Wake Up With Whitty – 1/8/2018

Tired of waiting for the next great blog from yours truly?  You’re not alone.  The world has been clamoring for more Whitty.  And I can’t blame you one bit.  But you’re in luck, because I’m back and better than ever.  We’ve officially made it to another year.  Welcome to 2018, folks.  Is this the year your favorite team finally breaks through to the next level and wins itself a long-awaited championship?  No.  No it’s not.  You’re doomed to a lifetime of sports despair, just like me.  (Unless you’re an Alabama fan, I guess).  But that’s okay.  There are plenty of other things you can find joy in during this new year.  You could take some time away from your phone/tablet/computer to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature.  You could spend some quality time bonding with family and friends.  You could pick up a new hobby or skill.  Or you could enjoy the latest edition of your favorite blogger’s “weekly” recurring post.  Speaking of which, here’s your first Wake Up With Whitty of 2018.

Wow.  I can’t believe I haven’t written one of these blog posts since last year.  Seems like it wasn’t that long ago.  If you liked Wake Up With Whitty in 2017, then you’re going to love it for however long I decide to keep it going into 2018.  Normally I write about current events in the sports world, but I’m switching things up a little bit today and I’m dedicating this first post of 2018 to my own self-improvement.  As the saying goes, “New year, new you.”  With that in mind, I’m going to share my 2018 New Years resolutions with you.  I know how much everyone loves reading about someone else’s resolutions, so here are 10 resolutions for 2018 that I’m totally going to stick to:

1. Stop being so spiteful when it comes to sports.  As I mentioned above, my 2018 sports outlook is relatively bleak.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I actually remember seeing one my my favorite professional sports franchises make it past the first round in the postseason.  Since I haven’t been able to enjoy my own teams’ successes, I’ve had to resort to finding joy in the failures of others.  But not in 2018.  Bitter, spiteful Whitty is staying in 2017 where he belongs.

A little known fact about sports-related New Years resolutions:  they aren’t effective until the start of next season in that sports.  That means I can still actively cheer against the Steelers in the playoffs without feeling guilty.  That means I don’t have to be ashamed of myself for smiling every time I see the Penguins on the wrong side of a box score.  And that means when I come across tweets like these, I don’t have to try and hide the joy that they bring me.

Being spiteful and petty is a bad look.  I get that.  But 2017 Whitty doesn’t care.  And 2018 Whitty doesn’t have to worry about bettering himself in that category at least until baseball season starts.  So I’m going to enjoy it while I can.  Speaking of petty:

2.  Eat better.  And when I say “eat better”, I don’t mean “eat healthier” or “eat less”.  I mean “eat better”.  That means eat what I think tastes good.  And eat more of what I think tastes good.  Like Pizza.  And Taco Bell.  And Skyline.  Lots of Skyline.  If you’ve been living under a rock lately, my good friend @millironmac is in the middle of an epic New Year’s Resolution himself:

He’s an inspiration to us all.  Life is short.  Why waste calories on shit that doesn’t taste good?  So peace out, vegetables.  I’m leaving you in 2017 as well.  I’m trying to live my best life, and I don’t need you holding me back.

3.  Don’t invest so much emotion into my sports teams.  I’m normally a pretty calm, easygoing guy.  It takes a lot to get me mad.  The one exception to that is when it comes to sports.  I get unreasonably angry when something doesn’t go well for my sports teams, so in 2018 I’m going to try and tone that down a bit.  I’m already eating like shit in 2018 (see resolution #2), so I don’t need the additional stress on my heart.  2018 Whitty is going to be a calm, peaceful sports fan.  If the Blue Jackets get waxed 7-0 by a division rival, I’m not going to put a television remote through the wall.  There are plenty of other games in the season, no need to get worked up over one.  And if the Buckeyes lose by 30+ to a mediocre Iowa team?  Instead of getting pissed and avoiding any human contact for at least a week, I’m just going to let it roll off my back.  It’s just a game, after all.

And when this happens?

Well… Maybe we should just skip to the next resolution.

4.  Be more consistent.  Everyone likes consistency.  It makes it much easier to commit to something when you know what to expect and when to expect it.  I’ll admit that I’ve struggled with this at times, especially with these Wake Up With Whitty posts.  But in 2018 I’m going to stick with a consistent format and keep a regular schedule.  “But Whitty, this was always a Saturday morning blog and you posted this one late Monday night, and it’s in a format you’ve never used before.”  Shut up.  I’ll start next week.  And if you don’t like it, stop reading.

5.  Be kind to others.  Oops.  I apologize for telling you to “shut up” just a second ago.  That was 2017 Whitty trying to come back out.  2018 Whitty is trying to be nicer to others.  I appreciate you reading my blog.  It truly means a lot to me.  There’s something inspiring about seeing true acts of kindness.  It becomes contagious.  Just look at what happened this past week with the Buffalo Bills:

The Bengals knocked off the Ravens in Week 17, which locked up a Wildcard spot for the Bills.  In response, #BillsMafia decided to express their appreciation by donating to Andy Dalton’s charity.  And they did so in a big way, contributing over $350,000 in just a week’s time.  The Bills also arranged to have 1400+ wings from a local wing spot sent to Cincinnati as a thank you.  And the Bills reward for their kindness?  A first round loss at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Which actually seems pretty fitting, considering their acts of kindness earned the Bills a lot of fans in the Cincinnati area, at least for the weekend.  Bengals fan probably felt right at home seeing a team they were rooting for make an early playoff exit.  That’s probably not much consolation to Buffalo though.  So maybe there is no such thing as Karma.  In which case, forget everything I just said.  There’s no point to going through the extra effort of being nice to others if you’re going to end up out $315,000 and down 1400 wings with nothing positive to show for it.

6.  Invest.  If you ask any financial adviser, they’ll tell you that you need to diversify your portfolio, and you need to make your money work for you.  Throwing it all into a savings account isn’t going to yield much return, which is why it’s important to invest.  And I’m not talking about a 401k, IRA or some other random combination of numbers and letters that don’t mean anything.  I’m thinking bigger.  You can win like $50,000 on a $1 scratch-off.  That ROI is insane!  In 2018 I’m putting at least half of my money into scratch-offs.  With any luck, I’ll be able to retire by April.  I’m no dummy though.  You have to balance the high-risk investments with some safer, more reliable options.  Which is why I’m going to join at least a few hundred paid fantasy sports leagues.  Again, diversity is key, so I’ll have to spread it out across as many different sports as possible.  It’s almost impossible not to make money that way.

7.  Find my dream job.  I know what you’re thinking.  What could be better than a part time blogging/podcasting gig that doesn’t pay?  Not much, to be honest.  But something that pays money would be nice.  I need to be able to support all those investments I’m planning on making.  But when you love what you do for a living, it makes life so much more enjoyable, which is why seeing Jon Gruden return to his dream of being an NFL football coach has inspired me.  Even if you love what you do, why settle for less than your dream job?

I think everyone knew that some day Gruden would return to the sidelines as a head coach.  He was rumored to have been tied to just about every coaching vacancy that’s come up that past few years, so it was only a matter of time.  Personally I would have stayed in the booth if I were him.  It’s a lot less stress and everyone loved seeing his fiery personality every Monday night.  Maybe he’ll make his way back into broadcasting someday, but whoever replaces him is going to have some big shoes to fill.  Luckily for ESPN, the Nati Boys have already gotten started on a list of potential replacement candidates.

8.  Finish things I start.  I have a terrible habit of starting a project, getting sidetracked by something else, and then never getting back to my original task.

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