My Friday Five: On Wassabi Merch, ESPN Layoffs & ‘Bates Motel’

1. Still Celebrating

A few weeks later and, yes, I’m still celebrating UNC Basketball’s National Championship! I’ve spent more than $100 on championship gear but I don’t care. I’m going to enjoy this one like I did in ’05 and ’09. In fact, I already have three National Championship shirts and I’m getting two more that have to do with Carolina Basketball. Both are from a company called Thrill City. The company used to have a store on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill before shutting down a couple years ago. The company’s founder, Ryan Cocca, brought it back with some sweet designs during the season. That included one celebrating Luke Maye’s incredible last-second shot against Kentucky and Coach Roy Williams’ third National Title. Click the links to check them out. Pretty freaking awesome, huh?

While you’re at, check out this season highlight video made by UNC Athletics. It will assuredly give you chills!

2. Trubisky Goes No. 2 Overall

Mitch Trubisky is a Chicago Bear! The former UNC quarterback went No. 2 overall to the Bears in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. Here’s a crazy stat for ya, courtesy of one of my Twitter pals Taylor Vippolis: this is the first time since 1978 that a team – in this case, Carolina – has won the NCAA Basketball Championship and had a top five NFL Draft pick.

I had the pleasure of meeting Trubisky at a Carolina Football game last season. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him in the future!

3. ESPN Layoffs

I once had a dream of working at ESPN. Not really anymore. I was pretty shocked to learn of the layoffs that took place at the sports broadcasting network this week. The layoffs were wide ranging, from reporters and statisticians to on-air personalities. Names such as Andy Katz, Len Elmore and Ed Werder – and that’s just a few. It’s a sign of a shift in sports broadcasting and journalism as a whole, unfortunately. As a writer myself, I can say it’s a truly sad state of affairs for the industry. Look no further than this brilliant essay by former Sports Illustrated writer, Jeff Pearlman.

Due to these layoffs, I’ve decided I will no longer watch ESPN unless there is a game involving one of my teams.

4. The Final Check-Out

Bates Motel took its final bow on Monday night after five seasons. I’ve been a huge fan of the Psycho prequel and can’t believe it’s done. The series ended in the only way it could (I won’t say for the sake of spoiling it) but it was pretty darn good. Here’s to the cast and crew of Bates Motel. Thank you for five incredible seasons!

5. Wassabi Merch on the Way?

Could Wassabi Productions merch be on the way? It’s sure looking like it. Alex Burriss (aka Alex Wassabi) pretty much confirmed this in one of his recent videos. Needless to say, I’m stoked about it! Alex is an old high school classmate of mine and I’ve been a Wassabian (as they call it) for several years. I remember watching Wassabi videos back when the channel first began. Owning a piece of Wassabi merch would be totally cool. Stay tuned!

Thanks for Reading

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