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!
mike wilbon (1:09 PM)
What's up everybody? Hope you had a great weekend. We'll jump right into the happenings from yesterday, and I'll tell you right off that the thing I was most impressed with was Tony Romo. His performance, 100 percent guts, was my No. 1 Takeaway from Week 2, so far anyway...We can talk about Cowardly Floyd Mayweather, too, and College Football Week 3, which was pretty lame for the most part...
What do you think of the lions this year? Stafford looks awesome and there defense forced 6 TOs, i know against the Chiefs but still. I dont think they can take the division from Gbay but def a wild card spot right?
mike wilbon (1:12 PM)
I'mm with you all the way on this. If the Packers stumble, or if Aaron Rodgers has to miss any time and the Packers slip back to 9-7 or even 10-6, then the Lions could have an outside chance at winning the division. But I have the Packers at 12-4 or 11-5 and don't see that changing, presuming relatively good health. But the Lions! Wow! Anybody who has watched PTI since the NFL draft knows I've been saying how impressed I am with the Lions personnel...And it appears they're putting it all together. The defensive prowess, with that unit being built around Suh (for my money the next Reggie White), was predictable...But the offense with Stafford's health in question was a little more dicey. So far, wow...Yeah, the Chiefs aren't much but the Lions are that team nobody in his right mind wants to play. They hurt you, literally, on D.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
Will Notre Dame have to join a conference just to survive? Is the dissolution of the NCAA (for football, anyway) closer than we might think?
mike wilbon (1:17 PM)
In order, I think so and yes. Syracuse, as a charter member of the Big East, should be ashamed. The powers-that-be at that school simply decided they're a football school and to hell with the basketball program, which since the graduation of Jim Brown in 1956 is Basketball/Basketball/Basketball. Who is Syracuse kidding? It's a pure money grab. And school administrators do this stuff, yet think the students/athlete saren't going to want to sell their game-wornn jerseys to an alum for $600 or whatever the going rate is? Are you kidding me with this hypocrisy? We'll be sitting on four 16-team super conferences within five years, maybe within three years...North (Big Ten plus friends), South (SEC plus friends), West (Pac-10 plus friends), East (ACC plus friends) and a few basketball superconference made up of Catholic Schools (Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, etc) and a few schools kicked out of the biggies (Vandy, maybe Duke after Coach K) because they can't compete on a high level at football...Watch.
I'm bored in class. who wins tonight?
mike wilbon (1:18 PM)
I'm bored with the matchup. Rams? Seriously? Like the rest of the nation wants to see that? Giants win, but the Giants are on the slide. I'm watching Playboy Club...I understand, I get it...it won't be any good...But I'll take the Bunnies over the Giants-Rams any night.
Vinny Cerrato (Somewhere)
mike wilbon (1:20 PM)
Yeah, what happened to Cooley? Wow, is he done? He certainly seems done as the feature TE with the Redskins. Davis has been terrific. Rex Grossman, speaking of terrific, must feel Davis is his guy. Good for them. I'm not penciling the Redskins into the NFC rep spot for the Super Bowl just yet...But with the Giants slide and Michael Vick's health in question...Look, every season there's a surprise team in the NFL. I had Detroit AND Tampa...But maybe I overlooked the team right here in Washington, D.C.
Jerry (Haslett, MI )
Hey Wilbon, I want to give you some dap on calling Florida State losing.
mike wilbon (1:21 PM)
Thank you. That was easy. Let's see if I can pull off another pick like that with the same confidence!
What did you think of the Mayweather Ortiz finish. I just figured that's the only way "Money" can knock out anybody....via sucker punch! Pac-Man would never do something like that
mike wilbon (1:23 PM)
You know the Official Wilbon Position on Floyd Mayweather. He's a Coward. Should I change it to Cowardly Bum? I know "Protect yourselves at all times," is the last instruction the referee gives to both fighters before the bell rings to begin the fight. Still. Mayweather is the only fighter of consequence I've seen in my life of following boxing who is afraid to fight a peer. The only guy. I find him loathesome...and that was BEFORE the punch that knocked out Ortiz, who I have little sympathy for since he INTENTIONALLY head butted his opponent. Ortiz is a clown. Mayweather is a Coward...at best.
EO3 (Bay Area, California)
MW,Do you think Bills can give Patriots a challange next week?EO3Bay Area, California.
mike wilbon (1:25 PM)
Ah....No. I want to think the Bills can hang in and have a puncher's chance. I'll watch that game now, when I wouldn't have otherwise...The Bills are a charming story after two weeks...but Tom Brady is unstoppable, right? No, the Bills can't stop him, not with these rules, but can they win a 42-40 game? Maybe...It'll be fun to watch, but I don't see it.
Mike D (Westmont, IL)
Who can you put more blame on for this loss.. Martz for only call a run play 12 times?!?! Or Jerry Angelo for totally dropping the ball this off season and not bringing in the right tools?
mike wilbon (1:26 PM)
Jerry Angelo. The guy was 33 million under the salary cap and didn't do his job. The line stinks and if I was Cutler I'd get in Angelo's face. If that line doesn't play better against the Packers this week, people should boo Angelo, not the line, for taking the off-season completely off. What a joke. This is clearly the fault of the person evaluating the team. You think Bill Polian would have entered the season with that line and $33 million to spend?
Justin Verlander is the seventh AL pitcher since World War II to record 24 wins and 240 strikeouts in a season, and the first since Ron Guidry did it 33 years ago. In the games he has started this year, the Tigers are 25-8, 17 games over .500. Those seem like MVP stats to me, agree or disagree?
mike wilbon (1:32 PM)
I'm fairly old school about this, so while I agree with EVERY WORD YOU SAY about Verlander, my view of this is there's an MVP for pitchers that already exists, called the Cy Young Award. It should be unanimous. But I feel every day players should be considered, primarily though not exclusively, for the MVP. Could be Cabrera, could be Ellworth, could be Michael Young...Granderson has slipped a bit this month (.225 with 2 home runs after that red hot August)...I'm sure I'm leaving out somebody...Oh, Adrian Gonzales...I'm just for separation on those two things. Verlander is the best player in the American league, but he's only able to impact 35, 36 games, right? Cabrera can impact, what, 70 games, maybe more? Michael Young is having a great, great year in Texas...I do believe there can be exceptions and maybe this is one, since Verlander is having not just a great season but a historic season...Hell, 25 wins now is unthinkable...
Darvell Lancaster (Washington D.C)
Do you think Randy Moss would take Dallas call if Jerry pick up the phone or the Pats the only number he checking for
mike wilbon (1:33 PM)
Randy says he's done if it's not the Patriots, and while I didn't believe that six weeks ago, I'm starting to believe him now...which is too bad. I thought he had something left and could help a team...Wow, if he played with Myles Austin and Dez Bryant...Wow...
Mike, how about talking about your bears flying to Urlacher's mother's funeral. Real class act by those guys, especially Julius Peppers, who paid to charter one of the planes himself.
mike wilbon (1:34 PM)
thanks for bringing that up. It shows what kind of players are on that Bears roster and it shows what those guys feel for Urlacher, who is the heart and soul of the franchise the same way Mike Singletary was, the same way Walter Payton was, the same way Gale Sayers was...My condolences to Brian and his family, including his brother Casey who I've come to know...
Oddmakers: Chance the Red Sox fail to make the post season?
mike wilbon (1:35 PM)
25 perpcent...I still believe the Red Sox will right the ship. I do.
What was Rex Ryan thinking having Mark Sanchez throwing when up by 30 in the 4th quarter just to get Burress a catch (his words, not mine)? He's lucky Sanchez didn't get seriously hurt on that hit he took
mike wilbon (1:36 PM)
Amen. You said it all. Rex was clearly thinking Sanchez wasn't going to get hit. I understand trying to Plax a couple of catches. But can't the backup do that?
How can once proud, successful franchises like the Dolphins, Orioles or even the Maple Leafs go into the tank for so long? What makes them so incompetent?
mike wilbon (1:39 PM)
Bad ownership/leadership at the top...In EVERY case franchises suffer through neglect and incompetence. Now, because Brian Burke, one of the terrific club executives in the NHL for the last 20 or so years, is running the Maple Leafs I believe you'll see Toronto rise, simply because Burke knows what the hell he's doing. The Orioles owner, Peter Angelos, has had dreadful results for years and years. The Orioles have been ruined on his clock, and I blame, well...him. You can go team after teamm after team and play that game. Great owners produce great teams, at least sometimes. Lousy owners have lousy franchises. The buck stops there.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
Why doesn't Kornheiser do a chat? Wouldn't be as good as yours, I'm sure, but it would be entertaining! Can he not type fast enough, or something?
mike wilbon (1:40 PM)
First, thank you. Second, Tony isn't what we'd call "of the people." He likes his communication to be a one-way street.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Why wouldn't Bill Polian? He's clearly tanking this season to get Andrew Luck.
mike wilbon (1:41 PM)
I wouldn't say that. If Peyton Manning was out there do you think the Colts would be thinking about Andrew Luck? No. By the way, why aren't the Jaguars bad enough to get Luck...just in time to move to Los Angeles and become one of two new NFL teams there within the next, oh, three years or so?
Eagles won't go anywhere with that OL and Vick's carelessness. Agree?
mike wilbon (1:42 PM)
100 percent, I agree.
Micheal, I know the NFL has basically outlawed defense, but getting a 15 yard penalty for hitting Phillip Rivers in the chest, WHILE HE'S THROWING THE BALL???? Seriously, this has gone too far.
mike wilbon (1:43 PM)
Did you see my column on ESPN.com on this on Friday? And you want to know why QBs stand in there unafraid? Because they know it's illegal to hit them anymore. Nothing can discourage QBs now, much less guys like Brady and (as we move foward) Cam Newton who is big as a house, powerful as a locomotive...How do you make them uncomfortable? You can't.
Nick (College Park)
Re: Cooley - I'm not so sure he's done. Two TE sets seem to be a nascent and probably smart trend in the NFL right now. Look at what the Patriots are doing with Gronkowski and Hernandez. Or what the Ravens did to the Steelers last week with two no-name TEs. Isn't it possible that Cooley has just seen the better coverage because Davis has underachieved for so long, and that they could both be valuable weapons before the season is over?
mike wilbon (1:44 PM)
One would think, yes. I agree with your scenario. But lots of teams are no longer using two TEs in that conventional way. I'm no longer out at Redskins Park and don't know Mike Shanahan's philosophy on this, whether he's with you or moving in a new direction creatively.
How far have your expectations of Cam moved after his first 2 games?
mike wilbon (1:46 PM)
Hell yeah! How can they not have moved. Looked, I said and wrote I thought the guy would be a beast in two years, and evolve in the way most QBs do. But probably, I was wrong and underestimated his talent, his will, his ability to pick up things quickly, and a chaning rule book that prevents anybody from hitting him, and therefore, discouraging him...if this kid can deliver from the pocket, and it seems he's 500 X better at that than even most NFL scouts thought, the league is going to be at his mercy in three years.
Do you think the Eagles would have won if Michael Vick would have been able to come back into the game?
mike wilbon (1:46 PM)
Oh yes. Look at how they scored when he was in there!
Can we get this Manny-Floyd thing together to shut Mayweather up once and for all. The verabl barrage on Larry Merchant was ridiuclous, as well. Just Floyd being Floyd, right?
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
What was great was Larry telling him, "If I was 50 years younger I'd kick your ass..." How great was that? Mayweather isn't going to fight Pac. He's just not going to do it. As Jackie Gleason/Ralph Kramden used to say in "The Honeymooners," He's ascared...
Mike, would you please rank your top 5 college football teams right now?
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
It's too early. I believe there should be no rankings until Week 4.
Better chance at the NFL playoffs; Chicago or Detroit?
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
Lions. Hell, they'll beat the Bears twice and that gives them 4 wins right there.
sup mikey dub...should mike vick be rushed back or should time be taken so he can be back ay 100 percent...
mike wilbon (1:49 PM)
you can't rush him back, not with the new rules on head injuries. It's not possible...The league is serious about this stuff. Look at Sid Crosby.
Come on Mike you watched the Bears game. That's how you make a QB uncomfortable
mike wilbon (1:50 PM)
Well, yeah, if you have ZERO offensive line. Thing is, Brady has one. Rodgers has one. Rivers has one. Even Newton appears to have a better one than Cutler has.
Chris (Los Angeles)
Is Stafford really this good? Can he be one of the QB Elite if he keeps it up?
mike wilbon (1:51 PM)
Stafford was the overall No. 1 pick in the NFL draft a few years ago. He's SUPPOSED TO BE an elite QB. And if he stays healthy he'll have a chance.
Wilbon, how much longer are us Bears fans going to complain about the OLine? Seriously, we know how bad it is. Complaining about it gets us nowhere. Complain about it...here's a solution...put on some pads if you think you can do better!
mike wilbon (1:53 PM)
That's your solution? What, you want tryouts, like American Idol. Stop. You have to acquire great players througgh the draft and trades, and improve the guys you have. I'm not complaining, I'm criticizing. Specifcally, I'm criticizing the GM whose responsibility it is to come up with better players along the line. Acquring players is the solution, not sutting up guys who go out because you don't want to hear the truth.
Why the shot at Jacksonville? They are far from the worst team in the league. The beat Tennesse who just dominated Baltimore who dominated the Steelers. The NFL is a crazy league. Also, unless Wayne Weaver is selling in the next few years, the TEAM IS NOT MOVING. Also, how many games has Tampa had blacked out, San Diego, Raiders,lions? Answer more than jacksonvlle. I like you but this disgust that both you and Tony show towards this community is shameful. You post this or if you do you will comeback with some witty response to put me down. Have at it.
mike wilbon (1:57 PM)
Jacksonville has about one-quarter of its seats covered, last I checked, creating an even smaller "capacity" much less than Tampa Bay's. And if you want to bet me about Jacksonville moving in the next half-dozen years, probably less, I'll take the bet. I understand how you feel. I would, if my team was in such a predicament, feel the same way. And the Chargers could be moving north 120 miles or so, as well. I don't need a witty response to your position, just a common sense counter. Of the four or five teams on the least solid ground in the NFL, that would have to be one of them. And if you think there's no discussion of the Jaguars being elsewhere relatively soon, you are simply naive. One of my best friends lives in Jax, loves the team, and I've been there many times and I HOPE THE TEAM STAYS. But that's not the entirely reality, and if you could listen to some conversations behind closed doors you'd know that.
How about your top 5 NFL power rankings?
mike wilbon (2:04 PM)
Okay, this is a great way to close today...1) Patriots 2)Packers 3)Jets 4)Lions 5)Saints...How about that? If we went 8-deep I'd include the Bills and Redskins, but the Saints are the only 1-loss team I'd include right now. The Eagles loss in ATL is no disgrace, but Vick's injury has me a little on edge, especially if Vince is unable to go (not that I'm not proud of my Northwestern alumn Kafka who could have pulled it out for the Eagles last night if not for that dropped pass on 4th down.)...Okay, gotta run to prepare for PTI...Thanks everybody...See you next week, most likely Tuesday since I have Monday travels from Bears-Packers back to Washington...Have a great week! MW