Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:
*Training camp is a grind. Players need motivational carrots of diversion. They need fresh surprises to break the monotony. Jimmy Johnson took the ‘90s Cowboys to a movie, and once shocked them with a detour to Barton Springs for a day of swimming in Austin. Dave Campo trekked his squad to Sea World in San Antonio. And yesterday, Jason Garrett called his team into a circle 90 minutes before practice was supposed to conclude. “If Dan Bailey makes this kick,” Garrett told his team, “we’re going to the beach for the rest of the day!” Bailey nailed the 27-yarder and the Cowboys were frolicking in the Pacific Ocean within 30 minutes. Very cool.
*Tobacco is evil. I get it. Never smoked a cigarette and the one time I dipped via Skoal Bandit pouch I almost immediately puked. But Josh Hamilton’s sudden resurrection is a bad commercial for quitting. He comes clean about dipping again, being disobedient to God and breaks out of a 2-month funk. He’s got five homers over the last week and is again pounding the ball at an MVP level. Oh, and the booing that rained down on him last month, it will magically disappear. So … smoke ‘em if you got ‘em?
*For the last time, pre-season football matters as far as individual evaluation, but not team results. The final score of an NFL exhibition game is in no way predictive of what will happen in the regular season. Facts? The Cowboys have made the playoffs 30 times. Of those 30 seasons, they had a winning record in the preseason only 12 times. Of their 8 Super Bowl teams only 2 had winning records in exhibitions and of the Cowboys’ 5 Super Bowl winning teams only 1 had a winning pre-season record. So stop it. Now.
*The Cowboys will return to Oxnard for training camp next summer. Sorry, San Antonio.
*Last season Tony Romo suffered a punctured lung. Now Jason Witten has a lacerated spleen. We’re reminded how physical and dangerous a game football is. That said, I’ll be shocked if Witten isn’t on the field Sept. 5 against the Giants.
*I know some people heard Witten’s prescribed “idle” rest of 10 days doing absolutely nothing with jealousy. But I can’t imagine how tough it’s going to be. He’s programmed to work out and move and improve his body almost non-stop. Then, all the sudden, just hit pause on his personal DVR? Almost impossible. I couldn’t, for example, go 10 days without talking even one syllable of sports.
*Eating dinner the other night when FanFan John approaches and asks if he can bring me and Sybil a gift? Next thing you know he presents a big 4-pack of Azunia tequila. It’s damn good. Gracias, amigo!
*In case you were about to hop on the “This is now a baseball town!” bandwagon, consider that Cowboys-Raiders earned a 17.1 rating on TV while Rangers-Yankees drew only 4.3. That’s about right. The Cowboys are 4 times more popular than the Rangers. Sorry. Truth hurts.
*Temperatures: Oxnard 75; Dallas 105. Gas prices: Oxnard $4.07; Dallas $3.43. It’s like two different countries.
*I hop on Facebook about once a week just to see what people are posting about. Earlier this week here’s what I read: Please pray for my mom’s house to sell/ Cowboys will be 3-13. Romo can’t do it by himself/ Mexican food for lunch/ Listening to Big Man Radio / Nap, Young, Gentry and Olt are my Rangers husbands/ Headed outta town overnight. In other words, colossal waste of time.
*Thinking about playing Fantasy Football again this year. Jotted down my Top 10 running backs as a practice exercise: 1. Arian Foster; 2. LeSean McCoy; 3. Ray Rice; 4. Chris Johnson; 5. Maurice Jones-Drew; 6. DeMarco Murray; 7. Adrian Peterson; 8. Jamaal Charles; 9. Marshawn Lynch; 10. Matt Forte.
*How important is Witten to the Cowboys? He has 41 career TD catches. The rest of the tight ends on the roster, combined, have 1.
*U.S. beats Mexico in some soccer friendly and again we’re told by the soccer moms how someday the sport will “arrive” in this country. My radio partner Greggo tells a soccer dork at our station that there are 20 sports more popular in America than soccer. But when he starts listing them he says “NFL, “College football” and “high school football.” I see his point but, nope, sorry, “Football” is only one sport. There are different sub-sets of football broken down into subtley-different leagues, but they all fall under the same broad umbrella of blocking, tackling and touchdowning football.
*Thinking about not paying my $50 ticket I got in California last weekend for having alcohol on Zuma Beach in Malibu. Stupid law. And what will happen if I don’t pay it? I live in Texas. They gonna come hunting me down? I’ll be in Oxnard next summer. And I’ll be careful. Risky, yeah, but it’s kind of exhilarating to be an outlaw.
*Predicted here recently that 1. Barry Church would be your starting safety for the Cowboys and 2. Bill Nagy had played his last snap as a Cowboy. You know what they say about blind squirrels right? Every once in a while they manage to find an acorn.
*Dumbest, most frivolous lawsuit of all time: A woman is suing Jerry Jones and the Cowboys for injuries suffered when she sat on a hot marble bench outside Cowboys Stadium two summers ago. Why doesn’t she just sue the sun as well?
*As a kid I remember going to Texas Stadium for Cowboys games and watching the referees carry guns. I’m not making this up. At the end of each quarter the back judge would pull from his back pocket a cap gun and fire it to signal the clock reaching 00:00. Crazy. Somehow we realized that a whistle could do the trick.
*I don’t trust magazine covers anymore. Bar Rafaeli is smokin’ hot, but look closer at her on Maxim this month and her black bikini is all digitized and computerized and photo-shopped. In fact, I’m not even sure she was wearing a bikini at all before the magazine magicians went to work on her.
*This weekend? Since it’s football season again that means Cowboys weekends, and that means pre-game shows on The Fan. Saturday night 5-8 before they play the Chargers in San Diego. Sunday will be my first day without talking on the radio or flying in an airplane since July 22. Lots of catching up on nothing to do. Don’t be a stranger.
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