Dad Of The Month!
How do you like living in Arizona?
I absolutely love it. We moved here in 2004. I grew up in the Midwest, born in Cincinnati, OH and went to college at Miami of Ohio. I was a Mass Communications major and played a lot of Hockey in college. I lived in Sarasota, FL for 3 years before landing in Phoenix. The city is clean and the weather is great!
You have done so much in the broadcasting world: Hockey, the Red Bull Air Race World Series, Shaq Vs., Football and (of course) the UFC- What got you interested in becoming a play-by-play announcer?
I used to sing in a band in 8th grade and I remember our act did the Jerry Lewis telethon. After it was over they invited us to watch the 11 o’clock news broadcast and I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. I knew right then that I wanted to get into broadcasting. I worked at a student radio station and even did my internship at the local NBC affiliate in Cincinnati.
I've been a fan of MMA since 1995 and even met Royce Gracie at his gym in Torrance in 1996, but I couldn't have imagined how big it would become. Did you ever think MMA and specifically the UFC would explode like it has over the past few years?
No. MMA’s growth really surprised me. I got involved in the dark days when we would have 4000 people in the stands and 3922 of the tickets were comped. Every event I did I thought could be the last one. Then the Fertitta’s bought the organization, and I saw the change coming. They had the enthusiasm, belief, funds and the commitment that changed the game.
What are your ultimate ambitions for your career?
I always wanted to be the network guy assigned to do the Superbowl or World Series, that and the Olympics. My dream did come true though, with the UFC. I couldn’t ask for a better job and I want to continue to do it and get better. The UFC is my Superbowl and Stanley Cup game 7. It’s all about getting better and entertaining the fans. I would still love to have the opportunity to do the Olympics before my career is done.
What do you drive, when you're not flying or in rental cars?
A Chevrolet Suburban LTZ, and it’s jammed with theatre make-up and hockey equipment!
What's the last movie you saw? How would you rate it?
“Up in the Air” with George Clooney. I laughed at a lot of the familiar scenes in airports! Before that I saw “Faster” with the Rock. I introduced Kim to Dwayne Johnson and I told her that you are her favorite. He looked at her and said that she was very kind for saying that and she said, “No, you really are my favorite.” The Rock is a great guy.
How long have you been married to Kim?
15 years in July.
Kids names and ages?
Kole loves the UFC and is into Hockey. Kiarra is all about the Theatre.
Describe your favorite family vacation?
Every summer we go up to Lake Christina in British Columbia. We have a tiny cabin on the lake and watch movies on a 10” screen with the family. It’s a great getaway for us all. Hockey is big for us as well. The parents of our kids’ friends become our circle of friends. We took the kids to London last October for the UFC and we also saw 3 musicals. Riding a double-decker bus, seeing Big Ben, pretty cool stuff for the kids. We are really involved with the kids.
What's your favorite thing to do with your children?
Taking my kids to experience things moves me the most. Taboo of the Black-Eyed Peas called Kiarra before her audition for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. He encouraged her, told her that she would be great and she would get the part. Live your dreams. I have introduced Kole to Shaq and many of the Hockey stars that he loves to watch. I am blessed with unique access, and I want to make sure I use that to give my kids great experiences. I really enjoy watching my kid’s kick-butt at something they love. I don’t want to miss those things.
Advice for new or soon-to-be dads?
Step back and be a part of the journey. The time you get with your kids is very short and it will be gone before you know it. Everything you do you are hopefully doing for them. Don’t let it slide away, be a part of their lives. Take the time. I have had a lot of dreams come true and done a lot of cool things, but nothing has brought me to my knees like watching my daughter play Dorothy last summer in the Wizard of Oz, or watching Kole make a great pass at center ice. Seeing your kids have success in their passions is the best feeling in the world. Kim and I love being involved in our kids lives.
As a public figure I am sure you get a lot of praise as well as a lot of criticism. How do you handle that and keep a level head?
You obviously have to consider the source. It’s human nature for people to throw out the negative much quicker than the positive. I read some of the stuff people write about me and I do think about it. Was there anything valid in what they were saying? I respect the fans and they can catch something I didn’t even know I did. I am always looking to improve. I try to have fun with it. If you write something intelligently and have an opinion, I respect that.
What lessons has being a public figure taught you that you can pass along to your children?
Put in the reps, do the work and follow your dreams.
What life lessons do you want to be sure to pass along to your kids?
If you have a dream, go after it. Be willing to make the sacrifices it takes to make that dream come true. Continue to be enthusiastic and work hard at it. Always be the hardest working and most passionate person in the group. Put in an effort, pursue your passions and make the sacrifice. Don’t let anybody tell you, “No.” You will get a chance and a door to open, be prepared for when that happens.
What are your major challenges as a Dad?
My biggest challenge is not to come home and be too much of a softie. Bedtime is 8:30pm at our house, but if Kim is out with the girls you will probably see Kole lying next to me on the couch at 9pm watching a game. The Challenge is finding balance when I get back home between being the softie and being the heavy. Times away are sacrifices, but those sacrifices let us take the kids to London, NYC and Lake Christina.
What role models did you have of a Dad growing up?
My Dad always pushed me really hard and wanted me to excel. When they stop yelling at you that means they don’t think you can do it anymore. My Mom always taught me to be nice and to always be polite. No matter how many people you meet as a celebrity, they will only meet you once. In the broadcasting business, I always admired how Dick Enberg made Merlin Olson the star, and Pat Summerall made John Madden the star. Steve Fizziack and Bill Clemente were great influences on my career. My High School hockey coach is the meanest SOB alive. He pushed us…hard. And there is something to be said for that.
What is your website?
I have a facebook page, Mike Goldberg (public figure.) I get a lot of messages and I try to answer them all. I appreciate the fans and understand and respect that they have opinions too.
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