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In Wilbon's World

About World Wide Wilbon

An entire page of online content, most of it devoted to sports, is not something I ever envisioned producing. But the way we consume information, demanding to have it now and not wait until tomorrow morning, has changed every facet of the news business.

So here we are with World Wide Wilbon, a hopefully catchy way of packaging my insights (presuming I have a few), thoughts and opinions. Some posts here will be a lot like the pieces people traditionally associate with my work: my take on sporting events, the people involved with them, the leagues, etc. Some might remind you of mini-columns, and some will play with new forms of storytelling. Some will also give me a chance to report and write about things I wouldn't otherwise get into the newspaper because of space constraints.

For example, I'd never heard of Twitter until late January or early February. And I didn't fully get the potential impact of tweeting until I was with Shaquille O'Neal, on assignment for ABC/ESPN. Shaq, who I've known for 17 years now, was chastising me for not tweeting -- which I still don't do -- and showing me how it works.

Just that interaction would have produced a nice 400-word story, but not necessarily a full column. But because I didn't have the forum, it wound up on The Post's version of the cutting room floor. My time with Shaq, beyond the interview for ESPN, didn't see the light of day. And those kinds of things happen, oh, 20 times a year. You'll read about that here.

I'll post stories that are off the beaten path, like today's on Tim James, the former NBA player who is now serving his country in Iraq. Why? Because it interests me. A good friend who works for the Miami Heat was able to put me in touch with Tim on the telephone from Iraq a couple of days ago, and his story fascinates me.

I'll post serious pieces like that at times, as well as totally self-indulgent things like my "Wilbon Index" rankings, which will enable me to take shots at the pollsters and other conventional wisdom. There will be, perhaps more than anything else, commentary on the news of the day, but in smaller chunks than the 1,000-or-so-word columns I've been writing since 1990.

We struggled a bit with what to call this platform, and there are plenty of blog-like elements, but you won't see the word "blog" used by me. I'm still not sure of the difference between blogs and columns. I don't read blogs, which is largely a function of how somebody my age (50) consumes information.

Whatever you want to call this site, it will be typical of my work in The Washington Post for 30 years and as a co-host with Tony Kornhesier on ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption" for the last eight. The packaging -- short takes instead of longer columns -- will be more "PTI" than newspaper, but that's the point. It speaks to the new ways information is produced and consumed.

But the opinions will come from my 30 years of covering sports, from local colleges to the NBA to the Olympics to the NFL. And -- I know this will disappoint some of you -- it will not necessarily concentrate on local concerns. Yes, I'll deal with the Redskins on most Monday mornings. And I'll jump on the Wizards, Maryland and Georgetown when the mood strikes or when there are big stories. But you'll just as likely find me addressing what's going on with Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Brett Favre, Tim Tebow, why I hate the BCS and find anything less than a playoff system in college football unsatisfying. I'll hopefully have things to say from the U.S. Open later this week, from the Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Friday (Michael Jordan, David Robinson, John Stockton, Jerry Sloan, Vivian Stringer are being inducted). I'll actually be on the set for ESPN that night and have access to the honorees.

Though I do 200 PTI shows a year, I still cover sporting events, lots of them, and many times the conversations that don't make it into columns can be excerpted here. My printed opinions have been pretty much limited to sports. Here, they won't be. Television, music, fashion ... don't be surprised. Still, the primary reason my opinions have been valued on some level is because I've spent a lifetime having access to the events and people that make athletic competition, and all the issues surrounding it, compelling.

It's a very cool platform my editors at The Post have created, and I'm terribly excited about it. I won't be able to post eight times a day, seven days a week: I'll still be writing columns for the sports section, I'll still be doing "PTI," and, most importantly, I will be trying to be a good dad to a 17-month-old son named Matthew. But I hope there will be enough content on the page, posted in a timely fashion, to keep people interested and to exploit the unique properties of a medium that is so much more immediate than the newspaper.

It's certainly a work in progress, and it will also rely on -- and hopefully expand -- the sense of community and interaction that has developed in our weekly Chat House discussions to truly succeed.

Here's hoping this won't be the last time you wander into my little world ...


Michael Wilbon

 |  September 7, 2009; 8:59 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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A guy who hates blogs and bloggers is writing a blog. Funny.

Posted by: KidTJ | September 9, 2009 1:00 PM
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Great stuff! All I can say is it's about time!

Posted by: drischord | September 9, 2009 12:08 PM
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Ugh. This guy has no insight into anything but basketball. Why anyone cares what this guy thinks is way beyond me...
Posted by: WrongDog | September 8, 2009

Beautiful!!!! I will give him credit for putting that face on the internet. This is jsut me, me, me. Can;t wait for his Michael Jackson, Mike Vick analogy.

Posted by: bal503 | September 8, 2009 8:39 PM
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OK, let me get this straight: you (Wilbon) don't read blogs, in fact much of your "mission statement" alludes to the fact that you dislike blogs and could care less about blogs. You even acknowledge that online news consumption has far outpaced the traditional news media's ability to provide it, yet you still crack blogs? Have you met a blogger? They are people just like you but younger, more recently graduated from journalism schools and they are people who are locked out of "traditional" news media jobs by egos like yours.

I'll look forward to reading your monthly blog updates.

Posted by: wilbon_is_a_joke | September 8, 2009 6:13 PM
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I often don't agree with Wilbon, but I come back like a moth to a bright light.

What I like is that he says what he thinks forcefully and thoughtfully. Nothing lukewarm...makes me want to joke, "tell us what you really think!" And he comes from the perspective of someone whose opinion is better informed than most, so he's worth listening to/reading.

Carry on, Mr. Wilbon, carry on.

Posted by: Bluefish2012 | September 8, 2009 6:10 PM
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Hopefully Twitter is next Wilbon. Although there is a Twitter site dedicated to all Michael Wilbon quotes...


It's pretty funny reading Wilbon on my phone.

Posted by: YankeeVic | September 8, 2009 4:38 PM
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Wilbon, looking forward to what you put up here. Can you get Tony to contribute?

Now, if we could just get you tweeting.

Posted by: andyrankin | September 8, 2009 4:02 PM
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Wow - I am surprised at so many detractors. And, horseydeucey, man you need to listen to the whole comment, not just 1 part - context....listen to the context.
I am a Wilbon fan and some 'interaction' with someone with Mike's background seems interesting to me. Too bad other journalists don't do this sort of thing. Besides, it's better than listening to the continuous-over-hype-over-analyzing of the NFL and the 'experts'... Just let the season play out....good grief.

Posted by: mikek728 | September 8, 2009 3:09 PM
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I put you on permanent ban after what you had to say following ST's murder. I'm breaking the ban because there may be the slimmest of chances this message crosses your desk. Wilbon, you are despicable. I truly hope you fail. I can't wait for the day when I think to myself "whatever happened to that joke sports pundit who said, 'I wasn't surprised in the least when I heard the news Monday morning that Sean Taylor had been shot in his home by an intruder.'?"
Wilbon, I'm wasn't surprised in the least when I heard the news that you are taking another step in expanding your vanilla, phony empire. I wish you all the luck in the world-- the bad luck.

Posted by: horseydeucey | September 8, 2009 1:55 PM
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Frankly I look forward to more of Mike's comments and opinions, whether it's mostly NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, MLS, or pro beach volleyball. Wilbon's columns and thoughts are among those I respect greatly, and I hope this becomes as rewarding a stop in the Post's bl*gs (sorry, dude!) as Goff's Soccer Insider.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | September 8, 2009 1:20 PM
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this world wide wilbon gimmick is an embarassment to the Washington Post.

Posted by: wleffi | September 8, 2009 1:14 PM
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so is this just a spot to shill for the NBA?

Posted by: funkey | September 8, 2009 12:27 PM
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I'm glad Wilbon is here. Readers like me can't get enough of his knowledge and opinions.

Posted by: jnw777 | September 8, 2009 11:49 AM
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Glad to have you in cyberspace. It's not a waste of time like you think. It's the way of a near and certain journalistic future.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | September 8, 2009 11:04 AM
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Wow, so many haters. I think this forum is perfect for Wilbon and I look forward to it. Shaq tweeting is not "newsworthy" but it is a behind the scenes look at a public figure that we wouldnt normally see, similar to the "blog". It is what it is. As long as the Post continues serious sports journalism why not do something like this? Nice start Mike, thanks.

Posted by: themantoyou | September 8, 2009 11:02 AM
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Ugh. This guy has no insight into anything but basketball. Why anyone cares what this guy thinks is way beyond me...

Posted by: WrongDog | September 8, 2009 10:11 AM
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Just what the world & the www. needs: more Wilbon.

I used to work in sports at the Wasington Post back when Mr. Wilbon was starting out covering college basketball, and great editors such as Mark Asher & Len Shapiro knew what was news worthy and what was not.

Hate to break the bad news, but Shaq twttering is not newworthy, and not worth devoting any amount of 'writing' or space to.

Like the recently spiked Mouthpiece Theater, this is just another example of WaPo online exercising very poor editorial/content judgement to feed the ego and bank account of a sports columnist gone inane.

Posted by: tomquiggle | September 8, 2009 9:08 AM
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Just what this egomaniac needs...this is another example of the downfall of the Post.

Posted by: wleffi | September 8, 2009 8:22 AM
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Boy, even more of Wilbonn sucking up to the 420 smoking NBA playahas, how terribly exciting and orignal.

Posted by: nowhine | September 8, 2009 7:41 AM
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So why is your shirt off?

Posted by: bryan4967 | September 8, 2009 6:08 AM
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Mr. Wilbon welcome to the fancy computer days!

Posted by: CrappyWaiter | September 8, 2009 4:32 AM
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