Hello and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. We’ve past the midway point in November, the weather is starting to turn colder and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The NFL playoff picture is starting to take shape and there’s only one week left before Conference Championship Week in college football. Some of the
psychopaths Christmas enthusiasts have already started putting up their lights and trees (*cough* Jefe *cough*) and the big red bow car commercials are out in full force. It’s an exciting time of year, and with so much going on, it’s hard to stay focused on the stories that matter. That’s where I come in. Join me as I take you on a journey through the first three stories I happened to come across the top stories around the world of sports from this past week.
Best Rivalry in Sports
There’s no shortage of great rivalries in the world of sports. Some of them are newer: MacGregor vs. Mayweather, Cavs vs. Warriors, Jon Jones vs. Drug Tests. Some of them are classics: Ohio State vs. Michigan, Yankees vs. Red Sox, Browns vs. Their Front Office. All claim to be the best rivalry in sports, but few are as intense and hate-filled as Alabama vs. Auburn. The Iron Bowl gets as heated between the opposing fan bases as it does between the players on the field, often times turning family and friends against each other. And every once in a while, people take their fandom a little too far, as was the case this past Monday when an argument over which team was better ended with an Alabama fan shooting an Auburn fan in the thigh. That’s one way to win the argument. It sure is going to be embarrassing for him if the Tigers win this coming weekend though.
Even after getting arrested for shooting the Auburn fan, I’m sure this guy was feeling okay about the situation. After all, all’s fair in love, war and sports rivalries. He was probably thinking the judge would laugh it off, throw out a “Boys will be boys…” and then let him off with a proverbial slap on the wrist. So imagine how far this guy’s heart sank when he walked into the courtroom, looked behind the bench and saw Judge Bob Sherling, Auburn graduate, staring back at him. The judge even had his Auburn cup behind the bench with the AU logo conveniently facing outward for all to see. Shit just got real, folks. We may see a new record for the shortest time between sentencing and date of execution in the Live Ball Era. I feel like this is the kind of story that you’ll only hear about in Alabama. And that’s what makes this rivalry so great. Other schools just talk trash to each other and passive aggressively post things on social media about their rivals. Every once in a while maybe you’ll even see a drunken fist fight or two. But the Iron Bowl? These fans shoot each other to settle arguments, and that’s what sports fandom is all about. Personally I think they should let the game itself decide this one. Tide wins? He goes free. Tigers pull off the upset? Life in prison. That would add some extra excitement to an already intense rivalry.
In the words of legendary Alabama fan Harvey “Al” Updyke: “Roll damn Tide!”
Lonzo Ball is a Lover, Not a Fighter
I’m not big on overreacting to things I see online. Way too many people take a little video clip or innocent tweet and blow it way out of proportion. So when I stumbled across the video of Lonzo Ball walking away from a scuffle between his teammates and Suns players, I took it for face value and didn’t try and read too far into it. On its surface, the only thing that this video really tells us is that Lonzo is a terrible teammate, nobody else in the Lakers locker room respects him now, he’s unhappy in Los Angeles and he’ll be traded before Christmas. So that’s as far as I’m willing to look into this, but people have been trying to make a much bigger deal out of it. Typical.
Lonzo said after the game that he wasn’t interested in getting a technical for getting in the middle of what amounted to little more than just a shoving match. He even went as far as saying that “It’s the NBA. People ain’t really gonna fight.” Wow. Keep digging that hole Lonzo. Now you’re calling the entire NBA soft, saying they’re not man enough to step up and fight someone? If he didn’t already have a target on his back, he certainly does now. At this point I think the only option he has is to go up to Nikola Jokic before tonight’s tip-off and just knock him out with one shot. The old “pick a fight with the biggest guy in the yard” move to establish a little dominance. That lets his teammates know that he’s got their backs and puts the rest of the league on notice that he’s not going to take their shit. It’s either that or hope his dad takes the attention off of him by getting into a feud with the President of the United States over an overseas shoplifting incident involving his brother LiAngelo. But what are the chances of that happening?
Former Bengal Arrested
Former Cincinnati Bengal Rey Maualuga was arrested for misdemeanor battery charges early Saturday morning. The charges stem from an alleged physical altercation at a Miami night club. Maualuga, who spent 8 seasons in Cincinnati, reportedly had refused to pay a $40 tab at the downtown Miami club. The 2009 Bengals second round draft pick then reportedly grabbed a man by the throat and shoved him when he was asked to pay the bill. This wasn’t the former Bengal’s first run in with the law, as he was arrested for drunken driving in 2010 while playing for the Bengals. He was also charged with assault while playing for the Bengals in 2012 when he was involved in a bar fight in Cincinnati. During that 2012 incident, the ex-Bengal allegedly punched the bar’s manager in the face.
Maualuga spent seven years on the same Bengals defensive unit as Adam “Pacman” Jones. Jones, well known for his history of legal troubles, has been arrested at least 9 times since being drafted in the league. Maualuga, who played in Cincinnati as recently as the 2016 season, also shared a locker room with quarterback Andy Dalton, who once lost his luggage when he left the tailgate down on his pickup when leaving for vacation, a violation of section 4513.31 (A) of the Ohio Revised Code, which states:
No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless the vehicle is so constructed, loaded, or covered as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom…
As of the writing of this post, the Bengals have not made an official statement regarding the latest incident of their former linebacker. Maualuga isn’t the first Bengals linebacker to find himself in hot water. Current Bengal Vontaze Burfict, who was a teammate to Maualuga for multiple years in Cincinnati, has been suspended several times by the NFL for on field incidents, and has been fined countless other times. Rey, who spent the majority of his career with the Bengals, has seen his skills decline in recent years, so it’s uncertain how this latest arrest will weigh on future job opportunities in The League.
The Dolphins waived Maualuga Saturday afternoon.
Thank you for joining me for another Wake Up With Whitty. We have Rivalry Week coming up in college football, which means another edition of The Game. Ohio State vs. Michigan is hands down the best rivalry in all of sports (don’t @ me), and I’m looking forward to seeing JT Barrett make short work of the Wolverines one last time.
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