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Tailgating 101 With ESPN’s MIKE and MIKE

Julia Johnston

Mike and Mike

College News talks tailgating 101 with ESPN’s MIKE and MIKE. When it comes to sports-talk radio, one name comes to mind: Mike.

Well, it’s actually two Mike’s in particular, Golic and Greenberg, the hosts of ESPN’s radio talk show Mike and Mike in the Morning. The duo, who have been together since 1998, moved into television in 2005, when their show began airing on ESPN2.

It’s safe to say these guys know what they’re talking about when it comes to football and they are downright aficionados when it comes to tailgating. Mike and Mike, who recently partnered with Lee Jeans, bestow upon us the holy rules of tailgating. Superstitions and fashion advice ensue!

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Let’s start off with a big one: what city do you think has the best tailgate reputation? And why?

Golic: Well, like you’ll see in the Lee Jeans Survey, so many people say Green Bay, which is a fantastic place. I got to play there, when I was in the NFL, and it’s like a religious experience for a player. The tailgating is incredible because of the smell of brats everywhere. For me, I like Kansas City, I’m a big barbecue guy, and I love the smell of that stadium and all the barbecued foods. I lean to the red of Kansas City.

Greenberg: And I like San Francisco. If you’ve ever gone to a football tailgate at San Francisco, they’ve got lobster on the grill, they got Caesar salad. They’ve got good white wine. As far as I’m concerned, we’re dressing up our tailgate a little bit and that’s what I like. That’s what I appreciate. You take your basics and you dress them up. So you have Lee Jeans, which are comfortable enough for Golic but they’re stylish enough that you can dress them up with a nice shirt. You can put a blazer on if you like. An open neck. You can wear some boots or something like that. So you look good when you’re going to your tailgate. You take selfies and you’re feeling good about yourself watching your team win.

Now onto to the more serious question: team jerseys. Should they be tucked in?

Greenberg: Oh my goodness, no.

Golic: Oh no.

Greenberg: If anyone, besides one of the players in the game, has a tucked in a jersey, they require immediate assistance.

Golic: Anyone like that stops at my tailgate, I give them the move along sign. Just move it along you’re not stopping at my tailgate.

Do you think that superstition dictates the way people dress across the country at tailgates?

Greenberg: Certainly does for me.

Golic: No.

Greenberg: I’ll tell you a quick story. 1982, the New York Jets made a run all the way to the AFC Championship game. My family ate dinner—the same dinner—in the same restaurant, every single night. Pete’s Tavern on Irving Place, in Lower Manhattan. I had the same dinner every single night, spaghetti with sausages, because they were making this run. I believe strongly in that. So if your team is winning, you go to the tailgate, you got your Lee Jeans. You wear the same shirt, whatever it was you were wearing the first time, you keep wearing it. Whatever time you arrived, that’s when you arrive. Whatever it is that you ate and drank, you eat and drink. Until they lose. Then you can reset, but until then the karma is working, Don’t mess with it.

Golic: Not me, I wear whatever I want. Eat whatever I want. And I don’t worry about all that. It’s too much work for me.

What about tailgating food staples?

Golic: For me the staples are: hot dogs, brats, cheeseburgers, and a beer in each hand. And I think I’m good.

Greenberg: Yeah, and I don’t mind any of those. I like the staples, but I like to dress them up a little bit. If you’re going to do hamburgers or hot dogs, why don’t you caramelize some onions? Why don’t you roast some peppers? Why don’t you do a little something to dress it up? Which, again, goes back to our theme, you’ve got the comfort food, but let’s make it a little more stylish. You’ve got the comfortable jeans from Lee, let’s make them a little more stylish. As the case may be, in this case, Lee has taken care of that for you. They’re stylish enough to wear anywhere.

Pro or college football, what fans throw the most epic tailgates in your opinion?

Golic: I’d go college. Pro is nice, but you’re in the stadium, you’re in the parking lot of the stadium in a big city. In college, you’re in a parking lot, but then you have the campus. You can walk around and check it out. If you’re school is visiting another college, you go to that, you see a different campus. You can walk around. There’s just more of that collegiate experience. And the biggest key, is you can tailgate all day Saturday and Saturday night, sleep in on Sunday. If you tailgate all day Sunday, you got to get up for work Monday and that could be difficult.

Greenberg: I tend to be more of a pro football fan than a college football fan, though I’m actually coming around on that a little bit. But as far as I’m concerned, tailgating is such a unique part of Americana, I’ll take my football tailgating Saturdays, Sundays, or any day of the week.

Thank you so much for talking with us. Where can we find more about the survey results you mentioned?

Golic: Survey results are very easy to find, just like the name of our show is Mike and Mike, this can’t be any easier:

Greenberg: Even Golic can spell it.

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