It’s been over a week since Mike Greenberg debuted his new radio show, Greeny, on ESPN Radio and ESPNews. During that time, Greenberg has had many notable guests on the program and that included Monday’s show when he had the hosts of PTI, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on the show together, which does not happen often.
In addition to talking about some of the notable sports topics of the day such as Luka Doncic’s game-winning basket on Sunday and remembering Kobe Bryant, Greenberg asked them a question about their own show.
Pardon The Interruption has been on the ESPN family of networks since 2001 and Kornheiser and Wilbon have been a staple for sports fans to watch every weekday to hear them debate. Greenberg asked Kornheiser how he has reconciled becoming a celebrity and how the former newspaper writer for Newsday, the New York Times, and The Washington Post puts it into perspective.
“All I ever wanted to be was a newspaper sportswriter. From the earliest moments that I had ambition, that was what it was,” Kornheiser answered. “I did it at Newsday, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, three of the best newspapers in the country. That would have been enough. This thing that happened, this television thing that happened to Mike and to me was out of the blue and unexpected and there apparently are second acts in America because I have had one. I look at it with great amusement and I look at it with great appreciation.”
Kornheiser also mentioned how the landscape of sports media has changed, particularly how the newspaper writers look at the people who do TV and radio.
“When you were a newspaper sportswriter and radio guys came into the locker room after games, you were very dismissive of them. TV guys came in, you hated them. They were all these pretty boys. I was among those people who, as sportswriters, just hated them and now I am one of them.”
As for Wilbon, he also mentioned that being a host of a popular sports show was not something he aspired to be and he doesn’t like to be mentioned as a pioneer of the industry, but he enjoys it because of having the chance to view history up close.
“People think we are pioneers and I go stop. I saw people doing this when I was 10 years old and so I never aspired to it. I am grateful for it. Days like yesterday make me particularly grateful for it when you sit and watch something that you have had front row seats to and we have had a front row seat to the history of it…I am not ready to give up mine yet.”
At the end of the interview, Greenberg gave some praise to the hosts of PTI and also some advice to those trying to make it into the industry by following the example of these two men.
“If you wonder what those guys are like, they are exactly like that,” Greenberg said. “They are exactly the way that they are on television and that’s why they are so successful. You can’t put that stuff on. You can be phony for a short period of time. The phonies have very short careers. The people that are genuinely themselves are the ones who become PTI, as significant as figures of what they do that has ever been.”