The Chat House With Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon
Washington Post Sports Columnists
Monday, April 28, 2004; 1:30 pm ET
Welcome back to The Chat House!
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon joined you live to talk sports.
The transcript follows.
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Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Good afternoon chatters and welcome back. We've missed you. Mike is bringing his sandwich over here and we'll get started shortly. Thanks. --Mary
Ann Arbor, Mich.: How did you guys enjoy working the NFL Draft coverage on ESPN this weekend? Boring, exciting, frustrating?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Well, you got two out of three right: boring and frustrating. We don't belong there. We are not football experts to the degree that so many other ESPN people are. The network has so many wonderful specialists. Starting with Mel Kiper and extending through Ron Jaworski and Dennis Green. They really know what they are doing and they don't need to be interrupted by guys like us. --Mike
Alexandria, Va.: So far, Snyder, Cerrato and gang have elected to forego the draft and sign select free agents at the expense of draft choices. What's the feeling of other NFL personnel folks on this approach? To me, it seems like the lazy way out of being a good GM and investing the necessary efforts in player/personnel evaluation.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: You can only evaluate the Redskins off-season during or at the end of a real season. Is there any wide receiver I would take with the #13 pick above Laveranues Coles? NO. No chance. For the last three seasons, the Redskins appeared to have done good work in free agency and made good picks. But, when it came to playing time, they didn't get it done. The Redskins have not ignored the draft over the last few years. How can you say that when they took Lavar Arrington, Chris Samuels, Jon Jansen, Rod Gardner, Fred Smoot....I think Ladell Betts could be a big contributor this year even if he is playing behind Trung Canidate. These aren't Joe Gibbs' Redskins. You have to build a team from the both the draft and smart free agent signings. Are these smart signings? We don't know yet. Let's learn our lesson from rushing to judgement the last couple of years. --Mike
Chevy Chase, Md.: A rant on the recent WNBA labor strife:
It's interesting to me that WNBA players make around $40-50K per year while David Stern makes over $10 million per year. Something here just doesn't compute. But I guess that's the American way: you're only worth what somebody is willing to pay you. Just ask the American Airlines flight attendants who took pay cuts while the CEO was making $12 million/year.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Of course that's the American way. The difference is that David Stern's league is solvent. It produces revenue for its member clubs. American Airlines is awash in red ink. The WNBA doesn't produce any revenue. There are no profits, except for the Mystics here in Washington and maybe the Liberty and Comets in New York they all lose money. The WNBA players have two options: make what the market yields or go to another country and play like women used to have to do when they came out of college. I'm a fan of the WNBA. I watch the games. My family has season tickets so that my 12- and 14-year-old cousins, both girls, can go to the games here. But don't tell me that they have any leverage to demand more money. --Mike
Washington, D.C.: "OK that's enough of this..." Mike, you were killing me on Saturday. What did you all think of Spurrier drafting a Gator the first chance he got? And do you get the impression that Brad Banks will be given a shot at QB or is are they going to try to convert him?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I like the idea of drafting a QB who might be able to do a bunch of stuff. The Steelers have been very smart with that. Look at what they did with Randle El. They can use him in a variety of situations like they did with Cordell Stewart. The Redskins could have taken Randle El last year and didn't. You need speed players who understand their own position and other positions. I don't know about Taylor Jacobs that much. Spurrier is an offensive coach. So we all understand where he's coming from. Me? I like Michael Doss from Ohio State who would have started at safety and knocked the snot out of people. But, we'll see. --Mike
Curious culinary: What's on the sandwich Mikey?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Home-cooked turkey, swiss cheese, just a tiny bit of shredded lettuce, mayo on a sub roll. Not toasted. Barbecue chips and a diet ginger ale. That's the lunch of champions. --Mike
Washington, D.C.: Which pick or trade surprised you the most?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Nothing really shocks me that much on draft day because I don't put a hell of a lot of stock in it simply because half these guys are going to be busts...but, Vikings failing to make their pick on time is just SO embarrassing. Oh, I'll give you a shocker: the Bills taking Willis McGahee while they've already got a 1400-yard rusher in Travis Henry and just signed Olandis Garry. I don't get it. What the Bills couldn't find a linebacker or lineman? Or a d-back? We'll see. --Mike
Chapel Hill, N.C.: Why did Brad Banks' stock fall so low in the draft? Do you think he'll actually have a chance to compete for the job in Spurrier's revolving-door quarterback system?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Word is not a lot of arm strength and not particularly accurate. So maybe he'll be like Mike Tomsack, who was also, I believe, an un drafted free agent who played in the NFL for 15 years. Once again, we'll see. --Mike
Greenbelt, Md.: Mike, I read your column about Byron Leftwich. Can he really be the next Elway? Is he really that good?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Wait a minute. Let's not go calling anyone the next Elway. I didn't, I won't, and you shouldn't. And, I love the kid because I met him in high school. And I root for him and hope he does well. But John Elway may be the greatest quarterback of all time. Never invoke Elway's name. --Mike
Reston, Va.: I agree with Mike. You guys don't belong on the draft show, there are way too many people on as it is. Two quick points. Shouldn't the 'Skins reevaluate their player evaluation process when the player they would have picked at 13 is still available at 44? The QB they picked in the seventh round probably would have been available as a free agent for squat.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: How do you know who they would have picked at #13? I don't know who they would have picked. Why do you think you can take out a crystal ball and see how the draftees are going to turn out in six years? I guess you had Trent Dilfer winning the Super Bowl right? Let's not go overboard with knowing everything about the draft. --Mike
Washington, D.C.: In sports generally, who's most deserving of a championship, but never won one? Who's least deserving?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: My nominee has long been Charles Barkley narrowly edging out Patrick Ewing, but that's my view as an adult. As a child, looking back I'd say Ernie Banks. How about Stockton and Malone? You have to consider them worthy. Least deserving has to be J.R. Rider for even being allowed to wear at Laker uniform the year they won their 1st championship. We have a nominee from the delegation from New England who suggests Greg Kite. --Mike
Hollywood, Md.: Mike or Tony,
Is Isaiah to blame for the loaded Pacers recent failures? Or do they just not have any heart? And what's up with Reggie?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: He could be in trouble. Donnie Walsh, the Pacers' GM, is not a trigger happy guy when it comes to firing. But this is a MASSIVE disappointment because I don't think the Celtics are that good. It's possible that Reggie Miller is just done. He's like 37, maybe 38. He's played so many games and has so much mileage on that body of his, you just wear out at some point and he appears to have simply worn out. --Mike
BTW, I'm shocked by this series and I should give some major dap to Paul Pierce for just torching Indiana. --Mike
Vienna, Va.: I would have been nice for either Ted Williams or Carl Yastremzski to have won a championship.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Yep, Ted Williams. That's the name. Absolutely. Another Chat House participant just suggested Dan Marino. There are 100 names we could come up with. How about Elgin Baylor? There are a million. --Mike
Mt. Rainier, Md.: Mike, two questions.
1. Are you really that angry at Tony or do is that just part of the "PTI" style?
2. I heard that Kobe opted out of resigning with the Lakers to become a free agent this summer. Do you think he really wants to go somewhere else and does he really think he can win without Phil or Shaq?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Kobe will not become a free agent this summer. He becomes free after the 2004 season if he wants. And after having won at least three championships why not go and take on new challenges? This isn't the same world it was when Bill Russell stuck around for 11 championships or whatever it was. Are Tony and I angry at each other? No. Are we heated at that moment? Yes. Just imagine yourself in a sports bar or in a living room sitting and watching games with one of your close friends or cousins who really knows and cares a lot about sports. Do you get into heated arguments? Do you hate each other? No. --Mike
Gaithersburg, Md.: Just a comment on the WNBA comment. I couldn't agree more. I majored in Economics in college and perhaps the first concept we learned is the theory of supply and demand. There just isn't enough demand for the WNBA.
On that note, I also think ESPN and NCAA should stop promoting the womens NCAA tournament as if it were the same as the mens. For whatever reason, we love to watch the men, but I just don't care for the womens game. There is only one March Madness. It's unfortunate, but no one can force us to watch anything.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Thanks for the comment. Mike has to go and Tony can't jump into today. He'll be back next week. Thanks and have a good week. --Mary
See you next week. --Mike
washingtonpost.com: That wraps up today's show. Thanks to everyone who joined the discussion.
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