Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Utah Claims the South, Breaking Down the Last Week of Conference Play

Britain covey

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden lead off with Utah taking Oregon out of the college football playoff discussion, and then recap the rest of the week 12 action in the Pac-12, including Dorian Thompson Robinson’s electric performance against USC, and Washington’s head-scratching loss to Colorado in which they outgained the Buffaloes 2:1. The guys discuss the report that Arizona State is keeping Herm Edwards as their head coach, and talk about whether Chip Kelly has done enough to earn favor in the eyes of UCLA fans. Finally, a preview of the last week of conference play, with predictions. 

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Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

UnafraidShow Fearless Friday Picks: 11/26/2021

Welcome to the UnafraidShow.com 2021 Fearless Friday Picks contest between George Wrigshter and Ralph Amsden.

Every week, George and Ralph will make five picks, either against the spread or the total, for the upcoming sports weekend. Each participant will start with $1000, and must risk a minimum of $20 on each pick, but can up each selection to a maximum of $100. Each winning pick pays 1:1, and we’ll keep the total throughout the season.

George Wrighster

Current total: $820

Overall record: 30-34-1 (3-2 last week, +$75)

This week’s picks:

Oregon State at Oregon (-7) (risking $75)

BYU (+7) at USC (risking $75)

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State (-4.5) (risking $75)

Penn State at Michigan State (+1.5) (risking $75)

Notre Dame (-20.5) at Stanford (risking $75)

Ralph Amsden

Current total: $1415

Overall record: 33-31-1 (3-2 last week, +$100)

This week’s picks:

BYU (-7) at USC (risking $100)

Ohio State at Michigan (+8.5) (risking $50)

Florida State (+3) at Florida (risking $50)

Arizona at Arizona State OVER 52.5 (risking $100)

Pittsburgh at Syracuse OVER 59 (risking $50)

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

Thanksgiving: Things I’m Thankful For In Sports

Happy Thanksgiving! Before we all sit down to enjoy a great meal, I wanted to take a few moments to discuss what I’m thankful for in the world of sports.

Things I’m Thankful For In Sports

– The Giants fired Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator. I’m happy that Garrett will not be calling plays for a bottom-10 offense.

– The Giants firing Dave Gettleman. (Calling my shot.)

– The Giants moving on from Daniel Jones. (Calling my shot. Sorry kid. It’s not entirely your fault, but you’re still making rookie mistakes in Year 3 as the starter.)

– The Knicks are relevant again.

– March Madness, the best tournament in sports. Specifically, the first two days of the tournament are on Mount Rushmore for Best Days in Sports.

– The DH. If you like when pitchers go up to bat and strike out on three pitches, then you need to get your head checked.

– The Chargers powder blue jerseys.

– Eli Manning and the New York Giants defeated the Patriots in two Super Bowls.

– Jon Rothstein’s Twitter Account.

– Madison Square Garden, the best arena in the world.

NBA Christmas Day Unders.

– Football. That’s self-explanatory.

– Gambling (even though I lose most of my bets).

– Playoff games at Yankee Stadium.

– NFL Redzone.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

UnafraidShow Fearless Friday Picks: 11/19/2021

Welcome to the UnafraidShow.com 2021 Fearless Friday Picks contest between George Wrigshter and Ralph Amsden.

Every week, George and Ralph will make five picks, either against the spread or the total, for the upcoming sports weekend. Each participant will start with $1000, and must risk a minimum of $20 on each pick, but can up each selection to a maximum of $100. Each winning pick pays 1:1, and we’ll keep the total throughout the season.

George Wrighster

Current total: $745

Overall record: 27-32-1 (3-1-1 last week, +$150)

This week’s picks:

USC vs UCLA (-3) (risking $75)

Utah vs Oregon (+3) (risking $75)

Ohio State vs Michigan State (+19.5) (risking $75)

Kansas State vs Baylor (+2.5) (risking $75)

Wisconsin vs Nebraska (+10) (risking $75)

Ralph Amsden

Current total: $1315

Overall record: 30-29-1 (2-3 last week, -$50)

This week’s picks:

Utah State (-5.5) vs Wyoming (risking $100)

Wake Forest at Clemson OVER 56.5 (risking $100)

Washington at Colorado OVER 43.5 (risking $100)

USC vs UCLA (-3) (risking $100)

Stanford vs Cal (-2.5) (risking $100)

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

2021-2022 NBA Week 5: Fair Reaction Or Overreaction?

Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors / NBA

Welcome to the second edition of “Fair Reaction or Overreaction.” We’re about five weeks through the NBA season, and some teams are starting to rise to the top. For every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and that reaction is known as the Houston Rockets.

Sorry, Houston. Let’s get into the article.

Are these fair reactions or overreactions?

Fair Reaction: The Wizards Are A Playoff Team

I have a working theory called “The Island of Misfit Toys That Come Together.” There’s value in a group of unwanted or undervalued NBA players coming together to play basketball. They remind me of last year’s Knicks. For the first time in half a decade, the Wizards have a roster full of legitimate NBA players. Bradley Beal finally has help.

Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are playing like guys who don’t have the pressure of playing for LeBron. Spencer Dinwiddie has been a nice addition, averaging just under 16 points. The Wizards stand atop the Eastern Conference at 10-4, and Bradley Beal has been average compared to his standards (23 PPG this year). I don’t think the Wizards are the best team in the East, but I’m convinced they could be a playoff team. Once they get Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant back, this team could be a darkhorse top 6 team.

Overreaction: The Lakers Are Not A Top 4 Team

Stop this nonsense. The Lakers are only 8-8 and yet you would think hell froze over with the hot takes being thrown around by fans and the media. “Russell Westbrook sucks,” “Anthony Davis will get hurt,” and “Frank Vogel doesn’t know how to coach” are some of the insults being thrown around in La La Land. Are some of those true? The AD one is a stone-cold lock. Westbrook doesn’t suck, but he’s flawed. Vogel can coach, but he needs one man.

LeBron James.

If there’s anything we know about the King, it’s that he can right the ship when he’s healthy. Health is the Lakers’ biggest advisory. If LeBron and AD are healthy, the Lakers are at worst the fourth-best team in the best.

Fair Reaction: The Warriors Are The Best Team In The NBA

After destroying the Nets, 117-99, the Golden State Warriors are the best team in the NBA. At 12-2, this team is ahead of schedule. The plan was to hover around .500 until Klay Thompson comes back, and then try to sneak into the top 4. Expectations have changed as the Warriors should have title aspirations

Steph Curry doesn’t miss shots anymore. He’s averaging 28.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 6.6 APG on 45/40/95 shooting splits. Jordan Poole has been a revelation, averaging 17.1 ppg. The most underrated part about the Warriors is the ability to come out of halftime and blitz teams. They are the best offensive team in the third quarter with a +13.6 scoring margin. That’s a testament to Steve Kerr and his ability to adjust.

If Klay can be 75% of the player he once was, the Warriors should cruise to the Western Conference Finals.

What are your reactions towards the NBA season so far? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.com

11/17/21 Wrighster or Wrong: College Football Playoffs, Staples Center Rebrand, Top 10 Female Singers, Rittenhouse Trial

Wrighster 11-17

On this episode of WRIGHSTER OR WRONG, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get into the latest College Football Playoff Rankings, and ask why the committee continues to rank Michigan State above Michigan. The Staples Center is no more, what do the guys think of Cryptocurrency exchange platform being the Lakers primary sponsor? Barstool Sports tweeted out a satirical list of the Top 10 Female Singers of all time, and the internet went crazy, so George and Ralph revealed their actual Top 10. Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial has gone to the jury, and the guys discuss why America is so invested in the outcome. Finally, Laura Ingraham’s “Who’s on First” moment, and the rest of the Best of Social Media.  

Click any of the following links to listen to Wrighster or Wrong on your preferred Podcast platform

iHeart // Apple Podcasts // Spotify // Stitcher // Radio Public // Google Podcasts

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast feat. Jon Wilner: Jimmy Lake Fired, Player of the Year Discussion, Week 11 Recap, Week 12 Preview

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles, Jon Wilner joins George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden to talk about a wild week in Pac-12 football that saw Washington Head Coach Jimmy Lake fired, and the Cal/USC game rescheduled to December 4th. The Apostles work through last week’s games, and the various Pac-12 storylines, before debating who’s in the running for Coach and Player of the Year Honors. Finally, Wrighster, Amsden and Wilner give their picks for the upcoming week of games, including matchups between division-leading Utah and Oregon, and current runner ups Oregon State and Arizona State.

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

4 Up and 4 Down: Pac-12 Week 12

Each week during the NFL season, UnafraidShow.com will take you through the four Pac-12 teams/players that are trending up, as well as the ones that are headed for a crash. Let’s get to it:

Make sure to check out this week’s Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, or just click play on the Spotify link below while you read the article below.

1) Oregon on Top

Every week, it seems that people expect Oregon to be knocked off by someone. “Their focus wanders, they’re not consistently sharp, they’ve been decimated by injuries. Surely this will be the game that they finally get knocked out of Playoff contention!” That conversation will surely continue this weekend as the Ducks head to Utah. But until someone beats them, I’m not gonna bet against them. Against Washington State, Oregon looked the part and would’ve likely run away with this game if not for a bizarre Anthony Brown fumble at the goal-line that couldn’t be reversed because of the dismal shape of the ESPN broadcast. That said, this Utah game is gonna be huge. Prime time on ABC, on the road against their toughest opponent since Ohio State in Week 2. The Ducks have a big chance to convert a lot of doubters and until the game is over and they lost, they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt.

2) Utah Survives

Now this week is just as big for Utah. If they do manage to knock off Oregon, then the possibility of a 9-3 finish to the year is on the table. Given where they were heading into Pac-12 play, that’s an astounding accomplishment. With what’s happened off the field in Salt Lake City the last 18 months, Kyle Whittingham deserves a ton of credit for keeping this program together the way he has. It just kills me that the Charlie Brewer experiment flamed out in such spectacular fashion that it really derailed what could’ve been a special season. This Utes offense is special and doesn’t need Cam Rising to be extraordinary to perform at a high level. Whether their defense can slow Oregon down is another story.

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3) ASU Stays Alive

Arizona State would need a lot of help to backdoor into the Pac-12 Championship Game but I don’t think the Utes will oblige them. In spite of that, an 8-4 or even 9-3 finish to the year looks like it could be in the cards for the Sun Devils. That’s not only good enough for Herm Edwards to hang on and weather the storm of this NCAA Investigation but would be one of Sparky’s best seasons since 2014. Last week’s win over Washington showed some resilience that this team hasn’t displayed their week 5 win over UCLA. The Sun Devils will get the chance to match Oregon State’s run game in Corvallis this weekend in what should be a really fun matchup. The only question left with this team is what on earth happened to Jayden Daniels?  

4) Beavs Are Bowling

Congrats to Jonathan Smith and the Beavers. The Oregon State fanbase has been waiting on this return on investment since they brought Smith back to Corvallis in 2018. They almost had the chance in 2019 but gave up a last second touchdown to Washington State and finished the year 5-7. This year, Stanford gave them an assist by being an objectively garbage football team but you can’t just show up and expect to win. Chance Nolan had one of his most efficient games in recent weeks, the running back committee returned and everybody ate and while I can’t judge Trent Bray off this week the defense did show some improvement. The big test is going to come against the Sun Devils this weekend. Can OSU get to seven wins? 

Heating Up

Has Oregon gone full heel turn into a modern triple option team? The stats from last week would suggest it. As a team the Ducks ran for 306 yards. Anthony Brown ran for 123 yards and 1 touchdown. Travis Dye went for 88 yards and caught another 25. Byron Cardwell had 98 yards and 2 scores averaging over 10 yards a carry. Some of that may be game script and strategy against the two Washington schools. It’s also worth noting the weather in Seattle two weeks ago was so bad it would be malpractice to not pound the rock. But I kind of like what the Ducks are doing. I’d be surprised if they didn’t follow a similar script against Utah this Saturday. 

1) Break From Lake

Jimmy Lake, we hardly knew ya. After just a season and a half, Washington Athletic Director Jen Cohen announced the program was parting ways with Lake. It’s very clear what the boosters and powers that be in Seattle think about this football program and what it can be. You don’t make a move like this unless your expectations are more in line with what the Chris Petersen years gave you. To be clear, I think Washington can achieve that with some degree of regularity. But they have to absolutely ace the next hire. Parting with Lake now saves them the negative recruiting they’d be hit with, potential press gaffes that he’d no doubt walk into over the next couple of weeks and maintains a locker room that did not seem to absorb his message. Who do they go for next? That’s a bit lower down.

2) Buffs…Not Back

Oh Buffs, we thought you had it. That first half at the Rose Bowl looked like the return of Colorado. Shoot, it kind of looked like it may be the end of Chip Kelly. But then the Bruins came out in the second half and absolutely pasted the Buffaloes to such a degree that a 10 point lead became a 24 point deficit in about a quarter and a half. If anything, it means that changes will be made at CU. A win here or a 5-7 end to the season may have been enough for Karl Dorrell to think turnover wasn’t required. But I think a loss like this spells the end of the Darren Chiaverini era as Colorado’s offensive coordinator. There’s some talent on this team but it’s clear the program’s problems go far beyond its’ roster construction. It doesn’t help that Mel Tucker left the way he did, especially considering his success and long term extension in East Lansing. What could’ve been…

3) Stanford still in Shambles

Goodness gracious is Stanford football in some serious trouble. Tanner McKee should win the Heisman on the basis of how bad this team looks without him. David Shaw went with Ari Patu, a true freshman who hadn’t played a competitive game since 2019, to start against Oregon State and it went as expected. He ended up getting hurt and Air Force transfer Isaiah Sanders came in with similar results. Mike Bloomgren isn’t walking through that door. That much is clear. But man, it has to be better. Whether or not Shaw sees this as a slow moving train crash or a one year blip on the radar remains to be seen. But to the outside observer, there has been a clear and steady decline since Bloomgren left. I don’t think Shaw has lost his touch, but I do think inertia has taken over on that staff and new blood is needed. You just can’t justify what we’ve seen them put on the field the last few weeks. 

4) Cal’s Calamities

Boy should the Cal athletic department have egg on their face this week. Turns out, 31 of the 47 CoVid positive cases within the football program were symptomatic. The Doctor who went on CBS Bay Area to blast the Cal and the city of Berkeley walked back her criticism for basically speaking with no knowledge on the situation. Justin Wilcox is going to skate on this because he’s a pretty respected guy with Pac-12 media folks and did not graduate from the Jimmy Lake school of Public Relations. But should he? Absolutely not. The entire athletic department and football staff should be called to task for their handling of the situation and for their willful misinformation laundered out to the press as if this was a City of Berkeley issue. No other school managed to have this kind of outbreak. Anywhere. Not in the SEC, not in the Big Ten and not in the Pac-12. For some weird reason, winning just hasn’t seemed to matter to some coaches in the conference if it means they have to give in to being wrong. Whether that’s Rolovich, Lake with the Jon Donovan hire, Chip Kelly defending Jerry Azzinaro or now Justin Wilcox letting a team CoVid outbreak get so bad on a 99.5% vaccinated team it triggers an OSHA intervention, the Pac-12 is in some bad shape. To quote Taylor Twellman, “WHAT ARE WE DOING!?!”

Cooling Off

I sympathize with Jen Cohen. Jimmy Lake was the obvious hire at the time and was viewed by many, myself included, as a slam dunk that would keep the Huskies competitive in the Pac-12 North for years to come. But now the coaching L’s are starting to add up. Cohen has already had to fire her initial women’s basketball coaching hire in Jody Wynn. She’s had to can Jimmy Lake and Mike Hopkins seat might as well be a five alarm fire at this point. The most successful coaching hires in Seattle, from Keegan Cook to Heather Tarr to Jamie Clark, were all inherited. I like Utah State’s Blake Anderson. I like Nevada’s Jay Norvell. Maybe Chris Petersen convinces Kellen Moore to come to the college level. Whatever direction they go in, Jen Cohen needs this one to work. Her star rapidly ascended when she took over the Washington Athletic Department in 2016. But things have changed quite a bit as we prepare to head into 2022. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Shows Just Enough To Keep Us Guessing

Spider Man: No Way Home

So that Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer looks pretty awesome, huh.

It’s hard to put into words how much of grip No Way Home has on pop culture. It’s easily the most anticipated film of the year, and not since Avengers: Endgame have we seen a film dominate the conversation on the Internet to this extent. Between spoilers, leaks, predictions, you can’t go a few hours without another writer or publication posting an article about No Way Home.

The film’s first trailer smashed the record for the most viewed trailer in 24 hours with 355.5 million views. That record will be hard to beat, but the second trailer served more as a preview of what’s to come.

“We started getting visitors… from every universe.”

The big reveal for this trailer revolved around the return of previous villains from multiple movies in different universes. Doctor Octopus, Sandman, and the Green Goblin returned from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films while the Lizard and Electro arrived from Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man films. These five supervillains could form the Sinister Six, but that begs the question about the sixth and final member. Will there be a sixth villain?

*A working title.

More importantly, who is the true villain of No Way Home? Perhaps it’s Ned, who arrives from another universe as the Hobgoblin. Maybe, Kang, the Conquerer, shows up to wreak havoc on the timeline once again as he did in Loki. It’s crazy to say this, but could Doctor Strange be the “bad guy” since he’ll do anything to shut the door on the multiverse even if that means taking out Peter Parker?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Here’s what I do know. The trailer revealed just enough to satisfy the audience without giving away too much. Most of the villains appeared, but not every villain. The main idea of the plot is known, and yet there’s still so much on its way.

If No Way Home is a game of Texas Hold ’em, then we just saw the flop. The river, or the fifth and final card, is the end of the movie and how it sets up the future of the MCU. Every fan including myself is focused on the fourth card known as “the turn.” That’s the moment went Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield show up to give us our three Spider-MEN.

Look, it’s going to happen. Do not believe anything that Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield are saying. They are paid to deny this earth-shattering reveal. It’s going to be an awesome moment in the theaters that might rival the moment when Doctor Strange opened the portals to form the Avengers Army in Endgame.

For those still skeptical, the moment when Doctor Octopus pins Spider-Man to the wall and says, “You’re not Peter Parker” is a dead giveaway that Maguire and Garfield will appear at some point. He’s looking for “his” Peter. Marvel will make sure to pay off this moment. Would it have been cool to see the reunion in the trailer? Of course, but this special moment will fucking rule on the big screen.

I can’t wait for December 17. Say your prayer that no leaks or spoilers hit the Internet. I’m looking at you, critics.

Leave your predictions for Spider-Man: No Way Home in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

11/15/21 Wrighster or Wrong: NFL’s Best Teams All Have Bad Losses, CFB Coaching Carousel, Warriors Back on Top, Reign of Adele

Wrighster or Wrong

On this episode of WRIGHSTER OR WRONG, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden talk about why some of the best teams in the NFL are losing to some of the worst teams in the NFL, and rank which bad losses they think should cause fan bases the biggest concern. The college football coaching carousel rages on with the resignation of Butch Davis and firing of Jimmy Lake- George and Ralph get into which coaches might be the best fit for open jobs. The Golden State Warriors are back, and they’re not even full strength yet. Is there anyone in the NBA that can challenge them once they get Klay Thompson back? In the music world, Adele returns as the undisputed champ of the charts- what do the guys think of her dominance over the industry? Finally, in best of social media, Jim Harbaugh’s pants catch fire, Fergie’s national anthem becomes a literary treasure, and Steph Curry does something no one should ever do.  

Click any of the following links to listen to Wrighster or Wrong on your preferred Podcast platform

iHeart // Apple Podcasts // Spotify // Stitcher // Radio Public // Google Podcasts

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.