asleep through five minutes of this interview."
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