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.
Make every second count.
Having to punch in at 6 am leaves little time for leisure or preparation, but Mike and Mike have learned to make the most of every minute. "I have a lengthy commute, and it is probably the most productive part of my day," says Greenberg, who is driven to the station. Although not everyone can enjoy the luxury of a chauffeur, Greenberg's sooner-rather-than-later approach could benefit anyone who uses public transportation. "I get more done in an hour, in the back of a car with my iPad than I probably do any other hour of my entire day."
It only takes Golic 15 minutes to get to work, but he says that's sufficient for him to comfortably cram before going on the air. "I will have to read stuff the night before and kind of know what's going on, and I listen to ESPN and see if anything is breaking." He also relies on a secret study partner: his wife. She wakes up with him and says goodbye every morning, and he says he relies on her for preliminary research before his show. "She starts flipping through Twitter – she's big into social media," Golic says. "And then she'll go back to sleep until the show starts and she'll watch the whole show. God bless her."
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