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 1:30 p.m. ET!
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Mike, Is a bowl game even now out of the question for your Wildcats after such a devastating loss in Lincoln?
mike wilbon (1:52 PM)
Okay, with all the NFL drama, including the locker room mess in Miami, and the start of the NBA season we'll deal mostly with those two beasts, BUT I guess I have to deal with the funk I've been in since Saturday when my Wildcats lost on another--yes, another--Hail Mary play...There are so many of them the last couple of years, plays in the last minute or so that have pinned losses on us...it's unreal...It's been a rough, rough patch since that failed 4th down attempt against Ohio State when we were 4-0 and within real reach of 5-0 and a top-10 ranking...But, I look at this stetch as growing pains for the program and we're going to get past it, and sooner rather than later I believe...We'd have to win three games, I think, to get to a bowl game and considering we've been right there with a chance to win 8 of the 9 games we've played...it's not out of the question...I'm not going to try and act like I'm looking at this from a distance...I'm an alum, and probably can be accurately called a booster...a season ticket holder...I'm going to the Michigan game with hopes we can pull out of this funk starting Saturday...
Can you explain the Chargers play calling at the end of regulation against The Redskins yesterday? It made no sense to not try a QB sneak or another run play.
mike wilbon (2:04 PM)
The Chargers coaches called the dumbest plays you could possibly call in that situation. The dumbest. You run the ball there AT LEAST twice...or call a play-action pass and look to your potential Hall of Fame tight end...I told Tony Kornheiser this morning on his radio show that the interesting thing about professional sports is that coaches in MLB, the NBA and NHL routinely have to deal publicly with the decisions they make and no matter how great they are (think Phil Jackson or Pat Riley or Jim Leyland or Scotty Bowman) have to ocassionally admit they make strategic mistakes. The NFL? Hardly ever. As a rule, doesn't happen. I want to hear if whoever called those plays as the onions to say publicly, "I blew it...Bad calls, and that's on me." I so sincerely doubt it...But those calls very, very, very likely cost the chargers a victory...
Any concern with the Wizards 0-3 Start?
mike wilbon (2:10 PM)
Well, looks like the 76ers are going to be a helluva lot better than most of us thought, and that's one of the losses...Losing to Miami was a given, a stone-cold lock 100 percent given...And what was the other loss? Oh yeah, at Detroit in the opener there....You'd like to have ONE of those in the W column if you're the Wizards...one would think vs. 76ers at home...though Michael Carter-Williams...how about that kid? Not only does he look great (I know, it's just 3 games) but his presence allows Evan Turner to slip into a comfort zone and concentrate more on scoring and Turner is now a much better player. Still, John Wall and Bradley Beal have to shoot better than they have and it would be nice if NeNe wasn't in sick bay already...I was looking at the schedule last night and my boy Neville, a lifelong Washingtonian who has berated me for predicting the Wizards will make the playoffs, says the Wizards could go 0-7...Ouch...I hope that's not the case because the Wizards ought to be so much better this year than last...
Peyton (Knoxville, TN)
Who do you want to see playing for BCS Championship? Florida State continues to make their case despite most people i talk with that want to see Oregon play Alabama like they probably should have last year.
mike wilbon (2:16 PM)
If everybody wins out, it's going to be and OUGHT to be Alabama v. Oregon. The Ducks strength of schedule will allow them to overtake Florida State if both win out. Remember, Oregon has Stanford (Thursday), Utah, Arizona (Rich Rod has them at 6-2) Oregon State (The Civil War) plus a pac-12 title game...A win over Stanford would be really impressive...Sorry Seminoles fans...Florida State's done nothing but impress, especially w the way they beat down Maryland, Clemson and Saturday night Miami...Got all three of 'em when they were undefeated and ranked...'Noles are good, really quite good. What a year this would be if college football could match Alabama and Ohio State in one national semifinal...and Oregon and Florida in the other...with the winners to play. How about that for a double-header on New Year's Day with the winner to play two weeks later?
Keith H (Seattle)
Let's cut to the chase: What's your take on the Richie Incognito allegations? If true and I were a GM, he'd be on my "Never in a million years" list.
mike wilbon (2:20 PM)
I'm not ignoring the Incognito story...Even as we chat live now, I'm also listening to information coming in on the story/issue. Tony Dungy's conversation with Dan Patrick is fascinating because Dungy has a definite point of view and I usually, if not always, agree with Dungy and ALWAYS find fascinating his take on important topics even more than Xs and Os football junk...Anyway, it's a sad state of affairs no matter what, and I suspect there are layers of information we'll become aware of that we are not privvy to at the moment...It's sad. Personally, I hate hazing, all of it...didn't have any part of fraternity life in part because the hazing to me is stupid, couunterproduction...And this is so much more serious than any light weight thing like that...We'll have to get back to it next Monday when we know more...
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
Has the sixers early success surprised you or is it just a flash in the pan and they will come back to earth?
mike wilbon (2:22 PM)
Do I have the 76ers making the playoffs? No. Do I think they're on the right path here with personnel and coaching? Oh, yes. I love what I've seen of Michael Carter-Williams, especially in tandem with Evan Turner. Thing is, the NBA is such a marathon, such a nightmare of a grind...and it just kills kids (rookies) over the long haul. But let's see. Interested to watch the Sixers play tonight at home against Golden State...Should be very entertaining, especially since I fear Aaron Rodgers will have shredded my Bears early in the evening and I'll need TV viewing relief!
Mike (San Diego)
I know you made reference to the Chargers/Redskins game on twitter yesterday, but that last set of plays at the end of regulation is a wonderful snapshot of what the Chargers have been the last 5-10 years. You can come to San Diego any time and lament about your Bears and have many people who will empathize because they see many of the same things.
mike wilbon (2:25 PM)
Ah, perspective. Thank you for that Mike...I feel for you...
John y (NYC)
Do you have a favorite event that you covered at Madison Square Garden?
mike wilbon (2:36 PM)
Great question...Hmmm...never thought about this. Okay, let's see...Maybe the Big East game in 1985, Feb. 27 when John Thompson had the Lou Carnesecca sweater on and Georgetown was trying to even the regular season series after losing while undefeated to St. John's here in Washington. Spectacular game...There were so many great, great Big East games I covered there...Ray Allen and UCONN scoring the final 13 points (at least in my mind) to come from behind on a Saturday night in march of 1995 to beat Allen Iverson and Georgetown...I was at those Knicks-Pacers games featuring Ewing v. Reggie Miller BUT NOT at the famous Reggie three-point barrage game...oh WAIT, I forgot...I do have a favorite game: Bulls over Knicks, Game 5, 1993 NBA Eastern Conference finals...Block-strip-block-block on Charles Smith at the end of that game giving the Bulls Game 5 and the chance to win that tough series in Game 6 in Chicago. Goodness, I've covered so many games there, love being in that arena so much. I saw Bernard King, playing for the Wizards, go for (I think) 50 points there AFTER King had returned from that gruesome knee injury...I was there for the Rangers ending their long Stanley Cup drought, I guess in 1994...So many things...
What's up with Derrick? How can Thibs help him get in rhythm?
mike wilbon (2:41 PM)
What's up with Derrick? he missed 18 months with a shredded knee. This is why he should NOT have come back last April or May, because you don't just walk onto an NBA court after something that physically disruptive. He's going to have to play his way back into top form and you don't do that in three games...or five games...or ten games. I think it's going to take D-Rose 20, 25 games and then we'll see him controlling games the way we've become accustomed to. But this was never going to be an easy process.
Hi Mike, random question. Do you find that your opinion on sports topics not directly related to on the field happenings has changed as you have grown older? As a younger male with no children I know bullying is serious, however I think I am still ignorant to a great deal of the impact that is has. Seeing the sincerity in Adam Schefter's report today hit me as I clearly am not as passionate about bullying as he is. Thanks!
mike wilbon (2:50 PM)
Great, great question...I'm sure as I've grown older my viewpoint has changed, and is changing. I just listened to Bill Polian, the longtime NFL GM who is now working for ESPN and for my money the smartest man in the football industry today, said this crossed the line from hazing to personal harassment that is unprofessional in any workplace, and I agree (as usual) with Polian...After hearing what's on that VM, the ugliness and violence in the threats. This is a serious problem and I'm interested to see what Roger Goodell and the NFL office will do, if anything.
Hey Mike, need a bears question. I think we can keep it close for a half right? Then rodgers just takes over? thanks
mike wilbon (2:50 PM)
Yeah...I don't know if I'm hoping for that or actually believe it. I just don't see the Bears having much of a chance tonight in Green Bay...I so hope I'm wrong.
John Y (NYC)
I always feel Charles Smith was fouled in the '93 game, but it's from a Knicks Fan POV.
mike wilbon (2:51 PM)
Hey, the Knicks were at home and led that series 2-2, so I don't want to hear any revision!!! LOL I hear you on Fan POV...
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
Is there any sport that you dont know a lot about that you would like to... It can be a nationally known sport or one that is regional?
mike wilbon (2:54 PM)
I'm trying to do some intensive study on internatinal soccer as we approach World Cup. I followed North American soccer closely when I began my career at The Washington Post in 1980, but never the international game. It's a late curiosity, but late is better than never...so I'm trying to devour quite a bit of literature leading up to World Cup, and watching much, much more international futbol than I've ever watched in my life...and enjoying the immersion...
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Tony Romo now with 19 game winning 4th quarter or OT drives in the past 6 years, best in the NFL....speaking just to Romo, he has to be in your top 6 to 7 QB's, right?
mike wilbon (2:58 PM)
Rodgers/Peyton Manning/Tom Brady/Drew Brees/Wilson/Luck/Kapernick...That's seven, so no...But he'd be in that next group, yes...Cam Newton could be gaining ground...Matt Ryan could be losing ground. Romo goes ahead of Matthew Stafford for me, though that could change a little bit as this season plays out...
"Block-strip-block-block" that's an interesting interpretation of what happened to Smith...
mike wilbon (2:59 PM)
Wasn't that Marv Albert's exact call? And isn't Marv Albert a New Yorker? I think so...Quiet. I don't like whining 20 years after the fact.
mike wilbon (3:02 PM)
okay, gotta run...gotta prepare for PTI...tony is hollering for me now...See you guys next week when we'll chat some more. Thanks much...have a great week everybody!!!