*You just never know, do you? While with the Cowboys, Sam Hurd was one of the most affable, accessible and friendly athletes I ever encountered in 25 years covering sports in the Metroplex. Stunned beyond belief that he was arrested this week in Chicago trying to become a drug kingpin moving kilos of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week. Some of his clients just have to be NFL players, right?
*Props to Miles Austin for taking the blame for the incompletion last Sunday night in a key moment of the Cowboys’ loss to the Giants. I’ve stood in that exact spot on the field where Miles was and no way he lost that ball in the lights. Thursday at Valley Ranch he admitted he “should’ve reacted better” to Tony Romo’s pass.
*As quarterback of the Broncos this season, Tim Tebow has won games by leading his team to 18, 17, 17, 16 and 13 points. In two of those games his “magic” was aided by defensive touchdowns and in another he propelled his “all he does is win” myth with the help of a 59-yard field goal. Tony Romo, on the other hand, has lost games this season despite leading his team to 24, 30 and 34 points. It’s not character. It’s defense.
*I’m not saying the Tampa Buccaneers suck, I’m just saying they suuuuuuck. If the Cowboys don’t beat them they have no business going nowhere for the Holidays other than down the drain. Tampa lost last week to Jacksonville, 41-14. Same Jaguars team that last night lost to Atlanta, 41-14. Tampa has lost seven in a row and its defense has allowed 23+ points in each of those defeats. Of course, even if the Cowboys lose Saturday night they can still win the NFC East with wins over the Eagles on Christmas Eve and at the Giants on New Year’s Day.
*My favorite holidays: 1. Memorial Day (beginning of summer, NBA Playoffs); 2. St. Patrick’s Day (parade, partying); 3. Christmas (momentary, annual hope for this cold, cruel world); 4. Thanksgiving (family, football); 5. Halloween (women with an excuse to dress like sluts).
*I don’t believe it’s true and I wouldn’t bet $1 on it happening, but a source embedded in Texas’ football program says it’s a real possibility that football coach Mack Brown abruptly retires in the locker room after the Longhorns’ game against Cal in the Holiday Bowl Dec. 28. Just … passing it along.
*At Valley Ranch this year there have been verbal, almost physical locker-room skirmishes featuring Martellus Bennett vs. DallasCowboys.com’s Josh Ellis and, yesterday, Jay Ratliff vs. ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins. Back in the old days Charles Haley would merely throw rolls of tape at me in that locker room.
*This morning ESPN showed detailed, numerous highlights of the Miami Heat’s red-black scrimmage. Ah, now I remember why I despise them so. Most delicious event of the holidays will be Dwyane Wade and LeBron James watching the Mavs raise the championship banner to the roof of the AAC on Christmas.
*Filmed a TV commercial for RAGE at Cowboys Stadium this week. Look for it to run on CBS 11 during NFL Playoff games. I’m the one embracing Greggo.
*Rest In Peace, Chris Hitchens. One the most rational minds of our time is gone.
*To celebrate the franchise’s 40th season in Texas, the Rangers will next season wear a Texas-shaped patch and will on four occasions wear throwback uniforms including the classic powder-blue road outfit of the late ‘70s that scarred my childhood.
*Getting old isn’t a lot of fun. Most things in your life diminish with age, including your Christmas wish list. While I once had every page in the Sears Christmas catalog dog-eared and circled, these days I just want health and happiness for friends and family.
*I think the Green Bay Packers will indeed run the table and finish 16-0. And I’m sure I’ll be non-plussed by it all. We’ve seen the Patriots go 16-0 and the Lions go 0-16 recently. The only meaningful achievement is the Super Bowl.
*Of this season’s 35 bowl games – which kick off Saturday afternoon with Temple vs. Wyoming in the Gildon New Mexico Bowl – I’m most interested in, um, none of them? The Alabama-LSU rematch is a yawn. I guess Oklahoma State-Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl is the most intriguing. This year there are bowls sponsored by Famous Idaho Potato, R+L Carriers, Beef ’O Brady’s, Advocare V100, Belk, Bridgepoint Education, Franklin American Mortgage, Hyundai, Chik-Fil-A, GoDaddy.com and TaxSlayer.com.
*Two things you should be watching on Christmas Eve after Cowboys-Eagles: It’s A Wonderful Life and, on Fox Sports Southwest, the 2-hour replay of Mavs-Heat Game 6. Enjoy!
*This isn’t an indictment but merely a fact: Sam Hurd co-founded a line of clothing with Cowboys’ tight end Martellus Bennett. The name of the company? Rockitdope.com
*In the final analysis, the Mavs traded Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Peja Stojakovic off the 2011 roster for Lamar Odom, Vince Carter, Delonte West and Brandan Wright on the 2012 team. Good deal? Not really, but also remember Dallas has salary-cap room and flexibility for if and when Dwight Howard and Deron Williams hit the free-agent market next summer.
*Guarantee somebody somewhere this Christmas will ask Santa for “a new Twitter.”
*Stop all the Tony Sparano and Norv Turner calls to be the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator before they start. Ain’t happening. Right, Jerry Jones? “I’m actually humored when I hear that he might be overloaded mentally being the coordinator as well as the head coach. That’s humorous. His biggest asset is his mental capacity and his ability to digest information and then act on it.”
*This weekend? Today RAGE is at the legendary Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth before I attend a Christmas party tonight. Saturday is Cowboys-Buccaneers official pre-game show at 4:30 on 105.3 The Fan. Sunday is, yep, yet another Christmas party. Then it’s off the radio, off this blog and off the grid for a couple weeks of vacation. Christmas with family and friends, then a beach getaway to Belize before returning to Earth on Monday, Jan. 2. Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and, of course, don’t be a stranger.