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Wilbon offers Haynesworth a "standing ovation"

Michael Wilbon has made a pretty nice career out of defying conventional wisdom. I know that. I understand it. When D.C. goes gaga for Ovechkin, Wilbon says the kid needs to check himself. When D.C. goes gaga for Stephen Strasburg, Wilbon says he'd rather watch the NBA Finals. When D.C. does the Salsa, Wilbon breaks out a Polka.

Still, Wilbon managed to sneak up on me yet again this week, becoming the only person in America to sort of come out in defense of Albert Haynesworth.

(And as I've said over and over again, I love Wilbon, and he's never been anything but class to me. I wish he wrote this column for our paper, but since he didn't, I'll collect the relevant quotes for your reading pleasure.)

"I hope Albert Haynesworth never reports," Wilbon said on ESPN 980's Sports Fix. "It's great. Standing ovation from the West Coast for Albert Haynesworth."

Why? Well, the answer revolves around Wilbon's deep belief that the NFL's offseason is a joke, and that anything that can help crumble that system is a good thing.

"I love this story, because of course Albert Haynesworth should be at something mandatory, but I love that these offseason workout things [have] so much drama now," Wilbon said. "Because they shouldn't even be having this junk. It's just another management control tool, that they should be around these camps every single day of the offseason. I love it that these things are blowing up in some teams' faces....

"They need to get rid of them. They need to be against the rules of the CBA. It's junk. The general public, they'll stand for anything NFL management says people should do, go along with this stuff. These guys should be off. It's the OFFseason. I don't care how much they get paid, they don't get paid nearly as much as baseball and basketball players, who have OFFseasons. You know, this is just garbage."

Wilbon said a veteran player told him the reason the NFL has so many more injuries now is because players never get a chance to recuperate. He said the Redskins' frequent offseason workouts this year will backfire. He said this is an issue the union should fight, that it's worth walking out or striking over. And so he said that Haynesworth brings him joy.

"It's ridiculous. It's just absurd on every level," Wilbon said. "And again, as media, we're just lapdogs for whatever NFL management says. I mean, we're just like tools. Whatever they say, they're just roasting another player. There's so little questioning of the NFL offseason, I'm amazed by it. But then again, there's so little questioning of the NFL, except for day-to-day coaching decisions of whether a guy should use a timeout or not, some minutiae, some crap. But this thing should be attacked publicly, and it almost never is....

"[Haynesworth] should comply. He signed a deal, he should go comply. The standing ovation for Haynesworth is as a representative of any rebellion against this thing, against The Man, if you will. It's not an applause for Haynesworth specifically. It is what he represents, those players who are basically saying I'm not coming to your garbage, just leave me alone, I'm not even answering the phone....

"Again, Haynesworth has no wiggle room. There's no honor in sort of messing with the contract for Haynesworth; he just signed it a minute and a half ago. But what I love is any situation that calls for a guy to thumb his nose at the NFL alleged offseason."

(Wilbon also said he didn't even know about the latest drama until calling into the show, and that "the greatest thing about being away from Washington for the last two months is not having to hear about Redskins' offseason drama.")

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 16, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Comments

Well Wilbon isn't exactly defending Haynesworth here. He's just saying something provocative to get attention, as always. All he's really saying is he hates offseason workouts.

Posted by: StuScott_Booyahs | June 16, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Wilbon being away for two months doesn't keep us from hearing the nonsense he continues to spew.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | June 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait, so the issue at hand is that Haynesworth isn't attending minicamp? Call me a fool Wilbon, but I thought demanding a trade was the bigger deal. Maybe if you ever paid attention to anything in Washington before opening your dumb yapper, you'd know that.

Posted by: gidge | June 16, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon and TK have both morphed into cartoons. I don't even think of them as people anymore. They are just collections of arbitrary opinions meant to stir up controversy.

Posted by: LouLewis | June 16, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

You know what? Albert is in worse cardiovascular shape than any other player in the entire league, so it's pretty clear he's always treated the offseason as a joke, no matter where he spent it.

Posted by: EdTheRed | June 16, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Wilbon also said he didn't even know about the latest drama until calling into the show"

This is typical of the "reporting" that Wilbon does know. He frequently states opinions that are simply not backed in fact. It's funny that he accuses the NFL of simply trying to control the players when Wilbon himself is a lapdog for the NBA. This guy lost credibility around here years ago.

Wilbon, please leave the Post and stop slamming a city that made you what you are today.

Posted by: MarvinDC1 | June 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If Wilbon is so glad he doesn't have to hear Redskin drama I wish he would quit the Post and just go full time ESPN. His writing anymore is nothing more than name dropping to make him feel like an insider. If this were Jay Cutler pulling the same stunt as a fan of the Bears he would see it in a different way.

Please let him go full time to ESPN.

Posted by: dph60 | June 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

what? off season workouts, team activities, and training is "absurd" ? what a joke.

Posted by: tjmadd24 | June 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Wish we could void his contract. DC media could lose him very nicely.

Posted by: ridgely1 | June 16, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon's ego is officially bigger than Haynesworth's. Fat Al has had the last 3 months off. How is that not an off-season?

Posted by: HogsHaven | June 16, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Check that...Fat AL's had 6 months off now. Jan-June. Nice work Wilbon.

Posted by: HogsHaven | June 16, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon always has and always will be a complete idiot which he proves constantly!

Posted by: ladyredskins | June 16, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I understand Wilbon's point. But using it in a "defense" of Haynesworth is a bit ridiculous.

Haynesworth isn't trying to stick it to the man. and he isn't trying to fight for a moral cause against the non-offseason. He wants his $21 million and he took it knowing full well that he had no intention of playing the position the Redskins want him to play.

Wilbon's ill-focused article would be like praising some guy in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to move to the back of the bus until the city agreed to fix the air conditioning on the bus. Sticking it to the racist regime is worthy of praise. Rosa Parks deserves the praise. Some other guy unrelated to that should not ride her coattails simply because he opposes the same entity.

Wilbon's article reeks of, "my enemy's enemy is my friend."

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | June 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about Haynesworth's contract, when is the Post going to buy out Wilbon?

Posted by: Kev29 | June 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The only person I'm MORE tired of than Haynesworth is Wilbon. Go back to Chicago, dude.

Posted by: wbbradb | June 16, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'll give you a Mike Wilbon and raise you a Mike Wise. Do good sports columnists still exist anymore? Can we give a column to Steve Goff?

Posted by: empsg59 | June 16, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

how is Wilbon right? in professional sports, football specifically, there is no offseason, players need to constantly train... in this case, we are talking about a couple of days in the spring and early summer where a guy needs to show up, thats it.

Posted by: tjmadd24 | June 16, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse


Nothing like hearing a newspaper's columnist say they have no idea about what is going on in their town.

Good thing ESPN is his primary employer.

At least TK still lives and works here.

(btw, wilbon is right about "mandatory" optional practices.)

Posted by: metatext | June 16, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg, YOU ARE A TOOL! Get over it. Wilbon and TK and so out of your league, you are like a chihuahua snapping at their ankles! Wilbon is calling out the NFL not standing up for Haynsworth. YOU ARE SUCH A LOSER! BTW, how did your decision to pass on the WORLD CUP for the Stanley Cup work out??

Posted by: gcastle1 | June 16, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is wrong on this issue. If he had talk several weeks ago during the *voluntary* sessions, I would have supported him. But like it or not, these are mandatory sessions. Plus, Haynesworth isn't taking a stand against the OTAs. He just doesn't wanna be a Redskins while living off Redskins money. That's why people are universally against him. Nobody (outside of Washington) supports the Redskins on pretty much anything. For everyone to be so anti-Buttersworth says a lot.

Posted by: tundey | June 16, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The problem here isn't what Wilbon said, its the way Steinberg framed. He sets the article as if Wilbon came out in favor of Hanyesworth demanding a trade, and doesn't reveal until very late that Wilbon wasn't even aware fo the trade demand, which is completely understandable, given that he's covering a legitimately newsworthy event. It would have been significant had Wilbon actually said that Haynesworth was right to ask to be traded, but critcizing the NFL for the amount of offseason demands they place on players isn't that provacative. I would think that most people believe that it doesn't make sense for the league where players suffer the most injuries and at the highest severity to have the shortest recovery time.

I don't think, in this case, that Wilbon is the one stretching to stir things up .

Posted by: Tempy_McJobhunt | June 16, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Why again is Wilbon a columnist for the Post? He clearly seems far more interested in things NOT involving DC. Why not just send him on his way and have ESPN, the NBA Network, or some Chitown paper pay his bills? It's not like he's adding much to the local sports scene or to the paper itself these days. Surely, the Post could find SOME writer that's actually interested in the local sports scene to fill his space. I don't think I've actually read a column of his in years. Can't we do better? Don't we deserve better?

Posted by: rucks35 | June 16, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm a professional at something as well. Where is my off-season?

"Boss, I'm not coming to work today or for the next three months. I am in my off-season"

We all know what the response from the boss would be.

Posted by: rademaar | June 16, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The thing is Haynesworth is the first example of why you do want to be sure players work out in the offseason.

Posted by: 202character | June 16, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

one more thing...all of this is negotiated in the CBA. The players don't have to agree to this stuff. but once they've signed it, that's it. they are bound by the terms.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | June 16, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Because they shouldn't even be having this junk. It's just another management control tool, that they should be around these camps every single day of the offseason. I love it that these things are blowing up in some teams' faces....


"They need to get rid of them. They need to be against the rules of the CBA. It's junk."

well, the flaw of wilbons logic is the fact the THE PLAYERS approved of such mandatory workouts as part of the COLLECTIVE barganing agreement. collective meaning the players agreed to it through their union. call them stupid or useless but they are not being FORCED upon the players as they players agreed to them as part of the CBA. so when wilbon calls them a stupid managment tool he's off base.

albert, as a player, has therefore agreed to participate as per the terms of the CBA. so you show up. he should not be applauded for these actions.

if wilbon has a beef with mandatory workouts he should have a beef w/ the union heads who agreed to such things.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 16, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I give Steinberg credit for pointing this out, Wilbon's head grows bigger by the day. Wilbon seems gleeful to pour salt in the wounds of DC sports fans at any opportunity, regardless of any factual knowledge on his part. Wilbon is the quintessential problem in DC sports; he is the transient who sits next to you at the game and roots for the Cowboys "just because." A bloviator with no knowledge of sports, just spitballed opinions. If he is so great why doesn't the Tribune pick him up, he was never relevant in DC and has been dead to sports in general for a while.

Posted by: robinson20194 | June 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I have run into now a few sports fans from Chicago & I hate them all & I think I'm gonna add Wilbon to the list... He's just so damn pompous... Get a grip Wilbon, there are people that could give 2 Sh!ts about Basketball because the games are fixed & need other sports to provide them with their fill.

For the money athletes are paid... a few summer workouts & get togethers which my company might call "TEAM BUILDING" exercises are necessary for comeraderie in the locker room & allow coaches a chance to grade the lesser known players before camp starts... They are not being worked hard, probably 1/2 speed.

This guy literally stole $21 million on April 1... he was given 2 choices & now he's choosing option #3, take the money & run/waddle/crawl/carted, whatever... I would throw out the CBA & sue Haynesworth-less in a true court of law.

Posted by: tony325 | June 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon should go back to Chicago, He seems to hate Washington. Good riddance.

Posted by: VegasJim | June 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

IT really is getting tiresome to hear Wilbon’s opinion, especially when this city and its sports fans have been cheering for him for so long. When I first moved to this city I enjoyed reading Wilbon’s columns but now that this great city has grown on me his remarks are a slap in the face to the fans who root for their local teams. He should just stop working for the post and go fulltime with ESPN. I don’t even enjoy watching PTI anymore, which used to be my favorite show. Happy trails my old friend good luck.

Posted by: perezsju | June 16, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon and Kornheiser have both become too good for DC. They are ESPN employees, end of story. The Washington Post is doing itself no favors by even allowing that part-timer(Wilbon)to even write for their paper. He's a bitter pill, who has always been a bitter pill, whose militant mindset has only been somewhat influenced by the money he's made from PTI.

Posted by: MyBabysOnTheLevel | June 16, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon and Kornheiser have both become too good for DC. They are ESPN employees, end of story. The Washington Post is doing itself no favors by even allowing that part-timer(Wilbon)to even write for their paper. He's a bitter pill, who has always been a bitter pill, whose militant mindset has only been somewhat influenced by the money he's made from PTI.

Posted by: MyBabysOnTheLevel | June 16, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I have run into now a few sports fans from Chicago & I hate them all & I think I'm gonna add Wilbon to the list... He's just so damn pompous... Get a grip Wilbon, there are people that don't care about Basketball because the games are fixed & need other sports to provide them with their fill.

For the money athletes are paid... a few summer workouts & get togethers which my company might call "TEAM BUILDING" exercises are necessary for comeraderie in the locker room & allow coaches a chance to grade the lesser known players before camp starts... They are not being worked hard, probably 1/2 speed.

This guy literally stole $21 million on April 1... he was given 2 choices & now he's choosing option #3, take the money & run/waddle/crawl/carted, whatever... I would throw out the CBA & sue Haynesworth-less in a true court of law.

Posted by: tony325 | June 16, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I used to admire Wilbon. I even excused his sometimes bias towards black athletes. I mean after all, it wasn't really blatant, it was more of a tilt.

But this is inexcusable. No matter how you feel about off season workout programs, to take the $21M and then refuse to report is disgusting and any sympathy is unwarranted.

I want the Redskins to screw Haynesworth. I want them to refuse to release or trade him. I want the Redskins to sit Haynesworth on the bench for as long as they can. Never let him practice or get on the field. Just ruin him. Make sure noone ever says "pro bowler" and "Haynesworth" in the same breath.

As a Redskins fan, I feel I have been personally cheated by Haynesworth. I fantasized about Orakpo and Haynesworth as matching DE's with some Samoan off-shore island between them totally destroying opposition QBs. One fast and one strong. No way to stop them both.

How sad. How sad.

Posted by: PriorKnowledge | June 16, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Wilbon hates everything DC. He has ripped just about all the teams and he is the king of the flip flop. Why doesn't he go and write a column for the Chicago Times or something. I don't know why he is still employed by the Post to write about local teams when he clearly does not respect any of the franchise. Wilbon is a straight up FAKE and Hater!

Posted by: ivyleague | June 16, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The best was someone dug up Wildon's column from last June saying the Nats should not have drafted Strasburg. Was that on this blog? They all kind of blur together sometimes.

Posted by: LouLewis | June 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon should just stay out West. Tired of him. That said, his defense of Fat Albert isn't really a defense at all.

Posted by: illiad1 | June 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon would never turn on his "posse" Way too close to the players to be a credible journalist these dyas....

The brothers will never respect authority....$21 million is just another form of welfare for "Fat Albert"....if $61 million over two years doesn't motivate him nothing will.

Posted by: TBONE86 | June 16, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

As a long time anti-Wilbon poster -- reading this board is pure music to my ears.

Yes, WaPo get rid of him....but ESPN should too. Everytime I see him on the NBA telecast he looks like he's the nerd who got asked to come sit at the cool kids table for a while.

I, personally, cannot wait until he's gone from this newspaper/website. It can't be soon enough. It's called the WASHINGTON POST which should primarily deal with Washington area stories -- of which, he knows nothing about.

And when the time comes and its time for Wilbon to move on to the afterlife, may Sean Taylor greet him coming across the middle.

Posted by: fushezzi | June 16, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

B.S.. I don't believe a word of it. Wilbon knows how to work your sorry asses.

Posted by: coastallp74 | June 16, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

As others have said, the only way Wilbon's name can get mentioned is to make and write controversial comments. As I have said before, Wilbon is an idiot. He really should get another job. He can only keep up this stuff so long. Everybody is on to you, Wilbon!!! Get out while you can!!

Posted by: Club33 | June 16, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

(Wilbon also said he didn't even know about the latest drama until calling into the show, and that "the greatest thing about being away from Washington for the last two months is not having to hear about Redskins' offseason drama.")

-----------------------------------
Wish he would stay away forever. Plus he's not that good of a writer to me.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | June 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"These guys should be off. It's the OFFseason. I don't care how much they get paid, they don't get paid nearly as much as baseball and basketball players, who have OFFseasons."

What complete and utter nonsense. Baseball teams (who play 162 games in the season) get as little as 4 months of rest. Basketball teams (80+ games) get around the same amount of time. Hockey is comparable, elite soccer players play 90 minute games constantly (between premier league and FIFA competitions). Redskins get close to EIGHT MONTHS of rest between the end of the regular season and the start of the following preseason.

I don't know anyone, who isn't a complete moron, could say with a straight face that a 32 million dollar football player shouldn't have to come in two months early to work. Football players are paid to stay in elite physical shape; it's not like they would be allowed to sit around, eat burgers, and play xbox all day if the camps were not available.

And seriously? NBA finals? The most corrupt, fixed league on the planet vs. one of the greatest pitching debuts of all time? Thanks but no thanks

Posted by: jbanks979 | June 16, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon at a point in time was respectable. He already has one foot out the door so he mind as well leave. The Post will be better off without him. Perhaps he has spread himself too thin with his TV activities. He's jumped the shark and it's time to say goodbye!

Posted by: VTBonovox | June 16, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand Wilbon's points of view. Ever since he wrote that he was not surprised that Sean Taylor was murdered, I have zero respect for the man's opinions. Okay Wilbon, the NFL stinks, the NBA is the greatest and can do no wrong, and you wouldn't be surprised if the queen of England fell out of a tree onto your head. He really grinds my gears.

Posted by: bht4g | June 16, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is a much bigger sleaze than even Haynesworth. What is to like about either one? Those two classless clowns deserve each other. Too bad we couldn't package them and trade them both to Chicago! If we could get a box of footballs or 1,000 beer cups for them, it would be a steal!

Posted by: kiley1 | June 16, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I only watch PTI for Kornheiser. You bug me, Wilbon (although you were nice to me when I tripped over you at a Wizards game).

Posted by: brian71490 | June 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

What Wilbon is reading, and what Haynesworth is doing, are entirelly different.

Haynesworth is about Haynesworth.

Wilbon is about "change" for the lack of a better term.

Wilbon: Haynesworth is missing camp because he is a fat pig and is stuck on himself. He doesn't like it in Washington so now he wants traded. He's selfish.

He's not thinking what you are interpreting. Either way, it's the rules and he's going to end up in court over it.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is a tool. WaPo, please get rid of him!

Posted by: dcunitedfan3 | June 16, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Good thing I don't really care for Wilbon as I heard his crap on sportstalk 980 what an idiot... he says this is the off season and players should be off, well the CBA says you can have a mandatory mini camp and as his employer the Skins have every right to expect him there! How would Fat boy like to have my job working 40/40 and submit request for time off and be told to attend this type training and this meeting etc., in the real world we know there are things that come with the job that we don't like or care for but it comes with the territory and if I work here 40 years i'll never get what he's trying to steal from the Skins...so Wilbon and Fat Assbert both rot in a far off distant hot place if you know what/where I mean...

Posted by: papaskynz | June 16, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

As usual Wilbon's opinions are always formed around what is most convenient to him, what works out better for him, what he likes not what he really believes, etc etc etc.

Wilbon always defends blacks over every other racial group in every single racial issue that arises, never even trying to appear neutral.

Wilbon always says that MLB shouldn't even be watched until after NBA season is done, pretty convenient opinion for a guy who covers the NBA for a living.

Wilbon says we should watch NBA finals instead of regular season Strasburg debut...again, I find this to be a convenient opinion for a guy covering the NBA finals.

Wilbon says LeBron should go to the Bulls if he really wants to win a championship. Hmmm, that's a pretty convenient opinion to take for a lifelong BULLS FAN.

Wilbon is more full of crap than your local sewer.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The real joke here is that Wilbon is probably in better shape than Fat Albert, the human TV timeout.

Albert Haynesworth, AKA:

Albert We-didn't-get-our-money's-Worth
Albert Butterworth
Albert Haynesworthless
Albert Haynes-Girth
Albert Paid-more-than-he's-Worth
Albert Stays-Hurt

....and my personal fav:

Albert the fat sack of sh.......it.

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | June 16, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Redskins off-season drama? Oh the horror of having to do your job, heck not even that as the Blimpie Gasbag could easily write glowing pieces about his favorite sports leviathan, the NBA. You know Blimp, when something comes on I find disagreeable, (say like PTI or the integrity-challenged NBA), I tune out. I can understand if that’s too easy though, some people enjoy being a whiney b****

Posted by: burbworks | June 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The real joke is that season ticket holders like myself pay full price for worthless preseason games that don't matter and most of the players aren't even on the roster come Week 1.

Posted by: dsterp931 | June 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Hey! Hey! It's Fat Albert! Yeah, I wish my wallet was as fat as his!

Posted by: dsterp931 | June 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

While I happen to agree with Wilbon about the NFL offseason he is incorrect in holding Haynesworth up as being representative of what's wrong with the NFL. Haynesworth isn't protesting against offseason OTAs and minicamps. He is snubbing the Redskins plans to use him in a way that isn't agreeable to him. Well, sorry about that Mr. Haynesworth. You have a contract, you've been paid. Albert should do the honorable thing and show up. If that is beyond his moral capabilities then he should, at a minimum, return the money he was paid and arrange to move along to another team (if one will have him).

Posted by: tiki9 | June 16, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Anything that's agains "the man" or that pampers athletes Wilbon is for. Better still if it's a black athlete. Wilbon is one of the biggest racists in today's Media and nobody calls him out about it? I'm sick of him and I'm sick of the double standard. Oh Wilbon LOVES Kobe, and he LOVES Magic, and now he LOVES Fat Albert... he hates Shannahan and he hates Ovechkin and he disses Strasburg? This guy is so blatant that it's disgusting and you WAPO continue to print his racist drivel? It's an outrage!!!

Posted by: Capitalismworks | June 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Anything that's agains "the man" or that pampers athletes Wilbon is for. Better still if it's a black athlete. Wilbon is one of the biggest racists in today's Media and nobody calls him out about it? I'm sick of him and I'm sick of the double standard. Oh Wilbon LOVES Kobe, and he LOVES Magic, and now he LOVES Fat Albert... he hates Shannahan and he hates Ovechkin and he disses Strasburg? This guy is so blatant that it's disgusting and you WAPO continue to print his racist drivel? It's an outrage!!!

Posted by: Capitalismworks | June 16, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Anything that's against "the man" or that pampers athletes Wilbon is for. Better still if it's a black athlete. Wilbon is one of the biggest racists in today's Media and nobody calls him out about it? I'm sick of him and I'm sick of the double standard. Oh Wilbon LOVES Kobe, and he LOVES Magic, and now he LOVES Fat Albert... he hates Shannahan and he hates Ovechkin and he disses Strasburg? This guy is so blatant that it's disgusting and you WAPO continue to print his racist drivel? It's an outrage!!!

Posted by: Capitalismworks | June 16, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Anything that's against "the man" or that pampers athletes Wilbon is for. Better still if it's a black athlete. Wilbon is one of the biggest racists in today's Media and nobody calls him out about it? I'm sick of him and I'm sick of the double standard. Oh Wilbon LOVES Kobe, and he LOVES Magic, and now he LOVES Fat Albert... he hates Shannahan and he hates Ovechkin and he disses Strasburg? This guy is so blatant that it's disgusting and you WAPO continue to print his racist drivel? It's an outrage!!!

Posted by: Capitalismworks | June 16, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

A Risky Choice

By Michael Wilbon
Thursday, June 11, 2009

No way in the world I'd have taken Stephen Strasburg with the No. 1 pick in the draft. The risks are too great. The rewards are, historically speaking, nonexistent. And the price, from all indications, will be prohibitive.

I wouldn't draft a guy who's going to play every fifth day to improve my team's attendance. And I certainly wouldn't pin my hopes on the most fragile thing in baseball: the arm of a young pitcher.

The Washington Nationals, as we all can see, have a long shopping list.

Yes, they need pitching, but they also desperately need everyday players, lots of 'em. And they don't need to drop $50 million, or even $35 million on a college pitcher. This kid isn't, as agent Scott Boras would like us to believe, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had distinguished himself as a professional in Japan before getting millions to come to the majors.

Strasburg isn't any different from any of the other 13 pitchers selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft since 1973, none of whom ever won a Cy Young Award or anchored a staff for six or eight years. Strasburg, right now, isn't any different from David Clyde, the phenomenon the Texas Rangers selected No. 1 in 1973. You think Strasburg's record of 13-1 and 1.32 ERA at San Diego State are impressive? They are, but not as impressive as Clyde's 18-0 record, which included 14 shutouts and five no-hitters, as a senior in high school.

You can go down the list if you want. A guy named Matt Anderson, drafted No. 1 by the Tigers in 1997, threw 100-plus mph. He won 15 games, saved 22, and that was that. The Pirates drafted a kid named Bryan Bullington in 2002, and gave him a $4 million signing bonus. He's in Toronto's farm system, seven years later, and has yet to win a major league game. Do you really want me to go on with this?

Okay, one more. In 2001 the Minnesota Twins passed on the player who was the consensus "best player available" because they thought he would cost too much money. His name is Mark Prior. It looked for awhile like the Chicago Cubs were going to have Prior anchor their staff for a dozen years or more; that's how good he was in his second full season as a starter. Except Prior broke down and now has zero career, while the guy the Twins selected, catcher Joe Mauer, might now be the best player in baseball.

Granted, Mauer's from Minnesota. He was a local god and the Twins wanted him to be the face of their franchise. But Strasburg isn't from the D.C. area. There's no built-in love for him. His value to the Nationals, should they successfully sign him, would be entirely performance-based.

Occasionally, history should be ignored. But not this time.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 16, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

A Risky Choice Part II
By Mike Wilbon
Thursday, June 11, 2009

The common-sense evidence is too overwhelming. We have yet to know what's going to happen with the very promising David Price (Tampa Bay) who was chosen No. 1 in 2007 and Luke Hochevar, who was chosen first in 2006 and is pitching now for the Royals.

But pretty much, it's the same story up and down the list. Andy Benes (1988), Tim Belcher (1983), Mike Moore (1981) and Floyd Bannister (1976) were all guys you'd like to have. But they didn't cost, not even when salaries are adjusted for inflation, the equivalent of $50 million. And none was what you'd ever call "the ace" of a staff.

This notion that the Nationals needed to draft Strasburg as a show of faith to the team's fans is insultingly absurd. You know how you build and keep a loyal fan base? Put a credible product on the field. Be competitive year after year. Forget about the symbolism of drafting and signing the kid rated No. 1 and instead acquire the best players. How much could Strasburg affect attendance if he's pitching approximately 16 times at home?

Mike Rizzo, the Nationals' acting GM, was quoted as saying, "There was never a thought to taking another player."

Well, there should have been. But now that the Nationals have selected him they're saying that signing him won't be an issue, even though they couldn't sign last year's first-round pick, Aaron Crow.

Maybe the Nationals think Boras is bluffing. I don't, but maybe they do.

They've made so many mistakes as an organization it's insane to give them the benefit of the doubt in this. Had the Red Sox drafted Strasburg, I'd be less likely to think this had "bad move" written all over it because the Red Sox, of recent vintage anyway, make decisions that lead to first place while the Nationals mostly look like the Charlie Brown All-Stars.

And one kid pitcher, even one with a great arm, is unlikely to change that because there's so much that can go wrong with the kid's shoulder or elbow, with the contract negotiations. Maybe, putting on my optimist's hat for a moment, Strasburg will be the exception to all this. Maybe he'll trump history and be the first star major leaguer to be chosen first overall in the draft. Maybe. Hopefully. But it's a bet, especially at $50 million, I wouldn't be willing to wager.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 16, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Fire wilbon. He's a hack.

Posted by: augustiswest | June 16, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is an idiot. I'm surprised he didn't get in trouble yesterday for what he said on PTI about shooting somebody and making the gun motion with his hand. If he loves Chicago so much, maybe he should try to get work there. Oh wait, the papers in Chicago are doing worse than the Post. Used to love the guy. Now can barely watch/listen/read him.

Posted by: ygbrown2001 | June 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

If he is a real man and believes in what he says, Haynesworth should ask to be released with no compensation and go out into the marketplace. To be fair, he should also return the $21 million bonus he was paid in April. Haynesworth signed a contract, now live by it or bow out in a fair way to the team. He has done nothing here, so be a stand up guy.

Posted by: clarkesq | June 16, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is just stupid. Who cares about these overpaid clowns' offseasons? Most people work for significantly less without taking 2/3 of the year off. If a guy making 40k a year is going to pay some obscene percentage of his salary for season tickets, its damn well within reason to expect, DEMAND in fact that an athlete who signed a 100 million (or even the minimum several hundred thousand per year) contract should be working year round.

It's not like any of these players who make it to the top ranks of American sport are working second jobs.

Posted by: genericOnlineID | June 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is doing mental gymnastics to appear irreverent. The first sign that it's over.

Posted by: themantoyou | June 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Used to love the guy. Now can barely watch/listen/read him.

Posted by: ygbrown2001 | June 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I think this pretty much summarizes my feelings about Wilbon. I used to like his work, now can't stand him.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree, used to love me some Wilbon. You always got the feeling that he was speaking common sense from a regular guy. Now I just avoid his work whenever I see it. It's like he's purposely trying to be annoying.

His career reminds me of what happened to Eddie Murphy. No doubt, the best stand-up guy of his generation. Now he just churns out crappy Disney-esque movie after movie and they are just unwatchable. And Wilbon is unreadable. A mere shell of the columnist he used to be. Blame TV and radio.

Posted by: Diamondback1 | June 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

HeyWilbon, getthe hell out of OUR city and do something in YOUR city freeloader.

Posted by: mofares | June 16, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

At least two problems with Wilbon's assessment of the situation:
1) Haynesworth, apparently, is not sitting out because of his distate of the offseason - so the situation does not equate to thumbing one's nose at the league; and
2) the collective bargaining agreement is an agreement reached as a result of bargaining - meaning that terms, including offseason workouts, were agreed upon after some sort of negotiation. There is a quid pro quo somewhere within that agreement which benefited all players who are a part of the Union, including I assume Haynesworth. If you are going to be part of a Union, and enter into a contract, then all terms of the contract would apply, and one can't simply pick and choose to follow only those provisions which one likes, without, of course, risking the same behavior from management.

Ridiculous.

Posted by: bezzeb | June 16, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"The Man"......Classic Wilbon. A bunch of white guys in suits up in NYC handing out rules and punishment to the overwhelming percentage of black players who make up the NFL?

It's a double bonus for him because he gets to inject his passive aggressive race card and get under Redskins fans skin in one shot. Here's mud in yer eye!

Posted by: yampaco | June 16, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon's a DINK!!!

Posted by: jerod1 | June 16, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's an idea: Package Haynesworth AND Wilbon and trade them BOTH to Oakland for Seymour.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | June 16, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

And another thing Wilbon, nobody pointed a gun at Fat Albert's head and made him take the $100 mil. If somebody pays you that kind of cash for a 9-month-a-year job, they damn WELL have a right to expect you to come to their "garbage" and answer the damn phone when they call. If only to protect their investment in your fat ass.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | June 16, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Just hear me out Wilbon. Yes, you have a point about excessive workouts. Yes, not reporting to non-mandatory workouts is not a big deal. Yes, I would not mind if a player openly protested these for the reasonable, intelligent reasons you stated. But come one Michael, Haynesworth is NOT doing it for those reasons. He is not being politically correct. He is being a baby who hates the fact that the team did not consult HIM about going to a 3-4. He does not like the idea that the team does not revolve around HIM. And he probably does not like the fact that the fans see him as useless (not as if he has not helped improve his image like Portis did).

I understand that the NFL is overbearing and guarantees nothing. But this guy has a $100 million dollar contract. Think of his teammates; think they don't realize this guy gets more money for less effort. Granted a LOT of this is Snyder's fault, for literally feeding Albert's ego with cash. But Haynesworth HAS to realize that that money MAKES him a figure for this team. That he has an obligation to his teammates to show them why he is making more than they are. Maybe he is an example of why contracts should not be guaranteed. In fact, he is helping to make the point.

Finally, forgive me for not feeling sorry for the football player that makes millions of dollars. I spend too much time during the day feeling sorry for my clients who are poor and losing their homes or benefits. The unemployment rate is high, people are not making money and being driven further into debt, and hell even before this recession we have people in this country who barely get by working two jobs a day. But no, I have to pity the NFL player, who has not HAD to work from January until June. I understand that it is a rough physical business. Down time is needed for your body. So what; then explain to the coach you want to focus on resting your body, but you are happy to show-up, do some basic drills and gym work, and read the play book. Watch film on your NFC opponents. DO SOMETHING. Do players get a raw deal because of ownership? Yes, but who the hell doesn't. Were a capitalist country, the little people get stepped on by the big people in all professions. At least your making a ton of money. At least you have the option to sit on your ass and ride your speedboat for half a year.

Sorry Wilbon, but you and Big Al need a little perspective.

Posted by: mcgratsp | June 16, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Why can't we just say it? Wilbon sees the world through the prism of race.

Posted by: c_e_daniel | June 16, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

It seems Wilbon is just jealous the NFL gets so much attention while his beloved NBA is really just a niche sport at this point. Even with Lakers-Celtics the NBA is getting about 16 Million viewers which is nothing compared with the 100 million plus viewers of the Super Bowl.

The issue with Hayneworth is he took the money and now wants things his way with total disregard for the rest of the team. I hope this is a good lesson the Dan Synder to be more careful handing out checks to players like this in the future.

Posted by: skinsFan74 | June 16, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

To be honest this does not surprise me at all. Wilbon has done his best to distance himself from D.C. for the past 5 years. PTI is a joke. He makes opinions based on no factual evidence, and is always biased towards black players. It's best at this point for him and The Washington Post to part ways at this point.
Let him go to ESPN. See if we care. Hope that LeBron James never lands his sorry as$ is Chicago. John Wall is better than Derrick Rose anyway.

Posted by: mardiros | June 16, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon has obviously never held a real job for a long period of time. The reason we expect NFL players to comply to the rules NFL management sets is because us "wageslaves" have to work 40+hours a week to make our meager ends meet. We have to comply to what our management passes down without question. Where would our sympathy come for these multimillionaires who don't even work 40hrs a week to ALSO have 3,4,5 months OFF!! Wilbon, you sound like an elitist jerk!

Posted by: arrukus | June 16, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is someone that likes to upset people for the sake of upsetting people. He is a small man.

Posted by: oldnova | June 16, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I would offer a standing O if he got out of DC.

Posted by: ridgely1 | June 16, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Amazing that Jan through June (6 months) isnt enough "off season" for Wilbon!! while the rest of us get 3 weeks vacation.

Posted by: sametman | June 16, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

No need for any name calling for wilbon. we all know he is what he is. but by showing outrage we are actually helping his cause. controversy stirs the pot. i have not clicked on his storie or blogs for a while. this man is a hypocrite and if he wants to aplplaud AH for staying at home and feasting on fried ck and watermelon, then so be it.

Posted by: skinsfan4eva | June 16, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I used to live by Wilbon's words. Now I change the channel after "Around the Horn" and don't dare waste my time on his columns. His insight has turned into ignorance over the last few years, and I feel dumber after listening to and watching his commentary.

Posted by: baltimoremed | June 16, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon has been pretty useless since he wrote about Sean Taylor. I wish he and AH would just go away!

Posted by: goskins21 | June 16, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I hate Wilbon. He used to be a good sports writer. Now he makes a living by befriending players and chastising everyone else including fans and management. The only reason Dan Steinberg gives him the love is because since Wilbon is in the player's laps he will occasionally let another sports reporter have a taste. In a way, as much as Wilbon has been awful for DC, he truly belongs here because he's nothing more than a politician that trades on other people's reputations.

Posted by: bermudml | June 16, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon has been pretty useless since he wrote about Sean Taylor. I wish he and Albert would just go away! What a pair of losers...

Posted by: goskins21 | June 16, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

My irony meter did a big ping on this one. Wilbon is sick of DC offseason drama, and then opens his yap to discuss at length...well, offseason drama.

I used to like Wilbon, then I defended him...now he's becoming rather irritatingly predictable and boring.

Of course he supports FA. The only unknown was the hook he'd use to express it.

Posted by: messykat | June 16, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon needs to stick to his NBA and Chicago teams... Mr-know-it-all. Whether OTA's are a bad idea or not, they are part of the CBA now and he just got $21M, and if Fat Albert had any clue at all on how to be a good team-mate, he would be here.

Posted by: crhill_64 | June 16, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or does Wilbon look like a small child on the pregame set of the NBA Finals broadcast?

Posted by: shanteefamilee | June 16, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

a small child jack-ass that thinks he is a know-it-all.

Posted by: crhill_64 | June 16, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Is Wilbon the bald guy on PTI? Or is he the ugly one?

Posted by: JohnWWW | June 16, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

It truly is sad - I too used to love Wilbon (and Kornheiser) but they've become charactures of sports writers/reporters. They pander to the very same sensasionalism they claim to disdain. Collectively they're the Rush Limbaugh of ESPN. They'll say anything to incite an emotional response from viewers/listeners. They are themselves what they criticize the most. Sad.

Posted by: TerpInTime | June 16, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Albert isn't sitting out because he's against off-season workouts...he's sitting out due to the whole 3-4 nonsense. Saying that, Wilbon's argument is completely off-base. Typical. As I said yesterday, Wilbon is for anything that goes against DC sports. Don't know what his issue is, but it's getting ridiculous.

Posted by: jdwood84 | June 16, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

It just goes to show the man has no clue what he writes about and what a team sport is. Why is it regular every day people, even talented one's, are expected to work all year long but an athlete that was born with a talent should not be expected to show up for team workouts. Wilbon is not much better then fat Albert. Although I am not surprised an overweight reporter is defending an overweight football player. Fatty's have to stick together. Maybe that shared a triple whopper together one day. We all know Wilbon picks his boys over his work.

Posted by: Mike4169 | June 16, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

isn't this the same fatheaded as-hole who made a damming remark about shaun taylor,before he knew the facts?now this!i am also african american,but this wilbon dude to me is a knucklehead who should have stayed in chicago.he makes me want to k...-------!

Posted by: billydee123 | June 16, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

isn't this the same fatheaded as-hole who made a damming remark about shaun taylor,before he knew the facts?now this!i am also african american,but this wilbon dude to me is a knuckleheaded egg suckah who should have stayed in chicago and reported on the old stochyards!the jerk

Posted by: billydee123 | June 16, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

isn't this the same fatheaded as-hole who made a damming remark about shaun taylor,before he knew the facts?now this!i am also african american,but this wilbon dude to me is a knuckleheaded egg suckah who should have stayed in chicago and reported on the old stockyards!the jerk

Posted by: billydee123 | June 16, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse


Is Wilbon the bald guy on PTI? Or is he the ugly one?

Posted by: JohnWWW

Neither, he's the dumb one.

Posted by: spqr2k | June 16, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

so now one WP sports "reporter" is reporting on what another WP sports "reporter" is saying? How is this even news?!? Who cares? Seriously?

Posted by: joeyndan | June 16, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg, what's with the lame disclaimer regarding Wilbon?? This is just more predictable babble from this gasbag, who is no Washingtonian. He's not even a Chicagoan anymore, as he lives in AZ. Wilbon has his nose buried so deeply in athletes' jocks it's a wonder he came up for air long enough to realize AH didn't post at the minicamp.

If Wilbon wants to talk so tough about "The Man" let's see him start blowing off production meetings at ESPN/ABC.

Posted by: rooster75 | June 16, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is such a clown. Why is anything he says newsworthy?

Posted by: calhokie | June 17, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

As for Wilbom--friends of a feather stick together

Posted by: vergens2 | June 17, 2010 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon does not like that in the NFL, there are no guarantees for the player. The player can sign a contract, get hurt and then get traded.

But what I fail to see is his point. There are workhorses in the NFL that don't get acknowledged, get hurt and are cut. They have my respect. But guess what, in their short time in the NFL, they will have made an amount of money that would take me years to gain. So suddenly, when their dreams of the NFL are dashed and they are thrust into the unpredictable and unforgiving real world, they have to rely upon their...their...EDUCATION?!?! The horror. They then have to get a normal job and earn a living like the rest of us using their...DEGREE!?!?! AAAAAAHHHHHH.

I don't feel sorry for them. It doesn't mean I don't respect them; it doesn't mean I'm jealous of them. It means they still have ample opportunities to succeed in life.

For the sake of measured and thoughtful opinions that are becoming more and more rare in the media, Wilbon should concentrate on TV and leave the Post.

Posted by: chickencalada | June 17, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon only says these things to be the contrarian because he knows it will bring him attention. wilbon hasn't been relavant in this town for years. I personally never cared for him because he was always trying to be opposite of public opinion on purpose. That was his Schtick. Michael you are EPIC FAILURE in your writing style and most of the DC area agrees. Go back To Chicago.

Posted by: dougieyoung1 | June 17, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Difference between Wilbon and Kornheiser is this:

Kornheiser is a cranky old man who says what he feels. Sometimes he's rude, sometimes he's funny, sometimes he's just weird. He's like a younger version of Andy Rooney. But one thing he is not is phony. That's where Wilbon comes in.

Wilbon is a name-dropping, race-baiting, self-absorbed, phony...who has admitted in the past that he talks and acts differently depending on what color the skin is of the person/group he is talking to, admits he talks/acts differently depending on which show he is on (PTI/NBA coverage). He is the definition of a phony.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 17, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon is a horse's a s s. Why the fascination with that jerk, Steinberg?

Posted by: poguesmahone | June 17, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Can we get some new, young, fresh sports commentary in this ding dang town?

Posted by: BenThere | June 17, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Can we get some new, young, fresh sports commentary in this ding dang town?

Posted by: BenThere | June 17, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Would have cost the Skins less money to admit tampering and be done with Albert.

Posted by: BenThere | June 17, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Its hard to see what's going on in DC when your face is up Magic Johnson's a$$.

Posted by: trezmartin | June 17, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

it's hilarious how Wilbon(& WIse)have the proud, out-of-town, disconnected view.

Posted by: Hattrik | June 17, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Spoken like a true d-bag who has never played football at a competitive level. The offseason in the NFL is necessary - perhaps they could do away with OTA's and some preseason games, but if you think that a team of 22 players can just show up a month before gametime and be ready to play football you're a moron.

Sure, some veterans can do it. But, with the NFL draft happening every year and not every 4 years - you will always have players who NEED the practice. It's non-contact - give it a rest.

Baseball is a longer season. So is the NBA. You hit the ball and run the bases or you make shots and guard the guy in front of you. It's totally a non comparison.

Posted by: MadeRED | June 18, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

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