Jul 11, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; ESPN reporter Michael Wilbon prior to the Phoenix Suns against the Milwaukee Bucks in game three of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Wilbon is a pioneer in the sports talk world.

But while Pardon The Interruption helped usher in ESPN’s “Embrace Debate” era, the show’s co-host has some issues with the state of the industry.

Appearing on ESPN Chicago’s Waddle & Silvy on Wednesday, Wilbon took a victory lap regarding the news that the Chicago Bears will look to build a new stadium on the city’s lakefront as opposed to moving to the suburb of Arlington Heights. For the Windy City native, the decision was always inevitable and any attempt to suggest otherwise was merely an attempt to prolong the conversation in the name of #content.

“They’ll figure it out because that’s what they do because they have very smart people in the family and advising them and that’s what they’ll do,” Wilbon said of Bears ownership. “That’s not hard either. People can make this hard if they want. That’s what we specialize in now, all of us in the talk industry. ‘Let’s make it hard so we can have many layers and several days [of content].’ OK. You can do that, but that’s not happening.”

“That’s not true,” a laughing Marc “Silvy” Silverman replied. “Not all of us.”

Wilbon isn’t necessarily wrong, but this isn’t the best topic to illustrate his point.

The reality is that Bears ownership was weighing a move to Arlington Heights, so much so that it purchased a $197.2 million property for a potential stadium site. And while the Bears have since publicly committed to remaining in Chicago, Arlington Heights seems to believe it’s still in the running to land the new stadium.

Were shows like Waddle & Silvy just supposed to ignore these developments and say “they’ll wind up in Chicago in the end”? While there are certainly some subjects that get run into the ground just to fill air time — the Bears’ current quarterback situation says “hello” — this doesn’t appear to be one of them.

Furthermore, the idea of Wilbon criticizing anyone for finding ways to breathe new life into a debate topic is certainly rich. Just go back and look at how many times PTI found new ways to dissect Dak Prescott’s contract, Jordan vs. LeBron, Belichick vs. Brady or any number of repetitive topics.

In this particular instance, Wilbon’s comments were lighthearted and he was primarily engaging in playful banter with hosts in his hometown. But considering he’s never been shy to serve as a sports media ombudsman, it was interesting to here his take on the state of an industry he has helped shape.

[Good Karma Brands]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.