Chat with Michael Wilbon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN's Michael Wilbon stops by to chat and share his thoughts on the sports world.
Wilbon, a longtime Washington Post sports columnist, is co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, the popular weekday sports debate and discussion program, as well as an NBA studio analyst for both ESPN and ABC, in addition to writing for ESPNChicago.com. A pioneer in sports journalism, Wilbon was one of the first sports writers to broaden his success beyond newspapers to include television, radio and other media.
Send your questions now and join Wilbon Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Mike D (Westmont, IL)
The return of Wilbon chat and PTI!! What a great Monday...I know your not much of a Pre-Season fan but how do you think your Bears look? I think Cutler has looked decent...if the Line can give him 3 sec. to throw everytime I think we can compete
mike wilbon (1:17 PM)
We ARE back...PTI is back today at 5:30 eastern and I'm back chatting here and on .com sometime later this week...Summer is over, officially, when football returns for real...I don't count Weeks 1-3 of preseason; that's junk, mostly a waste of time except for some light viewing and the occassional interesting story...But it all starts now, as far as I'm concerned...college football begins in earnest this week...NFL teams are now getting serious, the U.S. Open, one of my favorite events, has already started in Flushing, N.Y. today...Baseball can sniff September...This is it...Even Kornheiser, after most of July and most of August off, is reportedly back on the PTI set this afternoon...So, if it sounds like I'm excited, I am...about everything except the prospects of the NBA returning anytime soon...It won't.
joe [via mobile]
Who is the best fit for the bulls at the sg?
mike wilbon (1:23 PM)
Okay, let's go over some ground rules which are going to upset a few of you and drive away some, which is, well, too bad. This isn't an all-purpose NBA chat...I'm not going to spend August, September, October answering tiny little questions about each and every NBA club, like, "who's the best SG for the Bulls" or "will the Warriors trade Monta Ellis?" I'm sure somebody somehwere is addressing every little thing on every NBA team...Not here. This ain't that chat. You'll have to tune elsewhere for that. When the NBA is going, I'll do (happily) a ton of NBA stuff because I cover the NBA. BUT the NBA ain't going. It's dead for the immediate future, which we can and should discuss along the way. This chat, for better or worse, is big picture and about a whole lot of stuff but not the prospects next year of the T-Wolves or whether the Spurs will sign their second-round draft pick...Sorry...if you've got questions about the big stories of the day or of the week or general things about media (mostly sports media), send 'em in bunches. Few people care more about the Bulls than me from November through the end of their season, but not in mid-summer. Tennis, golf, pre-season NFL, MLB, concerts, all in bounds. SG for the Bulls now? What? You want to ask me what's wrong with the Bears, fine...not the Bulls!
Why don't rookies who "outplay" their contracts continue to honor the agreement they signed? Would shorter term agreements help avoid the holdouts?
mike wilbon (1:23 PM)
Why don't owners honor the agreements they sign when a guy "underperforms" his contract? Why is one any different from the other...if we're talking "honor?"
Dion (Rancho Cucamonga) [via mobile]
What do the Raiders need in order to become a playoff team? How soon can they return to being a contender?
mike wilbon (1:25 PM)
Can't the Raiders be a 9-7 team, and therefore a playoff contender, now? Why not? Didn't the Raiders just go 8-8? It's not like the Chiefs and Chargers are world-beaters. I wouldn't be surprised if the Raiders become a playoff team this year, although it's largely tied to the health and further development of Jason Campbell...
David from Damascus, MD [via mobile]
So far how do you feel about the quarterback competition going on right now in D.C.?
mike wilbon (1:27 PM)
I could care less about it, honestly. Just told Kornheiser at dinner last night that it's a strange feeling, after having to pay attention, close attention, to the Redskins for 30 years as a sportswriter/football writer/columnist for The Washington Post, to be able to pay ZERO attention to the teamm now for the purposes of writing about them...Personally, as a Bears fan I feel I've got a handle on Rex Grossman, which is to say I think he's a really nice backup to have...And Beck? I don't see the Redskins finishing ahead of the Eagles or Giants in their division...Maybe 8-8, but maybe 6-10.
UFC just signed a big deal with Fox. Ready to hop on the wagon yet? Boxing is dead!
mike wilbon (1:29 PM)
Boxing had been dead; where you been. It can be dead 100 million years and I'm not going to follow UFC. And no matter how many times you and people of your ilk ask, that's going to be the answer. It's not like I'm going to wake up one day and go "Yum yum, can't wait to get at that UFC." I don't care about it now, and won't care about it next month or next year...And I don't ever get tired of reminding you...If you love it, have at it, revel in it, watch it, participate. I don't love it, don't care about it, wouldn't open the blinds in my living room to look at it on my deck...Got it?
Michael Baker Quincy, Il [via mobile]
Do you think the SF Giants can make a come back and win the division with the multitude of injuries and an anemic offense?
mike wilbon (1:31 PM)
No. I thought so for a few weeks but every step the Giants make forward is followed by two backward, often underscored by an injury to a kep player, like their closer. So no...just watch the DVD of last year's championship run. It's not their year...
Joe (Philadelphia) [via mobile]
Do you believe Michael Vick will be as good as he was last year
mike wilbon (1:34 PM)
Great question! I've been thinking about that, one, because of the way he plays and how susceptible he is to injury...and, two, because defenses will have had some time to adjust to what he does in the Philly scheme. Don't get me wrong, I also think Vick can be unstoppable, yes, especially with all those weapons on offense. I think a HUGE thing for the Eagles as signing Vince Young...I think that move could pay off in the short term. The team should be totally unafraid to have him under center for six to eight games if Vick has to miss some time, like he usually does...I think a Vick/Young combo could be as effective as Vick was in that dazzling stretch last year. I think he'll be fine, but the insurance policy named Vince Young...very, very smart move.
Miguel las cruces [via mobile]
Do u think the nfl will have the same amount of so called illegal hits or will there be more fines suspensions? Im like you on this subject. Football is a contact sport and these r the best altheltes in the world these hits will happen you cant stop it from happening
mike wilbon (1:38 PM)
Indications are there are going to be more fines...Have you seen some of the hits-on-the-QB that have been penalized in the preseason? It's a joke. The NFL, without saying so officially, is saying so practically: "Don't touch the QB!" That's not football to me, especially as a fan of a team usually has no QB and has its greatest success pounding the other guy's QB...I think NFL officials (execs, not zebras) are quite happy to live with 38-35 games where defense is limited and glamour-boy QBs stay upright. Does the NFL care as much about the other position players? Not a chance, no matter what they say. I'm fine with head-to-hear launching being banned and punished...But the notion that heads can't collide and that you can calibrate hits when guys are moving 20 mph? Please. It's slowly becoming a game people aren't going to like nearly as much in 20 years. Folks should see this coming but are so obsessed with liking football, they're just ignoring it...for now.
Hi Mike, hey what grade would you give the Bears this off-season? R. Williams looks suspect at best, Gholston didn't even make the team and Cutler still has no time to pass. I give them a D--, and I feel that's being generous.
mike wilbon (1:39 PM)
You summed it up nicely. An F is my grade. Look, it's still preseason and I only want to grade, ultimately, on the regular season...But if you're asking me to grade what we've seen so far? F. And that might come to stand for Fire the GM. You're under the salary cap substantially and this is what you come up with? F.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
Will Tiger ever be Tiger again? Beginning to have some doubts...
mike wilbon (1:44 PM)
You and me both. Does he seem as obsessively committed as he was for those 15 years? Not to me. I hear repeatedly he isn't practicing as he used to, which is to say fanatically. And the one thing I've learned covering the likes of Jordan, Ripken, Ray Lewis, Kobe, Tiger...is that even with all their God-given ability, practice and preparation is what made them able to perform at the levels they did over the time they did...Nobody was better prepared than Tiger Woods for more than a dozen years. Now? I wonder. I don't hear those stories anymore...I'm not saying he doesn't deserve a break...maybe he needed one emotionally given the upheaval of his life. I know Tiger a little, and i like him tremendously and I hope he comes back...I hope there's a great "Comeback" chapter in his life, as was the case for Ali and Michael Jordan...But right now? it's hard to see...There are a ton of players out there whom he does not intimidate...And there's nothing, so far, to suggest these changes in his life, from his swing to his coach, are helping facilitate anything...I wonder, too...And golf is so much worse off for not having Tiger at the top of his game until 40 years old...
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
Can the Steelers overcome the Super Bowl loser hangover?
mike wilbon (1:44 PM)
Yes...But losing players to injury, including the backup QB Byron Leftwich for a substantial amount of time, can't help.
Brad [via mobile]
What impact will lockout of the NBA have on the ncaa basketball season?
mike wilbon (1:45 PM)
If you want your basketball fix you'll have to get it from the college boys. I will watch more college hoops, no question about it. So will hundreds if thousands of others.
Can the Bears hold off the Vikings to finish third in the division?
mike wilbon (1:47 PM)
maybe...But I think the Lions could win the divison. I'm serious. I said Lions 9-7 in April...The way they look now, 9-7 isn't even a reach prediction (I know, I know, it's preseason)...I just think the Lions are going to challenge the Packers for the NFC Central title...(No, it's never going to be the NFC North to me)
The NCAA scandals remind me of the steroid use in baseball. Players cheated - some got caught - but they all made a ton of money and glory while they were doing that outweighed the penalties.
mike wilbon (1:47 PM)
Damn good, smart point. Thanks for that.
Jay Jay (Bay Area)
Mike, FF question for your expertise please...I drafted Felix Jones and Miles Austin this year for my FF squad! I believe that Jason Garrett has been waiting years to unleash the beast that is Felix, and Miles has become a household name also! What do you think?
mike wilbon (1:53 PM)
I don't play fantasy football. Sorry. I'm not knocking it; I just don't play myself. I am in a fantasy basketball league at the PTI offices...But football, nope. not enough time in my life now to do it properly. I'm in NFL pools, a couple of them actually. I'm in a "confidence" pool where you assign a number from 1-16 to each game based on how confident you are of the outcome...I LOVE it...and it doesn't take hours a week, which I don't have anymore with a 3-year-old...So, sorry, I'm of no fantasy help, nonne whatsoever.
Why is it so hard for the NCAA to put in place a commissioner-type function NOT connected to any schools? After all, most of them are publicly-funded schools - there should be a public watchdog monitoring them.
mike wilbon (1:56 PM)
I completely agree with you...but if you want to know the problem, here it is: The football schools, 60 or so of them, have no intention of complying with anything the NCAA wants and the NCAA knows that. In fact, I'd bet money out of my own wallet than within 10 years the football schools will pull out of the NCAA and start their own deal, including a playoff, and the NCAA will be the governing body for everything EXCEPT college football. I mean seriously, you think the people who run college football or the kids who play it give a damn about the NCAA? Does it seem like either party fears the NCAA now, or the consequences?
bear (the woods)
Owners do honor their contracts, which allow them to cut under-performing players.
mike wilbon (1:56 PM)
No, that's not "honoring" the contract...You think you're talking to somebody who doesn't understand the language. It's exerting your muscle because you can.
Jason (Chattanooga, Tn) [via mobile]
Based on pure skills alone....Do you think Kobe is better than MJ...Mj never had the ballhandling and footwork that kobe has to me.....plus I think Kobe has a deeper range...what you think???
mike wilbon (2:01 PM)
MJ never had the ballhanding or footwork? You need to get some DVD help...I LOVE Kobe, but there's nothing he did that's better than MJ. Nothing...Okay, I take that back. He takes and hits closely-guarded shots, in part because Kobe can't get open like MJ did (and spare me the Bryon Russell jokes)...MJ shot a much, much higher percentage, in his prime was a better rebounder, turned it over fewer times...What are you talking about, Dude. People just say this stuff now, like some of us weren't around to watch both. Kobe is a better 3-point shooter, but in MJs first 5-7 years people didn't even take that many 3s in a game. It's evolved to a different point. There's nobody NOW as good as Kobe Bryant, who I think is going to finish his career as one of the 10 greatest players ever, maybe one of the six or seven (Jordan, Russell, Kareem, Magic, Oscar...hmmm, maybe Kobe will be top five) Anyway, nobody as good as Kobe now...nobody now or then as good as Jordan...
Mark D. Atlanta [via mobile]
Green Bay is over-rated. They got lucky last year avoiding injuries and winning a couple of games other teams gave away. Lose those and they're 8-8. They did get hot in the playoffs but this year?? They'll be lucky to win 8 games. Right?
mike wilbon (2:02 PM)
No. You're wrong. Green Bay is good...damn good. I think they could win as few as 9 but I think 11 is more like it because they're getting back all those players you refer to in your question.
Bear's OL looks to be vastly improving.. agree?
mike wilbon (2:03 PM)
I'm terrified the Bears have about the worse offensive line in the NFC. I'm not an optimist when it comes to the Bears right now.
brian wyoming [via mobile]
Spurs have a chance to win the finals?
mike wilbon (2:03 PM)
what? Finals of what? The NBA season-that-might-not-be-played?
Wilbon, come January you will be so happy that your NFC Central predictions are wrong!
mike wilbon (2:04 PM)
You think so? Really? You don't think Packers-Lions-Bears-Vikings is the way to go? Good, I'll be happy if I'm wrong.
mike wilbon (2:05 PM)
Okay, I gotta run and prepare for PTI...This was good, to get warmed up and back out on the mound again. And I love the mix of questions we got to after the Bulls SG silliness...See you next Tuesday after the Labor Day weekend, when we can really jump into NFL expectations, the U.S. Open Tennis Chammpionship, the first weekend of college football...Have a great week and great holiday weekend, everybody! MW