Q&A: Mike Greenberg, ESPN radio host and Homecoming grand marshal

Rohan Nadkarni, Gameday Editor

With Homecoming weekend amplified by arguably the biggest football game in recent Northwestern history, the University has pulled out all the stops for the celebration. Leading the parade will be one of the school’s most recognizable faces, Mike Greenberg.

Greenberg (Medill ’89) hosts “Mike and Mike,” a popular morning-drive radio show that is also simulcast on ESPN’s family of networks. Greenberg spoke to The Daily about the thrill of coming home, his favorite athletic memory as a student and Dillo Day.

The Daily: After the success of your book “All You Could Ask For,” is writing something you want to pursue more?

Mike Greenberg: I definitely see myself writing for a long time. I’m almost finished with my next novel, which will be out next November. I can definitely see myself writing a book every one or two years for the rest of my life.  As far as doing “Mike and Mike” is concerned, I don’t have any immediate intention of stopping. I don’t have any idea how much longer we will go.  I would say the show has a few more years at minimum, and we’ll see where it goes from there.

The Daily: What does it mean to you to be an icon at the school you attended?

MG: I’m just thrilled. I’m really looking forward to speaking to the Medill students. Before I found out I was grand marshal, I was excited to come back to speak to the students. I remember so vividly being a student and when people from the business would come and talk to us, it was such a thrill. It gave me such a feeling, it inspired me to try harder and do better. I particularly hope some of the young men and women in Medill who are interested in broadcasting, if I can answer their questions and inspire them to be more enthusiastic and try harder, that would be great.

As far as the parade is concerned, I expect that to be great fun. I remember vividly as a student all the people who would come back for Homecoming. They all seemed so old. Now I’m one of the old people, but I think I’ll feel a little younger that day. If I can feel 20 years old again for one day, I think that will be terrific.

The Daily: What is your favorite sports memory as a student?

MG: I will never forget beating Indiana on Monday night on national television when they were the defending national champs. It was my junior year, and we beat them in a very close game. My old college roommate, Craig Isaacs, still has Dick Vitale’s game notes from that game. I loved Northwestern basketball. I had a chance to chat with Chris Collins on the sidelines of the football game a couple weeks ago, and I’m really excited about what he’s going to bring. He’s the right guy to bring us to where we’ve never been before. There’s no question that the single greatest athletic memory from my time was that Indiana game. I think now the football team and hopefully the basketball team are in a position to make many more memories.

The Daily: Which would you rather see first, a Rose Bowl berth or NU basketball in the NCAA Tournament?

MG: I don’t want to choose between either of those at all. I’ll put it this way, there will be a Rose Bowl played before the next NCAA Tournament. I hope we make this year’s Rose Bowl in football and then make the tournament. Both would be such a thrill. I look forward to someday sitting in the arena and watching Northwestern play in the NCAA Tournament.

The Daily: What’s your best Dillo Day story?

MG: Most of the Armadillo Day stories I have are ones I don’t want to share. To be completely honest with you, I’m 46 years old now, I’m a father of two and I’m a respected member of the community. There’s absolutely nothing I did on Armadillo Day during my four years at Northwestern that I would ever want anybody to know about.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @rohan_nu