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 (1:04 PM)
Mike will be here at 1:30 p.m. ET to take your questions!
mike wilbon (1:47 PM)
Hi everybody...sorry we're starting late...had some technical issues. I'm, uh, challenged on many technological fronts. Anyway, great weekend of pro football...plus the fight...we'll jump right in...
Pacquiao-Marquez. Wow. It killed any chance of a Mayweather-Pac fight but it might have been worth it. Do you think this loss in any way diminishes Pacquiao's accomplishments? I don't think so. He's obviously on the decline, but what he accomplished in his prime (complete destructions of Hatton, Cotto and De La Hoya) was more compelling and entertaining than Mayweather's performances against those same three fighters.
mike wilbon (1:51 PM)
I know, I know, boxing is about dead and football is alive and well BUT WE ARE STARTING WITH THIS FIGHT. What an incredible four rounds, 3- through 6, from Marquez and Pacquiao...Oh my God. It might be in my top 20 fights of all-time. When you have both guys going down like that, one with a busted nose (I presume Marquez' nose is broken)...punches with that kind of precision, action, counter-action...It had it all...And as to Pacquiao, I'm figuring he's done. Two straight losses. He's probably shot, which is why we all wanted to see him and Mayweather fight two years ago. He's one of the great fighters of all time, but Father Time is undefeated...What a fool Mayweather has been; he could have beaten Pac and either way, win or lose, would have made $25 million at the very least.
Let's say 1990's Mike Wilbon breaks a story. Sportcenter then goes on air and cites "sources." How upset would you be? Is it not news until the mothership "confirms"?
mike wilbon (1:53 PM)
I'd be ANGRY AS HELL...And that's why Tony and I, as former newspaper guys who had a few scoops in our time, go to great lengths to credit...I hate to hear the phrase somebody "confirmed." something. No. you either broke the damn story or you didn't. No "confirm" not on PTI...I don't set policy for the network, but Tony and I obviously have different sensitbilities about that issue.
Is there another comparable season for a RB to what A. Peterson is doing, in terms of where he started and where it looks like he is going to finish? Is he entering "all time great" status after this season?
mike wilbon (1:57 PM)
It's amazing, and no, I can't think of another RB who has ever done this. Look, as much as we all want to pat Peterson on the back--and he deserves it--so do all the doctors and rearsearchers and those in the science and healthy industries who made it possible. You think I wouldn't have loved to see Gale Sayers with the marvels of modern medicine and technology? It's extraordinary what Peterson is doing. I'm rooting like hell for him to break 2,000 yards...Or even get Eric Dickerson's record of 2,105 yards...
Kris G (Indy)
Hi MW! What are your takes on Adrian Peterson's chances at 2k or even Dickerson's record and his shot at MIP? I want to believe.
mike wilbon (1:59 PM)
To follow up on this topic since so many of you are interested in it...Peterson will face 3 of the best run defenses in the league: at STL, at HOU and at home for Green Bay. That's hard. And with Percy Harvin out, it seems to me that all points to how difficult it's going to be for Peterson to gain 169 yards per game (or something close to that)...But look, he's defied everything and everybody getting back to this point, so I hope he can do it...I don't know that he's got more than a, say, 25 percent chance but I'm pulling for him...
Kevin (Huntsville, Alabama)
Michael Do you really not want to elaborate anymore than what you said Friday about the Butch Jones hire they did at the University of Tennessee?
mike wilbon (2:04 PM)
I must tell you, this is not something that's on my radar, Tennessee football...But the person sitting to my left, Frankie Nation, one of PTI's producers, is a Vol through and through; he attends way more games in Knoxville than not, even living in D.C., People seem happy that he kept Jay Graham, the RBs coach...and apparently has hired two guys from Auburb's staff who Vol watchers love...and Tee Martin is apparently in the running to coach wide receivers...Soooooo, maybe this is really gonna work out well for Tennessee, to have hired Butch Jones...I know people there wanted Charlie Strong, the Louisville head coach or Mike Gundy from OK State...most alums at any school want a big splash...But sometimes you just get it right without hiring somebody famous...If there are SEC programs I care about they are Tenn. and Ga. My mom's from Tennessee and my dad is from Georgia...
Brian (Fort Worth, Texas)
Michael, Why is it you only answer basketball questions 90% of the time and almost nothing else?
mike wilbon (2:05 PM)
What channel you on, Dog?
tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]
Hi Mike! Boy do I feel sorry for Larry Fitzgerald. Looks like the Cardinals threw in the towel yesterday. Do you see a major overhaul this off season (new GM, coach, Co-ordinators etc.)? Never mind needing a QB...
mike wilbon (2:09 PM)
Amen. Glad you brought that up. Look, I'm completely biased TOWARD Larry Fitzgerald. His dad and I have been friends for 30 years. And I've known Jr is whole life. I love the kid. And the Cardinals are killing his career. Just wasting it. The Cardinals have lost 9 straight games, I think...Nine. Seriously. They could close the season with 12 straight losses...and that would demand an overhaul. I like Ken Wisenhunt tremendously. I think he's a great coach. Hell, he led that sorry franchise to a Super Bowl. I'd hire him in a heartbeat to be my head cvoach. BUT 12 straight losses? Two straight seasons (since Kurt Warner) without a real quarterback? It might not even be Wisenhunt's fault becasuse maybe the GM made the personnel call...but something major has to be done to change things there...Again.
Do you agree with the firing of Cam Cameron? The timing seems a little weird with the play offs right around the corner...
mike wilbon (2:12 PM)
Oh yes. There wasn't an easier call to make in the league today. The Ravens, for some reason, think they're a great passing team even though Ray Rice is 100 times more dependable than Joe Flacco. Cameron and Flacco just gave away 2 of the last three games, just threw 'em away. I'd a fired him, no question. Said on PTI last week i thought the Ravens were totally underachieving because of it...Look, Flacco is nowhere near as good as he thinks he is and maybe his limitations are things the Ravens cannot overcome...But I'd find out by going in a different direction that doesn't call on Joe Flacco to be John Elway.
Should Lovie Smith be fired at the end of the season?
mike wilbon (2:16 PM)
If the Bears miss the playoffs? yeah, probably. If you miss the playoffs in five out of six seasons, which would be the case, then you have to go in a different direction. Five of six? Nope...I know there are injuries, but every team has them. Look at how the Redskins are overcoming theirs. Very disappointing losses at home to Houston and Seattle...And the hiring of Mike Tice, the way its turned out, is fireable just on its own. The franchise needed to field an offense, finally, which enabled the defense to play without having to be super heroes every week...And that didn't happen. The offense is worse...It's pathetic WITH talent this time. That's coaching.
That Tee Martin? The Tee Martin that won the Nat'l Championship AFTER Peyton Manning left? He's going to coach WR's possibly? Maybe QB coach or OC, but WR coach...c'mon man!
mike wilbon (2:17 PM)
What are you, Bear Bryant, all of a sudden? I said WRs. He coached them at kentucky, and is at Southern Cal, currently, as is thought of by his peers as a really good tutor of receivers...AND I'm told a great recruiter. So, go away.
If you had to guess, how many season's will RG3 play for the Redskins? I hope its a long time, but yesterday's game reminded me he needs to change the way he plays or he won't be playing that long.....
mike wilbon (2:20 PM)
I hope he's playing in the NFL a long, long time...He's the most exciting player in the league in my book. Fortunately, seems RG3 would miss one game, max...Anytime you put yourself in harm's way in the NFL you could be injured. Yes, we know that. The great offensive players are always in harm's way, which is why guys like Jim Brown, Walter Payton and Jerry Rice were so extraordinary...They weren't protected by anything and did their thing for years and years...RG3 is so spectacular...I hope the Redskins can someone play without him this weekend at Cleveland and bring him back in two weeks...I hear you though, I cringe when the kid takes off...it's breathtaking and terrifying, all at once.
Claudia (Western NY)
Chan Gailey is just awful. Will the Buffalo Bills ever attract a top-flight coach while Ralph Wilson is alive, or are possible candidates waiting to see who the next owner will be?
mike wilbon (2:21 PM)
One would think Buffalo has to start over again, right? But haven't they triend everything? Haven't they gone to the young, hot assistant (Gregg Williams, Mike Mularkey) to the old pro (Dick Jauron, Wade Phillips)? I don't know where they go from here...
Armin (St Louis MO)
What do you think of the rams this season? They might be in the playoffs this year
mike wilbon (2:22 PM)
Feel good that I picked the Rams to win each of the last two weeks...That tie, leaving them 6-6-1 instead of 7-6, is probably going to be a killer. They need lots of help, like from the Redskins and Cowboys...They need both to lose a couple...Bears, too.
I gained so much respect for RG3 over the weekend. He literally gave his team everything he had, to the point where he couldn't even stand anymore!
mike wilbon (2:23 PM)
Again, breathtaking and terrifying...yes, I agree.
Wilbon, let's be real here. We all know that Manny clearly dominated Bradley. Unfortunately, the only 2 people who didn't see that happened to be 2 of the only 3 whose opinions actually mattered. I'm just surprised that you think Pacquiao should retire now, after he was really starting to take over that fight and begin to rock Marquez. You could see that killer instinct and you could tell he wanted to put Marquez away (and he may have if the fight had gone a few more rounds). And then, out of nowhere, that massive short counter right hand put Manny to sleep. That's the beauty of boxing. If Manny had gone on to win another close decision, I doubt people would be calling for him to retire. I understand his wife and mother have both been urging him to do so, but Manny still has plenty left in the tank. It was an amazing fight where both men looked impressive, until Marquez finished it with an exclamation point.
mike wilbon (2:26 PM)
I DON'T think Manny has plenty left in the tank...did you see those two punches he couldn't avoid/slip/block? He got knocked to the canvass twice by one punch. Not combinations, ONE FREAKIN' punch...Great punches, but still. I know, I know he was close, it seemed, to knocking out Marquez...but that fight had so long to go, so many rounds...In his last three fights Pac has a loss and a majority decision that shoulda/coulda been a loss...Come on now, I root for Pac, too, but let's take off the rose-colored glasses...
You really shouldn't talk about boxing since you have no idea what you're talking about. Boxing PPVs are doing bigger numbers then ever, HBO and Showtime are getting record ratings and fights across the country are selling out it is nowhere near dead. Also Floyd and Pacquaio would have made between $60-80million if they split the PPV profits 50/50. They each made $25-40million over their last couple of fights.
mike wilbon (2:31 PM)
That's one fight, Know-it-all. If you think boxing is as big a part of the culture as it was at any time from the 1890s to the 1990s you're a fool. Cause it isn't. MMA is so much bigger, so much more a part of the conversation for people under 50 years old. Mike Tyson talks about this eloquently all the time, how he loves boxing but realizes that MMA captures is the blood sport of choice now if you're young and tough and coming up with a desire to be involved in hand-to-hand combat. Boxing, by putting its big fights almost exclusively on PPV, diminished itself to the point of near extinction. One big Vegas fight every six months doesn't speak to popularity. That fight, by the way, started after midnight eastern time. And if you think that's good, to miss everybody in the biggest population centers in America, once again, you'd be a stone cold moron.
Rob (San Antonio)
You are the owner of the Arizona Cardinals. What do you do? Do you put Fitz out of his misery and let him go somewhere else? That is just some flat out bad football!
mike wilbon (2:36 PM)
I'm actually glad to see more than a half-dozen questions in the que about Larry Fitzgerald and how people feel for him because he's one of my favorite people...I love the kid...Again, he's the son of a friend of 30 years so I'm not impartial. I root for him. And if the Cardinals can't come up with a real QB post-Kurt Warner (they have almost everything else; again, Wishenhunt is a hell of a coach in these areas) then I hope Fitz gets to play someplace with a team that does. They're wasting his career...and he's such a prince of a man...
mike wilbon (2:37 PM)
Okay, gotta run and prepare for battle with TK for PTI...Thanks for chatting everybody...sorry to any hoop heads that we didn't talk about the lakers and knicks...We'll have plenty of time for that...Talk to you guys Monday, after Bears-Packers...thanks...MW
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