Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:
*So, in another step toward player safety, the NFL’s Competition Committee is pondering a rule that would make it illegal for running backs outside the tackle box to lower their heads and deliver a forceable blow. In other words, the NFL wants to drastically alter how running backs tote the football. Imagine Earl Campbell and Jim Brown and Marshawn Lynch flagged every time they lowered their head and ran through a tackler? We had Emmitt Smith, better known as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, on 105.3 The Fan Thursday addressing the proposed to rule and, to say the least, he was none too happy. “If I’m a running back and I’m running into a linebacker, you’re telling me I have to keep my head up so he can take my chin off?” Smith said “You’ve absolutely lost your mind.’’
*Anybody who wants the Mavs to raise the white flag wasn’t watching Thursday night in San Antonio. It was a gutsy, great effort and the Mavs, still flirting with the playoffs, had a shot to beat the elite Spurs. That said, with 5.6 seconds left and only down 1 point you’ve got to get a better shot than a Vince Carter 25-foot jumper. Guarded by Tiago Splitter, Carter settled for a shot that left his hand with 2.3 left. Horrible. You don’t need a 3 there. You don’t need to launch it with that much time left. And you certainly don’t need it to be taken by anyone not named Dirk Nowitzki.
*It was White Truck Wednesday magic on, duh, Wednesday. Out the 12th-floor window of the CBS Radio building we witnessed a white pickup engulfed in flames on 75, a regular Car-b-cue. As emergency vehicles zoomed to assist, every motorist scooched to the right, except two vehicles who thought it was the perfect chance to follow a fire truck and, in turn, cut to the front of the huge traffic jam. One guess the make and color of the cutters? Yep. White trucks. I rest my case.
*While I still don’t think Nolan Ryan will leave the Texas Rangers, there are growing whispers that his uncertainty is starting to cause friction among owners Bob Simpson and Ray Davis. And in other rumors, just keep these names handy: Elvis Andrus. And St. Louis Cardinals’ pitching prospect Trevor Rosenthal. Stay tuned.
*Once upon a time Kevin Ogletree dazzled us with 8 catches for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns in a season-opening win over the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. Then … well, you know the rest. Only 2 touchdowns the rest of the season and now, he’s an ex-Cowboy. Signed by the Buccaneers Thursday.
*March Madness? In these parts? Maybe. Well, definitely, because Cowboys Stadium – which will host next year’s Final Four – is home of the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games March 29-31. But while SMU and North Texas and TCU and Texas and Baylor and seemingly everybody else in the state is out, my alma mater is still alive and kicking. UTA plays UT-San Antonio tonight in the WAC semifinals. (Texas State plays in the other semi.) Big faves in that game, the Mavs could clinch a berth by likely beating New Mexico State Saturday night. Fingers crossed. Other Texas teams alive: Texas-Pan American (Great Western Conference), Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin (Southland), UTEP (Conference USA) and Prairie View (SWAC).
*I’ll start feeling sorry for Kobe Diva Bryant and his ankle injury the minute he stops kicking his leg out on jumpers and “accidentally” following through with his non-shooting hand into the mouths of defenders. Love watching Kobe play. One of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of sneakers. But he’s a punk. And he’s a sneaky dirty player. Don’t believe me?
*With a $31 million contract and $10 million guaranteed, Danny Amendola is no longer a “poor man’s” Wes Welker. And to think, in 2008 he was in Cowboys’ training camp as an undrafted free agent.
*Watching 36-year-old Tim Duncan put up 28 points and 19 rebounds against the Mavs really really really made me miss Tyson Chandler.
*Ever seen a couple with $40 in the bank at the furniture eyeballing a $4,000 couch? They’re measuring it. Angling it. Envisioning it in their living room. Those people? They’re the Cowboys’ fans who this week sent out Tweets and Facebook postings that went something like “We need Ed Reed!” or “The ‘Boys should get Urlacher!” The Cowboys have $177,005 under the salary cap. Seems like Business 101, if you don’t have any money, you can’t go shopping. And we wonder how our country is in so much debt? Problem is, even Dez Bryant is Tweeting “We need Ed Reed!” Of course, we know about Dez and paying his bills on time.
*One year ago in this space: Much wailing about the Cowboys not re-signing Laurent Robinson … Jason Terry flirting with the Miami Heat … My lucky ass playing Dallas National Golf Club.
*In Vegas two weeks ago my buddy placed a $100 bet on the Cowboys – at 18/1 odds – to win the Super Bowl. Then he accidentally threw the ticket away. So now does he go back and buy a $200 ticket on the same bet or does he root against his team. Because if they win and he trashed the ticket, the Cowboys’ title will have cost him $1,800. But you know what they say, what happens in Vegas literally stays in Vegas.
*So much for that Ravens’ dynasty huh? This off-season the champs have already said goodbye to receiver Anquan Boldin and, off their defense, six players: Ray Lewis, Bernard Pollard, Cary Williams, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe and Ed Reed.
*Looking forward to Saturday’s UFC 158: Georges St.-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz. GSP to Diaz at the pre-fight press conference: “You really think I’m afraid of you? Are you crazy in your head, man?” We need that kind of trash talk before every big sporting event, right?
*For those adept at both, it takes less physical exertion to skate than to run. Don’t believe me, then explain the world records in the 400 meters. On foot it’s 43.1 seconds (Michael Johnson). On skates it’s 24.3 seconds (Jeremy Wotherspoon). It’s why I maintain that basketball players are in better shape than hockey players. In basketball there’s no gliding between steps, and there are no 45-second “shifts.”
*Remember you folks who voted for Romney because “we were better off four years ago!” Still? The stock market has enjoyed 10 consecutive days of growth, a financial winning streak we haven’t embraced since 1996. Lemme guess, more money for you to go buy bigger “Obama sucks!’ signs.
*Haven’t watched much of the World Baseball Classic, but here’s hoping Nelson Cruz is as passionate and as hustling for the Rangers as he is for the Dominican Republic.
*Baylor rallied from 20 down to almost upset Oklahoma State last night in the Big 12 tourney. But just because of those hideous uniforms they deserved to lose. Lime green accented by black-n-white camouflage? Yuck. But they’re actually better than the pajama-lookin’ outfits sported by Cincinnati and Notre Dame. What is happening to uniforms? Since when did highliter become a base color?
*Rangers’ 20-year-old prospect Jurickson Profar will be a star one day. But not before he learns to run out grounders in spring training. Bad habit for a young player.
*I want to axe a question: Why did ESPN hire Ray Lewis as a Monday Night Football analyst? Just axing.
*The New England Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since 2004. Can we please stop acting like they’re the model franchise that exclusively makes savvy decisions? To wit, the Pats are paying more money to Amendola than the Broncos are for Welker.
*A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has a Texas Longhorn tattoo under his left rib cage. He Tweeted that it’s a “FAKE,” but doesn’t that make it worse? So we’re to believe that Johnny Football Lohan went to Cabo and got a Longhorn Henna tat? Yeah, right. Real comforting to the Aggies.
*In case you missed it, I got engaged to Sybil on Monday. And, no, I didn’t pop the question at Magic Time Machine. But almost.
*This weekend? Tomorrow it’s the annual St. Patrick’s Day/Greenville Avenue Parade. 105.3 The Fan, who helped save the parade last year, will have a float near the front and I’ll be honored to introduce Snoop Dogg – Snoop Patrick’s Day? – for the sold-out, after-parade party/concert. And Saturday night, it’s the post-post-parade party at Baby Dolls to watch UFC 158. Don’t be a stranger.
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