Wake Up With Whitty – 10/14/2017

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty.  It’s finally every Bengals fan’s favorite time of year: the week that the Bengals place Tyler Eifert on season ending injured reserve.  It only took a little over 4 weeks this year, almost a record time.  Fun fact, I bought an Eifert jersey prior to the 2014 season.  He didn’t even make it through the first game that year. Since I purchased the jersey he’ll have played in 24 out of a possible 64 games for the Bengals (including the remainder of the 2017 season).  Many people are saying he’s fallen victim to the infamous Whitty Jersey Curse.  Did I contribute to his inability to stay healthy by purchasing his jersey? (Maybe.). Is it just a coincidence? (Probably.)  Should I grow up and be an adult and stop wearing sports jerseys in general? (Never.)  There’s a pretty good chance that we’ve seen him play his last game as a Bengal.  As an Eifert fan, that’s tough to swallow, but it’s hard to justify keeping a guy around when he’s on the field for less than half of the team’s games.  So instead, fans have to come to terms and do the only thing that’s reasonable: focus on other peoples’ problems to distract us from our own.  Here’s Wake Up With Whitty. Continue reading

Wake Up With Whitty – 10/7/2017

Hello and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. It’s October and the NHL season is finally here. The Blue Jackets looked sharp in their season-opening 5-0 victory over the Islanders.  As an unbiased observer (fan) I honestly cannot envision a scenario where the Jackets don’t go 82-0 (Editor’s Note: 81-1-0) and then sweep their way to a Stanley Cup championship. I know it was only one game, but I’ve seen enough to say that I can’t see anyone beating this team (Editor’s Note: Again.).  It was also great seeing the Penguins on the wrong side of a 10-1 ass kicking.  I don’t usually care for the Blackhawks, but anyone that embarrasses the Pens like that is okay in my book.  Let’s just hope they got it all out of their systems for tonight.
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Wake Up With Whitty – 9/30/2017

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. A lot is going on in the sports world right now. The college basketball world has been rocked by scandal, which hits particularly hard if you happen to be a Louisville fan. We’re just a day away from October, which is a huge month for sports. College football teams start to get into the bulk of their conference schedules, MLB playoffs get underway, and the NHL and NBA seasons start up (Wake me up when September ends, am I right?). So go ahead and settle in with your caffeinated beverage of choice. Maybe it’s coffee. Maybe it’s tea. Maybe it’s an energy drink. Maybe it’s something really cool that I don’t even know about. I’m accepting of all ways of life here, unlike one of my coffee-drinking elitist fellow bloggers. Unless you’re one of those people that just wake up naturally energized and don’t need caffeine to get through life. That’s weird. Get out of here with that shit.

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Wake Up With Whitty – 9/16/2017

Oh, hello there. I didn’t see you come in. I was too busy reading last week’s Wake Up With Whitty. Look at me. So young and innocent. So vibrant and happy. So optimistic and full of enthusiasm. So ignorant and naive. A lot has happened since we last met. The Buckeyes were beaten by the Sooners. Baker Mayfield planted an Oklahoma flag right through my heart. The Bengals lost. Twice. People are calling for quarterback changes on both teams. The Reds were officially eliminated from playoff contention (we knew that was coming months ago, but it still stings when it becomes official). Now I sit here, dejected. Jaded. My spirit broken. I hate sports. Here’s Wake Up With Whitty:

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Wake Up With Whitty – 9/9/2017

Welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. There’s a lot to be excited about this weekend with some big college football matchups, including No. 2 Ohio State against No. 5 Oklahoma, which has huge playoff implications. The NFL season is finally underway as well, and if football isn’t your thing, the MLB playoff races are heating up as that season enters the home stretch. There’s a little something for everyone this weekend, which is why this is hands down the best time of the year for sports fans. So while you’re waiting for that chili to finish cooking before your favorite team kicks off this weekend, check out this week’s Wake Up With Whitty and let me know what you think.

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Wake Up With Whitty – 9/2/2017

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. College football is officially here, as we have a full slate of games ahead of us today. Among those games is possibly one of the most anticipated season openers ever, #1 Alabama vs #3 Florida State. This very well could be a preview of one of our College Football Playoff matchups. Several other teams kicked off their seasons earlier this week, including the Ohio State Buckeyes (check out my recap here) and the Cincinnati Bearcats, who both opened the season with wins on Thursday night. If you’re looking to kill some time between now and that next big game, then check out this edition of Wake Up With Whitty and let me know what you think.
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#2 Ohio State – 49, Indiana – 21

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It was a tale of two halves in Bloomington tonight, as the Buckeyes pulled out a 49-21 victory.  Things started out promising as Ohio State moved down the field relatively quickly before stalling out inside the 10 yard line and settling for the field goal.  Indiana then took it straight down the field and took the lead on a Richard Lagow to Ian Thomas pass.  The teams then traded punts over the next several drives before the Buckeyes brought it back within 1 with another field goal.  Lagow found Simmie Cobbs for a touchdown on the ensuing Indiana drive and OSU capped of the first half scoring with an Antonio Williams touchdown.

Indiana was moving the ball pretty handily during the first half, and the Buckeyes were unable to make adjustments thanks to the Hoosiers’ fast pace.  Lagow finished the game with 410 passing yards and 3 touchdowns.  He looked particularly sharp in the first half, getting the ball out quickly and not allowing the Buckeye defense to get much pressure on him.  Cobbs looked very impressive at receiver for IU, including some spectacular one-handed grabs.  It’s safe to say that Cobbs will be playing on Sundays in the near future.

Things took a dramatic turn in the second half as Ohio State showed why they’re the #2 ranked team in the country.  The Buckeyes scored on 5 of their 7 second half possessions, and should have had a 6th if not for a dropped pass in the end zone by Parris Campbell.  Campbell more than made up for it by scampering to a 74-yard score on a slant from Barrett later in the half.  Barrett shared the wealth, hitting 3 different receivers for touchdowns in the second half, while running for one himself as well.  

By contrast, the Hoosiers only managed one second half score, and had 4 three-and-outs against the the Buckeyes defense.  Ohio State’s second half adjustments worked wonders.  The secondary switched up coverages, preventing Lagow from picking them apart like he did in the first half and allowing the front 4 to get some pressure on the quarterback.  Ohio State ended the game with 5 sacks, including two by Tyquan Lewis and one by Nick Bosa. 

Probably the most impressive performance of the night was by Buckeyes’ true freshman running back JK Dobbins.  Thrusted into the starting position due to a lingering hamstring injury for Mike Weber, Dobbins only managed to set an OSU record for most rushing yards by a true freshman running back in his debut.  Dobbins finished with 181 yards on 29 carries.  He failed to reach the end zone as his potential scoring opportunities were sniped by Antonio Williams, but he showed exactly why Buckeyes fans need to be excited about this kid’s future.  He may not have stolen the starting job from Weber just yet, but it’s clear that Ohio State will have to make him a significant part of the offense going forward.  

The Buckeyes now have 9 days to prepare for a visit from the Oklahoma Sooners.  Don’t expect a blowout like last year’s matchup in Norman.  Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield will be looking to exact some revenge and first year head coach Lincoln Riley will be looking for his first big statement win.  This game may very well have playoff implications, so expect a battle in Ohio State’s home opener.

Countdown to Kickoff: 1 Day

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1. Ohio State has spent more time atop the AP poll than any other team in college football history. The Buckeyes have found themselves at number 1 a total of 105 times. Their 871 weeks in the top 25 also ranks first among all schools. This year they start out ranked #2, behind Alabama, but there’s a strong possibility that the Buckeyes spend some at the #1 spot this year. Of course it doesn’t really matter where you start, it’s all about where you finish. Urban Meyer has the Bucks ready to go and, barring any major setbacks, the Buckeyes should return to the College Football Playoff for a chance to redeem themselves after last season’s abysmal semi-finals performance. Ohio State has the talent and the coaching staff to run the table this year, but they’re going to need be more consistent in all facets of the game. Of course you can’t go 14-0 without first going 1-0, and we’re just a day away from seeing if the Buckeyes will start the season unblemished. It’s bound to be an exciting season, and I fully expect to see the Buckeyes hoist the National Championship trophy in January.

Countdown to Kickoff: 2 Days

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2. There have many great Buckeyes to wear the number 2, particularly in recent years. The one that stands out to me the most is Mike Doss. The hard-hitting safety ranks 11th in school history for career tackles at Ohio State, and is first all time for career tackles by a defensive back. The three-time All American helped lead the Buckeyes to a national title during the 2002 season, a season in which he was named Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year. Doss also added 8 career interceptions, which is no small feat for a strong safety whose primary role was run support. Doss was a special talent and is probably my next favorite defensive Buckeye ever after AJ Hawk. There were many OSU greats to wear #2, but Doss was #1 in my eyes.

Wake Up With Whitty – 8/26/2017

Hello and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty, where I recap some of the happenings from the past week. As we pointed out in the most recent episode of the Nati Boys podcast, it’s officially fall now that you can find pumpkin spice everything at your local grocery store. Football is also officially here, as a handful of college football teams kick off their seasons today. While there aren’t many matchups of particular note, I’m just happy to finally watch a football game that actually counts. If you’re as excited as I am then sip on your pumpkin spice latte, kick back and enjoy the most recent edition Wake Up With Whitty.

Nobody’s Perfect

The Dodger’s Rich Hill pitched one hell of a game Wednesday night. Hill was perfect through 8 frames, which is the closest we’ve been to a perfect game in a long time. We haven’t seen a perfect game in over 5 years, and Rich Hill was well on his way. Unfortunately for Hill, the 9th inning started off with a throwing error by Logan Forsythe. Perfect game gone.

Luckily for Hill, the no-hitter was still in tact.  He recovered and retired the next three batters, competing the full 9 innings of no-hit baseball.  There was just one problem.  His team failed to score a single run in those 9 innings, and the game went into extra innings.  After a quick 3 up and 3 down by the Dodgers, Hill trotted out to see if he could accomplish the extremely rare extra inning no-hitter.  After getting a first pitch strike, Hill fell behind Pirates’ second baseman Josh Harrison, 2-1.  On the next pitch, Harrison sent the ball over the left field wall.  No-hitter gone.  Shutout gone.  Game over.

Hill did not have of the good fortune of throwing the 24th perfect game in MLB history.  He did not manage to complete the 297th no-hitter in MLB history.  But he did pull off a feat that no other pitcher in MLB history has accomplished.  Hill is the only player to ever lose a no-hitter on a walk-off home run.  Lucky him.

Many people felt bad for Hill for the way things ended up for him on Wednesday night, especially due to his lack of run support.  Personally, I think he has nobody to blame but himself.  As a National League pitcher, Hill had plenty of opportunities to generate some offense himself, but instead he turned in a dismal 0-4 performance at the plate.  In his first at bat, he failed to move a runner over on a sacrifice bunt.  He then lined out with the bases loaded and again with a man on second.  Seems to me like he had plenty of opportunity to win it himself.   I guess that’s what you get for expecting someone else to do your work for you.

Celtics/Cavs Swap In Jeopardy?

The blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston and Isiah Thomas to Cleveland could be in jeopardy now, as the Cavs have expressed concern over Thomas’s injured hip.  The Cavs staff did not like what they saw during IT’s physical on Friday, and now the status of the trade is uncertain.  The Cavs would have the right to veto the deal based on a failed physical, meaning Kyrie could be heading back to Cleveland.  I have to imagine Irving’s feeling a lot like Michael Corleone right now: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

My hunch is that Lebron had something to do with this. He probably got word of the Isiah Thomas tweets bashing him from 2010 that some fans dug up after the trade was announced. Lebron’s poor ego probably couldn’t handle sharing a locker room with someone who openly bashed him, even if it was over 7 years ago. He probably told Gilbert to stop this thing from happening by any means necessary.

Whatever ends up happening with all of this, I just hope the jersey burning is over, because that really gets King James triggered. In all fairness, I do agree with him. Burning a player’s jersey is one of the dumbest things you can do, especially if that player was traded instead of leaving on their own volition. Unless maybe that player was a douchey former team captain that tried to fight the team’s goalie in his first game back in his former city. Then by all means, burn his jersey and every memory you ever had of the prick, hypothetically speaking.

Parting Thoughts

Thank you for joining me for another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. As always, be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you thought. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and check out the Nati Boys podcast on iTunes. If you dropped the $100 on tonight’s Mayweather/McGregor match, I hope you get your money’s worth. Maybe we’ll even see Conor shock the world. My money’s on Floyd though. See you all next weekend!