It's Time for Michael Wilbon To Man-Up to "The Big Nasty"

Ian RobinettSenior Analyst IMarch 3, 2009

When I heard Michael Wilbon, host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption (PTI), call out Wes Malott for not bowling in the PBA's GEICO Plastic Ball Challenge, I was intrigued.

How often is it you have one of ESPN's highest rated shows calling out the guys I want to be like?

And before you say anything, yes I'm a bowler, and my dream would be to go pro...Now back to what I was saying.

Wilbon criticized Malott, arguing that he (Malott) wouldn't be able to bowl as well using the plastic bowling balls of old.

Malott's response was clear. He was in favor of the tournament because it showed the versatility of today's professionals on tour, but he wasn't in favor of the placement of the tournament in the schedule.

The GEICO Plastic Ball Challenge was sandwiched between the USBC Masters, which is a "major" in the bowling world, and the Etonic Marathon Open, an event where the bowlers would be put through 54 games in a four-day span.

Malott argued that the transitioning between reactive resin, to plastic, and back to reactive resin is fine, but being that it was put between two tournaments with such high stakes was not fine.

So that brings us to this past Sunday, where Wilbon's nemesis sits as the No. 1 seed in the Marathon Open.

Prior to the event, Malott was interviewed again about his antagonist, Michael Raymond Wilbon.

He made it clear he would be willing to go one-on-one with Wilbon, who claims to be a bowler himself, in a head-to-head competition where Wilbon would be allowed to use any high performance equipment he so chose, and Malott would counter with a plain, plastic, ball.

Fast forward to Monday's episode of PTI.

The clip of Malott's interview is played, and Wilbon is officially issued the challenge.

How does he respond?  Does he step up and accept?  Oh no!  He says he'd only do it if he could be spot 55 pins to start.

55 pins?! Seriously?!

C'mon Wilbon, if you're this bowler like you claim, step up to the plate. It's bowling!  It's a sport where, on any given day, any bowler, pro or not, could bowl great or bomb severely.

If I were in your shoes Michael, I'd accept, try my best, and hope "The Big Nasty" has a "nasty" day.  Instead of cowering and begging to be spot 55 pins! Besides, it would be fun. And who doesn't like fun?