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Neville Waters

Neville Waters

Besides being a Friend of Wilbon, Neville Waters is the founder of the Waters Group consulting firm, a D.C. native and sports fan, and considers himself a true renaissance man. ALL POSTS

Understanding Wilbon

I have been fortunate enough to be a witness (sorry, LeBron) to World Wide Wilbon for more than 20 years. I am part of the entourage. I am a Wilbonian. And I am delighted to have the opportunity to participate with my buddy's attempt to venture forth into the blogosphere.

As a friend, my bias to support Mike should be clear. But allow me to offer some explanation. Before he was a TV personality, Mike was a lowly sportswriter. Those of us who love sports would have never viewed a sportswriter as "lowly," but there was little respect accorded to covering sports within the journalism community. Yet Mike always considered himself a journalist. He still clings to that term. He has uttered on numerous occasions that sports journalism is not only his vocation but his avocation.

When sports coverage exploded on multiple platforms, the popularity, respect and money followed suit for guys like Mike. I have been a fascinated observer of how little Mike has changed, though.

Of course, his lifestyle has been affected: the big house in the suburbs; the vacation home in Arizona; the country club memberships (thank goodness!). Through all of this, he has remained so grounded. He has gotten married and is now enjoying his watching his son grow ... and grow ... and grow. Matthew is destined to be a left tackle.

Mike has always been aware of the world outside of sports. He often spoke of a desire to write about social or political issues. He has been able to incorporate those themes in writing about sports at times. He loves TV and has been devoted over the years to Dallas, Melrose Place and Desperate Housewives, yet finds American Idol distasteful.

I am excited that he has a forum to express his broader views of the world. He has never, and I can say with great confidence, will never shy away from confrontation. Frankly, he likes to argue. Mike and his brother have engaged in a classic battle over Dennis Johnson vs. Dominique Wilkins for as long as I've known them.

He will appreciate that I won't be a rubber stamp. He knows he has a blind spot for any criticism of Michael Jordan. His affection for Charles Barkley is understandable. His devotion to Da Bears is understandable -- though painful.

As a friend of Wilbon's, I also get subjected to the World Wide Whine. Oh yes, he does indeed whine about his schedule. So check out his most recent weekend:

He had a one-on-one with Michael Jordan and attended the Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony for MJ, along with one of his childhood idols, Jerry Sloan; the admirable Admiral, David Robinson; the classy Vivian Stringer; and the well-respected John Stockton.

He watched some amazing sporting events on television:

Tiger shooting a record-setting 62 at Cog Hill outside of Chicago (BTW, he played the course earlier this summer). Notre Dame-Michigan. USC -Ohio State. And he tuned in to see a complete meltdown by Serena Williams at the U.S. Open.

Now, also watching the Redskins' pathetic performance against the Giants and Jay Cutler, Brian Urlacher and the Bears on Sunday night gave him some reason to whine. But then again, later this week he and Tony Kornheiser will co-host the DC-CAP fundraiser golf tournament at Landsdowne Resort. WOW...what a schedule! Or as Mike would say, "Waaaaaaaa."

Whining aside, it has always impressed me that Mike has always been so approachable and accessible. I've lost count how many times people have interrupted us during a dinner. He can't walk through a crowd at any sporting event without being called out or stopped.

For those of us who have had to wait on him, we understand "Wilbon time." However, he realizes that without public support he would not have achieved the level of success he has attained. So I'm excited to share with the public all that encompasses World Wide Wilbon in this space.

Neville Waters is a friend of Michael Wilbon's, the founder of the Waters Group consulting firm, a D.C. native and sports fan, and considers himself a true renaissance man.

By Neville Waters  |  September 16, 2009; 3:38 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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There is no doubt that Wilbon has made a fine career trashing DC sports teams like the Nationals from his palace in the Arizona desert, while never even bothering to watch, much less attend a game.

Posted by: trezmartin | September 23, 2009 4:10 PM
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Then why are you in this blog donkey????

That's what I can't understand if you don't read him.

lmao

Posted by: rphilli721 | September 21, 2009 1:19 AM
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I don't read Wilbon because most of the time he is putting race into his columns and because he tries to act like a thug wannabe in his question and answer session. I cannot understand why he remains employed

Posted by: steven7753 | September 17, 2009 9:58 PM
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