Chat with Howie Schwab
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN's Howie Schwab stops by to help celebrate Jimmy V Week here at ESPN.
In the 18 years since The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and Jim Valvano, the foundation has raised more than $100 million. The V Foundation started with the dream of Valvano, the former NC State basketball coach and award-winning broadcaster, as he battled cancer. For more information, or to donate to the V Foundation, call 1-800-4-JimmyV or go here. Every cent of every donation goes directly to cancer research.
Schwab started at ESPN as a researcher and has worked in a variety of roles for ESPN. His former show "Stump the Schwab" pitted "The Sultan of Sports Trivia" against opponents who would try to knock off Schwab.
Send your questions now and join Schwab Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Howie Schwab (2:04 PM)
I am happy to be here as part of Jimmy V week at ESPN. I was fortunate enough to work with Jimmy behind the scenes in the studio here. He was a special person, a guy who was fun to be around. Being with Jimmy V and Dickie V together was a blast. It was sad to have Jimmy go so fast, so prematurely. Years later, I still remember a number of our conversations. We had a lot in common in that we were both from Long Island (I'm from Baldwin, he was from Seaford). He coached Iona with Jeff Ruland and company, I attended St. John's. Jimmy's legacy is the V Foundation as we all want to see Cancer get a big L. Let's have a great chat for the next 45 minutes or so.
Tom (New York)
What made Jimmy V so special?
Howie Schwab (2:06 PM)
I feel his personality made him special. He really enjoyed life, he loved his family, loved sports, was so passionate when he discussed just about anything. He was a true New Yorker in my opinion. He cared about people too. I remember he said one time that if you are happy somewhere, you should stay there. That was in reference to other coaching jobs. I know there are some guys out there who switched jobs, it did not work out and they probably are sorry they left a successful situation. Jimmy V definitely had opinions and he let them be known.
Ted (Long Island)
Do you think college coaches today are different than Jimmy was? It seems like you have fewer personalities out there on the sidelines.
Howie Schwab (2:09 PM)
I agree that there not as many flashy personalities like Jimmy V. I was in school when Looie Carnesecca was at St. John's. There were guys like Al McGuire and Abe Lemons out there too. It is a little different today but that is ok. There are so many good coaches in college basketball today, so many outstanding programs that are consistent winners. You look at schools going to the NCAA tourney every season for over a decade, schools like Duke, Kansas, Michigan State for example, and that is impressive.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
Schwab, you are my idol, where did you learn so much crap??
Howie Schwab (2:11 PM)
I have been lucky to work here at ESPN for 23 years. I have lived through a lot of sports, and I have been fortunate to attend a number of great games over the years. I am very passionate about sports and I am the kind of person who could flip on a high school game on DirectTV if it is close. I can watch anything at any time and enjoy it. The trivia stuff was something ESPN asked me to do and I told them, if I win, great, if I lose, that's OK too. I did not want to put pressure on myself. I think that when you are a competitive person, you want to win but if you don't, and you tried your best, that's fine too.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What NCAA Men's College Basketball Teams will Play in the Jimmy V Classic this year?
Howie Schwab (2:15 PM)
Thanks for asking Chris. There is a great doubleheader at Madison Square Garden next Tuesday night. I am looking forward to being there as it is going to be exceptional. Memphis and Kansas meet in the first game, a rematch of the national championship game a few years back. Then there is a battle of great coaches as Michigan State battles Syracuse. Jim Boeheim is a Hall of Famer and Tom Izzo will end up enshrined in Springfield in the near future. There are some great players like Marcus Morris, Kalin Lucas and Kris Joseph in action. It is also a special and memorable night because they run Jimmy V's ESPY speech on the scoreboard at the Garden, and Dickie V gives a speech on the need to beat the dreaded disease of cancer. I hope you can get down there.
Jason (Seattle - the 206)
favorite Jimmy V moment/memory
Howie Schwab (2:17 PM)
Good question. One of my favorites was the time Jimmy V begged the producers to do a golf highlight on TV. Wow, that was a riot, but he was good at it and it was a lot of fun. Of course non ESPN the moment when he won the championship in 1983, watching him jump up and down, looking for a player to hug. Another favorite moment was one people would not think of, but it was personally rewarding. In 1985, in Denver at the regional finals, St. John's beat NC State to make the Final Four in Lexington...sorry Wolfpack fans.
Brandon (Buchanan Va)
23 Years! thats great Schwab! In your opinion Who will win the jimmy V classic this year?
Howie Schwab (2:20 PM)
Thanks. I have met a lot of great people and worked with so many wonderful individuals, including Jimmy V of course, over the years. The Jimmy V is a one-day doubleheader. I would go with Kansas over Memphis and Michigan State over Syracuse. The main reason is experience. Memphis is pretty young and a trip to New York City could be a little distracting. The Spartans and Orange is a pick 'em for me. I think Kalin Lucas can be the difference-maker.
What do you think about the BCS?
Howie Schwab (2:23 PM)
I have been a fan of a playoff for years, but I understand those who say it would diminish the regular season. I feel a playoff would give all of the top teams a chance to compete for the championship. It would be tough if you rooted for TCU. It looks like Auburn and Oregon for the title this year, yet the Horned Frogs did everything asked of them. The BCS was established to put 1 vs. 2 together for the championship. We would not have had USC-Texas or Miami-Ohio State for example if the BCS was not in place. I just feel a playoff would be more fair for everyone. Then again, if you had an eight-team playoff, teams nine and 10 would go nuts.
Which coach do you think is closest to Jimmy V's flair?
Howie Schwab (2:24 PM)
Since Rollie Massimino is still coaching at Northwood down in Florida, I will throw his name out there.
Trey Jones (Smithfield, NC)
How many bags of chips should I buy for Steelers/Ravens and Jets/Patriots games? 10?
Howie Schwab (2:27 PM)
You will have to watch First Take on ESPN2 on Friday! Seriously, I am leaning to 8 bags for the weekend because we don't do the Monday Night Football game as part of Couch Potato. Those two NFL games will be great because of the intensity. The first Ravens-Steelers game was so emotional, so much hitting, great stuff. I love watching guys lay it all out on the field, showing passion and fighting hard. Pats-Jets will be similar though I think the other game will be more intense on the field. I know Ryan vs. Belichick will be hyped up a lot, as well as Tom Brady's comments about hating the Jets and not watching the HBO show Hard Knocks before the season.
Ricky D. (New Jersey)
What do you think of the Big East this season?
Howie Schwab (2:32 PM)
I felt going into the season the Big East was below the Big Ten. It probably still is, but the Big East won six early-season tourneys. You look at Villanova, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Georgetown as the top clubs. I am happy that my alma mater, St. John's, won out at Alaska (down 10 at half vs. Arizona State in the finals and rallied to win by 9). and Steve Lavin has done a great job rebuilding things; there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm surrounding the program now. Connecticut beat Michigan State and Kentucky en route to the Maui title. Notre Dame is certainly better than expected after winning the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. Tim Abromaitis deserves a lot more publicity. I saw Marquette in person out in Kansas City and Buzz Williams' club will fight and scrap every game. The Golden Eagles are physical and will be a tough out come tourney time. Louisville has athletes too and Rick Pitino seems to be fired up about this group. Big East looks like a solid number two behind the Big Ten.
What are the chances of more "Stump the Schwab" shows?
Howie Schwab (2:33 PM)
I don't think that will happen. That's fine, we had a good four-season run of 80 shows and I enjoyed it. I still host a few events for charities and for ESPN radio, sponsored by different people. We also do a modified game with athletes down at ESPN-The Weekend at Disney which is a lot of fun. Thanks for asking.
Adam R (Albany)
Hey Schwabie, whatever happened to "Stump the Schwab?" That was the single greatest sports game show ever! I'm almost 20 now, and people were telling me I belonged on the show before I was 13. Is there ANY hope of it coming back?
Howie Schwab (2:34 PM)
Sorry you missed out.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
How was it like losing for the 1st time on Stump the Schwab?
Howie Schwab (2:36 PM)
I had no problem with it. The gentleman who beat me in season one was Curt Spear from Virginia, a great guy who knows his stuff. I edged him in the rematch in the final show of that season but Curt was a great competitor and I was fortunate to win. Like I said earlier, I had the attitude that if I won I won, and if I lost I lost. I was 64-16 in the 80 shows and when I tell people I lost 16 times they are surprised. Hey, there were a lot of good players out there who knew their stuff. I could have lost a number of other shows. It was a lot of fun.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Do you think ESPN could start the NFL's fastest man cometition again. How fun would it be to see guys like Mike Vick, Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles to name a few going head to head in sprinting competions? "Who knows maybee Herschel Walker would come out of retirement to compete in it one last time"?
Howie Schwab (2:38 PM)
That would be interesting. Something to pass on to our programming department. I would go with Chris Johnson though I wonder if Darrell Green would come out of retirement ... he was in great shape at ESPN The Weekend in the past. I used to love watching shows like that, The Superstars, etc. good stuff.
Donnie (Sarasota, Florida)
Do you go to Dickie V's gala for the V Foundation? I thought I saw you there a couple of years ago.
Howie Schwab (2:40 PM)
I am glad you asked. That is a great event down at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota and Dick does an incredible job, raising over $1 million for the V Foundation. This coming year (2011), Dickie V has Roy Williams and John Calipari being honored. Over 700 people show up and it is an amazing, emotional night. Mark Herzlich of Boston College and USC superfan Jake Olson were honored last year as well as Tom Izzo and Tony Dungy and there was no a dry eye in the house. Raising money to fight cancer has become a legacy of Dickie V too. He cares so much about the cause, because of his friend Jimmy V.
Alex (Dukie Fan)
Who do you like to win the national championship this season? I know you have to like my team!!!
Howie Schwab (2:43 PM)
I do like Duke. I saw them in person in KC and they are going to be tough to beat. You have veteran leadership in Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, Kyrie Irving is so quick and he can dish the rock. Mason Plumlee has really improved and is a factor up front. Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins can provide a spark off of the bench, providing instant offense. Dawkins looks like his all-around game has improved dramatically too. I am looking forward to seeing the game against Michigan State tonight.
Jason (Seattle - the 206)
are my UW Huskies for real this year? BOW DOWN TO WASHINGTON....Final Four, Elite 8, Sweet 16...def Pac 10 Champs to say the least
Howie Schwab (2:44 PM)
I think losing Pondexter is a blow but Thomas will lead the Huskies to the Pac-10 title and probably Sweet 16. With the right draw, maybe the Elite 8. I have a lot of respect for the job done by Lorenzo Romar.
What do you currently do at ESPN?
Howie Schwab (2:46 PM)
I am a Coordinating Producer working on a number of different things. I work a lot with Dickie V, with his website and information for games. I work on the ESPY awards, the NBA and NFL draft, an intern orientation program, all different things. I still have a lot of fun here. I am very lucky.
Will it be smart for the rangers to spend alot of money this year in the free agency or rely on the young talent that gained experience this past year
Howie Schwab (2:47 PM)
I think a blend of both. It would be wise to try to re-sign Lee. The team should work on bringing back its free agents.
Howie Schwab (2:48 PM)
Thanks for all of your questions. As I said earlier, Jimmy V was a special person and his legacy is the fight against cancer. Ilost my father-in-law a few years ago and I understand how tough it is. For those interested, call 1-800-4-JIMMY-V doe more info on the battle against the disease. Have a great day.