The book is not about one of the nation's most successful talk show gigs, but rather about a family, a husband and a father. Reviewers have said the book resembles 'Seinfeld' and 'Men Are from Mars [Women Are from Venus.']Sports enthusiasts will not find ESPN mentioned in the book, nor is there one word about his talk-show partner, Mike Golic.
Greenberg said when he first announced he was writing a memoir, his employer was concerned. Rightfully so, he said. ESPN didn't want to see some kind of tell-all, a sort of insider look behind the scenes.
This book is definitely not that, rather it is more about the everyday, albeit funny, inner workings of raising a family in a world of working parents. He said ESPN has been supportive of the project every step of the way.
Greenberg said he always wanted to write, and this book is actually his third. The other two are unpublished, he said. In the third grade I would write short stories and read them in front of class.
In a way, he still does that, except now instead of classmates he has 3 million listeners each week, and he is able to talk about his love of sports.
Greeny, as his listeners affectionately call him, graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and immediately entered broadcast journalism as a production assistant working mostly in Chicago radio before being plucked to work at one of the plums in sports journalism. Prior to that he spent a summer internship at the Jackson Citizen Patriot, where he figured out he didn't want to be a newspaper writer.
Greenberg writes almost exclusively about his family and is careful to not embarrass anyone but himself, but that does not mean he doesn't have strong opinions about sports.
Late in the book, he briefly touches on some disturbing trends he sees in professional sports, including billionaire owners who can hold, kidnap and move a team if they don't get a great deal from a city.
This trend is getting worse and will continue to get worse, he said.
He admits to being a fan of the Big 10 with the notable exception of Iowa, which, when Greenberg attended Northwestern, would always run up the score in football. To get him going, ask about Hayden Fry, who coached the Hawkeyes for 20 years.
Also ask about him about Tom Izzo, a frequent guest on ESPN's Sports Central. I have the highest regard for Tom Izzo and admire him as a coach and family man.
The trigger for the book was a visit to a therapist who suggested he keep a daily journal of his thoughts. (Yep — here's a guy who has millions of listeners paying someone to listen to him.) She told him to write, which he did, and ended up turning it into a successful book.
Greenberg is not one of those superstars who shun fans. I never get tired of talking about sports, he said. I don't understand stars who work hard, get famous and then bitch about things like fans that come along with it.
Many of his listeners might be surprised about the content of his book.
It's not a sports book at all. He said he has many women readers who tell him that the book provides a different understanding of the man in their life.
Greenberg limits his personal reading to almost exclusively fiction, reading a sports book only when it is required for his show.
Greeny wakes up each day at 3:45 a.m. to make the drive to his live show and is back home to pick up his kids from school three days a week, something that is very important to him.
His Father's Day book tour keeps him on the road on weekends, but on the upside, it will probably pay for a month or so at the Jersey Shore.
Whether sports fan or humor reader, there will be something for everyone when Greeny rolls into town — and it won't take much to get him talking about his two great loves: sports and family.