Good morning Good evening Hello and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. We’re midway through December and the unthinkable has happened. The Bengals have been officially eliminated from playoff contention. I know, I’m as shocked as you are. I could’ve sworn they’d clinched a playoff spot like three weeks ago since they’ve played so well this year. The good news is that Bengals fans can watch the last two weeks of the season without worrying about the games’ outcomes. At this point the best case for the Bengals would be to lose out in order to get the best possible draft pick, but I just can’t get on #TeamTank. It feels wrong. So I’ll continue to pull for the Bengals to win, knowing that if they don’t then they’re still going to better their draft position. It’s win-win. Or lose-lose, I’m not quite sure. Anyways, here’s Wake Up With Whitty.
Marvin Lewis Done in Cincy…Maybe
Speaking of the lowly Bengals, yesterday got off to quite an interesting start with Adam Schefter reporting that Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis would not be returning after the end of the season. This came as a surprise to almost nobody, as it’s been pretty much a forgone conclusion that this would be Marvin’s last season, although I think a lot of fans had an “I’ll believe it when I see it” mentality with the whole situation. Mike Brown is loyal to his people, often to a fault, so there was always the concern that Marvin would be brought back regardless of how the Bengals performed this year. Turns out Marvin doesn’t really want to be back next year either, as he supposedly went ahead and made the decision himself to pursue other opportunities. Marvin has had the look of a guy who wants out of town for a while now, and the feeling is pretty mutual for the fanbase. So the folks in Cincinnati had a bright spot to cling to in an otherwise dismal seasons. At least for a little while…
Apparently Marvin never actually declared that he planned to leave at the end of season. According to him, the report was completely false and he has made no decision on his future with the Bengals. It’s important to note that Lewis is in the last year of his contract, so he may not ultimately have any say in the matter. I personally think he’s gone regardless, although he gave a very enthusiastic “Sure” at his press conference today when asked if he wanted to be back next season. This guy could not give less of a shit if he tried, so I have no idea why he’s still trying to hang on. The only thing I can think of is he’s trying to keep up appearances so as not to be a distraction to the team (News Flash: it’s too late for that…). At this point, the entire team has become an absolute circus. This season can’t end soon enough. The only saving grace at this point is that the Bengals aren’t the biggest laughing stock in Ohio as long as the Browns keep up their perfect season.
There’s no denying what Marvin Lewis has done for this franchise. He took the team from being a perennial bottom dweller to being a regular playoff contender. The team could very well have had several Super Bowl victories during his tenure had it not been for QB injuries. He absolutely changed the culture in Cincinnati, and a first round playoff exit went from being considered a huge success to an epic failure. People expect this team to win now, and are no longer willing to settle for mediocrity. But the team has clearly reached its ceiling with Marvin, and now it’s to move on. So what’s next for the Bengals? Check out Hibachi’s blog for some excellent insight on that topic.
Taking His Balls and Going…to Lithuania?
Just when I think Lavar Ball can’t get any more absurd, he goes and outdoes himself. First he pulls his youngest son out of high school in favor of home school so he can better ready him to be a top NCAA basketball recruit. Then he convinces his middle son to walk away from his scholarship at UCLA because Lavar thinks he’s better equipped to prepare Lamelo for the NBA than his college coaches. Now he’s got the two playing professional ball overseas in Lithuania, and from the sound of it, not even for a top tier team in Lithuania. The Balls’ new team has reportedly had financial issues and their coach is a little bit of a character as well. He’s pulled his team off the court over disagreements with officials and apparently he’s sold meat out of the trunk of his car to his players after practice. A hot head who also happens to be a shrewd business man? Sounds awfully familiar. Maybe he’ll be a perfect match for the Balls. LiAngelo, Lamelo…congratulations boys. You’ve finally made it.
While I realize that professional basketball is the end goal for each of the Ball sons, I’m pretty sure they have their sights set higher than European leagues, and I don’t think this route is the best way to go for either of them. At this rate I think Lavar is doing much more harm than good to these boys, which is a shame, and I have a feeling that Lonzo is the only one of the 3 that we ever see in an NBA uniform. To be honest, I don’t think Lavar even cares about that. He’s all about promoting his brand and drawing as much attention to himself as possible. So far he’s succeeded in that regard. I just hope his sons are on board with it, or their lives are going to be pretty miserable.
Thank you for joining me for another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. There’s a lot to look forward to with Christmas a week away and the college and NFL playoffs right around the corner. But most exciting of all may be the recent news that Vince McMahon may be looking to resurrect the XFL. I don’t think I’ve been more excited about anything in my entire life, so I really hope this happens. I prefer my football with a healthy dose of CTE, not all that player safety bullshit of the NFL.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you thought of this week’s post, and be sure to check out the rest of the blog as well. Keep up with the latest from Milliron Sports on Facebook and Twitter. And make sure you check out The Nati Boys podcast, now available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. See you sometime in the next 5-10 days. You know, whenever I happen to get around posting another blog.