Thursday, November 18, 2010

One of my favorite journalists on the face of this planet, Mr. Michael Wilbon, is leaving the Washington Post for greener and more lucrative pastures at ESPN. I can't say this is a surprise at all, because as of late, he's been doing more television appearances and much less writing, which is a privilege he's more than earned.

Mr. Wilbon started off as an intern, and then he covered baseball, football, pro and college football, the Olympics, tennis, basketball, and eventually his own column. He's basically done everything there is to do as a journalist, so as he did more tv and less writing, I wasn't even mad at him. He, along with one of his best friends (and one of my other favorite writers) Tony Kornheiser wrote and wrote until they had no more to give, so why not get paid for talking on tv and sometimes radio?

I first read Mr. Wilbon's articles in the fall of 1987 when I moved to Maryland from Connecticut. I first saw him on tv a few years later, when he appeared on NBC with George Michael and again on a show called the Sports Reporters on ESPN.

I first met Mr. Wilbon back in 2000, when he was a guest speaker on a panel at the Smithsonian. I waited until after the event was over, and I asked him what I needed to do to get into the field of sports journalism. He told me to read as many sports books as I could by good authors who I respected, so that I could get a good feel for what great writing felt, looked and smelled like. Nine years later when I had my press credentials, and we were standing side-by-side in the press room, I reminded him of this, and he smiled and shook my hand. Very classy guy..and he gave me great advice.

Mr. Wilbon isn't going away by any stretch of the imagination. He'll be on ESPN whenever there are games on the NBA, and I suspect he will start writing on whenever he officially leaves the Washington Post. But it won't be the same as getting a paper, opening it up and reading his words on the front of the sports page. The demise of newspapers continues, but that's another post for another day.

And here is the only pic I have of us together..he's the light-skinned bald headed brother in the bottom left hand corner, and I'm standing to his right..not a good pic I know.

1 comment:

Jazzbrew said...

Great post man and I'm sure it made him feel good to see your success. As a sports reader I'm glad you had that conversation with him. I enjoy your work.