Mike Golic tackles diabetes; talks about Andy Reid, Eagles chances

Not going to the doctor is a normal thing for guys. Males, especially former professional athletes, just don’t see a need for it as long as they feel fairly healthy.

So it took a nudge from his wife, Christine, to get Mike Golic to go for a routine check-up. That one visit has turned out to be a life-changing moment for the 48-year-old Golic, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes six years ago.

“I went one time and I was way overweight, and my father [former NFL star Bob Golic] was a type 2 diabetic, and I was diagnosed with it, so it was still a bit of a shock to my system,” said Golic.

Golic, co-host of ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning show, spoke to a small group of others dealing with diabetes Thursday at City Fitness on 21st and South Street. The former Eagles defensive tackle has teamed up with the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) and Merck to launch The Blood Sugar Basics Game Plan, a step-by-step program to manage diabetes. Golic is on a mission to raise awareness for the disease, which claims 26 million Americans.

“I had to really change my lifestyle overall, whether I had it or not, and this was kind of a rude awakening to do it, and I had no one to blame but myself,” Golic said.

The first thing he changed was the way he ate. Golic was tipping the scales at 315 pounds before he was diagnosed, but he’s down to about 265. The “rude awakening” has also forced him to think about his two sons, Mike Jr. and Jake, who play football at Notre Dame.

“Could they be predisposed to it?,” Golic said. “Could they be putting themselves in a position where they’re going to have to deal with it? So they need to be educated, too.”

Golic’s heart goes out to Andy Reid

Mike Golic is an engaging radio personality, and a great voice for educating diabetes sufferers. First and foremost, however, he’s a football fan.

In eight NFL seasons — six of them in Philadelphia — Golic racked up 11.5 sacks, with all but one of those coming in an Eagles uniform. He’s stayed close to the organization in recent years, especially to the team’s head coach, Andy Reid.

Golic, a father of three (two sons, one daughter), said his heart went out to the coach and his family in the aftermath of the passing of Reid’s eldest son, Garrett.

“I can’t even fathom it … so to say that he should handle it a certain way is wrong,” Golic said. “There is no right or wrong way to deal with it. If he still wasn’t coaching now, to be at home, I wouldn’t have a problem with that … to choose to come back when he did, I have no problem with that. It’s his choice, he’s the one dealing with it.”

Golic didn’t attend the funeral, but he has sent Reid a few text messages.

“We know each other very well,” Golic said. “I’ve always had a lot of respect for him. He’s a great guy and an excellent football coach, and my heart just goes out to him and his family, it’s just horrific.”

Predicting the Eagles season

When asked for a prediction on the 2012 Eagles, Golic’s face lit up. He’s watched the preseason games, including last week’s sideline blow-up between Andy Reid and Cullen Jenkins, and he really likes what he’s seen.

“Certainly everyone sees the Cullen Jenkins [incident], but that happens,” Golic said. “It happens more with assistants, sometimes a head coach will go at it, so that’s nothing. Anything can happen during a game to flare up and then, after the game, it’s over.”

Golic cited an improved defense, with Fletcher Cox and DeMeco Ryans clogging the middle, along with a superior edge rush featuring Jason Babin and Trent Cole, for his optimism. Offensively, well, it all depends on the sturdiness of the offensive line and the health of Mike Vick.

“The O-line can be a concern, but you got great offensive talent and Vick is going to be Vick,” Golic said. “He’s going to run and do what he does and sometimes you’re going to have to hold your breath.”

Golic wouldn’t give a number of wins, but he expects the Birds to go deep into the postseason.

“I’m going to predict them to go far, I really am,” Golic said. “I like the talent.”

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