Wilbon Talks Blogs And Going Sans Pants With "On The DL"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


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."

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."
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.

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)

8 Comments:

I know there are some great bloggers. But how do we know what that blogger knows.

He's absolutely right. One blog credited its source to a posting as National Enquirer recently, another has published blatantly false information about a handful of public figures (and not in the KSK satire fashion). But what Wilbon's saying also applies to print.

When was the last time Jay Marriotti was in a clubhouse or locker room, on a practice field, etc.? It's a sports media problem, not a blogosphere problem.

Kyle said...
Aug 13, 2008, 1:10:00 PM  

I bet Wilbon wears Jorts.

GMoney said...
Aug 13, 2008, 1:26:00 PM  

Yeah, but who doesn't?

Kyle said...
Aug 13, 2008, 1:29:00 PM  

I think he'd be more of a Zubas guy.

Hey Mike, do you know where that chick's face was before you put your big mug next to it?

hollywood wags said...
Aug 13, 2008, 1:40:00 PM  

I listened to the interview this morning, and I think you're right about his combatitiveness, but he said something else that sort of explained it, too.

He noted that he (and most of the other print journalists) are very competitive and I think that's where his position starts. He wants to be the person you look to for sports commentary because of his access, because he was with Jordan for an hour after his 4th ring, etc. TBL, AA, Deadspin etc. can't offer that, so don't go to them and expect the same insight. It's positioning, and it's not totally wrong.

It was a fun interview. I love listening to On the DL

David said...
Aug 13, 2008, 1:58:00 PM  

No, I didn't change my name to David for the last comment.

Thank you very much, sir. And to all of you who listen.

Dan Levy said...
Aug 13, 2008, 2:36:00 PM  

I've been hard on media guys in the past, but I can also understand where they're coming from. They don't yet understand the purpose of blogs. Blogs aren't a primary source of information like some guys in the media might be, but the commentary provided blows anything else the media people can provide out of the water.

Eric said...
Aug 13, 2008, 3:01:00 PM  

carly parker is fucking nasty

Mike Georger said...
Aug 13, 2008, 9:32:00 PM  

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