The Perfect Bracket

UPDATE (3/20/2018):  Many of you have been wondering just how perfect my “Perfect Bracket” turned out to be following the madness of the opening weekend of the tournament.  Turns out the answer is “not very.”  Now I know what you’re thinking:  “Whitty, I trusted you to give me the perfect bracket, and you let me down.”  You’re right.  I’m sorry.  I fell victim to some shitty officiating that I didn’t account for in my simulations.  I also may have applied my analytics at the the wrong time (in retrospect, I probably should have aaced uniform color for the sweet 16).  Again, I’m sorry.  In the words of my good friend Jim Calhoun:

So just how bad was it?  Well, I accurately predicted 3 of the teams in the Sweet 16, so really not too terrible.  That’s almost 19%, which, in terms of batting average, would almost be good enough to hit leadoff for the Reds.  And I still have 2 Elite Eight teams left!  That means that even though I can’t achieve my goal of perfection, I’m sure I’m still in the running for top bracket in then ESPN bracket challenge.  As long as none of the 15.9 million people ahead of me get any more picks right, I may still have a shot.  If UMBC can shock the world, why not Whitty?


If you missed my original picks, be sure to check them out below:

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Buying Video Games at Toys R Us was the Most Stressful, Yet Rewarding Experience of my Life

Earlier this week it was announced that Toys R Us could be closing all of its U.S. stores as early as next week. The giant retail toy chain filed for bankruptcy in September of 2017 and already started shutting down stores across the country earlier this year. When Toys R Us is gone, I feel like a large part of my childhood will disappear with it. While I don’t have many memories of going to Toys R Us for the actual toys, there was one unique experience that Toys R Us offered that differs from anything I’ve experienced in this day and age: buying video games. Continue reading

NFL Hooks up with Pizza Hut Hours After Dumping Papa John’s

Breakups are never easy, but they’re a fact of life. Not every relationship is perfect. Not every relationship can last forever. When you get dumped, it hurts. When you see your ex with someone else less than 24 hours later, it’s devastating. That’s what poor Papa John’s is finding out right now. As my good friend Mac pointed out Tuesday, the NFL has decided to part ways with Papa John’s as it’s official pizza sponsor. In a brutal move, the NFL announced a deal with Pizza Hut less than 24 hours after dropping Papa John’s. I bet Papa John hadn’t even gotten a chance to collect his toothbrush and phone charger from Roger Goodell’s apartment yet.

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Curling is Officially America’s Sport

America is desperately in need of a new pastime.  Baseball is a beautiful sport, but kids these days have no patience for it.  The millennials just aren’t into it.  Football is plagued with numerous player safety issues that have drastically changed the game over the last decade.  Who knows if it will even be around 10 years from now.  So who are we supposed to rally around as a country?  The NBA?  Please.  Nobody gives a shit about basketball.  NHL?  I could get on board with that, but unfortunately the majority of the country hasn’t.  Soccer?  Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!  Get out of here…  So, in my mind, that just leaves one option:  curling.

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Is There Nothing Left That’s Pure? Russian Curler Accused of Doping

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A Russian Olympic athlete is suspected of taking performance enhancing drugs. In other news: grass is green, water is wet and Mac has given up on sports. This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one considering the fact that Russia was banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang due to a systemic state-sponsored doping program. While some Russian athletes were allowed to compete in the Winter Olympic Games (168, to be exact), they were prohibited from wearing Russian colors or flying Russia’s flag and none of their medals will be attributed to Russia in the official record books. Instead, they are competing under the Olympic flag with the name “Olympic Athletes from Russia”. So again, it shouldn’t exactly shock anyone that a Russian athlete is being accused of doping. What is surprising is the sport that is impacted by these latest allegations: curling. Continue reading

The NHL Could Learn a Thing or two From the U.S. Women’s Team

If the NHL ever wants to gain some traction on the other Big 4 professional sports in the United States, they may want to take a page out of the U.S. Women’s team’s book. During a preliminary match against Team Canada, Gigi Marvin squared up against a referee and laid her out with a beautiful check. That’s the type of badassery that the NHL is missing. Sure, there’s plenty of fighting in the NHL and there’s no shortage of bone crunching hits, but most players don’t have the balls to take a run at an official. That may be just what they need to grow the fan base though. The hardcore hockey fans are going to love the sport no matter what, but the average idiot that knows nothing about hockey would be enthralled with it if you had players taking out referees left and right (hell, they’d probably even blog about it). After all, if there’s one thing every sports fan hates, it’s a referee. Continue reading

Curling is Absolutely Wild

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The Olympics continue to blow my mind. First there was the amazing drone light show during the Opening Ceremony that I’m still trying to wrap my head around, and now curling just dropped another bomb on me. I already have no idea how curling works. I have a tenuous grasp on the overall concept, but as soon as you try and get into the rules and strategies, I’m lost. I know that it looks like something someone like me could do. I also know that, in reality, if i tried curling I’d fall flat on my face and make myself look like an idiot. But one thing I didn’t know, at least until today, is that curling does not have any officials.

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I’m 100% All-In on Drone Light Shows

Ok, I may be a bit tardy to the party but thanks to the magic of DVR I’ve just managed to catch up on the 2018 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony. I don’t tend to get too excited about the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games. Sure it’s cool that the host country gets a chance to display their culture to the world, and I’m sure it’s awesome for the individual athletes when they get to walk out with their fellow countrymen/women for all to see, but for the most part it just doesn’t do it for me. The ceremony in PyeongChang was no different, at least not at first. Some kids running around stage with a giant tiger and a dragon? Not feeling it. North and South Korean athletes walking out together under one flag? A North Korean athlete and a South Korean athlete carrying the Olympic torch together? Yawn. Gangnam Style playing during the Parade of Nations? Ok, I can get on board with that. That song is fire and I’ll fight anyone that says otherwise. But even that wasn’t enough to get me on Team Opening Ceremony. I was starting to question why I even bothered wasting two hours watching the event on DVR, but then they sent in the drones and everything changed. Continue reading

Are Football Coaches the Millennials of the Sports World?

When I woke up Tuesday morning Josh McDaniels was set to become the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Greg Schiano was reportedly replacing Matt Patricia as the defensive coordinator in New England. Now, just over 24 hours later, all that has changed. McDaniels will remain in New England as offensive coordinator and Schiano is staying at Ohio State. According to a 2017 study conducted by Milliron Sports, the average millennial will switch jobs at least 3 to 4 times during a standard work week, and that lack of commitment has clearly seeped into the football coaching world. Kids these days just sit there chewing their bubble gum with their hats on backwards playing their video games, and they think it’s okay to just renege on a commitment because of what type of mood they happen to be in that day. Back in my day, if you gave someone your word on something, you stood by it. Some people may call that old-fashioned. I call it integrity. Sad.

There are several schools of thought as to why McDaniels would change his mind about taking the Colts job. One theory is that he found out that Andrew Luck’s shoulder still isn’t healthy enough to play. Without a talented, well-established quarterback, that job becomes much less desirable. They haven’t been the most well-run organization of late, so having a QB like Luck would have been one of the few bright spots in that deal. Others are speculating that he was told that Bill Belichick will be retiring within the next year or two, and that he would be the replacement as Patriots head coach when that time comes. That would be a much more attractive job than Colts head coach, especially if Brady plans on hanging around a few more years. There are a few others who think this was just Robert Kraft’s way of sticking it to the Colts’ organization as payback for the deflategate ordeal. Personally, I believe it was the promise of replacing Belichick that coaxed McDaniels into staying, but it’s possible that all three of the above theories have a bit of truth to them.

The Schiano decision was a little bit more of a mystery to me. Most of that may be due to timing, since the news just broke this afternoon and the rumor mill hasn’t quite gotten into full swing. My first hunch is Schiano just doesn’t like Josh McDaniels and once he found out McDaniels was staying in New England, Schiano said “No thanks.” There’s nothing worse than working with a coworker that you can’t stand. Schiano is obviously no stranger to sudden changes when it comes to coaching jobs though. Just last year Schiano was rumored to be taking over the Tennessee Volunteers head coaching position until Vols fans bullied the athletic department into going back on the deal. Maybe he wanted to return the favor to somebody else. Or maybe he just knew his best shot at a championship was in Columbus working for a real football coach in Urban Meyer. I hope for his sake that he has a long, successful career at Ohio State though. It’s going to be tough to explain to potential future employers why he has three different jobs over the course of a four month period listed on his resume. Just like those damn millennials…

All this wishy-washiness does give me hope as a Bengals fan though. Most people in Cincinnati weren’t too thrilled when Marvin Lewis decided to stick around as the Bengals head coach, especially when he had reportedly expressed a desire to move on late in the season. Maybe Schiano and McDaniels will inspire Marvin to change his mind once more. It’s okay Marvin, there’s no shame in going back on a promise. After all, everyone’s doing it.

Did Kevin Love Intentionally Break His Hand?

Poor Kevin Love can’t catch a break. That is until tonight, when he caught a rather unfortunate one. The Cavaliers announced that Love broke a bone in his hand during tonight’s game against the Pistons. The injury will sideline the Cavs’ Power Forward for 6-8 weeks. The often maligned Love has taken more than his fair share of criticism during his time in Cleveland, from media members and his own teammates. Just over a week ago Love left Cleveland’s lopsided loss against the Thunder early because of an illness, which also caused him to miss practice the next day. This did not sit well with his teammates though, and they held a contentious “players only” meeting the next day where they questioned the legitimacy of Love’s sudden sickness. I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that’s a HIPAA violation.

It wouldn’t surprise me one bit of Love wanted to get as far away from the Cavs as possible right now. Warranted or not, he’s often found himself on the wrong end of the finger pointing when things aren’t going well in Cleveland. He’s not happy about his role within the team and there’s no doubt that the news of the “players only” meeting making it to the public didn’t sit well with him. Given all that’s gone on, I’m actually pretty sure that Love did fake the illness last week. Which is why I’m 99% sure Love broke his hand on purpose tonight, for the sole purpose of getting a vacation away from his disgruntled teammates.

We’ve all been there. You’re having a shitty day at work, that obnoxious coworker of yours is making you watch his 100th Instagram video that week where he’s rambling on about this great new Chardonnay he discovered and everybody has been on your ass lately because productivity and morale around the office has been at an all time low. At that point, you’re looking for any way out you can find. You’re actually trying to will the filing cabinet to fall over on you as you walk by. After all, a torn ACL and a dislocated shoulder would be well worth the two months at home on short term disability. Or maybe the light overhead could come crashing down on you. A few stitches and a concussion are a small price to pay for a little R&R and some workers’ comp. The difference between you and Kevin Love is you don’t ever have the guts to go through with it. You just hang your head low and walk back to your desk as you slowly die inside.

The one mistake Love made here is breaking his hand. If I’m going to be sidelined for a month and a half, you know damn well I’m spending the majority of that time on my couch playing Playstation. Hell I might even suffer a “setback” or two so I can make it through another season of Madden or try and make it to the next prestige level in Call of Duty. But Love’s not going to be playing many video games with a broken hand, so I’m not sure how the hell he’s going to pass the time. I can tell you one thing he won’t be doing though, and that’s following along with Lebron’s Instagram stories. Sheeeesh.