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.
Rely on rituals.
Shaking off the morning haze of an abruptly ended REM cycle is easier when you have a regular ritual that makes the morning transition consistent and friction-free. For Greenberg, that means a douse first thing. "I am in the shower probably within – I don't think this is an exaggeration – 30 seconds of that alarm going off," he says. "The hardest part of my day is the first five minutes. But once you get into a shower and get yourself moving a little bit and your brain starts working and you start looking over notes and get a little something to eat, then, all of a sudden, it's no longer relevant what time it is anymore."
Golic is less ambitious and says his morning is complete after brushing his teeth and a splashing water on his face. He jokes that he does not need as much help as his partner. "Greeny probably takes 10 showers a day," says Golic. "If you took that away from him, there'd be some issues."
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