Welcome to a special Sunday edition of Wake Up With Whitty. Yesterday was a huge day for college football as two top 4 teams fell, and several over top 25 schools were upset by unranked opponents. I could be a little biased, but we may have witnessed the Game of the Year last night in Ohio State’s comeback victory over Penn State. They didn’t look great last night at times (especially in the uniform department), but JT Barrett and the Buckeyes pulled it off. It’s been a wild past 16 hours, so that’s my excuse if this week’s Wake Up With Whitty sucks.
Yuli Gurriel is a Dick and has Stupid Hair
During Friday night’s World Series matchup between Los Angeles and Houston, Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel kicked off the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the 2nd inning to put the Astros up 1-0. Following the home run, he was caught on camera making an offensive gesture in the dugout intended to mock Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. Gurriel was shown squinting and pulling at the corner of his eyes, mocking Darvish’s Asian descent. After the game Darvish did not express any ill will towards Gurriel, but did acknowledge that it wasn’t the right thing to do and hoped that people used it as a learning experience.
Props to Yu for taking the high road here when he would have had every right to be pissed off about this. Gurriel did express remorse for actions after the game, and went as far as saying he would like to meet with Darvish personally to apologize to him. Often when incidents like this happen, these apologies can feel half-assed and disingenuous, but this one actually felt sincere. Even if he didn’t mean any disrespect with the gesture, Gurriel has to have some common sense here. He knows that that is a gesture that is interpreted as racist and offensive towards people of Asian descent, and in this day and age you have to assume that everything you do or say is going to be caught on camera by somebody. The lack of awareness that people have in these situations is amazing to me.
Despite his apology, the MLB decided that it was necessary to discipline Gurriel, which I think is the fair thing to do. Curiously enough, they decided to defer the suspension until the start of the 2018 season, where he’ll miss the first 5 games of the year. While Yuli Gurriel’s gesture is certainly the most egregious of his offenses, that hair style of his is pretty awful too. I am by no means an expert on fashionable hairstyles, so I suppose there’s a chance that this is considered “trendy”, but to me it just looks dumb. Maybe don’t mock other people’s appearances when you look like this:
Bob McNair is Kind of a Dick Too
Texans owner Bob McNair has put himself in some hot water recently with a comment that he made at a meeting of NFL owners two weeks ago. During a discussion about anthem protests and whether or not players should be mandated to stand during the National Anthem, McNair expressed his concern with the players having too much power in the situation. Specifically, McNair said that they couldn’t “have the inmates running the prison.” The comment was made public this week in an article written by ESPN, and needless to say it was not well received by NFL players. There’s already a clear divide between players and owners, and these comments only serve to drive the wedge further in between the two groups. Texans players reportedly almost walked out of practice on Friday and are planning a demonstration before today’s game against Seattle.
This is another case of someone having a complete lack of awareness. Even if McNair doesn’t actually view his relationship with the players as that of a warden overseeing prison inmates, he had to have known that a comment like that would not be taken well. You have to choose your words more carefully there. McNair met with Texans players to apologize and try explain his comments, but the players weren’t having it. McNair also tried to claim that the “inmates” he was referring to were the people at the league offices, and that he was speaking about how they made policies and disciplinary decisions on their own without consulting the team owners. Again, given the context of the conversation that immediately preceded the comment, nobody’s buying it. He’s going to have to come up with a better story than that. Personally I’m hoping that this was just his personal review of The Last Castle that got taken terribly out of context. Such an underrated movie. RIP James Gandolfini.
The Internet is a Cold Place
A scary scene took place on Thursday night when Joe Flacco took a vicious shot to the head from Dolphin’s linebacker Kiki Alonso. Flacco had given himself up on the play and appeared to be mid-slide when Alonso lowered his shoulder into Flacco’s head, knocking the quarterback’s helmet off. While Flacco remained conscious after the hit, he was clearly out of it and left the game with a concussion. Ryan Mallett came in for the save in relief of Flacco, who did not return for the Ravens in their 40-0 rout of the Dolphins. No word yet from the NFL on whether or not Alonso will receive any punishment from the NFL (cue “If that were Burfict…” complaints from my fellow Bengals fans).
As Flacco was busy shaking off the cobwebs, the internet immediately went to work trying to create humorous captions of screenshots of the concussed quarterback trying to sit up after the hit. Before Flacco was even able to remember what day of the week it was, he had become the hottest meme on a Twitter. It’s kind of a bad look making light of a guy who just suffered a serious head injury, but the internet is a cold, ruthless place. Kiko “The Human Meme-Generator” Alonso knocked Flacco to the top of the trending topics list, and Twitter ate it up. People are brutal.
Thank you for joining me for another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. Halloween is right around the quarter, so put those finishing touches on those costumes while you can. I’m pretty pumped because my daughter is old enough to take Trick-or-Treating this year but isn’t old enough to actually eat the candy, which means I get to cash in. If you need help getting in the mood for Halloween, check out DB’s latest Simpsons episode review. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to the Nati Boys podcast on iTunes. See you next weekend.