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!
Buzzmaster (1:17 PM)
Hey folks, Mike will be here by 1:30 p.m. ET.
mike wilbon (1:42 PM)
Hi Everybody...You happy now that football is back? Pretty good weekend huh? I'm in a damn good mood, what with Northwestern winning to go 2-0 and move up into the top 20...but let's hit the NFL, yesterday and tonight...
Who or What surprised you in week 1 of the NFL.
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
Ahhhhh, great question! Where do we start...Hmmm. Okay, the Steelers look like, well, they're in trouble aren't they? Wow, are the Black & Gold really that bad, PLUS without Pouncey and Foote? That stunned me, that the Steelers needed 58 minutes to score a TD at home? What else...the Patriots will win 11-12 games no matter what, it seems, but do they have a single explosive player on offense without Gronk out there? Aren't defenses going to sit on Amendola and Edelman without real outside threats?...(cont'd)
mike wilbon (1:52 PM)
...I thought the Bears offense looked about as good as it has in years, with the two long scoring drives and Cutler having protection and time to throw...Oh, the Packers got screwed and got EXACTLY what they deserved, yapping all week about hitting CK. Are the Packers prepared to come off as a "badass" team all year? I could go on and on...Have the Giants signed McGahee yet? That's who I'd get if I had the RB problems the Giants seem to have with this kid fumbling the way he has...we'll get to some other stuff here...NFL stuff that is.
Why dont you invited Dan Rafael from ESPN Boxing on to PTI? Are you concerned about him making you look back for all your boxing is dead comments?
mike wilbon (2:00 PM)
Boxing is dead. I LOVE boxing, have loved it as much as anything I've ever followed in sports. And its dead. And you'd have to be a moron to think it's alive and well, compared to any other point in history, if there's one or two glamorous mainstream fights a year. So shut up, please, everybody out there who wants to paint me as a guy who hates boxing. Maybe I can get somebody to point out to you 20 years of boxing columns which I wrote for The Washington Post. It breaks my heart that boxing is reduced to the place it is now, where you have to beg for a great fight every couple of years. Go read the history of boxing, when there used to be a dozen spectacular fights a year. Shut up and do some homework yourself about how rich each year would be with prize fights of consequence...MMA has stolen that thunder, that and there are cultural consequences at work...used to be for decades that the poorest kids, those with the least opportunities otherwise, took to the ring. They literally fought their way out of their circumstances. They got a pair of gloves at some musty gym and that was the start-up cost...No AAU fees. Not so anymore. Kids, regardless of their circumstance overwhelmingly, play various sports...So, anybody else out there with the notion that boxing is what it used to be needs to bone up, and get off me 'cuz I'll come back at you. I love boxing...and hate that it's on life support.
Thought on the Bears?
mike wilbon (2:07 PM)
Two great drives by Jay Cutler and the offense in the second half were what stands out for people who follow the Bears their entire lives, like me. They went right down the field, with a nice mix of pass and run, with the OL (congrats to those two kids) firing out...I might have to recalibrate what I think great defense is, given today's NFL. The Bengals TD drives of 97 and 91 and 80 yards had me thinking, "God, what has happened to the defense" even though Peanut Tillman had two important ints. BUT, thing is, I don't know that teams can play sustained 60-minute defense like great defensive teams used to...Maybe it's just going to be about the turnovers, and the Bears forced three of them...Maybe I ought to concentrate on that number instead of anything else...21 points is probably a pretty good number to allow now...Anyway, Kyle Long and Jordan Mills, the two rooks on the right side of the line, were damn impressive...I guess beating a team as good as the Bengals (I think peter King has them finishing 3rd in the AFC) in a coach's opener is pretty darned good...
was that a cheap shot by Suh?
mike wilbon (2:09 PM)
I'm persuaded by players in locker rooms and on TV that it was...It was borderline, I thought before hearing any reaction...But when people in your own fraternity come down like that it's difficult to not take into account. Question is whether he'll be fined or suspended by the NFL...
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Roddy White got mad at fantasy football fans, but these are the hands that feed him essentially. Wise to bark back at fans that garner interest and generate revenue for the league?
mike wilbon (2:12 PM)
Sure. Fans are chirpier than ever, loud, nasty, obnoxious in way too many cases. So I'm fine with people mixing it up. Ticket sales don't pay Roddy White, TV networks do. That's the case with all the big professional sports. TV money. Even so, I know what you mean...your supporting the old notion that the customer is always right. Well, there are still times when that should hold, but not with fantasy football addicts. People want to feel they're interacting, right? Well, they just got a shot to the chest from Roddy White. I'm fine with it.
Ovewr under Todd Haley 8 games this year, what u got?
mike wilbon (2:13 PM)
Ha! We were just talking about that here in the PTI newsroom...They've got the Bengals this coming week in Cincy, then the Bears on Sunday night in Pittsburgh...If the Steelers, having lost their backup RB and their Pro Bowl center for the season, don't recover quickly it might be "under" for Haley...
George (Juarez MX)
More surprizing, QB as the rushing leader or that AP didn't reach 100 rushing yards?
mike wilbon (2:15 PM)
Oh, that AP didn't get 100...Great question. Thing is, RBs just don't get the touches they used to, which means we're going to see fewer 100-yard rushers each week. Even with all the additional offensive plays because of the no-huddle approach to the game growing and growing, how many RBs are going to get 25 carries? Not many. AP will...And after THAT start I thought he was going for 200, much less 100...
Ed (Queens Village)
How impress were you with Bears comeback with vs Bengals?
mike wilbon (2:16 PM)
Very. Everybody talked about the Bengals defense, particularly the DL but they never got to Jay Cutler, and the Bears aren't a "comeback" team so down 11, with the way the Bengals were rolling, both running and passing, I wasn't betting the Bears would both stone the Bengals offense and have two long TD drives late in the third and in the fourth...
Mike, Just listening to Tony on SVP & Russilo. Saying that RGIII is the best player at a Washington franchise for 20 yrs?! Agree? Over Ovechkin? Michael at 39?
mike wilbon (2:22 PM)
Hmmmm...RG3 has had one season, though a damn spectacular one it was...Ovechkin had several great seasons...TWO MVP seasons and won some playoff series...Of course, the NHL doesn't equal the NFL in Washington, D.C. But Ovechkin was both great in the regular seasons AND exciting as hell...RG3 is a MORE IMPORTANT player than Ovechkin by miles and miles because of the relative popularity and importance of the Redskins to the Capitals for most folks in and around Washington...Not Jordan, no. Not at 39...even though he played all 81 games at 40 years old and was the only player on the team to do so, which I still find amazing. Now, Bryce Harper is going to be in this discussion for a long time, right? It could be Harper and RG3 for a long time. John Wall has a long, long, long way to go before he even enters the conversation. He's got to start by getting the Wizards into the playoffs THIS season.
Mike, do you think the rielly cooper situation is over if he produces. if say TK called you the n-word but in the friendly conataion what would your reaction be?
mike wilbon (2:31 PM)
Good issue to raise...Frist of all, TK wouldn't. Second, if Riley Cooper had done this privately, meaning without it being captured on video, it wouldn't be nearly as bad. He'd be dealing with the reaction of one person. BUT, the moment its captured on video and goes viral, game over. Production on the field will have a lot to do with it. But there have been productive bigots forever. I think what helps--and this is just my opinion based on watching Cooper--is that he seems truly contrite. He seems to REALLY understand he screwed up royally and his actions are going to be scrutinized by the guys in that locker room every day of this season and beyond. I think Cooper gets that. And people who think, "They're beyond this" are truly ignorant of what a white person calling a black person that word incites. I don't want to hear, which I do increasingly from white viewers/listeners/readers that they don't understand why there's so little outrage when black people use the N-word (which, again, I do every day of my life)...It's not their issue to define. They don't get "a say" in this. And with that in mind, the guys in that locker room, even if they love Cooper, are still suspicious...He'll earn the room back. But it takes time. And we ain't there yet. I've NEVER had a colleague say anything close to that to me. Never.
how was golf with the president? what were the standings between you Kornheiser and Obama?
mike wilbon (2:34 PM)
Golf with The President was fabulous, one of the coolest things I've ever done in my life. It would have been cool if I'd played with President Bush or Clinton or whomever. BUT, I know President Obama...have known him for 10 years, or close to it. We had a great time, talked sports (mostly Chicago sports) for 5 hours, but it was with the President of the United States...who took $13 off me and Tony...How sad is that? He outplayed us on 15,16, 17 and 18...he closed, we didn't, and now TK and I want a rematch with The President and Marvin. They know where to find us!
Mike, have you and charles discussed making another book? big fan of the books.
mike wilbon (2:35 PM)
We did. Last week we did. In Chicago...Don't know what will come of it but we sat and talked about how much we both want to do it again...Thank you for that!
mike wilbon (2:35 PM)
okay, PTI is on an hour earlier so I gotta run...Gotta. The producers are about to beat me down...This was fun. Next Monday, Crew...See you then. Enjoy Monday night. Thanks...have a great week...MW