Sunday, March 09, 2008

Why does Michael Wilbon know more about the Phoenix Suns than the Washington Nationals?

No one else seemed to notice this stunning revelation from Michael Wilbon's Washingtonpost.com Web chat last Monday, but I think it's worthy of note:

Bowie, Md.: Will you be at the Nationals' new park for Opening Day? Save me
a parking space.

Michael Wilbon: Nope...When, by the way, is Opening Day here? I will go and
sit in the stands and watch baseball the way I did when I was a kid...Well,
I still do it at least a couple of times a summer (after a boycott in the
mid-1990s after baseball failed us, its fans)...I'll be neck-deep in NBA
hoops and Final Four when the baseball season opens.

So Michael Wilbon is employed as a sports columnist at the Washington Post, and he doesn't even know when Opening Day is for the Washington Nationals--which not only opens the season for the team but also represents the opening of a new stadium? Does he read his own newspaper? Look, I understand with all his other commitments (PTI, NBA coverage), that Wilbon has basically become a columnist who writes about national issues and occasionally slums with a column about the Redskins head coaching search or the Wizards. He's written more columns in the last month about the Phoenix Suns and Shaquille O'Neal than he's written in three years about the Nationals (I believe the official count there is 3 to 1.*) And he and Tony Kornheiser demonstrated their complete ignorance of hockey and the Capitals on "Full Court Press" the other night But isn't there a minimal amount of knowledge of the Washington area sports scene you should have to be a columnist at the Washington Post? Is there a test we can give Wilbon like the guy did with his girlfriend in the movie Diner?

*This blog posting corrected following initial publishing after discovering that Wilbon did write a Nats-related column in August 2005.

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16 Comments:

Blogger Ross said...

I think this is just an example of a broader issue. The Post just doesn't have a columnist that's really interested in covering our local sports teams. Sure, Wilbon, Boswell and the rest write about local teams, but it really seems that they'd prefer to write about the big national issues.

Saying that, I guess I understand that preference. But I can't help wishing that the Post also had someone just as interested in our local teams.

3/9/08, 9:22 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Maybe the Post should do what other struggling organizations do: cut the expensive veterans who no longer carry their weight and hire a bunch of eager writers to take their places.

3/10/08, 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Wow, this is a coincidence. I literally just left the washpost site after reading Wilbon's chat (seeing if he put something about the debacle that was the Terps season) and then came here - I must be psychic.
Anyways, I completely agree that as a long-time Post writer, he should be forced to learn at least when opening day is for his team, much like pledges are required to learn the founding fathers of their particular fraternity. On demand, wilbon should be able to list opening day, and least list several of the starting lineup for any DC area team - he gets paid enough.

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