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 wilbon (1:02 PM)
Hi Everybody...I love this last weekend more than most on the sports calendar...college football in sull swing, the NFL opening, the U.S. Open...the only thing missing was pennant race baseball...Still...
Brian (New Orleans)
Who ya got in today's US Open men's finale? Also, what did you think of Serena's latest tirade?
mike wilbon (1:06 PM)
This ought be really, really good stuff today at the U.S. Open...I hate it wasn't yesterday as scheduled, but I'll take Djokovic over Nadal in the men's final...I must admit, though, that I had Federer beating Djokovic in the semis, which seemed to be a decent prediction after two sets...To see Federer unable to finish the deal with 2 match points speaks to RF being just past his prime and others (Nadal, Djokovic) having passed him...I thought Fed was playing the best of anyboedy in the tournament...As for Serena, anytime she falls behind and isn't playing well it's somebody else's fault. it's tiresome. There's a long history of bad behavior directed at chair umpires and linespeople in professional tennis...It was wrong for Connors to do it, wrong for McEnroe to do it, wrong for Serena to do it. Wrong. She's too great a champion to behave that way...You get beat, live with it the way RF did, with class.
Brian (New Orleans)
Trying not to jump to a conclusion too early, but a lot of people thought the NFC South was going to be the best division in the league, however they went 0-4 this past weekend - 0-3 against the NFC North. What are your thoughts on the Bears and the North as a whole based on this past weeked?
mike wilbon (1:09 PM)
Drawing hard conclusions based on Week 1 is nearly as dangerous as drawing any conclusions based on the preseason. I don't have the Steelers and Falcons, speaking of the NFC South, eliminated because they got their butts whipped Sunday. This isn't the BCS. I, for one, have three NFC South teams going to the playoffs (all but Carolina) and have only the Packers going from the NFC North...I'd LOVE to be wrong, being a Bears fan...I had the Bears beating the Falcons yesterday, but damn sure not 30-12...But the defense, again led by Urlacher and Briggs, was overwhelming and Jay Cutler was fabulous. it was a more important debut for him than anybody on the team, given the NFC Championship game and all the drama that ensued...Big ups to Cutler. If he gets time, he can find anybody...That, and the Martz offense seemed in full effect...But look at the Bears sked (at N.O., GB, at Det, Philly etc). It's brutal.
How about some props for Sam Stosur? What is your take on Serena's outburst? It didn't change the outcome, but she clearly didn't do herself any favors in the court of public opinion.
mike wilbon (1:12 PM)
I don't think Serena cares about the court of public opinion much anymore...Still, when you're a champion of that stature, don't behave like that...It's just unwarranted. Stosur outplayed her, plain and simply. It's no shame for Serena, in a tumultuous year, to get to the U.S. Open Finals and lose. But she's never lost particularly gracefully...Always what she did and not what the opponent did. It's been my only real criticism of her over the years.
Hi Mike, CRAZY finish in Michigan on Saturday, it seemed to me Notre Dame outplayed them all night, which leads me to this question: Is Denard Robinson that good? Or is Notre Dame really that bad?
mike wilbon (1:16 PM)
Goodness, is Notre Dame football now star-crossed? After winning all the big games for 90 years all the Irish seem to have done the last 15 years or so is lose heartbreakers. That is perhaps the most dramatic ending I've ever seen in a Notre Dame-Michigan game and I've only been watching them all my life...For Notre Dame--and I like that AB--to march down the field in four plays and score to take the lead with 30 seconds left and then still lose to Michigan...Wow. Denard Robinson isn't the best player in the college game--Oliver Luck at Stanford is that--but he's the most exciting. He makes some plays nobody else can make, which will probably create some crazy games this year involving Michigan...
Shawn George (Lakeland, Florida)
What are your thoughts on the Buffalo Bills performance? I know it's just one game. now its time for them to be competitive in the division. What say you?
mike wilbon (1:18 PM)
I'm not going to sit here and tell you of all the games yesterday I was sitting on Buffalo-K.C. because I wasn't. The result was shocking but I have little idea how it happened other than Fitzpatrick looked like he was out-of-his-mind hot yesterday...Don't know whether the Cheifs stink and Buffalo took advantage of that or whether the Bills are "that team" this year that rises from nothing to something...What's for sure is that we need a bigger sample size.
Jeremy H (Minnehopeless)
Please tell me that this time next month there will be NBA pre-season games going on!
mike wilbon (1:19 PM)
I don't see it. I know the two sides are talking (finally) and people feel there's some progress being made but the two are SOOOOOOOOO far apart...I just don't see the preseason coming off as scheduled.
Jeremy H (Minneapolis)
Welcome back to the Chats Mr.Wilbon! How was your summer?
mike wilbon (1:21 PM)
My summer was great, thank you...Lots of time in Chicago and California, lots of time with my son who is now 3 1/2 and lots of time on golf courses...I know people were upset about Tony and I being away from PTI for stretches (Tony a lot longer than me) but hey, you don't want us to have vacations? (never mind, don't answer that!)
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
Holy mackerel! What's the deal with Cam Newton? Can't say I expected him to flounder, but--WOW!
mike wilbon (1:24 PM)
I expect Cam Newton to be great, but down the line, not in Week 1. NOBODY is great in Week 1 at QB, I mean HIS first ever Week 1. Aikaman was terrible, Peyton Manning was terrible, Elway completed, I believe, one pass. Awful. I thought Newton would trip on his own shoe laces the first four, five weeks then gradually get it into gear and roll. But 400-plus yards in his debut? I don't want to hear some knuckleheads saying it was only the Cardinals defense. So what. 400-plus yards? That's insane. He made difficult throws, too, throws from the pocket which lots of scouts said he couldn't make...great arm, great movement, poise (at least for one week). What wasn't to like so far?
I am not a Romo defender, but which is more unacceptable, a punt blocked or a bad INT? Ive seen Brady, Manning and Brees throw countless bad INTS.
mike wilbon (1:26 PM)
Yeah, I hear you, but Romo throws them ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME and the others do not. Seriously, it's always something with Romo, which is the problem...botched snap, fumble at the goal line, not ready for the snap, bad INT...it's ALWAYS something, especially against the better teams. Did you see what Revis of the Jets said, essentially that everybody knows pressure rattles Romo. Come on, you think he'd say that about Manning and Brees and Brady? No, he wouldn't.
You mentioned the Bears schedule being brutal.. but you also forgot about home games against Carolina, Minnesota, Kansas City and Seattle.. as well as road games against Oakland, Denver and Minnesota. That's 7 guaranteed wins right there.. that equals 8 including Atlanta. So you think the Bears will lose ALL the rest of those games?? Come on Wilbon! Bears are winning at least 10, mark it down.
mike wilbon (1:28 PM)
Oakland was 8-8 last year and you've got them a patsy now, even playing at home? Minnesota lost yesterday but played a Super Bowl contender close on the road in San Diego...Plus, teams bubble up, like k.C. did last year. True, the Chiefs look like patsies after one game, but do you really relish going up against Cam Newton after what you saw yesterday? Carolina looks like a W at home, yes, but a tougher out that we thought if Newton is going to be anywhere near as good as he looks after one game. Don't get carried away. All NFL fans do this. I've seen it in Washington for forever...They're booking Super Bowl trips here, too, and the Redskins are the same 1-0 they were last season. Chill.
Dan (Winston-Salem, NC)
What game are you more looking forward to this weekend: #1 Oklahoma vs. #5 Florida State or Eagles vs. Falcons in Vick's return to ATL?
mike wilbon (1:29 PM)
Eagles-at-Falcons. Not close. Not even close to close. Michael Vick returning to ATL in a starting capacity? Please.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Mr. Wilbon, I'm jumping on the long flight to Tallahasee this weekend to see my Sooners battle the Seminoles. Will I leave the sunshine state disappointed or yelling BOOMER SOONER!!! All the way back to the west coast?
mike wilbon (1:30 PM)
I don't have a handle on this game yet...My early instinct is to say I don't believe in Florida State yet...I just don't...Sorry.
Jerry Eastwood (Haslett, MI )
Who do you want on the Cubs more Wilbon: Theo Epstien or Albert Pujols?
mike wilbon (1:41 PM)
Great great question. Epstein, easily and without a second thought. I want somebody who's going to put together a consistently great roster and know what to do short-term and over the long haul. I LOVE Pujols but the answer is Epstein.
Harold's Chicken (87th and Dan Ryan) [via mobile]
I don't recall you coming to see me when you were back home. Where's the love?
mike wilbon (1:43 PM)
Wow...called me out! I'll have to make that run to the South Side soon...Maybe this week! Watch out. Used to be I'd sneak out to Leon's on 83rd and Cottage as much as possible...That was before a heart attack canceled my ribs consumption! But Chicken is still cool, right? I can't load up on the fried stuff anymore...Man, you're bringing back memories. Stop that!
Were you surprised at Grossman's effectiveness yesterday.. or could you not care less because it was the Redskins?
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
Don't confuse watching and analyzing games with caring. People who do this for a living don't actually CARE about the teams. I don't CARE about the Redskins but watched Grossman with great interest because of my Bears fandom and our relationship with Grossman...I said going into the season to my Redskins fanatic friends and relatives here that he'll have five or six GREAT games, like yesterday against the Giants...Question is, how many bad ones will he have? In Chicago we talked of "Good Rex" and "Bad Rex" and more than likely Washingtonians will come to understand this...I'll say that Rex is very, very easy to root for...likeable, professional...teammates always liked him from what I've been told...Even with all the heat he took, he never acted badly, always conducted himself with class.
Greg (North Carolina)
Who's Oliver Luck? Is that his cousin who plays for Samford in Alabama?
mike wilbon (1:50 PM)
Ooops, that's his daddy. Andrew is the kid, Oliver the dad...Atheltic Director at West Virginia now...his dad played for West Virginia and I covered some of his games, a couple I presume, when I was the college football writer for The Washington Post in the 1980s...Google, Son. People should know Andrew Luck's daddy is Oliver, who was a pretty darn good QB himself...Had a few snaps in the NFL (Oilers maybe?) if my memory serves me correctly.
The Sane Madman (Nation of Greats) [via mobile]
Is that Leon's closed on 83rd and Cottage? I think I heard it is.
mike wilbon (1:51 PM)
I heard it was closed, which makes me sad. I was scared to drive out there though after the heart attack (2008) because no way could I pass and not go in there...
There was a HINT of sarcasm to my question... did you ever call him T-Rex? T for turnover.
mike wilbon (1:52 PM)
I didn't but many did...I feel bad about being hyper critical of Rex (though I have been, usually while sitting in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon in 2007 and 2008) because I like the kid...I really do.
Who are some of your favorite personalities you work with at ESPN? (Aside from Tony, of course)
mike wilbon (1:58 PM)
I've spent a great many days in recent years working with (in no certain order) Jon Barry, Stuart Scott, Hannah Storm, Mark Jones...Mark jackson and Dan Patrick broke me in on basketball, and I'm grateful to them...The basketball people are like my family because we spend so much time together on the road, in the studio, in Bristol...Jalen Rose, Bill Walton, Avery Johnson, Tim Legler, lately my man Chris Mullin...I'm talking about dinners, production meetings, golf (mostly with J.B.), hanging out...There's not one bad day, never ever. It's like a little frat or team or something. I know I've forgotten people because the coaches come and go sometime, like Byron Scott who I absolutely am a fan of...that's a long answer but I mean it. When the season ends it's like camp is over...And other people who I'm not on camera with, like Jeff Van Gundy and Hubie Brown and Mike Tirico and Dr. Jack Ramsay...we are like a frat and the time spent with them is really something I look forward to...and I hope is NOT cut short by a lockout.
mike wilbon (1:59 PM)
Okay, I gotta run and prepare for PTI...We're on an hour early today, 4:30 eastern, because of the MNF double-header...Thanks for chatting everybody and have a great week...See you next Monday...MW