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 (1:03 PM)
Mike will be here in about 10 minutes or so to chat!
Rob (San Antonio)
Michael would you agree that enough is enough? Yes the regular referees make mistakes but some of the things they did yesterday completely detracted from some great football.
mike wilbon (1:17 PM)
Good afternoon everybody...Wow, the lines are burning up with dissatisfaction over the officiating, which is both predictable and avoidable. The NFL should be ashamed to have these replacement refs out there, but its unmatched arrogance leads the league to continue on, telling us there's no problem as if we're too dumb to see the problem. Of course, the officiating is horrific. On pass interference/illegal contact calls specifically, they're just out there guessing. And while Joe Flacco is absolutely the wrong messenger considering he's not nearly as good as he thinks he is, his message is ON POINT. It does speak to the integrity of the game, but the top of the NFL pyramid is more concerned with flexing and making every cent it can than the product. It's shameful.
spencer (new york)
What is your take on the Giants Vs Bucs Kneel Controversy yesterday
mike wilbon (1:19 PM)
If Greg Schiano (did I spell that correctly) wants to teach his team how to play start-to-finish why the hell did he wait to the kneel-down? What, he couldn't get them to charge the line the previous four quarters when it might have done some good? He took the show pony route. That's public relations garbage. Tom Coughlin used it as a teaching moment, thank God. I hate that rah-rah "false hustle" stuff, as Mark Jackson so wonderfully calls it.
alexander (cold spring/ny)
who is the best baseball player right now?
mike wilbon (1:23 PM)
Wow...make me think a bit...Mike Trout is my first answer...Cabrera has the offensive numbers but isn't the fielder (by a mile) that Trout is. Josh Hamilton has had a nice bounce-back...Buster Posey has to be considered...I guess that's my group off the top of my head...Joey Votto missed too much time to make the list, though I wonder what kind of season he might have put together if healthy...
mike wilbon (1:24 PM)
Oh wait, I forgot Ryan Braun in the "best player in baseball conversation." Gotta consider Braun again...
Without bias or preconceived notions, Ryan Braun is the NL MVP again. How could voters justify not voting for him when they voted for Bonds all those years? Neither is/was guilty of anything.
mike wilbon (1:25 PM)
Yeah, I not in the "he's not eligible" camp. You can't just say, "I don't believe him" and make him ineligible for NL MVP...
Brian (New Orleans)
Are we about to see a replay of the 2011 college football season with Alabama and LSU being the two best teams in the country?
mike wilbon (1:28 PM)
Damn sure looks like it, doesn't it. The ugly truth is there aren't a lot of really good teams in college football right now...not yet anyway. Some of the SEC teams are totally overrated (Arkansas). The top of the Big Ten (Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Wisconsin) were totally overrated coming into the season. USC has already lost. You might believe in Notre Dame, but I don't...not yet...I mean, there are the usually fun stories and I hope my school, 3-0 Northwestern with three wins over BCS schools, remains one of them...But it looks like Alabama is all alone, lapping the field. I don't think LSU can touch Alabama, but we'll see. But there's nobody in the Pac-12 or the Big 12 I look at and say, "Oh, I gotta see them." Nope. Nobody...Maybe somebody will emerge...pretty boring college football season right now, and it'll stay that way if nobody can challenge Alabama.
Jay Cutler getting in the face of his O-Line last Thursday -- warranted or just more of "Jay being Jay"?
mike wilbon (1:30 PM)
Good question...Surely, some of both. I was in the Bears locker room Thursday night and those teammates very clearly said they didn't mind it. But let's see how it plays if Cutler goes to the whip hand repeatedly. Cutler had a lousy game himself, which puts the pressure on all involved to go out and trash the Rams this weekend in Chicago, which now doesn't look like the guaranteed whipping we might have thought two weeks ago...
Jimmy (Overland Park)
So much for Arkansas being a National Championship contender this year. That was one of the worst beatdowns I've ever seen
mike wilbon (1:32 PM)
This is the problem with having a college football Top 25 poll before a game is even played. It's stupid. The first poll should come out after this Saturday's games. Arkansas sure as hell wouldn't be on it. But we knew that after they struggled in a guaranteed "money" game against a nobody in Week 1 and then lost Week 2...
Matt Barkley cannot beat Stanford. Preach on the subject.
mike wilbon (1:34 PM)
Barkley is really, really, really good but not yet John Elway and Stanford is now a consistently fine program. I don't see why so many people are so surprised. It's a bad loss for USC, in terms of the rankings, but if we waited 4 weeks before voting the polls might better reflect the reality of college football...Stanford's been good a long time; people are invested in the smart kids not being able to be consistently good. I love this. I root for Stanford.
Jeff (Phoenix, AZ)
Matt Kemp, when healthy, is as good as anyone. See, e.g., last year.
mike wilbon (1:35 PM)
Yes...but like Joey Votto Kemp missed a lot of time and couldn't put together a full season. That's almost always high on the priority list for being thought of as the best player in the game.
Chicago teachers are on strike but the buses are running over Jay Cutler in the media here. Do you think it is justified?
mike wilbon (1:36 PM)
Yeah. Quarterback is the most important position in American sports...and when you lose to your blood rival like that on national TV on a night nobody else is playing, you get heat. Yeah, it's fair. And it's not like Cutler had a RG3 game but his team lost. He was lousy and his team lost. So the heat is on...It's expected. Cutler's a big boy; he understands. I expect him to bounce back Sunday and the praise will be on...especially if he goes to Dallas 2 weeks from today and beats the Cowboys...
Lewis (Flint Michigan )
Claressa Shields won a gold medal in London but unlike some gold medalists is not cashing in with sponsors. Is this because women's boxing is relatively new or as some suspect she does not have the "look" companies are looking for?
mike wilbon (1:39 PM)
Probably the factors you mention and others. A lot of men still cringe at women's boxing. I used to be one of them, though I've come to accept it. Tony K. still won't even look at it, can't bring himself to watch it...Marketing is about appeal, and if for WHATEVER reason a person or sport doesn't have it, that person or sport isn't going to cash in. In Ireland, just to pick a different example, a young woman named Katie Taylor is the most popular female athlete in the country. Laila Ali, to pick another female boxer, has done just fine for herself in the marketing department, due in large part no doubt to her famous father and that many of us (my hand is in the air) feel she's a total hottie...So, it all depends...
Scott (College Park, Md.)
What's a better story in the AL East: the proud, battle tested old guard fighting off myriad injuries to come out on top (NYY), or the plucky (or is that lucky?), obscure team from nowhere beating the odds (BAL)?
mike wilbon (1:41 PM)
The Orioles are the better story to me...Actually, I root for the Yankees and hope the Yankees win the division...Well, Yankees or Rays since I LOVE Joe Maddon...But the Orioles, given they disappeared 15 years ago as a franchise, are the better story...Nobody outside Maryland even KNOWS their story...Hell, I LIVE in Maryland and don't know they're story...so there's a story to be told.
Mike, please tell me you saw the game changing terrible calls in the Eagles/Ravens game. It seems like everyone from Coach Cowher to Peter King is talking about how it costs the Ravens the game. There were at least 10 pass interference calls not made, 10 mins of dead air with officials not knowing what to call, punches thrown but no players thrown out, and TWO different 2 min warnings in the 4th quarter. What does Goodell mean when he says integrity of the game? Please give us your thoughts.
mike wilbon (1:45 PM)
My thought are very clear on this and it has nothing to do with any one game. The officiating was terrible yesterday and even if it wasn't it's shameful the NFL, for what amounts to pennies when you're a 9 billion industry, to not pay the regular officials. But the NFL is, always has been and surely will be about exerting its control and making more money than anybody else. And in that context, it wants to crush these little referees and doesn't give a damn at what cost, either to the officials or to the quality of its product. It's shameful, except the NFL really knows no shame. Read Jason Whitlock's column on how a league has the nerve to say its concerned with player safety while putting a game on Thursday night when players' bodies are anywhere close to being recovered from the previous Sunday's game...Shameful.
Lois Lane (Humid, Hot, Soggy S. Florida)
Today 2 new articles on Tiger Woods on the Golf Channel site, one about McIlroy, after saying TW is a great dad, adds "probably trying to make up for what he did in the past"... He DIDN'T need that. TW is a great Dad! Second one is from Nick Falso, oops Faldo continually saying TW doesn't intimidate...the media says he will be "back" when he does win big (Major), yet they PURPOSELY taunt him each and every time there is a tournament w/in a few days. They are doing this 34 months now, and refuse to give him the "head space" to get the game/swing together. This is the truth, w/Haney's book, other articles, tweets before, during rounds, etc. All negative and incite public against him. Your thoughts, please.
mike wilbon (1:49 PM)
First, those guys don't owe Tiger anything, Rory and Faldo. Nothing. Rory is a competitor and Faldo made his fortune and his reputation before Tiger came along. Now, just about everybody in the golf industry between 26 and 50 DOES owe Tiger because they'd have a lot less money in his bank acct without Tiger Woods, who literally made deposits for everybody of a certain age on the PGA Tour and the younger guys on the Champions' Tour. I don't find this particularly surprising, that people are piling on Tiger...They've been doing it for three years. And certainly, it's hard to make any case other than that he brought it on himself. There's only one way to get them off his ass: win. I don't know if he can win another major; I have my doubts even as I root like hell for him to win. But nobody owes him "space to clear his head." What? Professional sports are competitive, Lois. People aren't there to give Tiger a hand; they're there to whip his butt...HE has to do something about that, even as the pile on top of him grows heavier...
Looking forward to the Broncos v. Falcons game tonight? Any thoughts or predictions?
mike wilbon (1:51 PM)
I want to see Payton Manning as much as I can see Payton Manning, that's my only thought. I don't care who wins, don't know who will win...I just want to watch one of the great QBs ever play, do his thing, gesticulate and orchestrate offense...That's it. And, I guess I want to see if the Falcons can ever be what they're promised to be...Been waiting for a couple of years...
I know you're a bears fan, but how about some love for the Cardinals? They've overcome their "lack of a qb" to this point, I'm reallly impressed with them.
mike wilbon (1:54 PM)
Well, if I'm allowed to have a "second" team it is the Cardinals, because I spend much of my life in Scottsdale...The biggest surprise of the season, so far, has to be the Cardinals being 2-0...As somebody said on-air yesterday, "Raise your hand if you had the Cardinals going up to Foxboro and beating the Patriots yesterday! Now, put it down because you're lying." That was the best win of the day, to me, in Week 2...I keep waiting for K. Kolb to evolve or emerge or whatever a QB has to do to become a worthy leader...Don't know if they can get that out of him...But the Cardinals are 9-2 in their last 11 games and with that defense, perhaps Kolb can learn how to not screw it up as he learns how to be an asset. One can hope. Oh, and Ken Whisenhunt must be one helluva coach. Remember, the guy was one play from winning a Super Bowl.
Who do you think will win the AL Central?
mike wilbon (1:56 PM)
I'm biased...I'm the wrong guy to ask. I want the White Sox to win...But the White Sox can't beat Detroit or K.C. And the Tigers, everybody's pick to start the spring, are just as funky because they can't beat K.C. either and keep laying an egg every time the White Sox appear to be faltering. This afternoon's game in Chicago, a makeup game for a rain out last week, will be huge. If the White Sox win they'll be 3-up, but if Detroit wins they're only one back...The White Sox are having a great season in this way: they're attempting to rebuild while at the same time rely on some old heads (Konerko, Dunn, Peavy, Liriano, A.J.) to win now...That's a tough trick...
Is there anyone dumber then Gary Bettman and NHL owners right now? The league's popularity is surging then it was 8 years ago. I just can't fathom the reason they would want to hit the re-start button with Sidney Crosby coming back and east coast markets like Boston,Philly and New York thriving.
mike wilbon (1:57 PM)
I don't get it either...But the one thing the last labor agreement didn't do is eliminate some rather long and large contracts that the owners can't help themselves from agreeing to...But I think they'll miss very little time, ultimately. I think the season will start no later than Thanksgiving, probably before...
Who ya got on Sat night--ND or the Wolverines?? Denard has owned ND the past two years.
mike wilbon (1:58 PM)
Michigan...Maybe I'm being naive and too Big Ten-centric, but I expect the Wolverines to rise up Saturday and beat Notre Dame, largely because their QB has indeed owned the Irish. But let me say this: If Notre Dame wins this game...maybe they're onto the kind of season we've been waiting for for 10 years or more...
tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]
New Orleans is 0-2 and the Cardinals are 2-0..gotta love the NFL. Do you think the Saints can turn it around this year, they just don't look the same. Bountygate or are team just figuring them out?
mike wilbon (1:59 PM)
I think the Saints, with that defense, are an 8-8 team...I know nobody's defense dominates a season anymore, but that defense is pathetic. And they clearly miss their coach...put it all together and no, I don't see them turning it around.
Tony Kornheiser (The chair across from you)
How much did it kill you to see Notre Dame dominate a Big 10 team?
mike wilbon (2:00 PM)
It gives me hope, as Northwestern alumn, that we can go to East Lansing and have a chance...Bet you didn't expect that answer, did you?
What's it say about a commissioner when a yahoo poll shows 94% of voters say they don't trust him?
mike wilbon (2:00 PM)
You talking about Bettman or Goodell?
Wilbon, are you giving Derek Jeter any MVP votes this year?
mike wilbon (2:01 PM)
I don't vote...but no, I don't think so...There's a rookie outfielder in Anaheim I think I'd vote for...But Jeter has had a terrific season, I think we can agree on that.
How culpable is Mike Tice for his awful gameplanning? Not accounting for the Packers best defender is ludicrous!
mike wilbon (2:03 PM)
Very accountable. Why not help your vulnerable left tackle against Matthews? Why not run the ball more early, considering the way the 49ers ran all over the Packers at Lambeau? Why not go to the quick passing game with those big receivers (marshall and jeffery) and more screens, which are designed to counter a big pass rush? You've got all that and all you do is try to load up on the downfield passing game? That's Tice's fault. It's rather Martz-like to tell the truth!
Paul (Portland, OR)
Just like your opinion on the college football polling, we fans and the media need to stop crowning (or panning) NFL teams after ONE game. Last week everyone was crowing about the Cowboys. Then they lay an egg in Seattle.
mike wilbon (2:05 PM)
Bless you! These wild swings of opinions one week to the next in the NFL are so...well...stupid. I know 16 game seasons create a sense of urgency and they're a big part of the NFL's appeal...But 16 games are enough to still allow a team to grow, to evolve...I'm not sure I want to declare ANYTHING off the first two games other than RG3 is a BEAST and the Cardinals appear to be a lot better than people thought...That's it. The Cowboys, up one week and down the other, are what they've been. Let it unfold people!!!
mike wilbon (2:06 PM)
Okay, gotta run the prepare for PTI...Thanks for chatting everybody....See you next Monday...