Andrew Whitworth retires
Not everyone can have a storybook ending to their career but that’s exactly what Andrew Whitworth got when he officially retired on Tuesday.
Good morning on a beautiful Wednesday and welcome to The Morning Column. Please subscribe if you haven’t done so. To avoid the email ending up in your spam folder, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts. You can also email me there as well. I would love to hear from you.
1. Not everyone can have a storybook ending to their career but that’s exactly what Andrew Whitworth got when he officially retired on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old left tackle of the Los Angeles Rams ended his 16-year NFL career by not only winning a Super Bowl but being named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. The above photo of Whitworth holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy with a jersey adorned with four patches – Rams, Captain, Super Bowl and Man of the Year– is how I’ll always remember him.
Whitworth was not only an inspiration to his teammates but his inspiration message after winning the Super Bowl last season spoke to anyone who has ever been written off in their life. I’ll never forget his poignant words during the Rams’ championship rally at the Coliseum following the team’s victory parade.
“Five years ago, I was told I was a little too old, and I was told that maybe my time was done,” he said. “I tell you this, for every single person standing out there that’s ever doubted anything you’ve ever done: Bet on yourself. Because five years later, I’m holding this trophy up, and I’m 40 years old. Don’t let anybody’s opinion of you ever become your reality. Bet on yourself!”
2. The first round of the NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. PT when Colorado State faces Michigan on CBS. By 11 a.m. PT March Madness will be in full swing with four games taking place simultaneously. That’s the perfect time to be in front of four TVs at the sports bar or the sportsbook (or four computers and devices at school or in the office.) This is also the time of the year where many around the country ask, “What channel is truTV on?” or “Do we have truTV?” or “What is truTV?” This is important for many in Southern California and South Florida as USC plays Miami on truTV on Friday at 12:10 p.m. PT in the first round of the tournament. If you have DirecTV, truTV is on 246 and on channel 242 if you have DISH.
3. I was recently reminded of this column I wrote about the Lakers 24 games into the NBA season. This is actually one of those rare moments I wish I wasn’t right.
I wrote: “The Lakers look destined to surpass the 2012-13 Lakers with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace as the most disappointing team in franchise history. At some point, we have to stop looking at the players who are out and just admit that the pieces (even when everyone is fully healthy) just don’t fit on this Lakers roster. The Clippers beat the Lakers on Friday even though the Lakers had LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony – five future hall of famers – and Malik Monk scoring 20 points off the bench.”
When I wrote that, I thought the Lakers were destined to be a 45-37 team and bounced in the first round like the 2012-13 squad. I never imagined they would be on their way to being a 37-45 team that would fail to even make the first round.
4. As bad as things have been this season for the Lakers, LeBron James is still battling Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo for the scoring championship and he will likely pass Karl Malone to be second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list during the Lakers’ current road trip, possibly even when the Lakers play the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 21. James would then be less than 1,459 points from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. There’s no doubt he will do it next season. The only question is will he do it in a Lakers uniform?
5. Baseball is back and while the pandemic is in the rearview mirror for some of us, many Dodgers fans might still be wary of going to be ballpark while others simply don’t live in Los Angeles. To accommodate their fans at home this season, the Dodgers have unveiled “Dodgers at Home,” a subscription program for $300 for the full year where fans will get exclusive videos, photos, and player content as well as a bonus gift box delivered to your home. I like the concept, especially for fans outside of Southern California unable to go to games regularly, but the price tag seems a bit high depending on what is in the bonus boxes subscribers will get four times per year.
6. This weekend is arguably the best weekend of the year to be in Las Vegas. Here’s what it looked like last year at Circa in Las Vegas. We’ll be doing The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio in Southern California and 98.5 The Fan in Las Vegas from Circa on Thursday and Friday. Stop by and say hello!
7. Here are some odds if you’re thinking about placing a wager today brought to you by Circa Sports.
8. Here’s the local pro sports schedule for today brought to you by Yaamava’.
5:00 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves – Spectrum SportsNet
7:30 p.m. Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Clippers – Bally Sports SoCal
9. Here are the “get in” price for a ticket on TickPick if you want to go to a game today.
Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Clippers – $8
10. On Tuesday’s The Arash Markazi Show, we talked to Ryen Russillo about the Lakers’ disastrous season, the future of the Clippers and the return of Tom Brady.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio in Southern California following The Rich Eisen Show and on 98.5 The Fan in Las Vegas following The Jim Rome Show. The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio has one of the strongest radio signals in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies” and 98.5 The Fan is the home of college football and the Los Angeles Chargers in Las Vegas. You can listen to The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio anywhere with your free TuneIn app or ask your smart speaker to “Play The Mightier 1090.” You can listen to 98.5 The Fan anywhere with your free Audacy app or ask your smart speaker to “Play The Fan Las Vegas.” You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and BLEAV.
And please click below to subscribe to The Morning Column at Substack. Please also consider supporting my colleagues at Substack (and former colleagues at ESPN and SI): Marc Stein, Henry Abbott, Chad Ford and Ethan Sherwood Strauss on the NBA, Molly Knight and Joe Posnanski on MLB, Ariel Helwani on MMA, Dan Rafael on boxing, Grant Wahl and Leander Schaerlaeckens on soccer and Chris Peters on the NHL.