Mike Golic was 42 years old when he first learned he had Type 2 diabetes, the same age his father was diagnosed with the disease. That’s where the similarity of their experience ended.
“The way he chose to deal with it is to keep it to himself,” Golic, the former NFL defensive lineman who has become a signature voice on ESPN’s morning radio show, Mike & Mike. “When I was diagnosed with it, I decided I’m not going to go down that road. I’m going to include everybody.”
Golic likened it to playing on a football team.
“My coach is going to be my doctor, and he’s going to game plan what I’m going to do,” said Golic, whose father lived until age 84. “My wife and my three kids are going to be my teammates.”
Golic, now 54, has gotten his condition under control and has now become a spokesman for a pharmaceutical manufacturer which manufactures the diabetes drug, Invokana, that Golic uses. “I want to be very public with this and help other people. If this is what you’re diagnosed with, you need to get your family involved and see what game plan with your doctor works.”
Golic, who played nine NFL seasons, including six with the Eagles, is especially interested in making sure other former players who may be diagnosed with the disease are made aware of treatment options.
“I catch up to a lot of my former teammates at Super Bowls, and I see what guys are dealing with,” said Golic. “We’re used to dealing with sprains, breaks and strains, but Type 2 diabetes is something different. We all need an education on it. I think in this day and age, I’m happy to find out in talking to guys that I’ve played with and against is that they’re communicating and it’s not something that’s hidden. Today, people are so much more open, and I’m happy to see that . . .
“My whole thing is to get out there and be a voice and say, ‘Listen, this is what you’ve been diagnosed with. Get your game plan down, and get your teammates involves.”
Golic has lost weight in recent years, even before being diagnosed with the disease.
“When I was finished playing (in 1993), I was 300 pounds,” he said. “I hated working out so I stopped. One day, I literally walked out of the shower and caught my reflection in the mirror. I looked like a vanilla milkshake. I was probably 320. I lost weight over the years, and I dropped down to about 260. Now I’m about 240. Between the meds that are working incredibly well and exercising, I feel as good as I’ve felt in years.”
Golic plans to continue doing his morning show, despite reports that co-host Mike Greenberg is about to leave for a new television venture at ESPN. He hopes his son, Mike Jr., who has been a regular on the show, will continue to have a major role.
“Nothing is in stone at this point, but I would imagine I will continue doing this show, whoever it would be with,” Golic said. “I’m been doing the show forever. Greenie is looking to do something else. It’s been a long time with the show. Everything changes. It’s been fun working with my son. Just to continue possibly doing something with him would be good.”
Golic, who started the show in 1998 and has been with Greenberg since 2000, isn’t worried about any potential lack of chemistry once Greenberg leaves.
“We went through 13 different people from October of 1999 and January of 2000,” Golic said. “Greeny wasn’t even a candidate at that point, but it all worked out. Now we move on.”