Good morning and welcome another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. This past week we celebrated the 241st birthday of the United States of America (happy belated birthday America!!), which was promptly followed by the longest three work days of the year. There’s nothing worse than heading back to the office after a mid-week holiday, especially when half of your co-workers probably took the rest of the week off. For those of us that powered through the post-Independence Day hangover, this weekend couldn’t have gotten here soon enough. What better way to start it off than by reading my ramblings about random topics from the past week? So kick back, relax and enjoy this edition of Wake Up With Whitty!
The Greatest American of All Time?
I’m not sure there’s a more iconic American than Joey Chestnut. George Washington? Abraham Lincoln? Lavar Ball? Please. Sure, those guys all represent the quintessential American values, but I bet combined they couldn’t even eat half the number of hot dogs that Joey Chestnut put down on Tuesday. The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has become a July 4th tradition, and when you’re the best at a sport that is synonymous with America’s Independence Day, I think you become the all-time greatest American by default. I’d like to think that this sort of thing is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the Declaration of Independence. If it wasn’t for them, Joey Chestnut would probably be competing in fish and chips eating contests on whatever holidays they celebrate across the pond in the UK.
Now we can debate whether or not competitive eating is a true “sport” all we want. In my opinion, if we’re going to claim soccer (shout out to Mac) and poker as sports, then we have to include competitive eating contests in that list as well. I also like to think that this is a sport that I could excel in. Not to brag, but I once put down 14 cheese coneys at a Skyline Chili all-you-can-eat event, and that was without any sort of training or preparation beforehand. I’m sure with some hard work and determination, I could put down 72 hot dogs with ease. I just hope the quantity field on MyFitnessPal goes up that high. And the calorie field as well, for that matter.
There are certain athletes that are unquestionably the greatest to ever play their sport. Tiger Woods. Michael Jordan. Wayne Gretzky. Andy Dalton. They all helped shape their sport into what it is today and displayed an unrivaled level of dominance in their respective fields. I think it’s about time we start adding Joey Chestnut to that conversation as well.
Earlier this week Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was accused by a memorabilia company of using a machine to auto-sign a set of trading cards. The company, which evaluates and values trading cards, refused to verify Dak’s signature because they believed he used a machine instead of signing the cards himself. If this turns out to be true then I hope Roger Goodell throws the book at Dak. This kind of atrocity should not be tolerated, and he needs to be made an example of. I would hate to have to break the this news to those poor, innocent
forty-year-olds who have nothing better to do with their lives than obsess over meaningless autographs from athletes half their age kids who thought they were getting a card signed by their favorite quarterback.
I really don’t understand the obsession with autographed memorabilia. Why does an item become so much more valuable if an athlete defaced it by writing his name on it? I could understand an item having personal sentimental value to you if you met your favorite athlete and had him/her sign something for you in person, but that’s not the case here. If you’re getting a set of trading cards that happen to have a “signed” Dak Prescott card in it, you have no way of knowing if it was signed by him, his assistant or some pen-wielding robot that’s running around the Dallas Cowboys’ facilities, so why is this even a big deal? You’d probably feel pretty shitty if Dak had to end his career early because he got carpal tunnel syndrome from signing too many autographs. But hey, at least you would know that your signed Dak Prescott rookie card was authentic.
Raiders Parking Woes
When the Raiders relocate to Las Vegas in a few years, parking is going to be a bit of an issue. The site of the Raiders’ new stadium is only expected to hold about 15% of the number of parking spaces required by law for the 65,000 seat venue. In order to remedy this situation, the Raiders have proposed using spaces on UNLV’s campus for their game day parking. The problem is UNLV’s campus is located 3 miles away from the site of the Raiders’ stadium, which means thousands of fans will have to be shuttled to and from the games. This sounds like an absolute nightmare to me. Parking within walking distance of a venue can be a huge pain in the ass. Adding a 3-mile shuttle ride to that process? No thanks. With the in-home NFL experience being so great, the league is going to continue to struggle convincing fans to actually go see games live. The parking situation in Vegas is only going to exacerbate things. I have a feeling a lot more Raiders fans will elect to stay home and watch the game from their couch (or, since this is Vegas, at a sportsbook or casino). I do know one thing though: Uber drivers in Vegas are going to make a killing on game days.
Thank you once again for joining me for another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. If you liked what you saw, go ahead and leave a comment and let me know. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter as well for all things Milliron Sports. And be on the lookout for our first Milliron Sports podcast, which should be coming your way soon! The crew will be on our way to Ohio University next weekend for Ohio Brew Week, so if you happen to be in Athens, be on the lookout for four incredibly handsome dudes that are incredibly smart and know a lot about sports.