Talk about living the dream.
For most guys, hanging out in the locker rooms at the Super Bowl or World Series, or spending your time with Michael Jordan during his heyday as a player, would be considered the fulfillment of every sports fan's desire. For ESPN's Mike Greenberg, it's just another day at the office.
Greenberg, in addition to being a frequent anchor for ESPN's "SportsCenter," is co-host of ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning," which can also be seen on ESPN2. Greenberg has written a best-selling book, " Why My Wife Thinks I'm An Idiot: The Life and Times of a Sportscaster Dad," a little slice of life featuring his light-hearted and humorous take on marriage, fatherhood, sports and lots of the daily foibles of his life.
Bankrate spoke with Greenberg about his love of sports, his financial dealings and how athletes are getting smarter in the way they handle money.
Bankrate: In your book, you portray your love of sports as really intense, and you say that it's because of sports' lack of importance in the world. Explain that.
Mike Greenberg: There's nothing in the world better than investing everything into something that means absolutely nothing. Sports, for me, is the best escapism we have. There are so many things going on in your life that are so difficult, there's nothing healthier than investing an enormous amount of energy into worrying about whether or not the Jets are going to draft Matt Leinart. Some may think that's a shallow perspective. I think it's the healthiest thing you can do.
Bankrate: The sports pages so often resemble the business and crime pages these days. Has that ruined your enjoyment of sports at all?
Mike Greenberg: It hurts it a lot, but the parts of sports that are really special, in my opinion, are unaffected by that. Those things, the business and the crime, are of far greater interest to me as a talk show host than as a sports fan. As a sports fan, I couldn't care less. What really matters about sports cannot be affected by some guy getting arrested for drugs or anything like that.
Bankrate: Do you find that it's cut into how much fans love sports?
Mike Greenberg: No. America's fascination with sports is at an all-time high. Look at the Internet, how the Web sites do, things like fantasy baseball and football, which are colossally popular, and TV ratings. If you look at the number of people watching these games, I think the overall level of interest in sports in this country has never been higher. And, the biggest increase has been in women. I would say, unscientifically, that the number of women into sports has quintupled over the last 15 years.