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!
Looks like someone was listening to you (and countless others) about that Bears' running game. That's more like it.
mike wilbon (1:06 PM)
Good afternoon everybody...what a spectacular sports weekend. The October weekends with post-season baseball, college and pro football are probably my favorite sports weekends of the season...We'll jump right into pro football...It looked like a throwback NFL game, watching a team actually try to win the game by running the football...Of course, the Bears were smart to do it, especially since they'd run the same against Carolina last year with a couple of backup QBs in there for Cutler...Any other approach would have been stupid...And STILL Carolina had every chance to win that game yesterday, especially if they hadn't been victimized by a bogus pass interference call against Jeremy Shockey that nullified a touchdown...Wow, Cam Newton is spectacular...watching him every down of that game I really came to appreciate how much talent he's got and how good he'll likely be when he learns how to play at that level...
Life is pretty good in Wisconsin right now!!
mike wilbon (1:10 PM)
You would think so, right? To dismantle Nebraska like that, even if the game was at home, is pretty impressive. I'd vote Alabama, Wisconsin, Boise State, LSU, Stanford in some order, any order really because it's hard to have any attitude about ranking them until we see a bigger sample of play from each...But the thing Wisconsin never really has is that type of QB and this kid brings a different dimension to that team and makes them more than just a physical brute of a team...Tony K was screaming at me last night that he thinks Wisconsin is the best team in the country...Maybe. The Big Ten isn't going to provide much of a test because we're just not that good this year. Wisconsin just beat the 2nd best team in the league.
Any chance you'll be in Detroit for MNF? Tickets are touger to get than Tiger/Yanks playoff tix. It is going to be crazy in the D
mike wilbon (1:13 PM)
Oh yes! I wouldn't miss that one. When the columnist for ESPNChicago.com started to divvy up the Bears games to cover that was a game I really wanted. I can see exactly why it's a tough ticket. I was so happy the Lions came back to beat the Cowboys yesterday. Now, the Lions go in undefeated against the Bears...The Eastern media will thumb their nose and act like they don't get it (most won't) but folks in the midwest will get it. I can't wait. Look, I thought Detroit could win 9 or 10 games and threaten to win the division before the season began. Four games in, I think Detroit's the second-best team in the NFL, behind the Packers. I want to see the Lions play with the pressure of expectations, at home, against a team with some grizzled vets...As Bart Scott would say, "Can't Wait!"
Brian (New Orleans)
Did you think the Victor Cruz play was a fumble or did the refs make the correct call in saying that he gave himself up?
mike wilbon (1:15 PM)
The refs blew it, plain and simple. I'm in Arizona today and there's great angst here about that call, and I understand completely. They blew it. It was a fumble, and everybody on both teams blew it. Even Eli Manning said, "We got a break on that one." And no matter how coaches try and act like it was "just another play" it wasn't. It decided the game. Except for blowing three kneel downs (or pretty close to that) the game was over and the Cardinals would be 2-2. Awful, awful call...no excuse and the NFL will be apologizing publicly to the Cardinals later today.
Brian (New Orleans)
It seems the Redskins defense is pretty stout, but Grossman's play is holding them back from being a good team. Should they make the switch to Beck or continue to start Grossman?
mike wilbon (1:18 PM)
Only in Washington do people want to create a QB controversy at 3-1. YOU'RE 3-1!!! ENJOY it. People around the country have no idea how ingrained the QB Controversy is in the culture of Washington, D.C. and Redskins fans. Rex is always going to have his issues, he's always going to fluctuate between Good Red and Bad Rex but he gives an honest effort every single down of his life, Mike Shanahan seems to be (for the most part) keeping Rex out of the situations that lead him into trouble (like passes in the flat in the fourth quarter from his own territory). Leave Rex alone...You're atop the NFC East. The D is playing great, the RBs are doing what Shanahan RBs do...enjoy the ride while it lasts.
Michael, as a die hard eagles fan, my question to you is Andy Reid's time in philly coming to an end?
mike wilbon (1:19 PM)
Maybe. Totally legit question. I want to see how the Eagles respond the next three, four weeks. They don't run the ball as well as that team should (Reid's fault for not committing to it). They're not as mentally tough as they should be...You can't say they're lacking in talent, so then somebody hasn't been using it effectively and that's on the coach's plate.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Wilbon, if you could be a fan of another city's teams besides Chicago, which would it be and why?
mike wilbon (1:23 PM)
Interestingly enough, probably Detroit. Even though I grew up hating Detroit teams because of the rivalry between Chicago and Detroit I admire Detroit fans for sticking with their teams and they don't boo people for sport like they do in Philly, and they don't wring their hands and cover themselves in angst and worry like Red Sox Nation...The Lions essentially are the Cubs, the Red Wings line up pretty much with the Bulls. I would love to see the Tigers win and go to the World Series this year...Yeah, Detroit. I live part of the year in Arizona and I DO root for the Suns and Cardinals...I don't really have any connection to the D-Backs and Coyotes...But, yeah, I'd stay true to my Midwestern roots...
Wow, first Sparty beats OSU for the first time since 1999, Michigan dominates Minnesota for the Little Brown Jug, the Tigers take 1 in New York and have Verlander on the mound tonight and the Lions win again in miraculous fashion. What a great weekend for Michigan sports!
mike wilbon (1:24 PM)
Good encore question...Congrats! I have enough friends/family members in/from Michigan to appreciate how excited they are...I do NOT want this to extend to Saturday's Northwestern-Michigan game in Chicago...but I fear it will.
bashe (Richmond, Virginia)
The Sartorialist insists that you can tell a lot about a man if you pay attention to [a] whether he wears pocket squares; [b] what the squares look like; and [c] HOW he wears them. Do you agree?
mike wilbon (1:27 PM)
Not necessarily...I LOVE pocket squares, obviously. But a lot of people don't wear them, a lot of well-dressed men. Those three things tell you how deeply into fashion the man in question is...For that subculture of guys that does wear them, yes...whether the person is flamboyant or traditional or trying to make a statement...probably speaks to personality, like most things fashion...You'll never see me with a plaid pocket sq and striped tie...too messy for me.
Brian F (San Diego)
Love your work but can't understand why you cannot get behind MMA as a sport. It's better than boxing (more disciplines/no corruption). I think you need a little more education surrounding the sport in order to fully understand how great a sport it is. Thanks.
mike wilbon (1:29 PM)
Oooops...did I not publish the question about whether the wearing of pocket squares tells you about the person wearing them? Boy, that answer must have come out of nowhere if I didn't. Sorry! Okay, the guys who like to dress will care about that answer...Everybody else...not so much!
mike wilbon (1:33 PM)
Love your work but can't understand why you cannot get behind MMA as a sport. It's better than boxing (more disciplines/no corruption). I think you need a little more education surrounding the sport in order to fully understand how great a sport it is. Thanks...Had to publish the question this way...Stop. I don't "get behind things so that other folks can feel better." That ain't the way it works. I like what I like. Suppose you don't watch baseball. You think people hounding you about your likes and dislikes would lead you to watch baseball? I don't need education about MMA; I don't like it. I don't care about it. I'm never going to care about it. I'm not against it, I don't think it should be banned. I'm fine with you liking it; I'm fine with it becoming even more popular. That doesn't mean I'm going to give a damn about it. Do you watch Curling? No? Does that mean you need to be educated about it? NASCAR? Are you a NASCAR guy? If not, why not? Golf? Do you play? Everybody doesn't like everything...MMA isn't on my radar and likely will never be. Period, end of story.
mike wilbon (1:33 PM)
MDJ (Queens, NY)
Who is the best team in the NFC East?
mike wilbon (1:35 PM)
Well, now I can't publish the questions for some reason, so I'll paraphraseMDJ in Queens wants to know who is the best team in the NFC East.Well, it ain't the Cowboys, I think we can say that for sure. Not the Eagles either. The Redskins and Giants are both 3-1 and didn't the Redskins beat the Giants in Week 1? that would suggest to me, for now anyway, the answer would have to be the Redskins.
Jerry Eastwood (Haslett, MI )
Buying a Calvin Klein Suit: Approve or Disapprove?
mike wilbon (1:36 PM)
Buying a Calvin Klein Suit: Approve or Disapprove?Love the fashion questions, though I'm sure somebody will explode soon about me answering two in one chat! They're not my cup of tea, but why not? Calvin Klein has been doing great work for decades, right? Why not?
Brian (New Orleans)
How do these chats compare with the ones you did for the Washington Post?
mike wilbon (1:40 PM)
How do these chats compare with the ones I did for The Washington Post?They've evolved to the point where they bear some resemblance...The ESPN.com chats are much more sports-centric. And the questions have evolved from last year when there were more "What do you think of the Minnesota Timberwolves bench?" We never did those, of course, at The Washington Post because there ain't that many people who care about the T-Wolves (or even the Wizards) in Washington, where the questions are much more likely to be about the news of the day relating to big sports issues and less about line play or bullpens...I grew up in that culture for 30 years as a journalist so I'm still getting adjusted to writing for/chatting with a new audience that has much more specific concerns, much more hard-core sports directed...
First off, no one compares to you and Kornheiser on PTI! Who was the first to come up with the stick masks? Now, can you please comment on: 1) Oak/NE; 2) Romo being a better fantasy than reality QB and 3) Aaron Rodgers doing things that even pee-wee leaguers don't do. Thanks!
What do you think about DC Ryan saying that Calvin Johnson would only be the 3rd best WR on Dallas? At what point does the Ryan Brothers act get old? It's all fun and laughs until you can't back it up.
mike wilbon (1:42 PM)
Think Northwestern can stop Michigan's Dennard Saturday?Uh, no. We couldn't stop Army and couldn't stop Illinois, so, uh, with all due respect to my guys on defense...no.
mike wilbon (1:45 PM)
What do I think about Rob Ryan saying that Calvin Johnson would be only the 3rd best WR on the Cowboys? And at what point do the Ryan/Ryan act get old if you can't back it up?Great question. One, Calvin Johnson is better than any receiver the Cowboys have had the last 30 years except the one and only Michael Irvin. And Johnson might be in Playmaker's class, which is a class so small it takes about 30 seconds to call roll. Rob should have shut his mouth about Calvin Johnson. Look, I love Miles Austin and Dez Bryant is almost good enough to wear 88 (Irvin and Drew Pearson, right?)...It's okay to love your guys but when you start taking out after other All-Pro players and you can't back it up, it's plain stupid...
Do the 49ers have a shot at beating Tampa Bay next weekend?
mike wilbon (1:47 PM)
Do the 49ers have a shot at beating Tampa next weekend? Of course they do. A shot? They'd better have better than "a shot" playing at home with a 3-1 record having won 2 straight on the road. They just beat the "Dream Team" so why wouldn't they expect to beat Tampa...Now, I have the Buccaneers winning the NFC South so I don't know who I'll be taking in next week's confidence pool...Sounds like a candidate for a 1-point game (out of 16)...That's one of the games I'm most interested in next week, behind Bears-Lions in Detroit, of course.
Jude Brandon (Mad City)
Calvin Johnson? MVP? Yes?
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
Calvin Johnson MVP, yes or no?Well, it's either Tom Brady, Calvin Johnson, Aaron Rodgers, Suh or Stafford, right?
Jerry Eastwood (Haslett, MI )
Do you and Tony really hate LeBetard?
mike wilbon (1:52 PM)
I'm told the questions are being posted...I just can't see them...Okay...Anyway, do Tony and I HATE LeBatard? No, we love him. I can't believe people don't know that stuff is tongue-in-cheek...Seriously, we love the guy. When I go to Miami who do you think I hang out with? Come on. Dan's a close friend and we both hope his new show is a big hit...Well, at least I do!
Bryan (Dallas, TX)
What's your reaction to Dwayne Wade yelling at Mr. Stern and calling him "David?" Is Wade still irritated about losing in the Finals?
mike wilbon (1:55 PM)
Great question. This isn't about the Finals. Stern doesn't play for Dallas. This is a contentious negotiation and should be. And while I have great respect for David Stern I also know he's a Pit Bull. He'll come after you, he'll cuss you, challenge you personally...And if Wade threw some chin music back at the commish, then good! The people with the broadest smiles are the ones who work in the NBA offices, trust me. And what is Wade supposed to call Stern, Daddy? Mr. Stern. He's a commissioner and he works for your "opponent" in these negotiations. Remember, Stern works for the owners, not the players. Maybe other players should take Wade's lead.
Michael, as a Big Ten alum what do you think of Nebraska's addition? Love them football wise but academically, I have trouble with them being in the conference.
mike wilbon (1:57 PM)
I'd rather see Nebraska in the conference than Penn State. I mean, the Big Ten is a league of Midwestern schools and Penn State isn't in anybody's version of the Midwest. I love Nebraska as a fit...The profile is similar to Iowa, to Illinois...Penn State's a great school but it ought to be in some eastern league...probably benefits the conference from a television and recruiting standpoint, but that's a different set of criteria, a Johnny-come-lately reason to have a school in your league.
Money Team (Las Vegas)
I find your understanding of boxing and mma to be totally ignorant. either your a casual fan or have no interest in combat sports. either way you shouldn't comment on it. thanks
mike wilbon (2:01 PM)
So, you think you're going to silence me because I'm not a shill for MMA. Really, your position is too ignorant to comment on but I wanted to take a swing anyway. If you feel people have to agree with your likes and dislikes or else, you probably ought to live someplace else, pal. We have the right to choose, if you haven't noticed...the fact that so many people don't get this regarding MMA is increasingly disturbing. What, you want it legislated that every household pays taxes and is tested on MMA the previous weekend. Please, go away. I respect the philosophy of Live and Let Live...You follow what you want to follow, I'll do the same, thank you.
What would you be doing if not working for ESPN?
mike wilbon (2:02 PM)
What would I be doing if not working for ESPN? Probably still writing for The Washington Post, which I did for 30 years until last December...or writing/talking for somebody else...Luckily, I don't have to think too deeply about that at this moment!
Mike, what sport do you most enjoy watching?
mike wilbon (2:05 PM)
What sport do I most enjoy watching?I'm seasonal. You ask me the first of October, I'll tell you baseball (my first love). You ask me in in November-January I'll tell you pro football. You ask me in March I'll tell you college hoops. You ask me in April-June I'll tell you pro basketball...in mid-summer I'll tell you golf...I like a ton of stuff. Ask me on the even of a big fight from 1970 to 2000 or so I'd have told you a big prize fight, though that sport is on the endangered species list...Okay, gotta run and prepare for PTI which I'm doing from Arizona today...Hope you all have a great week...Will be coming to you next Monday from Detroit, hours before Bears-Lions...Thanks...MW