I am sure that many of you probably know Michael Wilbon as Tony Kornheiser’s partner on the ESPN show Pardon the Interruption. Others may know him as part of ESPN’s team of basketball talking heads. Those of us in and around Washington, DC, knew him when he was “just” a sports writer.
Today, Mr. Wilbon wrote his last column for the Washington Post. Before you start thinking I am going totally off topic, let me explain …
If you’ve never read one of Mr. Wilbon’s columns, then do me a favor and read this last one. I can’t tell you how many breakfast conversations Bill and I have shared over the years talking about whatever Wilbon’s topic du jour was. Even today, in talking about his column, we were awed by how much he packed in there.
Did we agree with him? Not always, but he was always civil and never raised his voice.
Did he go overboard? Yeah, sometimes. But he shared his passion on a given topic as a gentleman … not with any yelling, screaming, or name calling.
In his columns, Mr. Wilbon “rounded out” sports by layering it with other social and cultural phenomena. He put it in its place by reminding us that big people were playing kids’ games; by sharing example after example of the good, bad, and ugliness of humanity. He showed us how to listen and learn, how to express our opinion and respect that of others.
Our kids won’t have that window anymore. They won’t see how dynamic literacy is and how it contributes to not just reading but thinking and communicating. This is a sad, sad day.