Chat with Michael Wilbon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
mike wilbon (1:31 PM)
Hi Everybody...coming to you from frosty Chicago where it was 5 degrees (-15 windchill) when I left Soldier Field this morning at about 2 a.m. eastern time...although people pretty toasty here after the Bears most thorough offensive performance in, well, years and years...I'm sure the reaction is just the opposite in Dallas where the defense has never looked worse and the Cowboys are now a game behind the Eagles...we'll jump into that game/aftermath right away and whatever else people are into...here we go...
Rob (Park Ridge)
If youre the bears GM, do you let cutler walk after this season and roll with McCown and maybe a rookie QB next year?
mike wilbon (1:33 PM)
If I am the Bears GM I probably put the franchise tag on Jay Cutler; I would NOT let him walk...AND I'd keep Josh McCown. Rookie QB with these offensive players? No. No chance. I'd keep these two quarterbacks and spend every resource on the defense and maybe a backup OLman or two...Why start over at that position when you don't have to?
Charles (Taunton, MA)
Michael love your work...after watching the debacle last night from my beloved Cowboys I think it is time that Jerry Jones excepts that he no longer is in touch with what his football team needs and that he needs to turn over a lot of the personnel decisions to Jason Garrett (or insert coaches' name here)...He is just single-handedly crippling this team and is the big reason why this team has been .500 since their last Super Bowl victory
mike wilbon (1:35 PM)
He needs to turn the personnel decisions over to a full-time GM, not the coach, a GM, a president of football ops or whatever you want to call him. He needs to go to Bill Polian and say, "what's your price" and leave Mr. Polian to do his thing for two or three years. But I don't think Jerry Jones is capable of that, yet. He might get there if the Cowboys miss the playoffs again this year and perhaps next year as well. But the Cowboys don't have the kind of roster to beat the best teams in the NFC...
State of the Washington sports scene, RG3, OV and Strasburg walk into a restaurant, who gets the first table?
mike wilbon (1:39 PM)
Wow...what a difference a year makes! Last year at this time it would have been RG3, SS and then Ovie...But now, with Ovie coming off a third MVP season, it would be him first, then SS and RG3 last, right? It seems split pretty down the middle between people who are still with RG3 and people who are upset with him...Of course, depending on where in town Ovie was hanging people might not even recognize him right away if he's just in jeans and a quarter-zip or something...But you know what...if we're downtown, say at Cafe Milano, its probably still RG3 because its the Redskins AND because that's a Dan Snyder spot, so it would be RG3 there! The quarterback of the Redskins is still the No. 1 athlete celebrity in town, even if his popularity is down to 50 percent or less. By the way, you didn't mention John Wall???
Do the Chicago Bulls suck at drafting players?
mike wilbon (1:42 PM)
Did they suck at drafting Luol Deng and Jokim Noah who slipped down to about No. 10 and Taj Gibson who was middle of the first round and, oh yeah, D. Rose, and Jimmy Butler who came at the end of the first round or this kid Snell who looks pretty darned good right now even though he was a non-lottery pick? What Bulls are you talking about, Dude? You even paying attention?
Greg (Lake Zurich)
Do the bears have any shot at a title either this year or next year?
mike wilbon (1:46 PM)
Could the Bears go on the road and beat Seattle or the 49ers this year? No, I can't see that and I doubt anybody outside the Bears family can see that. Now, if Lance Briggs and Henry Melton and Peanut Tillman were healthy and playing every down AND the offense was consistently rolling like it did last night, they might have a puncher's chance to throw a haymaker and upset one of those two...BUT, the Bears are allowing 200 yards per game rushing with all those defensive players injured and out AND wouldn't Mr. Lynch of Seattle or Mr. Gore of San Francisco go for 250 against that run defense? Next year? Who knows. Teams make huge jumps in one season in the NFL; Look at the Chiefs...But the defense would have to have an infusion of young playmakers, probably one at each level of the D...PLUS the veterans healthy...Not gonna happen this season, but I won't rule out (or even speculate) about next...
Why don't the Niners game plan 4-6 planned runs for Kaep each game to get him comfortable?? It seems like that gets him into a rhythm. Also, I would think that to beat Seattle in Seattle, I would Have the first 2-3 series scripted, so you can go no huddle and no audibles, just force your will onto them. Then you take their crowd out it and you can get on a roll. I'm obvious not a football coach so I could be crazy for thinking this. But it would help with the crowd noise.
mike wilbon (1:49 PM)
You're obviously into scripting and planned attack, and that's fine because so are lots of coaches who do EXACTLY what you're talking about. But I'm always reminded of the Mike Tyson line, "Everybody's got a plan until he gets hit in the mouth." You have to play a great game all the way around, starting with keeping Russell Wilson contained and under control, which few teams have done the last two years, almost never in Seattle. I don't believe in formulas, but that's just me.
Please tell me you have the Ravens beating the Lions this week to help out our Bears!
mike wilbon (1:51 PM)
I do have the Ravens beating the Lions this week, and I think the Bears (IF Trestman is as aggressive offensively as he was last night) can beat the Browns in Cleveland BUT it's hard to see the Bears beating the Eagles in Philly the next week with them on a roll and needing to stay ahead of the Cowboys...The only way the Bears can win the division at 9-7 is to have the Lions lost to both the Ravens and probably Vikings on the final week of the season...possible but unlikely...And its hard to see the Bears running the table as well...
Rich (Chicago, IL)
The Bears need to draft a quaterback, right?
mike wilbon (1:52 PM)
The Bears have a backup QB who has 13 TDs to one interception in relief PLUS a franchise QB in Jay Cutler and you want them to draft a QB...I really don't understand why or how you even follow football...and with all the holes on defense the Bears have, they shouldn't even spend a 5th or 6th round pick on a QB. THEY HAVE TWO. Hello!!!!!
Hi Mike,What is the long term future of PTI once you and Uncle Tony decide to hang it up?
mike wilbon (1:53 PM)
Goodness, you got replacements for us already? (Don't answer that!!! LOL). We're not planning on going AWOL or anything. You okay with being stuck with us for a little while longer?
Ryan (Astoria, NY)
Hey Mike... bigger circus: Redskins or Nets?
mike wilbon (1:57 PM)
Damn, talk about a toss up! Wow...the Redskins have been at it longer, that's for sure, repeating some of the same themes (coach thinks owner and star players are too close, owner and coach have rift, blah, blah, blah)...But the Kidd v L. Frank thing was really smelly, wasn't it? Kidd RECRUITED Frank to come to Brooklyn, then deep-sixed him. The names are bigger with the Nets, considering we're talking three HOFers in Kidd, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce plus known entities in Deron Williams and Jason Terry, and an All-Star in Brooke Lopez. That's quite an ensemble...But the Redskins are a much, much bigger and greater brand, a more accomplished franchise by a million miles...I don't know about this one...Too close to call, a dead-heat, a "push."
Mark (Brooklyn, NY)
There's really only 4 or 6 NBA teams worth watching these days. Why should people care about watching anyone else, and do you think the league should do something to spread the talent out a little bit for the sake of competition?
mike wilbon (2:01 PM)
There are a few more than that, but I'm pretty much with you...Let's see: Miami and Indy are the only teams in the East right now worth watching since D. Rose went down...Spurs, OKC, Clips, TrailBlazers, Warriors, Rockets...what is that, 8 teams? Not enough. I'd have dumped two teams and combined two more franchises a few years ago to get it down from 30 to 24 or 26 teams and that way (if you had 26) you could take 48 good players and about 7 to 10 real front line players and strengthen the league by having them on better teams...But no owner is going for that. Nobody...That's just "if I was commissioner" talk...
mike wilbon (2:02 PM)
No, I can't see that UNLESS the New Orleans club has none of that history and just starts anew as the Pelicans and all the Hornets stuff transfers back to Charlotte. Question: Then what happens to the Bobcats history? You can't just assign it to New Orleans or put it in a box in a storage space. No, can't see it.
mike wilbon (2:03 PM)
oooops did I post the question first? I case I didn't, I'll re-post the question I just tried to address...Sorry...
Hi Michael, fan of the show and your contributions. I have a question dating back to Charlotte possibly taking back the Hornets team name. My question is, if they call themselves the Hornets again, does the history of the Charlotte Hornets apply? For example, retired jersies, Hornets HOF, team stats, banners (what if they had won a championship in the 90s?), Grand-mama, does that all stay with the franchise which still lives in NO, or can Charlotte claim all of that as it's own since any of those accolades occured originally in Charlotte?
mike wilbon (2:03 PM)
There we are...
Jake Stover (NY)
Are the cowboys done?
mike wilbon (2:04 PM)
Certainly not mathematically. They're a game behind Philly and the two have to play one another...So no. Do I expect the Cowboys to come roaring back and be a factor in January? Hell no. But I never expect that...not since Troy, Emmitt and Playmaker...and Jimmy...
what one event would you cover if you were limited to just ONE. thanks
mike wilbon (2:05 PM)
Damn...that's good...well, it wouldn't be a one-time deal like The Super Bowl...and you can't sustain on an event every 4 years which eliminates the Olympics, which I've loved and covered 10 times...Probably the NBA Playoffs, which last almost 8 weeks. Does that count as one event?
Mike, if you were doing on-the-field work for last nights game would you rock the soviet hat like Ray?
mike wilbon (2:07 PM)
I've got the same hat, pretty much...got it made for my big head in Alaska a few years ago and I rocked it last night and was NOT doing on-field work, so I leaned out last night, pointed to my hat and gave Ray a thumbs up...I'm not certain but I thought I saw him laugh at me...Love that hat. No cold getting through that.
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
Did the media / NBA fans have too high of an expectation for Kobe's return on sunday...
mike wilbon (2:09 PM)
Great question. I didn't. I thought about 10 points and a bunch of turnovers were in order...What, did people expect a triple-double coming off a torn achilles at 36 years old? I think it'll take a month, six weeks for Kobe to play himself into a form he finds acceptable...Professional basketball is so much better if Kobe Bryant is, well, Kobe Bryant...
Do you think Steven Stamkos or D.Rose will be ready in time for the playoffs?
mike wilbon (2:09 PM)
Actually, I think its possible for both...I said "possible" but I'm not going to Vegas on it...
Thoughts on Zach Johnson upending your boy Tiger in the glorified exhibition?
mike wilbon (2:13 PM)
Zach holed a great shot for par, but why would I have any particular thoughts otherwise? I was there a couple of days leading into the tournament last week...Wonderful course. It was cool field. And as someone who co-hosts a charity golf event myself and depends on the kindness of all kinds of people including some professional athletes, I was happy and honored to be one of those who was asked to participate in Tiger's charitable effort...
Cliff (Norris Division)
Wilbon, you said all the Norris Divisin teams stink but SOMEBODY has to win the NFC North. Who & how?
mike wilbon (2:15 PM)
The day Aaron Rodgers got hurt (by the Bears) I said if he gets back this season the Packers would win the division, and I still have a feeling it will come down to Bears v. Packers Dec. 29 at Soldier Field...Look, the Lions SHOULD win but the Lions for decades have found new a creative ways to screw up. The Lions are the most talented team and SHOULD win...but I fear the Packers...as a lifelong Bears fan, I have plenty of history forcing that fear...
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
Kansas City, Green Bay, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver walk into Mr. Goddell's office with a pitch to host the next cold weather outdoor Super Bowl... Who gets the winning bid and why?
mike wilbon (2:19 PM)
I'd say no to all of them, but Denver knows how to host a wintertime party, no doubt. So does Minneapolis, which hosted one of my fave Super Bowls ever in, I think, 1988...Problem now is the Metrodome couldn't host a Super Bowl anymore; it's a dump that's going out of the football business. And Chicago, which could throw a great weeklong party, has the smallest stadium in the NFL at 62,000...Green Bay doesn't have the infrastructure, and I don't think Kansas City does either, though it has the stadium...I can't see any of those cities getting a Super Bowl...Not gonna happen. There should be a tight rotation of only these cities: Los Angeles when it builds the new stadium, Phoenix, Miami (but only after it gets a new stadium because the old Joe Robbie is a dump), New Orleans...that's it...Nobody else...maybe Santa Clara now that the Niners are about to have a new place...Okay, that's it, nobody else.
Wilbon, Thanks for your work! Just to play devil's advocate in response to your answer about drafting a QB, to resign McCown will be pretty expensive (say 2 years 10 mil), couldn't that money be better used on defensive players and then draft a qb in 3rd round to develop under QB guru Trestman? We can't assume going into a season that Cutler will get hurt right?
mike wilbon (2:21 PM)
We have to presume he WILL get hurt but because the position is so damn important I don't want a repeat of 2011 again, where you waste a 7-4 record and three straight wins and momentum because you are cheap at the position...Nobody is going to break the bank with McCown...Nobody is going to offer him starter's money or anything crazy...I'd try my best to keep him...It's a QB lead. Where would the Bears be right now without him?
Hey Mr. Wilbon, Isn't the QB situation in Chicago what everybody wants? Two competent QB's--one a franchise player; the other a really good backup. The key for the GM is to convince McCown to stay and not become the next Matt Flynn. Am I right?
mike wilbon (2:22 PM)
YEAAAAAH! Boom! That's the final word on that...for now...
The Jazz received a lot of grief when they took on a massive salary dump (about $20 million) off Golden State's hands in exchange for Golden State's unprotected first round pick. If the season ended today, Utah would essentially get some extra ping pong balls in the draft lottery. Given the strength of the 2014 draft, isn't $20 million a pretty good price for even a 1?% chance for a top 3 pick? And if Utah gets the No. 1 pick, isn't Jabari Parker a no-brainer for them, especially considering that he would be more likely to stay in Utah long-term than many other young players?
mike wilbon (2:23 PM)
Ummm, yeah. And you think the good folk of Utah wouldn't love to DRAFT A MORMON, which jabari Parker is? If a lottery is ever going to be fixed...okay, I won't go there...
tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]
-15? It's minus 40 with the wind chill here in Winnipeg ya big baby! Love the show and the chats. Merry Christmas.
mike wilbon (2:24 PM)
I hear you! I never make the case Chicago is the coldest place on earth...just cold enough. I've got the long undies on right now as I prepare to walk about 10 blocks to the studio in Chicago where I do PTI when I'm here...
Wilbon, thanks for doing this on short sleep, huge win last night, but as a bear fan all I can think about is when is Briggs coming back?? People keep talking abotu Cutler, but Briggs is far more important in short term. It has been 8 weeks! Any inside scoop or gut feeling, and how helpful you think Briggs will be? Thanks
mike wilbon (2:25 PM)
Amen to you for that assertion. I've been saying that for a month. The Bears (surprisingly) have not just a suitable backup to Cutler but a spectacular backup. The Bears do NOT have anything comparable to Briggs. And he would help that defense so much...No scoop...didn't get to talk to Briggs last night...was just talking to offensive players...
mike wilbon (2:29 PM)
okay, I gotta run and prepare for PTI and get all my layers ready for the walk to the studio! Ha. Thanks for chatting. I know we could have talked even more Bears in the wake of last night's game. We didn't even mention Coach Ditka. One of my personal life highlights, maybe ever, has to be having lunch yesterday with Mike Ditka and Gale Sayers at Ditka's in Chicago at the ESPN 1000 luncheon for Coach Ditka...For a kid who grew up watching and idolizing them both, it was a blast. Sayers looks like he's 15 years younger than he is. The only thing that could possibly have made it any better was Dick Butkus walking in. I think half the room would have fainted...
mike wilbon (2:29 PM)
Ooops...thanks for chatting...See you next Monday. Have a great week and enjoy this Holiday Season...MW
Andre (Tallahassee, FL)
No San Diego in your Super Bowl rotation? What about Tampa, Charlotte, and ATL (assuming new stadium)?
mike wilbon (2:31 PM)
Tampa would be okay, I think. Atlanta has had two ice bowls Super Bowl week and it ain't Minneapolis when it comes to operating in cold weather. San Diego's stadium no longer works for the NFL and they're not getting a new one there...Charlotte? No chance.
So Atlanta's new digs don't merit a Super Bowl? Arthur Blank is pretty well respected among the other owners who vote on these things...