I think Levy finally got his dream guest on the podcast in Wilbon yesterday (I'm sure I come in a close second) and the result was a fifty minute chat on just about everything. Wilbon talked blogs of course, but there are really much more interesting conversations about Tony, his health and not wearing pants on set.
Here's a quick glimpse. You can either click on the topic below to listen to that particular topic, or just listen to the whole thing via the link below....
Michael Wilbon Full Interview
On Stephen A. Smith: "I think they thought here's a different voice. It's different, there are people who connect with it and we love this voice. It sounds different......Nobody's voice sounds like Stephen A's. So for better or worse, depending on your point of view, that was his calling card."The whole interview is very eye opening, and while I understand Wilbon's issues with trusting the "Web", he still seems to come across as defensive for no reason. In almost every answer he says he understands but then gets combative. At one point he even says, "If you come at me with sanctimony, I will verbally try to cut you, deep." And he meant it as seriously as that reads.
On Blogs: “I know there are some great bloggers. But how do we know what that blogger knows. Of course, I’m giving you the cynicism of people who have cut their teeth in this business and had to, sort of pass an exam every day for years and years and years when readers would ask, ‘how do you know this.’
“Reading habits are very difficult to form and even more difficult to break. We’d like to think we’ve built up some trust, so before I believe this blogger, this person’s got to build up some trust. Again, you’re getting this point of view from someone 49 years old.”
“When it’s in good fun, I’m not that serious a guy. When it isn’t, I’m real serious. When it becomes admonishing and sanctimonious, then I come back with Fire and Brimstone. That’s the way I combat stuff. When these things are treated as they should be, in my opinion, which is with some sense that it is hilarious and some context, then it is what it is. But when people get sanctimonious, I come out swinging.”
On the "No Pants" Situation: "I wear shorts starting the moment I come home from the NBA Finals. I wear shorts virtually everyday. Virtually. So let's say 95% of the time. Until Labor Day or so. Probably late September, when the temperature gets back in the 70s. That's what I've do. I've done it for seven years. I'm going to continue to do it. I told PTI, don't put the camera done there then! We don't need to see my legs."
On hanging with Porn Stars: "They're adult film star. Oh boy. What reaction should I have had other than it's funny? People who would suggest I would have another reaction, you know, I would love for somebody to say that to my face."
On Kornheiser: "We're old and we're friends."
I've learned by now that there are just some people who will just never understand or accept what is happening in Sports Media, and Wilbon is certainly one of them. There's also really nothing wrong with that. No one is going to convince him differently and he has every right to not like something and fight back if he feels the need to. He also should feel really proud of all of the work that he's put in because he's damn good at what he does and is an example of what's right in the business.
The other side of this that he, and others, need to understand (and they don't) is A) It's not going away, and B) There's a reason that the online movement came on so fast and so big. It wasn't by accident. Some people were tired with lazy and cookie-cutter reporting and we're looking for something new. Wilbon has certainly never really fallen into that category, but sticking up for people who do is just counterproductive to any medium or industry growing. That's something that Sports Blogs are just now figuring out, and we've been in existence for what, five to six years?
The thing that Michael needs to really understand (and everyone for that matter) is that taking all of this stuff so damn seriously is only going to make you to go crazy. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you, but you have to learn to laugh it off. The pants thing was just downright hilarious and Porn Star stuff was harmless. They way it was handled on PTI was perfect and the reason why everyone connect with the show.
In the end, if you can't make fun of yourself.....who can you make fun of?
Michael Wilbon Joins the DL (On The DL)
Mike Wilbon Is Not A Fan Of Long Pants (Awful Announcing)
The PTI Guys Have A Little Fun With Wilbon's "Night Out" (Awful Announcing)