Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Meathead Chic: How Mike Golic Has Grunted His Way into a Broadcasting Career


Mike Golic's favorite word is "Yep." His favorite phrase is "Uh-huh." Ever the clever guy, he sometimes uses them interchangeably. In so doing, he has brought the world of sports broadcasting to a new low.

Golic is the sidekick to Mike Greenberg. They co-host the ESPN Radio early morning "drive-time" show, which is colloquially referred to as "The Mike and Mike Show." (How clever is that??) They also call themselves "Greenie and Golic." (Almost as clever, eh?) It's a living, breathing train wreck of a broadcast, primarily because Golic is a moron who has yet to utter an articulate phrase or offer an original thought.

Greenberg's okay. He's a Northwestern grad with a good listenable voice and solid credentials as an ESPN co-anchor, and he's articulate and quick on his verbal feet. He's not afraid to speak his mind, either, yet he knows how to marshal decorum in so doing.

Alas, it's gotten to the point where I can't listen anymore. Greenberg gets rolling on a topic, and every four words, Golic interjects with his incessant "Yep"s. Then he changes things up and says "Uh-huh" every fifth word. It's simply awful radio. In the occasional instance where Golic actually puts together an ungrammatical yet possibly decipherable sentence, there is not one whit of new thought. He essentially parrots what Greenberg has just said. Golic is also possessed of the insufferable habit of saying "And....and...and..." prior to his boneheaded comments. So a typical exchange might go like this:

Greenberg: Once again, we have George Steinbrenner...

Golic: Yep...

Greenberg: ...stirring up controversy...

Golic: Yep...

Greenberg: ...within his front office...

Golic: Uh-huh...

Greenberg: ...as the Yankees...

Golic: Uh-huh...

Greenberg: ...are off to their worst start in 18 years....

Golic: That's right. And, and, and...And once again, we see the Yankees faced with this potentially divisive [mispronounced and/or garbled] situation, where George Steinbrenner is stirring up his front office with comments... and, and, and...And here the Yankees are, off to their worst start in 18 years...

Ghastly stuff. Golic's the (arguably) lovable dope who somehow parlayed a mediocre NFL career into broadcasting bucks. It defies all explanation. If he were good-looking, maybe we could see how that works. But he's not. He's a goon. Yet he gets time on TV as well as radio. If he were intelligent, we would overlook the lack of telegeneity or the bull-in-a-china-shop radio voice. Yet he's incapable of initiating anything original or insightful. And if he were simply colorful, like Charles Barkley, then even then we might overlook his otherwise completely unbroadcasting-like profile. Alas, he's about as colorful as his on-the-field impact as a defensive tackle for bad Oilers and Eagles teams in the '80s and '90s.

Golic's career stats

It is somewhat of a modern miracle that Golic lasted eight NFL seasons. It took him that long to record all of 11.5 sacks. But earning a living as cannon fodder beats trying to do something that actually requires brains and skill. And for that, he's rewarded with moving up the ladder at ESPN. Do they have quotas now for sub-normal-intelligence behemoths of Slavic extraction? As Morgan Freeman said of the game of chess in "The Shawshank Redemption": "It's a total fuckin' mystery."

What I also can't imagine is how Greenberg puts up with it. If I was stuck in that radio booth for four hours a day, five days a week, with Golic, I'd slit my wrists. But maybe Greenberg likes where this situation puts him: completely in control and obviously the brains of the operation. It also gives him opportunity to put down the blue-collar sidekick--Golic is Pancho to Greenberg's Cisco Kid--when Meathead Mike gives his wife a humidifier for her birthday. Anything for a laugh, right?

But bottom line is that it's awful, awful radio. Whatever good Greenie does, Golic is there to immediately invalidate it. "Yup," "Nope," "Uh-huh" (and its counterpart, "Nuh-uh") are Golic's infernal calling cards. It's ugly stuff, I tell ya.

The ultimate message? Maybe that there are two paths into the modern world of high-profile big-bucks sports broadcasting: (1) attend a school like Northwestern and pray you have some connections when you get out; or (2) get your brains beaten in as an NFL defensive lineman for eight years, then let everyone think you have "street cred."

Thanks to Mike Golic, we have a new paradigm for the concept of "dumbed down." As for me, I'm tuning in NPR during a.m. "drive time." It might be a little boring and somewhat predictable, but at least it's not lethal.

4 comments:

maddawg5 said...

It is really tough to take your article seriously when the stats you provide have a fallacy in them. It is true the Golic had 11.5 sacks over his eight year career. He also, as mentioned in your article, played for the Oilers and Eagles. However, the links you provided shows that his last season in the NFL playing for the Eagles, which his false. He played for the Miami Dolphins in 1993. It is also questionable how you downgrade his intelligence. Golic graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in finance and management, granted has nothing to do with broadcasting or journalism, according to you, and your ignorance, takes no brains whatsoever, which not only puts down his intelligence, it disrespects the University of Notre Dame. And to truly get an opinion on sports, that has some meaning behind it, I would much rather hear it from someone who actually did play sports, rather then some wimp that did not even play sports yet likes to defame the athletes that play them. This article did not prove to me that "broadcasting is at a new low", what it proved is how much you are jealous of how successful he as become. This must really did in deep you your pride to be outdone by a "sub-normal-intelligence behemoth" like you call Golic. Just keep in mind that ripping someone far more popular then you will not increase you popularity. You should just thank them, both Greenberg and Golic, because if it was not for them and there show, I would have never found this article.

Anonymous said...

You come across like a whiney tool who was smacked around in high school. You're smart, you're verbal, you don't like the jock mindset. Fine.

But Golic's hardly the buffoon you make him out to be. He's playing the jock side of the radio duo.

He interjects with meaningless "yups" and grunts because on radio it's helpful to your partner to indicate that you're listening.

Oh the humanity. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, to name but two, are - and I'm not exagerrating here, not one bit - a quadrillion times worse than Mike Golic.

chris said...

this guy is exactly right. Anyone who defends Golic, either has some connection to him in some way (ND, Eagles/Oliers/themselves a slow big guy/themselves an old jock that is trying to get by on those glory days). The man has very, very, very few original thoughts and those that you might could categorize as original are extremely weak. Golic is very bad and if you cannot understand the difference in quality between him and (insert here most any radio guy nationally) then hey good luck with your dumbed down life.

Anonymous said...

Working in IT, I am fortunate in my work that I get to listen to approx 6 hours a day of sports radio (i download the content to my MP3 player and listen to it while i work). Listening to approx 2000 hours a year of sports radio has taught me one thing: there is, like anything else, good and bad. People like Dan Patrick, Erik Kuselias and Colin Cowherd are very good, and Mike Golic is VERY VERY bad. This article is dead on, I won't add the details of my own opinion because this piece did it better than I ever could have. What is shocking is that this article was written 4 years ago, and this blowhard moronic buffon is STILL on the air. Seriously, if you really want to know how bad Golic is, listen to a Mike & Mike show, then listen to their show when someone like Erik K. or Scott Van Pelt or Trey Wingo subs in for Golic. Listen to how much better the show is. I seriously have no idea why Golic is still on the air. Everyone that I listen to on the radio who talks about Golic says that he is a very nice guy, and that may be true. I personally have nothing against him, however please spare me when you say that he is good on the air. If you really think so then you don't listen to much talk radio.