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In Wilbon's World

Skins share the spotlight

I'm overjoyed that local teams and the Redskins relative inactivity in the free agent market have shifted the focus around here to teams actually playing games in-season. The Capitals, Maryland Terrapins and Georgetown Hoyas all get higher billing on the marquee this week and next and thankfully so.

This isn't about hating on the Redskins. It's about hating the stupid obsession with off-season junk, a beast fed to a great degree by my employers, both at ESPN and here. Don't get me wrong, media companies are businesses and they have to be in the business of supplying the demand of their customers. Unarguably, there's a greater demand for pro football than anything in the sports/entertainment culture. So there is an interest in pro football 12 months a year.

But at some point it becomes a matter of media driving the interest, which one could argue is the case with the NFL. When the Redskins sign a player with the profile of Albert Haynesworth and pay him $100 million, the news sucks the air out of the room. But locking up a nose tackle named Maake Kemoeatu doesn't have the same news value, even though he could have a huge impact come September.

These are all judgment calls, I suppose, what's important and to whom. Personally, I don't care one bit about 90 percent of the off-season NFL stuff that passes as news. When the NFL draft, five weeks away, leads the sports news or the sports section, I go to straight for the clicker or the mouse. Brett Favre speculation? Same thing. Click. It's not news, not to some of us, not while the Capitals are playing the way they are, not with Maryland tied for first place in the ACC regular season, not with Georgetown's unpredictable season, not with dramatic conference tournament games like the Louisville and Cincinnati played in the Big East last night, not with major league baseball in the on-deck circle.

By

Michael Wilbon

 |  March 11, 2010; 12:57 PM ET  |  Category:  Capitals , College Basketball , NFL , Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Up close with the Caps | Next: Wilbits: Strasburg, Torii and Milton

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Wilbon

I have question concerning the Redskins. Why aren't they gearing the defensive using Albert Hansworth skills. Why would you pay someone that much money and then using him against, what is comfortable with?

Posted by: billyrowland | March 15, 2010 10:41 AM
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man, you people have alot of time on your hands

Posted by: andersong | March 15, 2010 8:36 AM
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How does it feel now, that it appears the Chicago Bears have turned into the Redskins and are buying their way into futility? It’s a club you don’t want to be in and hopefully for Redskins fans we’re getting out of with the signing of Allen and Shanahan.
I hope Ted Phillips is smarter then Dan Snyder for your sake and it doesn’t take him ten years to wise up.

Good Luck.

Posted by: PEIL | March 14, 2010 10:24 AM
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Urnesto, you're the fool to invent the fact that we are all neocons or even conservative in any way to be offended by the racism inherent in many of Wilbon's remarks. I may be an African-American who wishes to see the community maintain its identity while moving on from continually making statements that do nothing but to maintain racial barriers and construct new ones. Racial discussion is fine, but someday I'd like to see Wilbon talk about people without it always being about the color(s) of our skin.

Posted by: HawgsRule | March 13, 2010 3:42 PM
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I do hope that you read these comments as they are mostly directed at you. But in doing so, I sincerely hope that you can separate the ones (such as mine) that concern sports, writing, and DC from the ones that concern race. Personally, I like your columns about race, as they seem open, honest, and insightful. I am in no way associated with these neo-cons who get so angry about your openness about racial issues. I think we should all be having these discussions as they are obviously extremely important and I completely commend you on taking the time and energy (and abuse) in discussing them. Especially for a city as diverse as DC, this is extremely important. And I think it's a shame that people are attacking you because of your willingness to discuss race. I wholy disagree with all of these conservative fools who are angry at you for issues related to race. It's a shame that people are that foolish because I think it's wonderful that you raise these issues.

HOWEVER, I think your pretentiousness and front-running-ness need to be edited out. (Also your mind-numbing dependence on the phrase "no account knucklehead.") Take, for instance, your column after the Bullets traded everyone. You said they'd be horrible for years as if God told you that directly. He did not. And guess what? They're looking pretty good and with a top pick and Gil's return, along with Blatche and McGee's development, could be bettter than ever next year. That's what the fans are hoping for. So give us a little hope. Say something positive. Because - just like with the Saints - you may be wrong - so, why in the heck are you so unyielding. Give us some hope. You're not getting reviewed on the accuracy of your pessimism. Just be on our side a little bit. We're fans, remember.

Lastly, Tony K. is dragging you down and you should recognize. He acts like a little girl. Don't sink to his level.

Posted by: Urnesto | March 13, 2010 1:18 PM
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Now you know why they ran him out of Chi-Town and the don't want his as% back!

Posted by: TKing1 | March 13, 2010 10:54 AM
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Dear Mr. Wilbon
First off thank you for letting us post to have a voice. I respect your views in the sports world. But I don’t agree with many of your views and from the look of the feed back most people agree with me. Its true that I cringe when hear your name because your not the best at what you do. You could be better served If you focused on your love and passion for Washington sports. Thats the problem! You can’t do that if you want people to respect you. I have had the opportunity to meet you several times and I avoid you.
You talk about blacks and whites and make a bigger deal of of race issues then it has to be. You really don't like Washington Sports!!!
I have been a Caps, Redskins, Wiz, Terp,G-town fan for over 40 years. I do read your writings and you take away the enjoyment of reading because of your total negativity for our teams. If you could work harder to be a better person and a better writer then you would get a passing grade.
But as of now you get a C- ! I hope that you and bring that up to a A+. Soon!! I will be watching!!
Signed
LONG SHADOW

Posted by: yoda1tink | March 13, 2010 10:23 AM
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I've lived in the DC metro my entire life and I've never been a fan of Wilbon either. I don't think it's wrong at all for people to state that. For 25+ years I've found the focus of his articles more often than not to be race bating, negative, focused on half truths and flat out offensive. He's followed this same tired path for ever, kinda like Jesse Jackson. They don't care about America or Americans, but just a small select group of Americans who are selected based on their race. So what does that make him?

Posted by: d1232 | March 13, 2010 8:26 AM
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Skins coverage is nothing compared to Yankee coverage in NY. Your hockey column was racist and your journalistic integrity is in retirement. You're a hater. Nobody cares about the NBA because its not a good league anymore right now. Don't hate because we're passionate about our team, you jerk. The waste of time is your stupid TV show, not discussion about offseason signings for fans who care.

Posted by: Murlan1 | March 12, 2010 10:07 PM
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"They hide behind thier PC screen and act like tough guys, but let them wallow in thier cowardness. "

And you are right out in front there arent ya? You have no idea.

Posted by: robjway1 | March 12, 2010 5:09 PM
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Hey, VarlyisNarly, why don't you take that tampon out and leave the writing to those who know how to.

That will be all.

Posted by: 88mph | March 12, 2010 2:24 PM
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Wilbon,

No one likes your columns. Go back to ESPN and leave the Washington Post to those of us that actually live here. Go write about the Blackhawks, which you claim to have watched growing up. Do not write about the Capitals ever again. You are a moron.

That will be all.

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | March 12, 2010 1:52 PM
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I agre with TMKelley...you bashers are ridiculous. Mike is one of the best sports writers in the country, let alone in this area. I have heard comments over the years before accusing Mike of being racist, and I personally don't believe one iota of it. There is certainly a lingering of racism in this country, and that is sad. One would think we as a people would be intelligent enough to realize the equality of our citizens, and be proud of it as a nation. But, our reality is that ingnorance is still prevalent, and common sense is NOT common!

Hey, if Mike writes an article about an athlete who happens to be African American - and Mike takes "sides" toward that athlete, I gaurentee it has been well thought out before he writes one word. He calls it like it is, IMHO.

I am glad to have a voice of opinion on the matter of Mike being a "racist" - I am a DC native and have been hearing that crap for too long now.

Keep up the good work Mike, and don't listen to unintelligent goons that lash out without having to be accountable for it. They hide behind thier PC screen and act like tough guys, but let them wallow in thier cowardness.

Posted by: Skins4Wins | March 12, 2010 12:54 PM
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For goodness sakes, folks, get a grip and live life. Your bashing of Mr. Wilbon is disgraceful. Why don't you bashers try your hand at writing to a deadline and doing it every day on topics you may, or may not, care to discuss? He happens to be correct; if your whole life is wrapped around whether the 'Skins got a third backup tight end, well, something is a bit off-center, don't you think? The amazing thing is that you don't know it.

Posted by: tmkelley | March 12, 2010 11:52 AM
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"These are all judgment calls, I suppose, what's important and to whom. Personally, I don't care one bit about 90 percent of the off-season NFL stuff that passes as news. When the NFL draft, five weeks away, leads the sports news or the sports section, I go to straight for the clicker or the mouse."
--------------------------------------
Clearly! need I say more than what I already said? Maybe Wapo is failing Wilbon. Post this to the Caps and other sites respectively. Keep it off the Redskins Blogs.

Posted by: robjway1 | March 12, 2010 7:26 AM
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We are a passionate fan base and we follow the Redskins constantly. Wilbon doesn't live it or feel it and based on his work doesn't understand it. He has no place covering this team. He has brought this on himself with his out of touch with fanbase articles. If you think he needs respect maybe he should take his talent and become a part of this fan base whether he likes it or not. His opinions would go further if they had some basis. He is completely out of touch. And his peppered in posts are so out of left field that people are left to only scratch their heads. His posts are like some dude watching 5% of a soap opera and then going on to the blogs and giving his narrow opinion and flaming up the people who watch it religiously. Let me tell you he is probably a nice guy but its clear he tries too hard to get a way with as little effort as possible on topics very important to fans. Its well known he is an outsider. He's like the tag along who keeps saying something stupid that doesn't advance where the situation is at currently. He just needs to take his talent to covering something he cares about and wants to be doing.

Posted by: robjway1 | March 12, 2010 7:20 AM
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all you haters on here wish you had half the talent wilbon has in his left thumb...instead of attacking a black man for having an opinion why don't you take the article for it's content and make articulate statements pertaining to his statements...you guys speak about mike in a negative way and you name call but what you fail to realize is that most of what wilbon says is truth and that he is 99.9 percent closer to the sports world than 99.9 percent of the bloggers who comment here...if you are going to make negative comments try and stick to facts that you can justify and leave the hating for situations that require less intellect. MW is not perfect but ye who is...cast the first stone.

Posted by: ronniecope106 | March 12, 2010 2:37 AM
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as long as there are wilbons in the world there will be prejudice and discrimination againts a race.

Posted by: robjway1 | March 11, 2010 11:25 PM
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I wish this loser would go to work in Chicago. Wapo will someday be bankrupt and then he and kornholer will be gone.

Posted by: robjway1 | March 11, 2010 11:24 PM
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I think this worldwide Wilbon is more about keeping him, or rather his brand, at wapo. Too bad, if wapo had brains, they would realize, it isn't necessary.

Boswell still writes articles, (and very good ones, bereft of Wilbno's gasbag propensities), but Wilbon they moved to blogger status.

I think it is going to fail, he is turning into a refined screamin-a-smith. At first people look or listen because of what he might say or write. In the end, their hollow opinions provoke an indifferent, 'so what?'

Wapo, leave the blogging to Steinberg, Reid, Maese et al. Wilbon belongs on tv, where the intellegence threshold is more suitable to his ability.

Hasta la vista Mikey...here's to the handful of articles that were remotely decent. RIP.

Posted by: burbworks | March 11, 2010 7:54 PM
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Oh, please. Wilbon is no great talent. He's an affirmative action hire for the Washington Post. ANY garden variety blogger could write more insightful and certainly, more impartial account of the happenings in Washing area sports.

Wilbon is an idiot, a racist and is greatly sympathetic to criminals like Arenas and his thug-rap com-padre's. The sympathy extended to the Criminal Sean Taylor and his own participation in his own demise was indicative to say the least, especially when serious firepower is involved. But let Swimmer Phelps smoke a joint and lordie, how the sky does fall with Wilbon's demand for accountability. Wilbon is a creep. He's reprehensible. For 20 years I've been reading and looking for some even handedness and it is NEVER forthcoming. I wish Wilbon would go to ESPN, but fact is, he couldn't make it there.

No matter how well dressed, he's still ugly.

Posted by: JamesChristian | March 11, 2010 6:36 PM
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Again, Wilbon, you write a seemingly innocuous column and we all come after you. Why? Because it strongly seems like you're squandering your talent. You can be an able and thoughtful writer. That is your talent. On ESPN, you're ok. Please, as Gilbert says, pick one. Your columns attacking the ESPN personalities-and-sometimes-sports machine are half-baked and weak, because ESPN is your employer.

Also, you write about how you use your mouse or remote control to avoid sports news that doesn't interest you... Uh... uh... Didn't you get your start at a.... newspaper? I know it doesn't flow as well, but to ignore newspapers in your position while writing for the WP is (at best) incredibly short-sighted and simplistic. You work for the best (or 2nd best, depending on how pretentious one is) newspaper in the country and it escapes you that some people might read about sports in a news paper. (Not to mention the fact that it's somewhat galling that you yourself don't apparently read the newspaper despite the fact that the industry needs all the help (and readers) it can get. If not for yourself, do it for your co-workers - the non-famous ones.

Also, what's with all the hate for the Bullets, man? Um, they're still playing too. And despite all your front-running comments, they are doing pretty well too. (I know they've lost 4 in a row but they are much closer and much more competitive than at any other point this season.) Instead of just demonstrating how you're turning into Walter Mathaue (ie, a grumpy old man), why not write about the young guns and make your readers happy.

However, I must commend you for writing a column for the first time ever which does not call anyone a no-account knucklehead. See, variety is good.

Posted by: Urnesto | March 11, 2010 5:52 PM
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I love this time of the year. Spring just around the corner, NCAA Conference BB Tournaments in full swing, big dance coming up, NHL in the home stretch to Stanley Cup playoffs and spring training moving right along. Got the Master's in a few short weeks. A sporting man's paradise.

Agree that most NFL off-season news is junk; however...... The Washington Redskins NOT spending like drunken sailors on shore leave is BIG news. As far as the rest of the NFL news, wake me up about half-way through the second quarter of the next to last pre-season game.

Posted by: prestoj | March 11, 2010 5:30 PM
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Wilbon, can you come up with a relevant post with having to complain about something?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 11, 2010 5:22 PM
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"not with major league baseball in the on-deck circle."

While I agree with most of this post Wilbon...I have to disagree with pre-season baseball news. Preseason baseball is awful, I could care less what the Nationals are doing in the spring. I would rather read about and watch pre-season football news.

Posted by: dcsportsfan51 | March 11, 2010 4:45 PM
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clandestinetomcat, take your simple minded azz back up to the mountains that you came from.

Posted by: OG_Barno | March 11, 2010 4:32 PM
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Can't win for losing, but this is the type blurb most Redskins, Terps and Caps fans have been asking Wilbon to write for years. now that he give's a snippet no one is happy.

this Redskin offseason is pivotal to me because it will decide on how I manage being a fan. if they go about once again selling the rags to riches superbowl dream, i'm off the bandwagon cold turkey again. either way, i am holding back my zeal towards this team. it's just time for it.

Posted by: oknow1 | March 11, 2010 4:10 PM
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Mike,

You are becoming a crotchety old man. Get back out to the AZ sun, drink some cold cerveza, play a few rounds of golf and come back like the Wilbon we all know and love.

Posted by: rdondero123 | March 11, 2010 4:10 PM
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I don't agree, except for the part of what is news. Reporting Redskins' press releases, signings and quotes and from coaches, players and front office personnel is news and should be reported, but quoting other journalists or analysts is not news.

Posted by: PriorKnowledge | March 11, 2010 4:09 PM
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Most of us aren't from Chicago, Mr. Wilbon. We like our football and love our Redskin's news on a daily basis. Just because your Bears stink doesn't mean you should remain ignorant to what makes Redskin's fans happy - and that is news about our favorite team. Go back to Chicago and take your politician's with you.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | March 11, 2010 3:56 PM
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Good points and I agree with most of them. But I have a question - if you are concerned about all the media driven overhype of the NFL, why join in with the overhype about Hayneworth's contract. They did NOT pay him 100 million dollars - as you said above. They did guarantee him 41 million, which you would think would be enough of a number to excite an audience. But the odds of him seeing the other 60% of that money are very, very long. Why not call it as it is instead of erroneously making it seem bigger-than-big?

Posted by: bigfoot1 | March 11, 2010 2:53 PM
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