washingtonpost.com
The Chat House with Michael Wilbon

Michael Wilbon
Washington Post Sports Columnist
Monday, December 6, 2010; 1:30 AM

Welcome to another edition of The Chat House, where Post columnist Michael Wilbon was online Monday, Dec. 6 at 1:30 p.m. ET to discuss the Redskins and NFL, the NBA, college football and basketball, all the latest sports news and his recent columns.

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Arlington, VA: Given that you're out the door soon and won't get a chance to weigh in after New Year's, any comments on the Hoyas? Surprising start so far.

Michael Wilbon: hi Everybody...Welcome to our final chat...Boy, that sounds so sad, and it is for me after so many years of having these sessions. Chats are so new to newspapers, historically. But they're so incredibly valuable because editors/reporters/columnists get to find out what's on the minds of our readers, what you think we should be writing about, what ticks you off, what makes you happy. Sometimes it can confirm what you think readers are interested in; sometimes it can turn you around 180 degrees. Anyway, I've loved them...A final column will, I'm told, appear in the newspaper tomorrow morning and then on washingtonpost.com..for the next hour-plus we should definitely talk about the Redskins meltdown in against the Giants and since some will be depressed about that, something uplifting, like the play of the Georgetown Hoyas, who yes indeed have had a very nice start.

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hyattsville, MD: I saw someone write that if the Cowboys finish with a better record the Redskins, Shanahan should lose some of his GM responsibilties. Do you agree?

Michael Wilbon: My take is (and always has been) than Shanahan shouldn't have any GM responsibilities, that the GM should be the GM and the coach should be the coach and hardly ever should the two be one in the same. The Redskins personnel situation, it seems to me, is worse than it was a year ago. How many young drafted players look like sure-fire future Pro Bowlers, or more importantly cornerstone players you can build a franchise around. Isn't there still a feeling that all the Redskins are going to do is go after other teams' high-priced talent instead of drafting and developing players?

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Gaithersburg, MD: When will the Redskins fiure out that you cannot buy a championship. You have to build a champoinship team; which will take some time. Prima Donna players spoil the soup! Also, Thanks Mike Wilbon for adding so much flavor to the Washington sports scene. You will be missed!

Michael Wilbon: Thank you so much for that...Remember, I'm not physically going anywhere...I'll be living here. I'll still be going to Wizards games and a few Capitals games, surely Maryland and Georgetown basketball games...I can't see going to many (if any) Redskins games because the gamedays are so awful. I'll miss a lot of stuff but going to Redskins games will rank way, way down the list. And as for your question, I don't know when they'll figure it out. It's been 11 years for Dan Snyder and things aren't any different under Shanahan than they were under Marty Schottenheimer or Steve Spurrier or Jim Zorn. I mean, seriously, what's different? They're just as dysfunctional, and making the same personnel mistakes. Stubblefield or Haynesworth, what's the difference? There's no inclination to built through the draft and develop players and coaches...just WIN NOW...even though they can't come close to winning now.

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Stephen (Washington, D.C.): Hi Michael. So sad to hear you're leaving the Post... best of luck going forward! My question: do you think the Redskins draft a quarterback for the future in April? Whether or not they do, who do you think will be a better pro: Andrew Luck or Cam Newton? Thanks and God bless.

Michael Wilbon: I'd take either of those QBs for a guy to develop. But I don't think the Redskins have any interest in developing anything or anybody. You take one of those two you also need to draft linemen, draft runners and receivers and do a good job of it. What in the Redskins current set-up would lead us to believe they can do that or have any interest in it? I have been a fan of Luck's and skeptical of Newton through much of the season. BUT, the more I watch Newton I have to admit I'm stunned by his physicality and arm and apparently understanding of the passing game. I mean, he's come out of nowhere. But I think they both will need stability, which the Redskins don't offer, and steady tutoring and patience. These things are not characteristic of the current Redskins regime that wants to win yesterday.

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Washington, DC: Could you elaborate on the Redskins Gameday experience being so awful?

Michael Wilbon: It starts with traffic and parking. I can get to an Eagles game with less drama. It takes less time...seriously. I can drive to the Linc in 2 hours flat from my home in Bethesda...and driving to FedEx is about the same deal if I leave after 9:30 for a 1 p.m. game...that includes parking, which is horrific...post-game traffic is awful... It's just the whole thing, from soup to nuts. I got rid of my season tickets (club seats) because of all this...My wife is a lifelong Redskins fan and no longer goes...If my son becomes a Redskins fan I'll find some tix somewhere and if not, I can take him to Ravens games (likely), Eagles games (doubtful), or Bears games (what I'm really hoping for).

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Falls Church, VA: Mike, is there someplace (physical or email) that we can still contact you? I don't have time to write up what I want to right now, but as someone born in MD in 1984, I devoured your every column and had some thoughts I wanted to share...

Michael Wilbon: that's very, very kind of you. Thank you. I can be reached at michael.wilbon@espn.com and would be happy to take further e-mails. This isn't some angry divorce. My editors/bosses at The Post have been great about all this. They will remain my close friends and respected colleagues. I'm still going to call my editors mid-mornings and talk about what's relevant and what isn't, who's a dope and who's smart, who should be ripped that day in a column and who should be praised. They just won't have to put up with me beyond that anymore!

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South Capitol Street: I'm glad you're staying in the area, but I want to see you at Nats games!

Michael Wilbon: When Matthew gets to be 5, 6 years old we'll go to Nats games a lot. My newphew and neice are two years older than their little cousin and they LOVE sports already...so I'll be the old guy taking three little ones to the Nats games...looking forward to that. I'm not going to start covering baseball all of a sudden at ESPN.com. That's very, very unlikely to happen...but I'm waiting for the little man to be old enough to enjoy baseball in person with his dad. My father started taking me at 4 years old and I loved every minute of it immediately...Hopefully, Matthew will be like his old man in that regard.

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Washington DC: Hey Mike. Sorry to see you leave...I've been a big fan. What do you think about Greg Oden on the Miami Heat as a role player/enforcer if he can ever get/stay healthy? I think it would be low risk for everyone involved.

Michael Wilbon: Only if you have a backup plan and only if you don't have to pay him much. Could happen. Could be a shrewd move. I just want to see Oden, wherever he's playing, be healthy and stay healthy...

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Little Rock, AR: Thanks so much for the chats over the years, I've enjoyed them thoroughly. Any chance you'll be doing a weekly chat on ESPN.com in the future? On a totally unrelated note, it seems to me that college football games are entirely too long. I don't have any stats on this, but NFL games seem to take about 3 hours while college games seem to push closer to 4.I know that big time college athletics is nothing short of a money grab and longer games can certainly lead to more commercials/revenue. Do you ever see the NCAA simply adopting NFL clock rules to move the games along a little quicker?

Michael Wilbon: Thanks very much and, yes, to answer your first question. To your second question, college football games are too long. They take 3 1/2 hours, most of them, at the very least. And yes, it's too long. College football should do something to shorten them to at least 3:15, though the game is so popular now I don't see any conference tinkering with the product.

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Lasting impressions: I was only six when he retired, so my lasting impression of Y.A. Tittle is from the photo of him kneeling on the turf, dazed and bleeding. How many young fans are going to remember Favre as a junk texting, pick thrower and not as the clutch performer that he once was? Gonna miss your columns.

Michael Wilbon: I think people will think of Favre as one of the all-time greats. I think they'll think of him wearing a Packers uniform. I know I think of Michael Jordan in a Bulls jersey, not a Wizards jersey. I think of John Unitas in a Colts uniform, not wasting away with the Chargers...same with Namath; I see him as a Jet, not with the Rams...Some may feel otherwise but the end isn't the lasting impression for me. And remember, Favre was pretty darn great just a year ago. He almost got the Vikings to the Super Bowl.

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Washington, DC: Do you recall, about twelve years ago, a mother calling you and Tony Kornheiser asking if the two of you could call her goofy 18 year old son, who was going to Northwestern, wanted to be a sports writer, and idolized the two of you?

That sir, was me. I am now thirty years old, and can say with confidence that the two of you got me to love not just sports, but writing and thinking about the world. Thanks very much, and you will be missed.

Michael Wilbon: Reading this is almost certainly going to be the highlight of my day. There's no higher praise. What are you doing now? About eight years ago I was in a restaurant with my wife and ran into a young woman whose high school class I had addressed when she was 17...turns out she went to journalism school because of that experience, and wound up working as a producer at CNN...it's such an honor to hear those stories. And you're a Wildcat, too? Wow. Even if I'm reading too much into that and you went to college somewhere else, it's a thrill to know that you've had a positive influence on someone's professional life. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing that.

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Omar, DC: Mr. Wilbon - Will you ever be seen at a DC United game? Or do we have a better chance of getting a stadium built first?

Michael Wilbon: I went to D.C. United games when you were probably 10 years old (I covered the first few championship games; look it up) and covered Washington Diplomats games when they played in the old North American Soccer League surely before you were born. So don't presume that I don't attend soccer games. I'm almost certain to take Matthew to D.C. United games before he sees a Redskins game in person.

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Arlington VA: You often speak of certain towns as a "sports town", ie. Chicago. How do you characterize DC to people in other cities when it comes to sports?

Michael Wilbon: D.C. is a soft core sports town, which works a couple of ways for a sportswriter. In the case of D.C., this is also a more literate town, a town where people are less concerned with the state of the bullpen than the bigger sports issues of the day. So you can write about broader issues. I could go off on assignment and spend two days with Magic or with jimmy Johnson when he was coaching the Cowboys or with Joe Paterno and write pieces that I knew people here would find interesting. Hard to do that in hard core sports towns, where they pretty much only want to consume news about the locals, which is more the case in Chicago, Philly, Boston. Detroit, St. Louis. Folks here are from a whole lot of places and support a number of teams in different sports and I LOVED writing for that readership. I loved the national beats, like the NFL, national college football, the NBA. I was less into the local beats because no matter what people here think I've traveled the country for 30 years and I KNOW that while there is a huge and passionate Redskins following it isn't as fanatic as the Broncos following, or the Packers, or the Saints, just to name a few teams that may be in smaller communities but have greater sustained fervor. The Browns, sad sack as they are, probably qualify in that way, too. Same with the 49ers. Oh, the Steelers for sure. You think the Redskins aremore important to the fabric of Washington than the Steelers are to Pittsburgh? Please, not even close to close. And that's okay, because Washington has more balance, has other interests including sports and in addition to sports. I've always found that healthier and one of the great things about living here...BUT, while it's a whole lot better sports town than Atlanta, than Miami, for example, it isn't a top-10 sports town. That's an observation, not a criticism. Hell, it might be on many levels a bit of praise.

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Washington, DC: How far do you think the Giants will go in the playoffs?

Michael Wilbon: The NFC is so wide open. I don't think the Falcons or Bears or Eagles (leading their divisions today) are great teams. It's a true tournament, which means a whole lot of teams can win, including the Giants, though I think the G-Men have their issues and also qualify as pretty good, but certainly not great.

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Oakton, Va. : You always used to say, "Give me Ben," when asked your QB choice... I as a Steelers fanatic loved you for that. I know a lot has gone down.. but... Did you see him escape that sack at the end of last night's game? I know, Brady, Brady, Brady... but would Brady have done that, busted foot, busted nose? Can you give me just one final, "Give me Ben?"

Michael Wilbon: I texted back and forth with Big Ben this morning, essentially to tell him I hope the surgery went well (he had surgery on that broken nose this morning) and that performance last night took real guts. And yes, I just finished a conversation with my editors, essentially a tirade that repeated I would take Big Ben over all the QBs in the NFL RIGHT NOW if I had to play a game with my life on the line. Do I need more evidence than last night? Are you kidding? All he does is make the plays other QBs can't make. I don't need passer rating, I don't need yards passing or TDs passing...I want to win, so give me Big Ben...you think this won't be mentioned on PTI today?

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Miami, FL: D Wade was Coach Spo's biggest supporter when he was first named as Heat coach. Now, amid all the criticism, he refuses to stand up for him. What gives, did something change in their relationship or is he afraid of upsetting King James?

Michael Wilbon: I think it's a matter of realizing that whoever can help Miami win will be welcome. But I think that's also a risky approach. I don't know that Pat Riley is the answer to what ails Miami. I don't know that Riley even wants to coach this team, which has great assets but also some holes. Miami has won 4 straight and has a soft schedule between now and Christmas Day's date with the Lakers...Miami will be okay and the Coach Spo Must Go talk will be over...But I'd like to see Wade stand with his coach.

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Arlington, VA: Thanks for the comments on the Hoyas. Any thoughts on Deadspin and similar sites and what they've meant for sports news in general?

Thanks for your many years, many columns, and many chats.

Michael Wilbon: i know they've come to mean a lot to sports news, but I'm not going to lie and tell you I read them because I don't. I'mm 52 years old, which means I'm of an age where my reading habits are more or less set. I read plenty of stuff on line but I rely on pretty traditional sources. When someone tells me I should look at Deadspin or some other relatively new site, I do. But I'm a newspaper reader, whether in hand or on my iPad...It's like music...somebody once told me that whatever you're listening to at 30 years old is going to be what you listen to for life and that's largely true. On my iPod I've got some Jay-Z and Lady Gaga and a Kanye West tune here and there...certainly some Eminem and Snoop...but my tastes run 75 percent to the same stuff I was listening to 25 years ago, R&B, some jazz (some would say lite-Jazz), Elton, Celine, Sinatra, lots of Marvin, Luther and Stevie. And I'm going to the grave with that. The other stuff doesn't, largely, speak to me. Same with my information consumption. I'm not going to YouTube unless somebody prompts me. I don't hate YouTube; it's just not in my consciousness. I'm going to the NY Times and the Journal and SI, not Deadspin. having said that, I'm crusing USSportspages.com all the time, but that's to access traditional news sources. I do, however, look at several of the basketball sites because I cover pro basketball more closely than other things and ccan decide what I trust or don't trust...Wow, I wrote a thesis on this, didn't I?

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Washington, DC: Have you noticed that Lebron has developed an offensive move where he uses his off hand to literally push his defender away, to create separation? He does this multiple times per game... it's a blatant offensive foul and is absolutely never called. Gotta love the NBA!!

Michael Wilbon: It's a blatant offensive foul that NEEDS to be called. It's ridiculous.

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Fan Up!: Is there a worse sports town than Miami? LeBron James playing to empty seats? Please.

Michael Wilbon: No, Miami is even worse than Atlanta.

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Washington DC: I always love it when the Redskins win because it means everybody in Washington is better than everyone in the other city.

Michael Wilbon: Yeah, there's lots of that, isn's there?

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takoma park: Albert Hanesworth, parting thoughts?

Michael Wilbon: I don't believe this drama is 100 percent Big Al's fault, the way Boswell seems to believe...I think it's getting closer to 50-50 every day, split with Shanahan. If he didn't want the guy, get rid of him. They should have traded him. His behavior clearly is unprofessional, but the Redskins doubled the drama, which is part of the organizational dysfunction.

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Alexandria, VA: Michael,

Thanks for the memories, born and bread here in 1973, I didn't like to read much in the early 80's, but I loved your stuff, along with TK, and now being a teacher, I realize you definitely got me reading instead of just looking at the pictures in SI at the time.

You commented earlier this year on my questions regarding Denard Robinson. I know he fell from grace a bit, but how do you see MI reacting to both his play and Rich Rod? Do they stick it out a bit with Rich to keep continuity, or has Ann Arbor had it?

Michael Wilbon: Great questions...I think it depends to some degree on whether UM can get Jim Harbaugh. Personally, I wouldn't leave Stanford for ANY REASON. Sure, Stanford wants to win; but Stanford doesn't feel entitled to win. If Harbaugh slips to 5-7 next year, it'll be okay. And...IT'S STANFORD. I said this to Ty Wilingham one year; I thought he could have coached for 20 years successfully at Stanford. Anyway, I would keep Rich Rod, personally. I think he's moving toward what he did at West Virginia, it's just taking more time than most Meechigan folks want.

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Omar, DC: I didnt know you covered DCUnited back in the day, I see you are a jack of all trades Mr. Wilbon lol.... My question this time is regarding the Hoyas/Terps basketball game that is of no existance. Do you have knowledge of why they don't play each other; if now could you elaborate on your thoughts of why they dont play. The two schools are 30 miles apart and that would be a great rivalry even thought they are not in the same conference.

Michael Wilbon: We'd need an entire chat just for that question. Schools, and I mean all of them, have selfish interests. Why didn't Louisville and Kentucky play for years and years? Coaches have egos and want to set their own schedules and don't want to lose to somebody local...all kinds of stuff, much of it petty..."He wouldn't play me when I was up and coming and needed and game and now I'MM NOT GOING TO PLAY HIS ASS!" This is what I've heard for years when I ask why one team won't play another. Why don't Florida and Florida State play every year? Do they? Maybe they do now, but they didn't at one time. It's all silly, and it's part of college sports that I hate. I don't know if I want to see Georgetown and Maryland play every year...but every fourth of fifth years would be good.

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Brooklyn, NY: Where was your half hour special on ESPN announcing your decision to leave the Washington Post?

That would have been priceless. You could have even had a post announcement pep rally at the Mohican Sun where you dance and shimmy high five with the likes of Stuart Scott and Dan Patrick, etc.

Michael Wilbon: Ha!!! That made me laugh out loud...Thank you...

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The great unknowable: Do you think Charlie Batch could've also won the game for the Steelers last night? I do.

Michael Wilbon: no. Only Ben makes a couple of those plays, like the one where he pulls away from T-Sizzle to avoid the sack and dump the pass incomplete...Only Big Ben. And I LOVE Batch in any emergency...But he's not Ben. Come on, now.

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Jayson Werth signing: Do you think this was a mistake by the Nats? I also thought he played well in Philly due to their lineup.

Michael Wilbon: You can pay a franchise player that kind of money. But a guy who's older than Adam Dunn by a month of two? Who isn't a franchise player? Who is a .265 hitter? Troy Tulo you can pay that kind of money since he's 26, 27 years old...But Werth? Hmmmmm. I'll defer to Bos for the moment on this. I need to research more.

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Anonymous: Before you leave can you say something nice to or about us Redskins fans. We're not all bad, or irrational or myopic.

Michael Wilbon: Didn't I just write that Washington was a much more rational fanbase with more diverse interests? Didn't I just say that? You want more praise? How needy are you???

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Milwaukee, WI: What did you think of the Packers throwback uniforms?

Michael Wilbon: Awful. Just awful.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Mike, any chance you'll be able to squeeze in some appearances on ESPN's "The Sports Reporters" now that you're fulltime with them? I remember you (and TK) on that show way back when Dick Schaap was hosting it - even though we'll see you daily on PTI it would be neat if you could be on TSR. Thanks for all of the wonderful years of chats, columns and appearances.

Michael Wilbon: Doubtful...The producer of that show, Joe Valerio, is one of my mentors and has a lot to do with any success I've had in the TV industry. But "Sports Reporters" is taped on Sunday mornings around 7 a.m. and I have to do the NBA shows on Sundays from noon until about 6 p.m., which is a long enough workday on Sunday, considering I then hustle from Bristol to LaGuardia to catch the last shuttle flight home. Sunday's my 7th workday of most weeks between Christmas and late June when the NBA Finals come to a close (finally) so I'm not looking to double the length of my Sundays. Sorry...but thanks for the kind words about those days with Dick...I loved every minute of those sunday mornings in New York (the show has since moved to Bristol, Conn.) and got so much out of them. I owe Joe Valerio and Rob Cowan a debt of gratitude...and Dick.

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DC: Hiya Mike Thanks for all the great chats over the years. I agreed with your take about half the time, but it was the other half of the time that made me think more about the issue you were discussing. Thanks for giving us the lay of the land and your take on things. I thought for sure you would say you were leaving because you wanted to spend more time with your friend, Tony K, er rather, your family.

Michael Wilbon: Ha! That's very, very, very kind of you. As I say all the time agreement is so overrated. I'm probably going to spend "less" time with my family while I figure out how to write for a new audience...I'll spend about the same amount of time with Tony and there will be every chance to hear us scream our opinions at each other and you for at least the next five years, since that's how long we've signed on for...

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Fairfax, VA: Farewell Mr. Wilbon. Do you have any last thoughts about your controversial article on Sean Taylor's tragic death? I believe there has been a consistent racial undertone to the majority of your articles. Many people, as I do, feel that you are pretty loose with the race card. Will you be taking that chip on your shoulder with you? Thank you.

Randy

Michael Wilbon: I will absolutely be taking that chip on my shoulder with me...everywhere I go. Until I put down the pen. Count on it. And if you think "racial undertones" were a consistent part of my work, do me a favor and read it...You can find me after that...You think game columns and game stories had racial undertones. It makes me wonder about your undertones...Now, these are the kinds of conversations that make some folks uncomfortable but that I find absolutely necessary...If you see me without that chip on my shoulder, it'll be a sadder day even than this one...

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Westminster, MD: Mike, I'm a father of a 6 month old...

Call me crazy, but I'm honestly afraid to raise him a Redskins fan. Have you ever had that thought about protecting your son from the Cubs?

I'm just kidding... thanks for your all your work over the years. Do you think you'll continue chats over at ESPN? If not, my Mondays just got a little sadder. All the best.

Michael Wilbon: You might be kidding, but I've wondered the same thing, about letting Matthew be a Cub fan. Seriously, I don't know about that. But what if being a Nats fan is the same thing or worse? It couldn't be, could it? I'll have chats, though I don't yet know when they'll be...

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dc: thoughts on john wall? do the wiz finally have a future?

Michael Wilbon: Yes, and the Wizards have a future because Ted Leonsis understands starting over, building steadily, and patience.

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Anonymous: Does ESPN have online chat sessions like this, and if so will you be doing them? I'm surprised more newspapers don't have things like this online. These chat sessions are a great way to interact with the writers and stay loyal to the paper. I haven't lived in DC since 1997, but I still read the post every day because of these chats.

Michael Wilbon: Good to hear. And yes, these chats should be mandatory for most columnists...no make that all columnists. And yes, ESPN has them but I don't know the schedule...Guess I'd better learn quickly.

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Richmond, VA: As a native of Northern Virginia who is now 33, I grew up reading Boz and Tony, and then you. I've enjoyed watching you locally on TV and now daily on ESPN (I have maybe missed 10 PTI episodes ever, and usually when you guys get bumped to ESPN2 unannounced). I also became a father about a month before you did so I've enjoyed when you randomly mention your son (or that time on he showed up on the video segment you and Tony used to do). These chats are what I have enjoyed most of all due to the direct communication. You've maybe answered 20 of my questions in all the years you (and you and Tony previously) have done the Chat House. I remember the Weasel days! Anyway, I hope you do the occasional chat over at ESPN.com.

Take care and best of luck.

BUTTERSCOTCH!

Michael Wilbon: Thank you so much, and I promise I will...Good luck in continued Fatherhood!

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Alexandria, VA : Michael,

Wilbon. Kornheiser. Boswell. Beyer. Phillips. The list goes on. A boy could not have grown up reading more talented, insightful, entertaining sportswriters. Thanks to you - and your colleagues - for making The Washington Post Sports Section the very best sports page in the country.

You will be missed.

Michael Wilbon: I hate to say this is the last question, but I've got to stop and prepare for PTI...There's no way I can adequately express my gratitude to people who've participated on Mondays over the years. I so appreciate your interest and am thankful you've put up with my views and interests and passions about all things sports related over these years. I've spent 30 years at The Washington Post and it's surreal to me that it's coming to and end today (and tomorrow when the final column runs)...I'm going to feel lost for awhile. Luckily for me, so many of the people on 15th street have been my friends, some of them lifelong...It's been the most incredible journey...I want to think of myself as an alumnus of The Washington Post, the way I'm an alumnus of Northwestern...I plan to make one more post thanking people specifically in the next week or so...Even though I won't be an employee, I can still stand on the sidelines and root like hell for Boswell, for Tracee Hamilton, for Sally Jenkins, for Mike Wise, for Robin Givhan and Courtland Milloy and my friends who write in all sections of the best newspaper in America...Thank you a million times over for engaging me, for indulging me and for consuming my work for all these years. All the best. I guess I'm out...

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Chip on Your Shoulder: You do have a chip on your shoulder. And you do have a racial undertone to your columns when the story is about, well, race.

I, for one, am glad of it. It has helped me see new things. I've never been a black man in America. Perspective helps.

Michael Wilbon: thank you for that.

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Washington, DC: Your most memorable DC sports moment was ????

Michael Wilbon: Wow...Georgetown playing UNC in the Ewing vs. jordan NCAA Championship game in 1982 in the Superdome...wait...Villanova beating GU in the 1985 title game...

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if it's not too late...: Wilby,

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you for always being you, for always having courage to write all that you've written. There was a time, when I first moved to DC, that the only comfort I got in this city was reading your articles. I knew you would always approach every topic with thoroughness and passion. You made me laugh and cry over the years, angry and exhausted. But you made me feel something, everytime I read you. I can't say that for anyone else.

I wish you all the best, and look forward to seeing what's to come from you!

All the best! LG

Michael Wilbon: Wow, now you've got me on the verge of tears...thank you.

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Bloomington, Indiana: Mike, As a Fairfax, Virginia native, I want to thank you. As an avid sports fan, you are a part of my life. You influenced me to become a sports writer, which I did, and now I am pursuing my dreams as a historian in graduate school. But I love to write, and I love even more to read great writing, thoughtful writing, such as yours. Your ideas will be missed. You will be missed. Godspeed. Pete Faggen

Michael Wilbon: Again, thanks so much for these expressions.

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Anonymous: Not that you need to be told this, but race and sports are inextricably intertwined. That some people think race should never be mentioned in sports is just plain ignorant.

Michael Wilbon: I think so, obviously. Thanks.

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Anonymous: Will your boy go to Northwestern or UVa? UVA (if this is still true) is one of only two colleges with competing student-run daily newspapers. You can't teach what it's like to face competition daily.

Also, I've heard the Post frowns on nepotism. You leaving to make room for him at the Post?

Michael Wilbon: I wrote for The Daily Northwestern and still talk to students there...dropped in recently to talk to the staff...I LOVE Northwestern clearly. But I'd be proud if Matty went to Virginia, as well...My wife Sheryl would be even happier. Let's hope his verbal skills translate into an ability to write!

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Anonymous: Michael, I'm a D.C. native who's been away for years, so I didn't discover you until PTI. However, I love your writing and have read every column and chat since. You've kept me abreast of DC and national happenings and I learned a little along the way. As a writer myself, I feel like you've made me better. I'm gonna miss you, and Thanks. My last question: Did you get a chance to see how well Jason Campbell played yesterday? Don't you think the Redskins should've kept him as a young talent and added better pieces, i.e. Receivers, O-line, etc.? Best wishes Mike and I'll be watching you every chance I get on ESPN!

Michael Wilbon: I was chuckling at Jason Campbell's success...I SOOOO hope he gets into the playoffs. I told him the day he was traded he'd be better off getting out of Dodge...I think I'd better remind him of that in a text message.

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