Saturday, September 9, 2017

Mike and Mike: End of the Dynamic Duo?

The Dynamic Duo of Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic is breaking up, and the Village Elliot is saddened.  Say it ain't so!  

     Mike and Mike are breaking up.  The long running sports duo will do its last show on November 17.  I predict things will never be the same for either guy.   
     It seems to me that they have been the perfect team. Mike Golic is the gregarious and multi-talented former lineman mainly remembered for his work with the Philadelphia Eagles and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  
     Mike Greenberg is the consummate fan with no known athletic skills,  but who is nevertheless an incredibly talented "straight man," and "good guy," who may have the most precise rapid fire verbal delivery in the world.  
     Now they are breaking up, and apparently egos have gotten in the way.  Each wants a chance to prove that he can make it without the other.  I'm sure that they can, but it may never be the same. 
    I'm reminded of the great comic duos like Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy.  Behind each funny man was a great "straight" man.  It was widely believed in the business that a good straight man was a rarer commodity than the funny man.  For instance, Abbott and Costello always split their money 60/40, with straight man Abbott receiving the larger share.  And Costello never questioned the arrangement, grateful to have Abbot to guide things behind the scenes.  
     In the same way, Mike Greenberg is thought to be a sports idiot, doesn't contribute anything to a sports discussion and is completely out of touch with how a pro athlete thinks. All that is true.  But the show won't work without him. Greenie is able to organize the show and keep it moving, and he is willing to ask the dumb questions that make his partner and guests seem like geniuses.  The amazing thing that happens on Mike and Mike is they can talk about their lead story for several minutes, talk about other issues, and then seamlessly transition back to the lead story without being repetitious.  That's mainly because of Greeny quarterbacking the flow of the show.  . 
    Greenberg is able to put a different spin on stories so that they sound like fresh stories.  What is the coach's perspective?  The offense's perspective?  Fans' perspective?What does it mean for other teams?  You get the idea.  You can actually listen to the show for four hours and hear the same story five times or more, and never feel that it is repetitious or boring.  That is Greenie magic, and seems so natural that you might never be aware of it.  
    Greenberg is able to speak with the rapid fire delivery, but unlike most of his peers, he actually makes sense and speaks in grammatically correct senses.   I've never heard anyone who is better than that than the Green Man.  Oprah Winfrey might be his main competitor in that department.   
     So, I'm sure the affable Golic will find another partner or partners that will be very good.  But I doubt whether they can ever get the ratings of Mike and Mike, without Greenie there.
I'm saddened by the change, but support both of them wanting to try something new.  Go for it, guys.  But it may never be the same.     

   The Mikes get ready for a nice friendly game of tennis, supervised by champion tennis player Luke Jenson.  Look at the size of Golic's fist compared to Greenie's!

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