I Hate Sports and I Quit

Let the record show: Sunday, February 18th, 2018 is the day I finally quit. I’m sick of the constant letdown and disappointment. Its my fault, honestly. I could just become a bandwagon fan like I’ve seen so many people do. I could be a Duke basketball fan, Alabama football fan and alternate between the Patriots and Steelers, whichever was winning the most at the time. Yankees too? Why not? If I’m going all in, I might as well wear a pinstriped Aaron Judge jersey and spit on people as I scream about 27 rings.

 

Instead, I’ve remained loyal to my Cincinnati roots. I even refuse to root for an NBA team with one of the best players that ever lived simply because they’re in Cleveland. Rooting for the Cavs would be so easy, yet I would rather be caught watching Lena Dunham make out with Jake Paul by my grandma than Witness anything King James is doing up north. Sure, I have my on-again off-again relationship with the Denver Nuggets, but we’re like Ross and Rachel from Friends. Will we end up together when it’s all said and done? I guess you’ll have to buy the box set to find out.

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“Seasoned” Backup Veteran Hits Free Agent Market

Well, it is official AJ McCarron has won his grievance case against the Bengals and this means he is officially a free agent as of March. This also means that the botched trade with the Browns, as if it wasn’t bad enough, will sting just a little bit more. Continue reading

Getting Personal: Baseball, The Reds and Hibachi

I was a huge baseball fan from nearly the day I was born.  Baseball was my dad’s favorite sport and he always dreamed of having a son that had a love for baseball just like him and he could coach.  Some of the first memories I have are my dad playing toss with me at home.  We watched Reds games whenever we could.  The games were not all televised back when I was young like today on FSO.  We listened to many games on 700WLW with good ole Marty and Joe (RIP).  I played baseball as year-round as you could in Cincinnati, OH.  We did tournaments in the very early spring and late fall while playing our league and random weekend tournaments through the summers.  In the winter we would go to the batting cages all the time to keep up and not fall behind.  When we would get those random 40 and 50 degree days in the winters we would end up at a local field to take some ground-balls and fly-balls.

iconic duo

The greatest duo in announcing history.

I was a die-hard Reds fan and a statistics guru.  I always knew the entire 25-man roster and could recite players updated statistics every day.  This was quite the incredible feat without the internet.  I lived for looking at the newspaper box scores the next day.  I also was always playing a baseball video game as the Reds because playing as any other team just seemed like a sin.  I remember in one of the first MLB games that allowed you to create a player I was drafted by the Cubs and was so disgusted with it that I have never played that game mode again.

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Hopefully the Bengals Took Notes

Well, it is sad but football is over for a while and for the rest of the winter and spring 31 of the 32 fan-bases are stuck scratching their heads wondering about what could’ve happened. Experts will immediately start/ continue to analyze the next batch of superstars that will bring glory and championships to franchises. One franchise has some time to celebrate before they have to refocus. Was it the team everyone expected? No, it was a team most of the sports world counted out from week one. The Philadelphia Eagles are the best team in football and it definitely didn’t happen by accident.

No matter the outcome year to year I am a lifelong Bengals fan, I have no idea why at times but I love them. I don’t have all the answers as to how they can fix their woes, nor am I going to run through my ideas because no one cares. I am simply going to say to the Bengals, hopefully, you took notes. The Eagles were the hottest team in free agency, they also have a young coach willing to take chances, and they survived injury with the next man up approach. We were preached change with Marvin Lewis 3.0, I just want them to prove it. The Eagles have a franchise I would try to emulate for years to come!

(Source: AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Marvin’s Returning? WTF?!?! Is it all bad?

smiling marv

He’s fucking back.

The last blog I made was discussing Marvin’s potential replacements.  I didn’t dive into the current staff or defensive minded coaches as my wish was to hire a young offensive mind.  It was 90% likely that Marvin Lewis was leaving and then he all of a sudden wasn’t.  This was my nightmare and then I started to think about the situation.  There are bright spots or two in this even though many of us were disappointed.  It was rumored by many and pretty well known that Marvin was ready to move on and was not happy with Mike Brown from some decisions he overruled Marvin on last off-season.  At the end of the year review Marvin made some demands and if these were not made then he was moving on.  We do not know what these were but we have a few ideas.

 

1. Paul Alexander is GONE!

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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. Continue reading

Who Should Replace Marvin?

marvin

Even Marvin knows it is time.

The future needs change.  Marvin Lewis did great things for a stretch in Cincinnati.  He turned them from the laughing stock of the 90s into a respectable franchise that had two legit chances at Super Bowl runs in 2005 & 2015.  Starting QB injuries derailed both chances and they never got back to that level.  The voice of the team needs to change as it has become stale.  The NFL has surpassed Marvin and his coaching style.  They must go with an external hire, as the team needs a big change.

There are two decent candidates internally in Paul Guenther and Darren Simmons but neither of these options will catapult this team to the next level they need.  The risk of going external is if this will cause Mike Brown to get even more involved again.  Marvin Lewis was able to somewhat reduce Mike Brown’s thumbprint on the team.  It was still evident at times that Mike was still too involved and many of those decisions came back to really hurt the team.

An external offensive minded coach is an absolute necessity for the next hire.  I would like this team to look in this draft for a long-term QB replacement/upgrade and these HC candidates reflect that desire.  I believe there are five candidates that would be great hires for this team.

  • Josh McDaniels – This is the only coach on my list that has been a head coach before. I really want a fresh first time coach, but McDaniels is too good to not consider.  He made mistakes in Denver and I think he has learned from those mistakes.  He has been very picky about his next opportunity as this is likely his last chance if he fails.  A focused McDaniels that has not jumped at the first opportunity bodes well for a coach who has matured.  He has been very successful as an OC in NE.  Yes, he has Tom Brady but not all OCs have succeeded with future HOF QBs.  I really like his ability to create mismatches for his offensive weapons and actually use them.  This has not existed in Cincinnati and they have talent (Mixon, Gio, Ross) that can be used very successfully.  McDaniels is from Ohio and his dad was a legendary coach in Ohio so maybe he can be convinced to come here even with the Mike Brown handicap.
  • John DeFilippo – He is a former small college QB and is a young coach (39 y/o) that has a lot of experience in the NFL. He has worked in the NFL for NYG, Raiders, Jets, Browns and Eagles.  He also had summer intern stints with the Panthers and Colts while in college.  Wentz has grown a lot since the draft and had the Eagles looking like a top Super Bowl contender. As I mentioned above, I would like the Bengals to look to draft the Bengals future QB this year as we have likely seen the Dalton ceiling.  He also happens to be an Ohio native as well.
  • Matt Nagy – Nagy is another former small college QB and 39 year old coach. He has only been on Andy Reid’s staffs in Philadelphia and now KC.  He recently made the news as play calling duties switched from Andy Reid to Nagy and the offense was jumpstarted after struggling for weeks.  KC does not have a star in their offense, but Nagy has found ways to feed their young, undersized playmakers (Tyreke Hill & Albert Wilson) even with the limitations of Alex Smith at QB.  It was reported that Nagy had a big hand in KC moving up for Patrick Mahomes.  Mahomes is not a proven NFL QB but his future looked very bright during the preseason.  
  • Jim Bob Cooter – He has the best name in all of sports and that is good enough for me. He also was a former QB, backup at Tennessee, and has experience with multiple NFL teams. He is a very young coach at just 33 years old.  He has worked for the Colts, Chiefs, Broncos and Lions.  The Denver Broncos brought him in after a recommendation by Peyton Manning.  If Peyton thinks highly of a coach that says enough for me.  Both Lions coordinators seem to be hot commodities heading into this offseason.  The Lions lost Calvin Johnston to retirement after the 2015 season and Cooter kept that offense from free falling.  Matthew Stafford has flaws but since Cooter took over Stafford has seen his completion percentage, YPA and QBR rise.
  • Harold Goodwin – Bruce Arians runs a fun offense and his right hand man is Goodwin. Goodwin has worked with Arians in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and now Arizona.  Prior to linking up with Arians, he also worked for the Bears.  Goodwin is a former offensive lineman at Michigan and is just 44 years old.  The Bengals OL is another area that needs some coaching love.  As well as providing a new voice to the team it would provide a new voice to the OL which is in need after 2.5 decades of Paul Alexander and the recent failures to find OL talent in the draft.  Goodwin has been taking over a larger portion of the play calling duties from Arians recently.  Like Arians, Goodwin is a big fan of stretching the field and airing it out.  With talents like AJ Green and John Ross and possibly a new QB, this would be an exciting offense to run here.

Who would you like to see as the next HC?