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

Wake Up With Whitty – 12/25/2017

Ho ho ho and welcome to a special Christmas edition of Wake Up With Whitty. We’re in the part of the sports year where the NHL and NBA seasons are starting to pick up, there’s an obscure bowl game on TV every single day and we’re getting the weird Saturday evening NFL games. Yesterday we had a small Christmas miracle in Cincinnati when the Bengals beat a Lions team that had playoff aspirations heading into the weekend. The Negative Nancies will point out the fact that the Bengals only managed to hurt their draft position by winning, which may be true, but I’d still rather see a win than a loss any day. Call me old fashioned.

With the holidays in full swing, what better time than now to start a new Christmas tradition? You’ve got your family gathered together as you unwrap presents beneath the glow of the tree while listening to crackle of the fire coming from the Yule Log app on your TV. Sure, you could have made a real fire but who wants to go through that hassle? Plus your stockings have all been hung by the chimney, presumably with care, and that’s a fire hazard, so Netflix will have to do. So what better way to keep up the festive atmosphere than by reading some random blogger’s thoughts on a few obscure sports topics? Gather up the fam and check out the latest edition of Wake Up With Whitty!

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Wake Up With Whitty – 12/10/2017

Hello and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. I’m coming to you late once again, and in a surprisingly okay mood despite the Bengals debacle against the Bears this afternoon. That’s most likely because I slept through the majority of the game, so I didn’t actually have to experience it. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Wow Whitty, some fan you are. Not even watching your team play just because they’re having a down season? You must not be a big sports guy.” Well, my friend, I’m currently battling a severely mild upper respiratory tract infection. The fact that I even have the strength to blog right now is incredible. Hats off to me. It takes a lot of courage to fight through an ailment like this, but I’m playing hurt because of my commitment to the game and the tremendous amount of heart that I have. I bet you feel like a jerk for calling me out for napping during the Bengals game now, don’t you? You should. And you’ve officially made my list. But I’m not going to let haters like you knock me off my game. Because I’m resilient and tough and frankly I’m just happy someone is reading this. Here’s this week’s #WUWW:

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Wake Up With Whitty – 12/3/2017

Hello and welcome to a late afternoon edition of Wake Up With Whitty. And by “late afternoon” I mean that this probably got finished late Sunday night and then I backdated it a few hours. A little trick we like to use in The Biz. Keeps your loyal fans on their toes and helps you reach a whole new audience. It’s how I’ve become so successful. And now that you’ve had a sneak peak at how the sausage gets made, it’s time to focus on more important things, like how I’m pissed about the College Football Playoff decision and how I can’t decide if I’m going to pop in Home Alone on DVD tomorrow night or if I’m going to suck it up and watch my Bengals embarrass themselves on Monday Night Football. So without further ado, here’s Wake Up With Whitty:

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Crosstown Shootout 12/2

crosstown shootout

In my opinion, the Crosstown Shootout is one of the top 5 best rivalries in present day sports.  It is by far the most underrated on a national coverage basis even though it is the second biggest NCAA basketball rivalry behind Duke/UNC.  They only play once a year, since they are not in a conference together, which helps make it an even bigger once a year spectacle (Note: When XU was an independent they faced twice a year from 1948 to 1958).  The biggest drawback this year is they decided to schedule the game on NCAAF conference championship weekend.  This has led to a tip time of 12:00pm ET.  This game should be on an empty weekend so it can be a prime-time tip or on a weeknight to give it the extra special feel that it deserves.  Final exams are coming up next week at UC and would have given them another reason to avoid scheduling the game for this week.

These are two of the top 20 college basketball programs in the country right now and separated by just a few miles.  The schools have a divided fan base that typically do not like each other.  Xavier is a private Catholic university while UC is a public state university.  The teams have played 84 times with Cincinnati leading the battle 50-34.  The UC Bearcats dominated the series from the mid 1950’s through the 1970s with Xavier only winning twice.  Xavier has had a stretch of trying to even up the all-time record by winning 13 of the last 20 match-ups.

The 2011 Crosstown Shootout was quite memorable for all the wrong reasons.  There was a nasty brawl with 9.6 seconds left in a blowout Xavier win.  The brawl consisted of throats grabs, shoves, punches, basketball launched at someone’s head and a stomp on the back of the head.  The three years prior to this brawl really started the build up to this blow up.  During the match-ups from 2008-2010 there were 9 technical fouls, an ejection, UC clearing their bench early in a game and multiple heated incidents.

The current XU and UC teams seem to play with more respect and less hatred than in the past.  This leads to a better experience as we focus on the game and rivalry and not a bunch of incidents that do not belong in basketball.

The Bearcats won last year’s match-up 86-78 even though Trevon Bluiett had an incredible performance with 40 points.  The Bearcats have not won at the Cintas Center since 2001, which is their only victory there ever.

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Wake Up With Whitty – 11/26/2017

Hello and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. It’s been a long weekend but it’s finally coming to a close. Most of you have probably been off since at least Thursday. I’m sure you ate way too much food over the past 3-5 days too (Side Note: If you’re one of those “Ham is a better Thanksgiving food than turkey” lunatics, please stop reading now. You’re not welcome here). You’ve either spent some quality time with family or spent time doing everything possible trying to avoid family. You spent hours watching football all weekend and maybe even slipped in a basketball game or two (I hear people are still into that these days). Hell, you may have even put up your Christmas decorations already. With all of that going on, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that you have to go back to work tomorrow. The week after Thanksgiving always feels like the longest week of the year, especially on Monday. So as the NFL games wrap up on Sunday, you’ll start to have the very sobering realization that you have to go back to reality tomorrow. And that’s easily one of the most depressing feelings ever. I can’t do anything to fix that, but hopefully I can at least offer you a brief distraction with today’s Wake Up With Whitty.

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I Watched Rudy Today and I Didn’t Cry

Ok, that’s a lie. I cried. It’s kind of impossible not to when you sit down and think about it. Unless you’re a robot or have never competed in athletics and don’t know the hard work that goes into having the slightest bit of success. Sure, you may have gotten a promotion a few years before me because of hard work, but that doesn’t compare to the daily grind of trying to be successful in a violent sport, nerd. Continue reading

Wake Up With Whitty – 11/19/2017

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.
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Best College GameDay Sign – Wisconsin | Madison, WI, 11/18/17

The long awaited return of the Milliron Sports College GameDay Sign blog is here. It’s been a while, but the stars aligned and I was able to get some quality time in with the blog machine on this gloomy Saturday morning.

The GameDay crew was in Madison, Wisconsin for this week’s showdown between the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers. I have no dog in the fight, but I love cold weather Big Ten football, so this is must see TV in the Mac household. As expected, the opposing coach, Jim Harbaugh took a beating from the fans with their signs. If you can weed through all the copycats out there trying to get money sent to their Venmo accounts, there is usually some pretty good content in the crowd. That is, unless you’re in NYC Time Square for some weird reason.   Continue reading

OU’s Playoff Hopes are Still Alive…but Barely

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While many people may have left them for dead, there’s still an outside chance that OU can squeak into the College Football Playoff this year. And just to clarify, we’re talking about the real OU, not those idiots out in Norman that don’t understand how abbreviations work. Sure, the Bobcats chances took a big hit Tuesday night with an unexpected loss at the hands of Akron, but all hope is not lost in Athens, OH. After crunching some numbers, running millions of simulations (manually, by hand, because Milliron Sports didn’t have much room in the technology budget this year) and studying dozens of résumés from playoff hopefuls, it appears that Ohio still has an outside chance. Admittedly, it’s a pretty big long-shot, but it’s not impossible. Hear me out… Continue reading