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.
Protein equals energy.
In the desperate hours before dawn, caffeine is as necessary to some as insulin. Greenberg, though, insists that it's a wrongheaded strategy. "Caffeine is important, but the secret is protein," he says. A trim and young-looking 46 years old, Greenberg frequently stops off the highway on his way to work and grabs an egg white and spinach sandwich. His co-host, an imposing six-foot-five and roughly 265 pounds, agrees a hearty meal is essential (and relies on a breakfast run that is delivered to him halfway through the program), but states emphatically that he simply cannot go without his morning joe. "I slam tons of coffee during the day," Golic says.
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