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The Sportatorium Is Back! (What’s A Sportatorium?)

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Richie Whitt can be heard weekdays from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on 105.3 The Fan. (credit: KRLD-FM)

I know.

As a snotty-nosed sports punk who watched Bob Hayes catch bombs at the Cotton Bowl in the ‘60s, and a wide-eyed kid who witnessed Frank Howard’s cherry-poppin’ homer at Arlington Stadium in 1972, I know your pain. Dealing with the epic World Series collapse of the Rangers and the shellacking of the Cowboys in Philly last weekend is akin to the intestinal aftermath of a night spent gorging on jalapeños stuffed with Tabasco-drenched Red Hots and washing them down with Goldschlager and flaming Dr Peppers. It burns. It festers. It dictates your general disposition.

Let’s face it, being a loser is hard. In consolation and contrast, I come today bearing the gift of a soft opening.

After 18 years at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and six more at the Dallas Observer, today I’m giddy to announce I’ve found a new writing home here at CBS. Come in. Have a seat. Prop up your feet. Take a load off. You’ll love the shiny, new digs that CBS is affording me. And, for better or worse, you’ll recognize the guts of the joint – my weekly columns and almost daily esoteric blog ramblings.

Yep, as promised, it’s the Sportatorium, reincarnated and relocated to a plush new neighborhood.

On the menu, please note the featured specials. I’ll write one column a week on a variety of Dallas-centric topics (from the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks, Stars and broadening out to NASCAR), my annual list of the Metroplex’s most powerful sports personalities and… who knows? Perhaps even a stream-of-consciousness rant that I’ll find therapeutic and you’ll find titillating. Or vice-versa. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I’ll post a blog ranging from breaking news, Top 10 lists looking at a Cowboys game or the area’s hottest TV women, radio/TV ratings, concert reviews and a weekly wrap-up of sports and lifestyle observations which I’ve dubbed “Whitt’s End.”

Think of it as a buffet. I’ll serve up a little of everything. Try it all. Devour what you like. And I promise, no sacred cows. Or Cowboys.

To those who didn’t find my blog during its three and a half year run at the Dallas Observer, it’s called the Sportatorium as a nod to the legendary Dallas barn that stood as an octagon eyesore at the corner of South Industrial and Cadiz from 1935 to 2003. The classic ol’ venue — it oozed a mystique and character that Dallas sorely misses today — seated only 4,000, but boasted the best in sports ‘n’ sounds, hosting everyone from Elvis Presley to Fritz Von Erich to a bunch of homeless who finally torched it to the ground with a wild fire on a cold night. The arena was kinda like me: Notoriously uncomfortable, wholly unsanitary and, yet, somehow, optimistically intriguing. The Sportatorium building perished — its burial ground a vacant lot across from a Buy Rite gas station — but in here, its legacy can trudge forth.

Virtually every day of my life since 1983 I’ve worked at a newspaper. But as UTA’s Shorthorn, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Observer struggle to survive in a world destined to be void of newsprint by constantly downsizing, I’m fortunate to work for a company that actually sees possibility and positivity via growth and expansion. For my spoken word, it’s Monday through Friday, 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on 105.3 The Fan as part of RAGE — the Richie And Greggo Extravaganza. For my written word, you’ve come to the right place.

You have my word regarding all my words. I’ll strive to be informative, entertaining and addicting.

Some will appreciate me as a 25-year veteran sportswriter who’s covered Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cups, Olympics, World Cups, Final Fours, Cotton Bowls, Wimbledons and even a Lingerie Football League game or two. Others will desecrate me as a 47-year-old trying to act 27 with backwards cap, earring and irrationally late nights on the town. Even with a new web address, I understand what comes with the territory. And since we’re being honest right up front, I don’t care if you love me or loathe me — I come equipped with thick skin and a protective cup — as long as you come back tomorrow. Deal?

As for our teams, we need a pitching ace and consistent playmaking receiver and the end of a lockout and…

Yeah, I know.

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