Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:
*R.I.P, Coach Joe. I attended Joe Avezzano’s going-away party in February. As he departed to coach American football in Milan, Italy, thought it was “see ya later”, not “goodbye forever.” Having worked with Avezzano on Cowboys Post-Game Shows on 105.3 The Fan the last three years, I can tell you he was as full of life as anyone I ever met. Energetic. Passionate. And yes, at times, profanity-laced angry. He was a great man and a great special teams coach with three Super Bowl rings as a Cowboy. At the very least, the Cowboys should honor him with a patch on their jerseys in 2012 that simply reads “Joe.”
*About 90 percent of the audio from former Saints’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was nothing more than old-school football, rah-rah stuff we’ve heard all our lives. In Pop Warner in Duncanville back in the ‘70s my coach led us in a pre-game chant of “Blood makes the grass grow … Kill! Kill!!” But when he adds specific injuries (ACL) to specific players (Michael Crabtree) it becomes criminal. And when he reminds players “I got the first one” – complete with making the thumb-index finger cash sign – it’s obviously a bounty. And when you realize that speech came one week after the NFL’s third warning to New Orleans to stop the bounty program, you realize Williams will never coach in the NFL again.
*Went to a Mavs’ sorta pep rally at Lombardo Custom Apparel in Addison last night. Watched the lifeless Mavs on Monday and figured they had zero shot at repeating as champs. But after listening to impassioned, inspirational speeches by the likes of Rick Carlisle, Donnie Nelson and Bob Ortegel, tricks me into thinking they might just have another long playoff run hidden in there somewhere.
*Happy Opening Day! I think. I mean, didn’t baseball open this week in Miami when the Cardinals and Marlins played a one-game series? Or was it like 10 days ago in Japan when the Mariners and A’s played? Or was it yesterday at Wrigley? Who knows. All I’m certain about is that the two-time defending AL Champion Rangers host the White Sox today at 1 p.m. And that baseball has ruined the magic of “Opening Day.”
*Not a big fan of commercials, but there’s something entertaining about StubHub’s “Ticket Oak.”
*Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino is 51. Married with four kids. He’s been having an affair – an “inappropriate relationship” he calls it – with a former Razorbacks’ volleyball player less than half his age. Petrino and Jessica Dorrell, whom Petrino hired a week ago as Arkansas’ “student-athlete development coordinator”, had a wreck on the coach’s motorcycle over the weekend. Petrino initially lied and said he was riding alone, then came clean about Jessica’s presence as a passenger only minutes before the police report became public. In a perfect world where accountability means something he’d be fired – and divorced – immediately. But in this world … we’ll see.
*Not that you asked, but yes I do know how to fix soccer. Went to a Dallas Cup game Wednesday night in Frisco and came away with these fan-friendly Americanizations of the sport. If I was soccer commissioner … There’d be no offsides. Never understood the intent of the rule. A player has to have a defender between him and the goal, or at least even with him, to accept a pass. No! Imagine if it was illegal for Tony Romo to launch a bomb to Dez Bryant if the receiver had a step on the cornerback? … No consecutive backward passes. One? Okay. But four? Soccer wastes way too much time “re-organizing” in the form of three back passes, then a kick to the goalie who punts the ball right back where the whole mess started. … Goals are now 3 points, shots on goal are worth 1 point. We need more aggressive offenses that get rewarded for at least putting the ball on net … And no more diving. With the use of replay – yes, soccer, replay! – a player who fakes an injury is sent off. …Better game, no?
*Dunno why, but when there’s a full moon like Thursday night I always stop in my tracks and just stare at its wonder. Always yanks me into big-picture thinking about Earth and humans and planets and, really, just what the what is all this about? Love full moons.
*Can’t believe Khloe Kardashian is so stupid to think we’re that stupid. She Tweeted this week that she was nursing Lamar Odom back to health with soup and Gatorade. She said he had the “flu”, a “virus” and, at one point, a “cold.” Then she alerted her 6 million followers that her husband was feeling much better, and the two showed up at a Dallas Stars game. But, of course, on Wednesday night she also tried to give her supposedly courageous hubby credit for playing while “sick as a dog.” So which was it: Nursed back to health enough to watch the Stars? Or too sick as a dog to be worth a crap as a Mav? We know the truth. Khloe dragged Lamar out of the house Tuesday night for the sole benefit of that embarrassingly bad reality TV show. I’ll be sad when the Mavs’ season ends. But it’ll be bittersweet because we’ll all be happy when those two leave town.
*The stunning news of Avezzano’s death while running on a treadmill reminded of a sad day in 1985 when Frank Glieber, one of the Cowboys’ first iconic TV and radio voices, collapsed and died while jogging in Dallas at the Cooper Aerobics Center.
*What a Dwightmare. It’s one thing for an NBA superstar to ask for a coach to be fired. But in Dwight Howard’s case in Orlando, should a guy that shoots 48 percent from the free-throw line really be worried about anything other than, well, becoming a better free-throw shooter? This year Howard has made only 269 of 554 free throws. Ridiculous. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy is too good of a man to put up with that crap.
*Two inventions I’m going to patent, someday: A hair gel that stops – or at least dramatically slows – your hair from growing. When you get that perfect haircut, voila, you get to keep it that way as long as you want. When you want to change it up, simply stop using the gel. I think I’ll call it … Tortoise Hair. Because it, like, really slows down growth. Get it? Secondly I like dogs, until they bark or whine. My invention is simply a small remote control that silences dogs. Push the button on – Dog Pause – and your pets thinks they’re barking out loud at that cat or getting your attention by whining at the back door, but to human ears they appear as peaceful as Charlie Chaplin in a silent movie. And, yes, thanks for asking, my mind is indeed a weird place.
*First tornadoes and then Coach Joe. Tough week. C’mon Good Friday, bring us a respite.
*This weekend? Today it’s Opening Day at Rangers Ballpark, followed by Mike Epps at Verizon in Grand Prairie. Saturday it’s back to Verizon for the funniest guy on TV, Daniel Tosh. On Sunday let’s get some Easter rest, via laying on the couch and watching The Masters. Don’t be a stranger.