“The ESPN/ABC rocket ship that Michael Wilbon has been riding the past several years has finally left our orbit.” This was the Washington Post’s way of saying farewell to columnist Wilbon after 32 years at the newspaper, and while the departure of Kornheiser’s better half means more room for high quality content syndicated from the Bleacher Report, Wilpon himself seems to blame a combination of burnout and/or the aging process rather than any $trongarm edict on the part of ESPN, with the following comments taken from the Mike Wise radio show (and quoted by the Post’s Dan Steinberg) :
“You know, you get older, and I can’t do as much as I used to do,” he said. “I was thinking about this the other day. I was in Chicago for the weekend, basically for board meetings and the Northwestern football game, and John Wall played in Chicago against Derrick Rose. Now, there is no way, if I was in Chicago, I would have missed any Bulls game, but certainly not the first meeting between those two guys. Not in 30 years of being a Washington Post reporter and columnist.
“But I didn’t go the other night. Because I can’t do everything. I’d gone to a football game that day, I’d gone to a basketball game a couple nights earlier. Can’t do it all any more. And you know what? When you’re the columnist in that position, you should want to do it all, still. I have no doubt that the sports column is in damn good hands with the people that are doing it, including [Wise]. So that, I have no misgivings about. But it was pretty traumatic for me to leave.”