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ESPN’s Mike Greenberg talks to LI kids

ESPN host Mike Greenberg, center, with Kidsday reporters,

ESPN host Mike Greenberg, center, with Kidsday reporters, from left, Christopher DiFilippo, Noah Samonas, Brayden Rowe and Maisie Gallagher, at the ESPN studio at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We interviewed ESPN talk show host and children’s book author Mike Greenberg recently at the ESPN studios in Manhattan. Before we met Mike, we walked around the brand-new studios and checked out the different sets that Mike broadcasts his show from. The studio is at the South Street Seaport. From the interview room we could see the Brooklyn Bridge and see the boats on the East River.

Mike surprised us when he walked in the room eating his lunch. He was so nice to take time out of his busy day to talk with us.

Mike and his wife, Stacy Steponate Greenberg, recently wrote the children’s book, “MVP: Most Valuable Puppy” (Aladdin Books, Simon & Schuster). The book is about a dog named Phoebe who has a pink tail and she lives with her family: the Man with the Beard, the Lady Who Feeds Her, the Baby Brother, and her best human friend and sister, the Girl with Curly Hair. Phoebe has to convince her sister that it’s OK to try new things and that you don’t always have to be perfect. Mike told us that all the proceeds from book sales go to Heidi’s Angels, an organization that he and his wife created to help fight pediatric cancer. We also found out that the characters in the book represent his real-life family.

During our interview, we learned that Phoebe’s tail is pink to honor Mike’s wife’s friend Heidi, who fought breast cancer and died in 2009, and that color represents breast cancer awareness. Phoebe is Mike’s real-life dog and they really dyed her tail pink!

We talked with Mike about his favorite book that was not written by him, and said he really liked “The World According to Garp.” He was very inspired by the author, John Irving. He said that writing and reading are very important and they are an art form that many people don’t do enough of anymore because they spend too much time playing video games. He encourages his 15-year-old son to read more to help him learn new things. We should keep reading and writing even though it can be very hard to do at times.

Mike also told us a little about his family. He joked around with us and said that his younger brother is four years younger than him and the younger brother is 16. We figured out that would mean Mike is 20, which we know is not true! Mike is actually 50 years old! His mom and dad have always been very supportive of his career choices. Mike’s favorite movie is “Beauty and the Beast.” He always loved watching Disney movies when he was a kid, and he likes the newest live-action version of the movie.

We asked Mike who he thought would win the NBA finals, and he said the Golden State Warriors. He told us that if Steph Curry comes back healthy, it would help bring the Warriors the championship. We talked to Mike about what he thought was the worst moment in Jets’ history. He thought it was when they lost the 1998 AFC Championship Game against the Broncos.

While we were in the interview room with Mike, he told us that Jalen Rose is his best friend at ESPN. Jalen is a former NBA basketball player and co-host with Mike on the morning show, “Get Up!” He called for Jalen to come into the room to meet us. We were so surprised when he walked into the room because we didn’t expect to meet him, plus he is really tall! He shook our hands and even asked that someone take a picture of him with the kids. After we met Jalen, Mike brought us back into the studio and talked about the set where he records his morning show with Jalen and Michelle Beadle. He invited us to sit at the host desk and to have a picture taken with him. That was one of the highlights of our day!

We really enjoyed our interview with Mike Greenberg and we learned a lot from him. He knows a lot about sports which makes him very successful at his job. He reminded us that we should always choose a job that we love because it is something we will have to do every day when we get older. We should take our time making that decision and just be sure it is something we will love to do and be good at it.

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