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October 21, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with Michael Wilbon

  (1:42 PM)

Hey folks, Mike will be here at 2 for your questions. He is running a bit behind schedule today.


Greg Schiano is now banning 4th and 5th-graders from coming to a Friday afternoon practice as a reward for hard work and good behavior, a practice that Dexter Jackson has been pushing for years down in TB. Please tell me that Schiano - who, along with being a terrible coach and apparently an even worse human being - will be gone soon? I can't see him getting another position in the NFL once TB wakes up and gets rid of him.

mike wilbon
  (2:10 PM)

Oh my, this is kind of a dicey way to start today's chat, but it was the first question in the que, and after saying "Good afternoon" to everybody, I think we have to start with the NFL, and while we'll get to Colts-Broncos and Bears-Redskins and all kind of other stuff, this is really a wow! Really, Schiano is this insensitive a human being? Wow. I must say, everything that we've heard about him over the years suggested he's short on civility, but this is beyond the pale and I hope something that's beyond the coach and not really reflective of what he's about. This, if its true, is something which is so unbeievably unavoidable with just a little thought and decency...It's sad, really, unless Dexter Jackson was somehow misrepresenting the situation...I see now that each side has official responses...a he-said, she-said episode that actually took place last season, though Jackson's comments were made to 98.7 The Fan down in Florida...Schiano allies point out he's involved in all kind of charitable causes and events, so I want to be fair about this if at all possible...But for sure, it's a PR hit...

Mike (San Diego)

Looks like Cutler is out 4 weeks with a torn groin. Think the Bears will be able to tread water long enough to make the playoffs?

mike wilbon
  (2:13 PM)

Not only is Jay Cutler out for four weeks, its being reported, but Lance Briggs is reported to be out for six weeks...We're talking about arguably the two most important players on the Bears...the starting QB who is about to enter free agency while still trying to find his way through a new offense with a new coach AND the defensive stud who calls the signals and has been a 7-time Pro Bowler who has been just a half-step behind Brian Urlacher as a great player...It's a huge hit to the season and it can't possibly look good for the Bears, especially what with the Packers on deck in Green Bay after a bye-week...

Steve U of N 1964 (Herndon, VA)

Mr. Mike: What's happened to your Wildcats? I thought the Nebr-NW game in November might be for division first place, but not now (not that my Huskers look like a world-beater - I think it's Ohio State, then everybody else)

mike wilbon
  (2:16 PM)

It is Ohio State and everybody else...And Norhwestern's loss to Ohio State Oct. 5 has taken a chunk out of our season. I was certain there would be a huge letdown the next week at Wisconsin (and there was) and when I found out both our starting QB and most explosive offensive player were going to be out I feared the worst even though we had Minnesota at home and it played out just that way...Just hope we can recover and get back to 3-3 in the Big Ten...My Wildcats and Bears, who started off a combined 7-0 and now a combined 8-6...Rough month of football for both...

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Can't wait until December 9th when the Cowboys go in to Soldier filed, and you get an up close view of Tony Romo destroying the Bears secondary. Brandon Marshall is pretty good, but Dez Bryant is great. Get ready Wilbon to be humbled.

mike wilbon
  (2:18 PM)

You mean like the Cowboys have been humbled for the last 13, 14 years? I had a friend who is a Cowboys fan ask me yesterday why there's so much backlash against the Cowboys, why so many people take joy in their long-running misery...And you, my friend, and people of your ilk are the answer! LOL

Jake (Salt Lake)

Who ya got in the World Series?

mike wilbon
  (2:24 PM)

All I can say is who I'm rooting for, which would be the Cardinals. There's no discernible difference between the two teams, is there? Once again, to review, I (by virtue of being a lifelong Cubs fan) hate the Cardinals but admire them as much as I do any team in sports...I look at the Cardinals from an envious position, so its a hate-hate-love relationship...

Nelson (DE)

Is there a city whose pro sports fans have it worse than those in Philadelphia right now?

mike wilbon
  (2:29 PM)

Why is Philly's life so bad? The Flyers are terrible, maybe the worst team in the NHL, and fired their coach, and their football team is 3-4...Their basketball will stink...okay, they're in the running...Cleveland isn't as bad as it has been so maybe it's not them anymore...Chicago had the worst baseball summer ever, BUT the NBA team is a serious contender, the football team is 14-9 in their last 23 games, and the NHL team WON THE WHOLE THING so that disqualifies Chicago, thankfuly. Maybe it is Philly...How about that? Chip Kelly is the longest-tenured head coach there...and the Sixers could be epic awful...You make a point...

Eric (Chicago)

Wilbon, with Cutler out 4 weeks with a torn groin muscle (and Briggs out too), how does this affect the Bears with where they stand in terms of if they do or don't sign Cutler to a deal? Is the franchise tag more in place now than before at any point in this season?

mike wilbon
  (2:34 PM)

Great question...I don't think you do that with the QB, especially not with a new coach and an attempted transition to the modern NFL. I think the Bears have to concentrate on a long-term solution at QB, especially because you have a group of skill-position players who could fill out a potent offense...So the Cutler injury makes this so much more difficult to figure out...What a shock: uncertainty with the Bears over QB...I don't know WHAT in the hell the Bears should do about this...I guess you get Cutler back when you can, after three games (and a bye week) and see where he is the final third of the season...and even that might not tell you exactly what you want to know...

Scott (DC)

Michael, as a Cubs fan, what's it like seeing the Red Sox and Cardinals in the World Series?

mike wilbon
  (2:38 PM)

I don't have any real feeling for the Red Sox...I know what you're talking about; we were brothers in misery for a century and now they've moved on...I guess its like having a twin and watching him hit the lottery while you continued to live in squalor...and the Cardinals (who I do have feelings about: HATE) are the complete opposite of the Cubs. They're the model sports franchise, in my opinion, while the Cubs have been overwhelmingly (until 2000 or so) the model of incompetence (which a nod to 1984 and 1989 playoff appearances)...But hell, I've had 50 years to get used to it. It's not like I've seen anything else, like MY TEAM IN THE WORLD SERIES...I would say "before I die" but my mom's been saying that since she was in college the last time the Cubs were in the World Series (1945) and she's now working on 88 years...Just sayin.'

Bob (Maryland)

How was it watching Skins-Bears yesterday? I can only imagine it was a roller coaster of emotions for you. When you have two teams you're a fan of going head to head that's got to be the ultimate real Catch 22.

mike wilbon
  (2:42 PM)

It's no catch-22...I'm not a fan of two teams. I'm a fan of one team: the Bears. I COVERED the Redskins for a lot of years as a columnist. I have TONS of friends who are Redskin alums and I mean TONS, and a former Redskin who is like a Godfather to me, Bobby Mitchell...But I didn't grown up in D.C. and have never been a Redskins fan...I'm a Chicagoan, a Bears fan, born and raised and still, so yesterday was mostly agony for me, which was doubled when I learned a few hours ago that Jay Cutler is out a month and lance Briggs is out six seeks, on top of all the injuries the Bears already have...So, the only roller coaster was thinking they could, with all that against them, grind out what would have been a incredible victory on the road, win that game...then watching them lose it...Finally got out of my bad mood around midnight last night...

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Do you agree with Marshall's comments that something needs to be done about Merriweather before he seriously hurts himself or someone else?

mike wilbon
  (2:47 PM)

Yes, I thought Marshall was right on the money, eloquent even in his remarks. Merriweather is even the dirtiest player in the NFL or the dumbest, and perhaps both. And the NFL should suspend him immediately.

James (Boston)

What was the most challenging story for you to cover back when you were a reporter? What was the most challenging column you had to tackle as a columnist?

mike wilbon
  (2:50 PM)

Wow, what a great question...and what a difficult question. The death of Len Bias jumps out at me...because I knew him, covered just about every game he played his first two years at the University of Maryland...yeah, that has to be it...And also the death of Sean Taylor...I wrote a column the next day which angered tons of people to this day, and that's the risk you run when you write something in the immediate aftermath of something tragic...Words are something you examine, re-examine, and then ultimately, after they are in print, have to live with whether they garner praise or criticism or, in many cases, both...

Matt (DC)

As I said last week, there are no dominant teams in the NFL this year. Are you coming closer to my side?

mike wilbon
  (2:54 PM)

Hmmmmm...Was I NOT on your side last week...I've been saying for three weeks I don't think Denver is a dominant team...I don't think the Chiefs are either, though they're damn good. If I had to rank the teams in the NFL right now I'd go Seahawks, Chiefs, Broncos in that order...I guess I'd have Saints and then 49ers rounding out my top five...But no, there's no dominant team, which I think is fine...Oh wait, Indy has beaten the Seahawks, Niners and Broncos, which SHOULD lead me to have them in my top five...BUT, losing Reggie Wayne is the big problem going forward...For the record SOME OF US picked the colts to win last night...

mike wilbon
  (2:55 PM)

Okay, gotta run to prepare for PTI...Thanks for chatting today, some great questions for sure...Next week we'll convene again...Hope you all have a great week...MW