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As the youngest of three boys, and with Bob being as successful as he was, there were certainly some comparisons, especially when I followed in his footsteps at Notre Dame. But the way I saw it, Bob may have blazed the trail through high school and college, but I had the ability, interest and drive as well. I knew I got to Notre Dame because of my own achievements, not my brother's.
By the time I came on the scene, Bob had already been there, done that. Believe me, I was called Bob a lot more than he was called Mike. But I'd just correct the person, let them feel bad for calling me the wrong name for a couple of seconds, and move on. I was ready to blaze my own trail. There was no competitive jealousy at all.
I looked up to Bob and what he accomplished, so much that I wore his old jersey, No. 55. At that time, a card was placed in our lockers listing past greats who wore that number. Of course, listed on my card was my brother Bob. I couldn't have been more proud.
Some people questioned my decision to wear No. 55 because they thought I might be putting excess pressure on myself to live up to expectations. But I didn't see it that way. To me, the decision was very natural, not to compete with Bob or try to prove anything; I thought that since Bob had a great career with No. 55, so could I. I chose to wear his number out of respect and pride.
Although it was sometimes addressed in the media, Bob and I never looked at it as a situation that needed discussing. Sure, he teased me about it all the time. It got to be a bit of a joke, but he never sat me down and said, "Hey, don't feel pressure to live up to what I did or to fill my shoes." We'd just laugh about it, so it was never really an issue.
Sometimes I got tired of hearing "Bob this, Bob that." But I never got mad at someone for mentioning him. Certainly, in no way would I ever feel resentment towards my brother because of it. It's natural to make the comparisons. But eventually, there comes a time when you want to be recognized for your own accomplishments. Mike Golic played at Notre Dame from 1981-84 and then played in the NFL. He serves as a color man for ESPN's college football and an analyst for NFL 2Night.