‘Mike & Mike’ kicks off Homecoming weekend festivities with live broadcast

Joseph Diebold, Campus Editor

ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg (Medill ’89) and co-host Mike Golic got Homecoming weekend started bright and early this morning, broadcasting their show, “Mike & Mike,” live from Deering Meadow beginning at 5 a.m.

Diehard fans were already at Deering for the first segment of the show — which is scheduled to coincide with East Coasters’ morning commute.

With the sun not yet rising over Deering Library and “MIKE&MIKE” emblazoned on the top floor windows of the Donald P. Jacobs Center, Greenberg introduced the show with a callback to his time in Evanston.

“We are live in Deering Meadow on the campus of Northwestern University,” he said. “Twenty-four years ago, I took my last final in the building immediately to our right, which is called Leverone Hall, and now here we are directly in the center of campus on what’s kicking off what is one of the biggest football weekends that this school has ever seen.”

Golic, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, took the opportunity to rib Greenberg about NU’s preference for academics over socializing.

“As we were walking from the car over here and we happened to be walking with some of the students, it’s interesting — at most places they’re coming from the bar,” Golic said. “All these people came from the library. It’s all true, everything you hear about Northwestern. They were just studying.”

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

Later, NU football coach Pat Fitzgerald joined the show to discuss tomorrow’s matchup with Ohio State. Greenberg called Fitzgerald “the man who had the great sense to make me honorary captain of Homecoming this year.”

“Still question that move,” Fitzgerald replied.

Greenberg and Golic also interviewed fellow ESPN personality Michael Wilbon (Medill ’80). Greenberg and Wilbon discussed the change in NU’s athletic culture that has occurred since each was on campus in the 1980s. The football team infamously lost 34 straight games between 1979 and 1982.

“We have to get accustomed to something the football team is already accustomed to,” Wilbon said. “They don’t have the same expectations of the alums who were here in what I call ‘the Dark Ages.’ This is not that Northwestern anymore.”

This evening, Greenberg will serve as grand marshal for the Homecoming Parade.

(ESPN’s Mike Greenberg to lead 2013 Homecoming Parade, broadcast show from Northwestern)

Fans who set their alarm clocks to catch the beginning of the show won’t get much of a reprieve tomorrow. ESPN’s college football preview show “College GameDay” will broadcast from the Lakefill beginning at 8 a.m., with entry to the fans’ area beginning between 5 and 6 a.m. for students and at 6 a.m for the general public. The Wildcats’ game with Ohio State kicks off at 7 p.m.

— Joseph Diebold