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D.C. Sports Media Approval Ratings: Mike Wise

Mike Wise is a Washington Post columnist/multimedia junkie who has been with the paper since May 2004. He was previously at The New York Times for 10 years, where he covered the Knicks, the NBA, and, oh yeah, the Wizards. He's covered 13 NBA finals, two World Series, a Super Bowl, an America's Cup, five of the past six Olympiads, and his own recent brush with death.

Wise has won numerous Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards, including first place in the 2006 feature category for his in-depth look at Gilbert's childhood and family. He finished fourth in the APSE column writing competition this past year.

He is the co-author of two books: "Shaq Talks Back," with Shaquille O'Neal, a New York Times bestseller; and "Just Ballin' - the Chaotic Rise of the New York Knicks," with New York Daily News reporter Frank Isola, which he says "was purchased by my sister and maybe three other people."

Multimedia-wise, in addition to his weekly appearances on Comcast SportsyNet's Washington Post Live, he's a regular guest on ESPN's Rome is Burning and MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and has also appeared on the The Charlie Rose Show, The Today Show and Good Morning America. On radio, he guests on several WTEM sports-talk programs and, apparently, the John Riggins Show.

Wise was born in Napa, moved to Hawaii when he was 12, graduated from Fresno State, and has worked at the Sanger Herald, the now-defunct Sacramento Union and as a part-time copy editor at the San Jose Mercury News before jumping to the Times.

Bearing in mind that you have just two options, here's your chance to judge Mike Wise. Choose carefully, and offer explanation below.

Past results after the jump.

Chick Hernandez (82 percent approval)

Steve Czaban (75 percent approval)

Tony Kornheiser (74 percent approval)

Dave Feldman (73 percent)

Brett Haber (73 percent)

John Riggins (70 percent approval)

Larry Michael (18 percent approval)

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 6, 2008; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  Media  
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Next: Hava Nagila and TK's Hatred


Disapprove. Only because he killed you for spreading your legs on the latest Blog Show. Wait, so did I, so does that mean I disapprove of myself?

But he did it with such venom and disdain. I kid because I love.

Posted by: Dan Levy | June 6, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Easy approve. I like those crazy legs.

Posted by: kwamesnani | June 6, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Do me! Do me! Do me!

Posted by: Bob Carpenter | June 6, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Always a good read, good on tv too. Has a great sense of humor, easy to read writing style, and solid sports knowledge. Easy approve for Wise.

Posted by: Chimpanzee Rage | June 6, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Definitely approve, although you can feel the blog show backlash.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | June 6, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

How come 3 out of 4 people approve everyone? (Except for Larry Michael, of course.)

Posted by: Jamie Mottram | June 6, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Good writer usually. Horrible on TV and radio. Thinks he is way funnier than he is. Also says a lot of offensive and immature stuff about women.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Jamie Mottram has a point Steinz. Maybe the next MAR needs to be Jamie Mottram.

Posted by: WFY | June 6, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Wise attacked by a bus in Turin/Torino?

Should I count his anti-Dan stuff about him? His stuff about Philadelphia Flyers' Fans that don't throw crap in a losing effort?

Posted by: Kim | June 6, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Disapprove. Made the Caps and their fans look like a bunch of crybabies.

Posted by: RH | June 6, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Great writer. Multimedia stuff needs work. Seeing Wise & Steinberg from behind while sitting next to either is funny. Save for the 9 inches Wise has on Steinberg, they look the same from behind.

Posted by: Incredulous | June 6, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I disapprove, but only for his absolutely horrendous and embarrassingly bad analysis on the NHL and the Capitals. Fantastic with the NBA however.

Posted by: Ian | June 6, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Don't read him much, but the Gilbert piece was top notch, Danny! The smirk pushes him close to disapprove, but that could just be Photoshop.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | June 6, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Love the post, but you really need to check out the DC SPORTS PULSE:

Posted by: Dr. Gonzo | June 6, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Disapprove. Likes to take a holier than thou approach to issues. He also does not know how to use a leash.

Posted by: T-Bone | June 6, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Approve mainly for his feature writing, which is top-notch. The columns I can take or leave, except those about the Wizards, which are usually good.

Posted by: Lindemann | June 6, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

No respect for the guy whatsoever. Hockey's been in DC since 74, and he's going around mocking the sport, Tarik, the team, the fans.

Thanks Post.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 6, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

DH, disagree. The Caps fans made themselves out to be crybabies.

Posted by: Pot/kettle | June 6, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse


Tried to cause a distraction for the Caps with his twisted wording in the Olie article in the middle of their playoff hunt. Report the news, don't try to be it.

Posted by: Stormblue | June 6, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't think he made the fans look like crybabies. Like Pot/Kettle said, some of the fans were responsible for that.

Wise doesn't know enough about hockey to write about it. That one video he did where he went around asking all the local sports people in dc what hockey was all about... It was terrible video mocking bandwagon fans, in which he himself was part of that group. So he wrote about Kolzig and Fedorov, big deal.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 6, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

and is it a requirement that you be white, and bald to write for the Post Sports team? 90% of you are white and bald.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 6, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Folks need to realize that Wise is a columnist and not a reporter.

Posted by: Kim | June 6, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Approve, but only recently. If you had asked me this a year ago, I'd have disapproved. Wise's early columns opined about the local sports teams while clearly lacking insight into them. He made stupid trade suggestions involving Wizard spare parts for KG.

But he's gotten better in that regard. And he has a heart and a brain in a sea of Skip Baylesses and Jay Marriottis.

Posted by: Ben | June 6, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

MNMNT - Wilbon smiles proudly somewhere.

Posted by: RH | June 6, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Mike Wise is one of the best at the Post (along with Boswell and Sally Jenkins). Just for fun sometime, count how many time Wilbon says "I" in a column. Mike Wise is a joy to read.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | June 6, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Approve of his writing and point of view...not his WPL warddrobe.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | June 6, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

RH: Tarik El Bashir, Camille Powell, Sally Jenkins, Ivan Carter, Michael Lee, etc all agree! And that's not including the white guys WITH hair.

By MNMNT's count there are at least over 50 folks in the WaPost's sports department....and I'm sure Dan can argue differently.

Posted by: Kim | June 6, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

He's a snarky guy, and narrowly approved on that basis.

However, he drank the Gibbs Kool-Aid DEEP last year, at one point (I believe) trying to say that the death of Sean Taylor made the Redskins, "America's Team". Um, no.

Posted by: TMU | June 6, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The column that Wise wrote about Kolzig disapproving of (which seems to be Coach of the Year) Bruce Boudreau was probably the most offending piece he wrote all year. He got an emotional response from Kolzig in which he was talking about being pulled against the Flyers. He hadn't covered the team all year. The column came out of nowhere.

The columns during the playoff run where he offended capitals fans and flyers fans alike were juvenile. I couldn't believe what I was reading. It seemed so confusing to me, because I had never read a basketball article he wrote ever thinking "man, this guy straight up doesn't know what he's talking about."

Posted by: Ian | June 6, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Approve. Like his Post columns, and he's decent on TV. The fact that he fell in the C&O Canal and almost drowned trying to help his dog makes it that much stronger "Approve" in my book.

Posted by: Stalk Much? | June 6, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Approve. Met him a year ago and he was an incredibly nice, funny, and engaging guy. Great stories. Which led me to buy the Shaq book which was incredibly dated and safe, and overall a huge disappointment. His piece on Arenas though was one the best things to come out of the Post sports section this decade.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

He's a breath of fresh air! He stirred the pot with his piece against the Redskins' name, but even that I had to agree with.

Posted by: Jimmy 106 | June 6, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I had my doubts about him early and thought he was just a New York guy telling us how to like and not like our teams. But in my book now he has more of a pulse on local sports and what's really going on in the heads and hearts of players around town and around the country than anyone I read anymore. Whether I agree or disagree with him, he makes me think and feel. I can't say that for most sports columnists in Washington or outside of Washington these days.

Posted by: Mark West | June 6, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I know I'm biased because I have a dog, but I absolutely loved everything Mike Wise wrote before he wrote that magazine story about his dog.

And for all you hockey fans out there bashing him look back at what he wrote about the Caps and get off your stupid NHL high horse. He's the only columnist at the Post to care about hockey in five years and his column about the Flyers and their fans is one of the funniest things in the Post sports section this year.

Get a life, hockey fans.

Posted by: I love Mike Wise | June 6, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I approve. He's an entertaining writer. Even if I don't always agree with his point of view, he at least argues it well.

As a Caps fan, I don't really understand why so many Caps fans were upset about Wise's column during the Caps-Flyers series. He was making fun of Flyers fans and their culture of violence (something I thought every Caps fan enjoys making fun of) and also making a point, with satire, that the Caps weren't playing tough enough to win (which at that point in the series was absolutely correct.)

As for the Kolzig column, perhaps it did make a little too much of Kolzig's comments about Boudreau. But give Wise some credit--back in January, when that was printed, he was at least writing a column about the Capitals. That's more than can be said for any other Post columnist at the time.

Posted by: Fingerman | June 6, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

How many times did Wise vote to get his numbers so high? How on earth could his numbers by higher than Kornheiser's, for example?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Now, I like Mike Wise, and I like his basketball writing. That said, his Caps columns didn't really come across like he "cares" about hockey. They came across like the Post needed one of their columnists to write about the biggest story happening in DC sports at the time. And why not Wise? None of the rest of them know or care about hockey, either. To his credit, Wise tried to get into the story and the excitement and all that, but he still sort of sounded like he didn't quite know what he was talking about. It'd be great if the Caps became at least a semi-regular column subject for him (or anyone), because he'd surely eventually become a bit more knowledgeable about the team and hockey in general, but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: blanket | June 6, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The article Wise wrote about Gilbert Arenas in October of 2006 was definitely the best I've reada about Arenas and among the best sports articles I've read in the history of the WaPo. True Statement.

Posted by: Bobby | June 6, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

He comes across as such a phony on the radio. He can easily hide that in his writing.

Posted by: gary in dc | June 6, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I think that Caps fans need to stop judging each of these local media types by how (and if) they cover hockey. Hockey is a marginal sport, a half rung above MLS. Mainstream media outlets don't want to spend any money covering it, hence journalists naturally don't pay it much attention. The Caps have the greatest player in the world and a storybook run to the playoffs this year, and it barely moved the needle (ask any honest, casual sports fan outside of your little hockey cult).

Unless we're rating the Caps beat reporter for the Post (assuming they even have one...) just rate/comment based on other relevant criteria, or not at all.

Posted by: Dear Caps fans | June 6, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Mike Whine is awful. If this is the future of Post columnists, we should be very afraid. He whines about the Flyers (those bullies!), he whines about people who whine about people whining about Ozzie Guillen's clubhouse antics, the list goes on. Awful, just awful.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 6, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Tony Kornheiser? Are you kidding? He took the buyout 10 years ago and just now decided to stop taking the Post's money. I'll take Wise any idea against Bitter Beer Columnist.

Posted by: Ralph from Silver Spring | June 6, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I approve. And hey Gary in DC, U listen to 980 and think Wise sounds phony? After hearing Dan Hellie and the Maryland radio announcer? You gotta start listening more, pal. When he and Czabe get into it, it's the best radio on that station.

Posted by: John in Maryland | June 6, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I was led to believe there would be some bogging on Lindsay Applebaum's superamazingly fantastic blog times infinity blog. I sense crass cross-blogification in the bogipromotional sense.

Posted by: dcsween | June 6, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Disapprove. I'm tired of looking for his columns on page D-8. And the way he is trying to emulate Tony K as a "multimedia personality" turns me off. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that he has an agent. I thought the Post was getting a tough New York columnist. All it ended up with is another vanilla columnist.

Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | June 6, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Approve. At first he seemed like a hater (against the Wiz and the name "Redskins"), but I think in the time since then he has warmed up to the region.

Posted by: Mick | June 7, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how, in each of the cases with widespread approval, the percentage of people who wrote a comment who disapprove is much higher than the percentage of people who voted to disapprove. Or maybe not. Actually, forget I said anything.

Posted by: Lindemann | June 8, 2008 4:25 AM | Report abuse

"The Caps have the greatest player in the world and a storybook run to the playoffs this year, and it barely moved the needle (ask any honest, casual sports fan outside of your little hockey cult)."

That's just not accurate - Caps were THE sports story in the DC area for the last month of the regular season and during their playoff series with the Flyers. Demand for tickets to games at Verizon was through the roof. The fact that certain local media types (most notably the afternoon drive hosts on WTEM) refused to acknowledge that fact doesn't change it.

Posted by: Mike, Fairfax | June 8, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Disapprove. Mike Wise is the same guy that suggested trading Haywood, Etan Thomas and G-Wiz for Kevin Garnett a couple summers back like it was this brilliant feasible idea that somehow never popped into Ernie Grunfeld's head. Enough said.

Posted by: Carlos | June 9, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Big approval. Mike's a great writer and a great interviewer. We're lucky to have him.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | June 9, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Wise is a horse's behind. Obnoxious, grating and not particularly bright. Plus the guy comes off as somewhat naive.

Posted by: Joe | June 9, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Joe is a horse's behind. Obnoxious, grating and not particularly bright. Plus, in even suggesting Mike Wise is somewhat naive, Joe comes off as very naive. But I have a conflict of interest. He mentored my friend's child in a reading program and continually gets Washington's sports stars to open up about stuff I never see anywhere else.

Posted by: Steve | June 11, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

best sports writer in DC- big thanks to the guy who saved him and his dog from drowning in an Icy C&O canal....also one the best guests on 980's sports reporters

Posted by: J-Bonius | June 12, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick note to thank everyone who voted or commented. I don't care whether it was negative, positive, gushing or brutal. I'm flattered that more than 800 people actually took the time to say yea or nay (Okay, give or take the 30 people my sister sent a link to who were obviously in the tank for me). And, believe it or not, some of the criticism was actually helpful -- especially the part about trying to be too funny all the time.

Finally, a nod to Dan Steinberg for continually trying something different when so much of what we do is same ol', same ol' and for being thoughtful enough to position me after Larry Michael. Peace and have a good summer.

Posted by: Mike Wise | June 16, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

In 2006, Mike Wise wrote a Washington Post column from the Winter Olympics describing a scene at a Russian hockey practice. In the article, he mentioned a number of practicing Russian players by name.

As it turns out, three of the players he said were practicing were no longer on the Russian Olympic team roster due to injuries and were definitely not in Turin. In other words, Wise was making stuff up using an early copy of the Russian roster.

The article in question (which was corrected after we hockey fans reported Wise's b.s. to his editor) can be found here:

I've never been able to take Mike Wise seriously again. Lazy columnist. I heartily disapprove.

Posted by: Netsrak | June 17, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this the guy who tries to be Kornheiser . . . but just can't do it?

Posted by: NeilFromRockville | June 18, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

S8A1kw Blogs rating, add your blog to be rated for free:

Posted by: Nancy Barness | June 23, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

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