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Jimmy Williams, Detroit’s secret weapon

RedWingsFeed was watching "Pardon the Interrupton" on ESPN this afternoon, and I wasn't. This happened:

This gentleman (sorry, I don't watch PTI so I don't know who's who) apparently corrected himself after a commercial break.

Edit/clarification: I am not attempting to condemn ESPN's hockey coverage per se or Mr. Michael Wilbon. I'm glad that TMR readers state that Wilbon watches hockey in Chicago, and while we may slag on ESPN for its TV coverage, Barry Melrose and Steve Levy have been breaking down every game in 3-minute clips online, ESPN has been dispatching Pierre LeBrun and Detroit-based Craig Custance to games, Katie Strang provides strong Rangers coverage and was a stalwart during the lockout, ESPN Boston loves its Bruins and ESPN Chicago loves its Hawks (and the Bucci Overtime Challenge is a pleasant bane of my existence). ESPN's TV coverage of hockey sucks. ESPN's online coverage of hockey is the reason it's been my browser's homepage since 1996.

Put simply, especially because this guy's from Chicago, my reaction was, "HAHAHAHAHAHA."

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Comments

Primis's avatar

That’s Michael Wilbon.

It will surprise nobody to learn Wilbon is from…. Chicago.

I try to not bang on the guy too hard I guess because unlike SOME in Bristol, CT Wilbon does in fact follow hockey a little and usually have *some* knowledge, and doens’t shy away from talking hockey.  I get the feeling Wilbon actually *does* watch games of his own volition on occasion.  Tim Colishaw (who is often on Around the Horn) from Dallas is another who is always trying to talk hockey and seems to actually know some things.

That’s what happens though when you go so far down ESPN’s rabbit hole.  Wilbon IMO actually used to be a little more-capable of talking hockey years ago, but ESPN has finally beaten it out of him.

I give Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Rusillo a little credit on the radio.  They WILL talk hockey when a big enough story warrants it, but don’t linger on it and if people complain about it, they admit on their air “We don’t follow hockey well enough generally to go into it more.  What, you want us to blabber on about something we’re unfamiliar with and sound stupid and make you guys mad?” which I can somewhat respect.

Posted by Primis on 05/24/13 at 11:03 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

ESPN’s hockey coverage is a joke anymore.  ALMOST as bad as NBC….

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 05/24/13 at 11:08 PM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

And he calls him Jimmy Williams over and over… ha!

Posted by SandysWingingit on 05/24/13 at 11:14 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

That’s what happens though when you go so far down ESPN’s rabbit hole.  Wilbon IMO actually used to be a little more-capable of talking hockey years ago, but ESPN has finally beaten it out of him.

It was just a brainfart on Wilbon’s case.  I listen to their show in podcast form while working and, as Primis said, he actually does know hockey to a degree and, while he’s a huge chicago homer, he was calling a close series from the moment the first round ended and has repeatedly said that he was scared of the Red Wings even if the Blackhawks looked dominant going in.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 05/24/13 at 11:15 PM ET

Primis's avatar

he actually does know hockey to a degree and, while he’s a huge chicago homer, he was calling a close series from the moment the first round ended and has repeatedly said that he was scared of the Red Wings even if the Blackhawks looked dominant going in.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 05/25/13 at 12:15 AM ET

As an example he (Wilbon) was actually on SVP & Rusillo on ESPN Radio after Game 1 to talk some NBA and… someone was fillling in for SVP & Rusillo, one of the lesser-known Sportscenter anchors who was born and raised in I think Toronto and actually knows hockey… and anyways before ending the segment he mentioned to Wilbon that he must be feeling pretty high about the Hawks after winning Game 1 and clearly being so dominant…and Wilbon flat-out said basically “It’s the Red Wings, they’re still the Red Wings they’re capable of anything and always seem to know how and find ways to win.  I don’t feel good about anything yet, it’s only one game.”.

Wilbon may have been about the only Hawk supporter with any grounding in saying that at that time.  Shoot, he may have been the only person in the media period saying that.

Posted by Primis on 05/24/13 at 11:41 PM ET

Primis's avatar

BTW George, it’s ok to slag ESPN, even their online offerings.  I do respect Lebrun and Custance, but it ends about there.  ESPN’s online coverage is still thin IMO, and they lag behind everyone else often in reporting.

There are individuals at ESPN that know their hockey.  Barry Melrose is unfortunately not one of them (“Stamkos isn’t good enough to play!”), and yet remains their hockey face.

Posted by Primis on 05/24/13 at 11:54 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m not a Burnside fan—I think he likes to grate upon people—but NHL front office-sponsored “thought bubble” articles included, LeBrun knows his shit and has a passion for the game (and, as it turns out, he’s more player-friendly than Darren Dreger), and I just really enjoy Custance’s work.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/25/13 at 12:23 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I’ll go all cliche and say its not the name on the back of the jersey….................blah, blah, blah. wink


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 05/25/13 at 07:36 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

I watched the first few episodes when PTI first aired and hated it.  Haven’t watched it since.  Come to think of it, outside of the occasional college football game and MNF, I watch very little ESPN these days.  That’s sorta sad.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/25/13 at 08:50 AM ET

jsquigg's avatar

I watched the first few episodes when PTI first aired and hated it.  Haven’t watched it since.  Come to think of it, outside of the occasional college football game and MNF, I watch very little ESPN these days.  That’s sorta sad.

So true.  I remember when I first had cable (I grew up without it) that I couldn’t get enough ESPN.  Now I can’t escape it enough.  ESPN radio is still ok, but TV has become a ratings whore.  It’s the sports version of MTV, only not quite as bad.

Posted by jsquigg on 05/25/13 at 02:48 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

So true.  I remember when I first had cable (I grew up without it) that I couldn’t get enough ESPN.  Now I can’t escape it enough.  ESPN radio is still ok, but TV has become a ratings whore.  It’s the sports version of MTV, only not quite as bad.

You’re right.  I think the last time I watched SportsCenter, they had an athlete/Celebrity gossip segment.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/25/13 at 05:17 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.