Mike Golic, the former Eagles lineman turned radio celebrity, was emphatic about several things Wednesday.
Let Michael Vick be Vick.
Andy Reid is a great coach.
The Eagles have a great chance this season.
And he's got a new game now, controlling his diabetes, and a new coach, his doctor.
Golic, 48, cohost of ESPN's popular Mike and Mike in the Morning show, went to City Fitness on South Street to talk about BloodSugarBasics.com, a website sponsored by Merck and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Golic is one of 26 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, an epidemic that often strikes the overweight and obese.
He met with about 20 others with the disease Wednesday, and it became a group-therapy session.
"I kept eating like I was playing, but I wasn't playing," said Golic, who ballooned to 315 pounds. "I couldn't believe what a regular portion was. A bird couldn't eat that."
The group laughed in agreement. Golic is now 265 pounds, and his diabetes is under control. He told the men in the audience, "What gets in the way a lot is pride. We don't want to accept what it is and that we have it. . . . Throw pride out the window and deal with it."
When a chef at the meeting said that he is married to a pastry chef and that eating less and eating right is so difficult, Golic shook his head in sympathy and asked, "Could you be any more behind the eight-ball?"
Farhad Zangeneh, a physician appearing with Golic, told the group to eat smart, eat slow, eat less, and exercise more.
As for the Eagles and the coming season, Golic was firm: "Michael Vick shouldn't change his stripes. He shouldn't change his style. Absolutely not. . . . You can't ask him to not take off and gain 13 yards on a scramble. A lot of being a football player is instinct. Instinct takes over."
He said injury to Vick is a huge risk, but that's the risk the Eagles have chosen to take.
"I think they have a really talented team," he said. "They have the talent to go a really long way. A huge question mark is obviously Michael Vick. Can he stay healthy?"
Golic said he loves Reid, has gotten to know him well over the years, and said the quality of the man was underscored by the outpouring of love and support from all around the league after the death of his son Garrett.
"Here's what amazes me," Golic said. "Buddy Ryan is unbelievably loved in this city, and I get it. But how many playoff games has he won? I'll help you out. Zero. Andy Reid has taken the team to how many NFC championship games? He hasn't closed the deal. I get that. But, are you kidding me?"
Asked which was more fun, hosting a national radio show that reaches tens of millions of listeners or playing professional football, he answered immediately, aggressively, like a defensive lineman off the snap.
"My epitaph is not going to be I was a talk-show host. It's going to be I was a football player. I'd suit up now on Sundays if somebody wanted me. . . . I love what I do. I absolutely do," he said of his radio gig, "but I'd take football over it in a heartbeat."