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!
mike wilbon (1:42 PM)
Hi everybody...what a sports weekend we just had. I'm still getting over my Wildcats excruciating loss to Ohio State and the D. Rose return and there's a ton to talk about so here we go...
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Wilbon, do your Wildcats rebound and get another shot at the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship Game?
mike wilbon (1:51 PM)
Wow...I certainly hope so, though Ohio State would be hugely favored in a neutral site game like the Big Ten championship game...but we've got a much, much bigger problem than that: a date with the Badgers in Wisconsin Saturday. Look, I love my team and I'll steal a line from my friend and distinguished NU football alum Luis Castillo who said, "I'm heartbroken but proud" immediately after the game. What I wonder now is how Pat Fitzgerald gets that team up, after that loss, to play at Wisconsin Saturday...But we have Michigan State and Michigan at home in Evanston in November, so I'm hopeful...very hopeful...
Mike,I know its only a preseason game but there was a lot of hype surrounding Derrick's return...what is your assessment of him in limited action? He said after the game he thought his vertical increased by 5 inches (crazy).
mike wilbon (1:55 PM)
Yeah, his vertical leap was measured at 37 inches when he came out of Memphis before he was drafted by the Bulls...and it was reportedly measured last week as 42 inches. He looked good in the preseason debut, but we have to acknowledge its a preseason debut. He went right at the Pacers defense multiple times, dunked effortlessly once, seemed to seek out contact...If you're a Bulls fan or a Rose fan you're trying to take any encouragement you can from that performance...But we're not going to know anything real until 15 or 20 games into the regular season.
newport news va [via mobile]
do u think steelers will make a wildcard
mike wilbon (1:58 PM)
Denver, KC, Indy, Patriots, Cincy, plus either the Ravens, Dolphins, Titans...Hmmmmm, hard to see the Steelers having much of a chance and not just because the other teams are better right now but because the Steelers just don't seem to be any good...They lost to the Vikings who don't seem to be any good, gave up 40 at home to the Bears who struggle to score...hard to see...
Josh (Las Vegas)
Hi Wilbon. Romo threw for over 500 yards and 5 TDs and all I'm hearing about is the costly interception thrown at the end of the game. Can this guy ever catch a break?
mike wilbon (2:08 PM)
I must say, this seems to be Tony Romo's legacy: the spectacular, even brilliant game that he and the Cowboys end up losing. Wow. What do you say to a guy after that game. It just seems to be a case of more than one thing being true. Romo was brilliant. Romo kinda sorta cost his team the game. Thing I wonder is why Romo threw that pass--I'm looking at the replay right now--into triple coverage. Why throw that pass in a tied game? I just don't get it...So, I'm sort of in the middle there. I like Romo personally, but there is this thing he does at the end of games and at the end of seasons that I don't think we can ignore, can we?
Jerry (Cortland, IL)
What are your thoughts on Josh Freeman to the Vikings? I'm no historian, but how many in-season acquisitions have really made a difference for their new team, and will Freeman get that chance to do so?
mike wilbon (2:12 PM)
I think it's smart, particularly when you don't have the guy you think is a franchise quarterback, to pick up a 25-year-old QB who has already had a season of 25 TD passes to 6 INTs. I think Freeman has twice already thrown more than 20 TD passes in a season, and for a non-offensive team. I think Freeman, if the Vikings can come up with a QB guru to coach him, could be a find. And it costs the Vikings $2 million? That's nothing in the NFL. That's zero risk. I think it's a great idea.
I know that many Dallas losses over the years can and should be pinned on Tony Romo's 4th quarter mistakes, but the writers now referring to yesterday's loss against Denver as "another Tony Romo mistake" don't understand the game. Wouldn't you say that the Dallas defense might have had something to do with the outcome since they allowed 51 points? or maybe the offensive lineman who was driven back causing Romo to trip in his delivery...which led to the key interception?
mike wilbon (2:17 PM)
I'm not about to dismiss Romo's responsibility here, which you seem to want to do. I think the Cowboys are a flawed team, which I say just about every single week for the last dozen or so years. So, I'm with you that other facets of that team have to accept responsibility. The defense allowed fiddy, for example. But timing is everything in pro sports. We examine, rightfully, WHEN people are great, which is why I dismiss a lot of statistical analysis that doesn't take into account WHEN in games things happen. I just don't see the Cowboys being a contender; the team is too flawed, including the dependence on Romo to throw the ball way too much when you've got a big-time RB out there, too...
Romo led the league last year in 4th quarter comebacks... fact. Just sayin'
mike wilbon (2:19 PM)
And what the hell did that get him, considering his team missed the playoffs? See, that's the kind of garbage I'm talking about. Here you are throwing out some stat that you seem to be poppin' your jersey over, and what the hell does it mean? The game the Cowboys needed to win to make last year's playoffs, vs. Washington in Week 17, they lost (in part) becasue Romo threw an untimely pick...Just sayin.'
Mike, what do you make of Clowney not playing on Saturday. I know you and Tony had a discussion of whether or not he should consider sitting out this season (when he was the unquestioned #1 prospect so to not risk injury like his bud Marcus Lattimore), what are your thoughts about that whole situation.
mike wilbon (2:21 PM)
It's an impossible position to be in, that kid coming back to play after the season he has last year and given what's at stake this season...It's impossible. I don't know what the solution was, but I sure was not ready to dismiss him sitting out the season given what an injury in college can do to a career...I feel really bad for the kid, and for Coach Spurrier and the rest of the kids playing for South Carolina. We're talking about potentially tens of millions of dollars. The only thing I don't want to hear is that there's an easy answer to this dilema.
In sports (Sunday Night Football included) why is it so easy to blame the last second INT/Miss/penalty and not the 3+ quarters before it? That defense also collects a salary and let Romo down far more than he let them down...
mike wilbon (2:25 PM)
Because "when" is important. Because there are guys who make a living coming up large when it matters MOST...This is the problem with over reliance on statistical measure, not accounting in so many cases, not taking into account that some players can't get it done late in games, whatever the sport, as well as others. yeah, every team would like to play well for 3+ quarters. But if you don't, you'd better have a closer...and by closer I mean a great player who has the mental and emotional makeup to come through no matter what the hell happened those first three quarters.
Mike: I'm an Illini undergrad alum and NU grad alum (Kellogg). Is it okay if I cherry-pick and be a Wildcat football fan and Illini basketball fan? Because that's what I've been doing the last few years.
mike wilbon (2:26 PM)
Totally understandable. I'd just ask that you give Chris Collins a chance with the NU basketball team...I gotta feeling they're gonna be pretty good in 2014-15...
I need Mike Wilbon's "Boxing 101" - if you could pick any three fights to hook a novice on boxing, which three would you pick? Been feeling left out in these chats, bro!
mike wilbon (2:38 PM)
Thank you Jake...What a great question. Well, we're going into the Way Back Machine for all three, I think. Ali-Frazier, the Thrilla in Manilla, is the greatest fight of my lifetime. I think Tommy Hears v. Marvin Hagler is a must...and probably Tyson-Holyfield or Bowe-Holyfield, the one with the famous 10th round...There are so many fights, dozens I could point out I'm not even thinking of right now, fights involving Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, half of Ali's fights, Rocky Marciano fights, Joe Louis v. Max Schmeling (sp?), the second fight, the one where Louis breaks Max's ribs but he stands in there and keeps fighting even though he's screaming every time Louis hits him in the body...So, so many...There should be a channel totally devoted to old fights. I'd watch day and night...Oh, my father would say, Robinson v. Jake LaMotta...I can't forget that...
Maybe the last word on Romo, the Cowboys and yesterday's game. Why do the Cowboys have such an aversion to running the football, especially when they are having success doing it? On the first two drives of the game, the Cowboys had a nice mix of run and pass, had two long sustained drives, and while keeping Peyton Manning off the field. After Murray had a nice 13-yard run to the three yard line, they completely abandoned the running game. To me, this is one of the biggest problems with the Cowboys is that they put everything on Romo's shoulders. What if Romo played on those two recent Giants' teams that won Super Bowls, or maybe the Ravens last year -- teams that established the running game -- perhaps people would look at him differently.
mike wilbon (2:39 PM)
Amen! Didn't I just say that? I think a lot of us are thinking that...yes, and that IS today's final word on Romo in this space...LOL
How about those Chiefs? I'm sure you had them at 5-0 to start the season, right?
mike wilbon (2:40 PM)
I had 'em if you had 'em, and I know you didn't, and hell no, I didn't. But it might be the best story in the NFL right now, Andy Reid and what he's doing in K.C. And I'm happy for Alex Smith, thrilled for him...
Hey Mr. Wilbon...ENOUGH ABOUT THEM COWBOYS. Do you think the NFL will start having a late Sunday night game for the West Coast like last night if the rating are good?
mike wilbon (2:42 PM)
You know what, that's not a bad idea at all. I haven't seen the ratings yet but I'm sure the NFL is pouring over the numbers and figuring out whether there are enough eyeballs in the pacific and mountain time zones to justify moving a game to prime time for the west coast...thing is, you don't really want to have the 49ers on that late because I bet that would hurt the ratings because so many people in the east want to watch the Niners...
NCAA (Mt. Olympus)
Bama vs Stanford for the BCSNCG... book it.
mike wilbon (2:43 PM)
I'm okay with that. You sure Stanford will beat Oregon?
Corrales-Castillo was the fight with the famous 10th round.
mike wilbon (2:44 PM)
There are LOTS of fights with famous 10th rounds! Lots. Boxing wasn't born yesterday. We're talking 125 years of history. I'm sure Jack Johnson had fights with famous 10th rounds.
Hey Wilbon, I assume you must have spoken about this before, but what's your take on fighting in the NHL? Although I get the history of fighting in the NHL, I just can't help but feel like it's time for an end.. every year that goes by I just feel like fighting is becoming overly staged and just completely unnecessary.. thoughts?
mike wilbon (2:46 PM)
My take on NHL fighting is clear and I've been stating it for 20 years. The NHL is too good a product to need fighting. There are too many skilled players for anybody to lazily rely on the old notion that there aren't enough skilled players to fill a league and there are roughians who need a job. To hell with them. We can't talk about players' health and reducing concussions and still have guys pounding each other in the head with fists...in front of kids no less. Why? BECAUSE WE'VE ALWAYS HAD IT ain't good enough.
George Jefferson (Uptown, MN)
I checked out both Charles Barkley books from library you co-wrote and have yet to start either one. If you were to write another book, what subject/topic would it be (as if you had free time to write a book)? I enjoyed the Sportswriting compilation you produced for us.
mike wilbon (2:47 PM)
I hope you read and like the books I edited for Charles. We had a great, great time doing both of them...we've talked in recent weeks about going back to the drawing board, so that could happen. I don't know, really. I've "edited" books, but never written one. So, I'm no expert on it. Don't know that I'll ever do it...
How ridiculous is it to fire a coach (Peter Laviolette) after just 3 games? If he was on that thin of ice, why wouldn't you just show him the door in the off season?
mike wilbon (2:48 PM)
Couldn't agree with you more...
mike wilbon (2:49 PM)
Okay, gotta run...TK screaming at me to join the PTI prep, so I gotta stop...This is fun...Next Monday it is...Thanks for chatting...have a great week everybody. MW