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December 26, 11:43 AM ET
Chat with Page 2's Jemele Hill

Jemele Hill
  (4:00 PM)

Happy New Year everybody! Glad to be with you. Let's have fun today, and if you have any good drink suggestions I should try tonight...holla!

Mark (Charlotte)

Chuck Klosterman once wrote that part of sports journalism is actually hating sports (the result of spending years of your prime chasing quotes from mundane athletes and writing meaningless game recaps). Obviously I can't expect you to say you "hate sports" but is there a sliver of truth to his statement?

Jemele Hill
  (4:05 PM)

Great start. I absolutely love this question. There is definitely a sliver of truth to what Klosterman said. I've been covering sports professionally for 11 years now. When people think about our job, I think they imagine it as a fan would. They think we have these great, engaging conversations with athletes and we see great games all the time. But the truth is that you rarely meet an engaging athlete. Most of them hate you. Every once in awhile you see something truly amazing on the field, but most times you're seeing mediocre games and endings you've seen a thousand times. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my job. I don't dig ditches for a living and consider it pretty special that I'm able to watch games for a living, cover athletes and get access the average person can't. But to get to where I am now, it was an exhilirating, but painstaking process. 11 years ago, I had to write a story about a little league soccer team that was sponsored by Shout. Now, I get to write about guys like Brett Favre and Tiger Woods. Now that's the American dream.

Jay

How long before the Lions have a winning record?

Jemele Hill
  (4:06 PM)

Depends on who they get as coach. But considering William Clay Ford Sr., made the mind-numbingly stupid decision to keep his upper management intact, I'm going to say the Lions will continue to be on their revolving five-year plan.

James Columbus, OH

Jemele: How does it feel to be labled a racist, or at the least, a person who incites racist feelings? What about your Hitler comment? Do you try to stir the pot, or are you really racist?

Jemele Hill
  (4:10 PM)

It feels wrong, because I'm far from a racist. And not to worry, I'm not about to list all my friends and their ethnicities. I'm baffled that people think discussion of race = being racist. Our country has had a painful, racial history, and there are many issues that bear discussing. Race impacts 90 percent of our society -- and I'll probably undershooting that figure. I find this fascinating and like to address it when pertinent. People believe I write about race all the time and I don't. I write about twice a week, which equates to about 100 columns a year. I'd be shocked if I wrote about race more than 10-15 times this year. That means I might write about race 10 percent of the time. That's nothing. As for the Hitler comment, it's something I regret, have learned from and have moved on. If God told me that would be the worst mistake I'd ever make in my career, I'll take that in a heartbeat.

chris(jax,fl)

nfl mvp,who you got?,and remember this is an individual award,please none of this how peyton played against jax.,individual stats who you got

Jemele Hill
  (4:13 PM)

How's this for a wildcard: Chad Pennington. Peyton Manning had a fantastic year, and I expect him to win it, but other than maybe Matt Ryan, what NFL QB had more of a dramatic impact on his team? Fins go from 1-15 to AFC champs. Pennington has no superstars on offense. He doesn't turn the ball over. He makes great decisions. He makes plays. Everybody thought this guy was over with and not only did he win the division, but he stuck it to his old team on the way to success. That's an MVP. And by the way, it should not solely be a statistic-based award. Drew Brees had probably the best individual season of anyone and where is he? At home.

Mervkos (Chicago)

Is Dwyane Wade the single best basketball player in the world right now?

Jemele Hill
  (4:14 PM)

I think Kobe and 'Bron might have something to say about that.

Otto (CA)

Hello Jemele. Do you like to have a little taste around the holidays?

Jemele Hill
  (4:15 PM)

Hey, didn't you read my intro? I said I am welcoming all drink suggestions for tonight. Going to a house party with friends and I'd like to drink something creative. FYI: I hate fru-fru drinks, so don't say 'apple martini' or something typical.

Matt (WI)

Ok. Aaron rodgers did a great job following a legend. Although the went 6-10. Now assume ted thompson upgrades the D and O-lines this off season, does Aaron Rodgers have IT to lead the packers to a superbowl and beyond?

Jemele Hill
  (4:16 PM)

I felt bad for Aaron Rodgers because he had a solid year, but the Packers D was surprisingly bad. I expected more. But yes, if they shore up their lines on both sides of the ball, that team should remain a contender with Rodgers at QB. Even though this year didn't turn out like Packers fans would have liked, they have a franchise QB.

Matt (Grand Rapids)

If the Lions can go 0-16 and not clean house is the only hope for a good team new ownership?

Jemele Hill
  (4:17 PM)

Not to be morbid, but I've long suspected the Lions won't be good until Ford Sr., dies.

Steiny (NYC)

Should the Broncos have fired Mike Shanahan?

Jemele Hill
  (4:19 PM)

Yes. Shanahan had taken that team as far as it could go. The team is not in bad shape and what happened to their RBs was criminal, but I just think both the team and Shanahan needed to move on. Speaking of Denver....what's up with Jay Cutler? That kid seems a little full of himself. I'm shocked he didn't say he had a stronger arm than Superman. I think he's a little too in love with himself.

Steiny (NYC)

Stephen Curry is a great college player, but will he succeed in the NBA?

Jemele Hill
  (4:21 PM)

It depends on how you define success. Can he make a team? Definitely. But is he going to be a 20-pt-per-game guy? Um, no. Shooters who have been as good or better than him haven't succeeded (see: JJ Redick, Trajan Langdon, Shawn Respert). But I do think he'll be helped enormously by playing PG this year. I just think his size is going to be a constant issue and will prevent him from having the type of impact in the NBA that he has in college.

Rich (Cleveland, Ohio)

Are the Yankees bad for baseball? Does Baseball need a salary cap, or more importantly, a minimum salary basement?

Jemele Hill
  (4:24 PM)

No, the Yankees are good for baseball because they continue to perfect the blueprint of how NOT to run a baseball team. God Bless Yankee fan, but I'd be livid if my team just spent the GNP of Brazil on three guys. And what's ironic/hysterical is that they all have the same problem -- have never delivered in the postseason. If I were other teams, I wouldn't worry about the Yankees. I'd be too busy trying to copy what Tampa Bay and Philadelphia did.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Jemele, I know the Steinbrenners spend tons of cash on Yankee player, and people think it's unfair. They're just lucky Paul Allen isn't an owner.

Jemele Hill
  (4:24 PM)

I want to know why people are so bothered by what the Yankees have done when they haven't won a World Series in EIGHT YEARS!

chris(fl)

try this drink,my dad was a bartender and this was his signature drink,take the standard gin and juice,then a half shot glass of rum(captain morgan if you can)and shot glass of coke(diet if you prefer)dont laugh i have been drinking it for years and no handover after 10 of them,it nuetralizes the gin and taste,well thank me come your next article ok

Jemele Hill
  (4:26 PM)

Sounds complicated. But I'm intrigued. I'll call the Chris from FLA special.

Matt (Grand Rapids)

Which Lions do you think are keepers? Here is my list: Megatron, Kevin Smith, Jason Hansen, Nick Harris. That is it. Avril and Gosder looked okay and are young so I would keep them too. I think Sims is overated but I would keep him too. Anyone you would like to add/subtract from the list?

Jemele Hill
  (4:27 PM)

The entire secondary needs to go. Bodden is just God-awful. Orlovsky's solid, but not a franchise guy. Avril's a keeper...for now. Most of their D-line is unproductive and overpaid. There's just not a lot of talent on that roster.

Matt (KC)

Is Skip that ignorant in real life?... and can someone give Penn State respect even if the Big Ten was down?

Jemele Hill
  (4:28 PM)

Skip's not ignorant. I agree with him more times than I don't. We'll never see eye-to-eye on the Favre thing. Other than that, he's fairly rational. People just get too caught up in his delivery. If Penn State wins, the Big Ten deserves a little more respect. Not a lot, though.

Matt (WI)

I'm a BIG Bo Ryan and Wisconsin Badgers fan, bo is such a great coach. But unfortunatley, they never have a lot of talent. Do you think the badgers ever have a big player that ccan lead them to a final four and NCAA Championship?

Jemele Hill
  (4:30 PM)

I covered the last Final Four the Badgers made. And remember they had Devin Harris, too. Wisconsin has a very good program and Bo Ryan is a tremendous coach. They don't need a bunch of five-star guys to make the FF. They play incredible defense, usually have excellent, big guards. If they get a solid big man, they're in business. Wisky manhandled Michigan today.

Jamieson (Timmins, Ontario, Canada)

Hi Jemele! Obviously there are some very good teams in college basketball this year, and some very bad teams in the NBA (here's looking at you, Oklahoma City). Who do you think would win a game between UNC and the Thunder? I can see it being pretty close, even on an NBA court. There's a ton of guys on UNC who can hit the deep 3, especially Lawson.

Jemele Hill
  (4:34 PM)

I always love this question -- bad pro team v. excellent college team. Because I debated all season long that the Lions would get beaten by USC, and three or four different national champions in the last five or six years. Anywho...the Thunder would blow out UNC. Sorry. Hansbrough is an excellent player..in college. He'd play center and couldn't do anything with Wilcox or Collison, who when he was in college was considered perhaps the best player in the country. UNC would have zero answers for Durant. Westbrook is a beast. With the exception of Weaver and Swift, every player on the Thunder was considered a top-10 player when they played in college. Thunder 120, UNC 81

Matt (Grand Rapids)

I've got a drink suggestion for you, PBR or the beast. It would be just like college. I'm a straight whiskey guy.

Jemele Hill
  (4:35 PM)

Can I just say that PBR is one of the most underrated beers of all time? And good God it's cheap. Had a few PBRs last night with some reporters in town covering the Cap One bowl, and it was simply breathtaking. And $2. Criminal.

Adrian (Portland, OR)

Re your comment on Ford, Sr.'s death: look at the Chicago Black Hawks. Hope will not live until Ford dies.

Steiny (NYC)

Happy New Year Jemele. What is your new year resolution?

Jemele Hill
  (4:38 PM)

I've got a couple. I posted them on my blog (jemelehill.com). But here are a few: Overcome my irrational hatred of shopping. Take a real vacation. Pick up a show that everyone loves, but I've ignored for years (Gotta decide if it'll be Six Feet Under, 30 Rock or Arrested Development). I also want to meet Jeff Pearlman. Pearlman and I communicate a lot on IM, through email, etc. Fantastic guy and a stunningly good writer. Don't know if you read his book, "Boys Will Be Boys," but it is unbelievable. One of the best books I read this year. Anyway, for as much as we talk, it's stupid we've never met in person.

chris(fl)

if arizona had won at least 2 of the games late in the season against playoff teams(giants,panther)would warner be your mvp

Jemele Hill
  (4:40 PM)

For a few weeks, I thought he was the guy. But he just fell apart against better teams and wasn't spectacular this month.

Matt (Philly)

Really? There were a few college teams who easily shutdown Durant. Also I went to Maryland, and Hansborough is far better the Wilcox was.

Jemele Hill
  (4:43 PM)

Hey, we're talking about a different game, with more one-on-one play. Hansbrough was the better college guy, but Wilcox has more NBA skills. He's bigger, craftier in the post and more athletic. If Hansborough had to guard Wilcox one-on-one, he'd be in a lot of trouble. And a few college teams were able to shutdown Durant, but that's easy to do when you don't respect anyone else on the team. If UNC doubled Durant, the rest of the Thunder would eat them alive. As I said, we're talking about NBA guys who individually were great college players vs. college guys, most of which would never make a NBA team.

Matt (Grand Rapids)

My New Years Resolutions: eat an amazing burrito, don't go to jail, and finally get a pony.

Daniel (Kansas)

Those 3 are all good, but go with Arrested Development.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Jemele, would you mind elaborating on why you think race impacts (at least) 90% of our society? I guess I just don't really know what you mean by impacts. 90% of people are affected by race in some way? 90% of events have some sort of racial implications/causes? Thanks.

Jemele Hill
  (4:47 PM)

Well, race just had a significant role in the presidential election. Look at our criminal justice system. Even the mortgage crisis. It may not impact your day-to-day business, but when you step back and look at how our country is run, the impact is there.

Eric (PA)

Do you think the Phillies deserve more appreciation this offseason as reigning champs?

Jemele Hill
  (4:48 PM)

Absolutely. Cole Hamels is the best pitcher in baseball. Brad Lidge, the best closer. But people are so infatuated with the Yankees and what the Mets have done, Philly will come in underrated and overlooked. Best position Philly could possibly be in.

Steiny (NYC)

Brett Favre is going to his 10th Pro Bowl. Do you think he got voted in because of the way he is playing, or because of his name. I can think of three other QB's in the AFC that should be in over Favre. For example Matt Cassel, Chad Pennington, and Philip Rivers all have better numbers.

Jemele Hill
  (4:49 PM)

Brett Favre got voted in because he's Brett Favre. And we know Brett Favre's tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.

Matt (WI)

Does Lebron stay in Clevland or go for the cash...I think he'll stay...Your thoughts

Jemele Hill
  (4:50 PM)

If LeBron leaves Cleveland, he's inviting bad karma the rest of his career. Cleveland has held up their end and given him a team he legitimately could go to the Finals with. The Knicks are a disaster and the Nets are just a middling squad. When you're young, you tend to believe things like championship runs are guaranteed and inevitable. He should stay in Cleveland because he will have the best chance to win. To me, if he goes to NY, Bron is showing he cares more about being in the spotlight than winning.

JKL(Boston, MA)

You can't name a drink the Chris from Florida special. Especially if it's a good drink you have to have a good name. I'm not even gonna tell you what's in the Four Fever. You'd lose your job!!!

Jemele Hill
  (4:51 PM)

Now you have to tell me. Those are the rules.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Arrested Development is the best of those three. 30 Rock is good, but has become pretty repetitive and overly nonsensical. Six Feet Under was above average, but had too many really annoying characters.

J (Milwaukee)

OU or UF?

Jemele Hill
  (4:52 PM)

UF. By 10.

J (Milwaukee)

There cant be five coaches you would want more than Mike Shanahan. His GM skills are aweful, but he can coach as good as any.

Jemele Hill
  (4:54 PM)

Cowher, Dungy, Sparano, Belichick, Tomlin...you left yourself wide open.

Kyle (Michigan)

Who do you think the Lion's will take with their earliest draft pick?

Jemele Hill
  (4:55 PM)

Bradford. But that's a mistake. If I'm the Lions, I take a QB in later rounds, and focus my first few picks on retooling and rebuilding my offensive and defensive lines. The Lions have never developed a young QB. They need to get one through free agency. Matt Cassel for 40 mil, maybe?

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Jemele, why are readers allowed to comment on your articles and call you all sorts of terrible names, but no one can touch anything written by Simmons or Reilly? I can't help but wonder if this falls into that 90% category. I've asked the ombudsman, but she refuses to give me an answer.

Jemele Hill
  (4:57 PM)

It's my understanding that if any of us want the comments taken off, we can do that. The commenters don't bother me. I find their behavior pretty hysterical. They hate me so much they can't stop reading me. They're their own worst enemy and it amuses me.

Matt ((WI))

Hey, I'm doing a polar plunge tomorrow in Lake Michigan...Anybody else have the guts to do a plunge near them???

Jemele Hill
  (4:57 PM)

I'm not even mad, I'm impressed. - Ron Burgandy

Matt (Grand Rapids)

If the old man kicked the bucket Mayhew and Lewand might get replaced with sucessful front office execs. Do you see them trying to pull a Weekend at Bernies to keep their jobs? I think I would watch that movie.

Jemele Hill
  (4:59 PM)

Awesome.

Kyle (Michigan)

Stuckey or A.I.?

Jemele Hill
  (4:59 PM)

Both.

James Columbus, OH

Jemele: Thank you for answering my tough question. No malice was intended, I just wondered how it felt to be miscast all the time. Now, I am a Buckeye fan, so I know about feeling slighted. Do you think Terrell Pryor can help the Buckeyes at least be competitive against Texas? Maybe a chance for an upset?

Jemele Hill
  (5:01 PM)

No offense taken. That's going to be a very close game. One reason I thought Colt McCoy deserved the Heisman is because he had less to work with. Anyway, the Buckeyes will be very competitive and I like the idea of them using Boeckman and Pryor on the field together.

Steiny (NYC)

Thanks for your time. Happy New Year!!!

Jemele Hill
  (5:02 PM)

Well, I've got to get out of here, because I don't have the ingredients for the Chris from Florida special. Thank you everyone for your time. Have a safe, happy time tonight. And may none of you have hangovers!