Whitt’s End: 3.22.12
Sports Fan Insider
Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:
*Went to the Mavs game this week and hung out with GM Donnie Nelson is his “war room” office overlooking the team’s practice court at American Airlines Center. Wow. The office’s four walls are made of – not kidding – white greaseboards. And each is dedicated to a different category of hoops. NBA rosters with salaries, college draft, Euros and the Mavs. Funny that in this day and age of advanced technology and of working with a cutting-edge Internet mogul like Mark Cuban that Donnie still prefers old-school writing and erasing and writing some more. “Yeah,” he joked, “I like to get my hands dirty.”
*How’s my March Madness bracket? Great, thanks for asking. 13-3 on Thursday including nailing the upsets by Wichita State, Oregon and Cal. And I came this close to my Davidson pick. Today? Ole Miss over Wisconsin and Colorado over Illinois.
*If your knee-jerk strategy for the Cowboys is “get rid of Romo!” take a second to do something that I’m betting isn’t part of your normal daily routine – think. Quarterback rating isn’t the only indicator of performance, but it’s one of them. And you don’t find good quarterbacks with bad ratings, or vice-versa. Romo is 95.6 all-time and last year he had an 8-game stretch of 17 touchdowns/3 interceptions. You don’t just snap your fingers and acquire quarterbacks as good as Romo. Unless you’ve forgotten the post-Troy Aikman Cowboys named Randall Cunningham, Anthony Wright, Quincy Carter, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson and Drew Bledsoe.
*I know it’s blasphemy, but I’m rooting for the Miami Heat’s streak. It’s at 24 steaming toward 27 before their next test at the Bulls Wednesday. I still despise Dwyane Wade and I’ll never forgive LeBron James for mocking Dirk Nowitzki’s cough during the 2011 NBA Finals, but since the Heat are going to win the title and the Mavs aren’t going to even make the playoffs we might as well get something out of this otherwise wasted NBA season. And that’s history. The second the Heat lose I’ll go back to hating them, but until then let’s push the historic streak past the Lakers’ 33 set in 1972.
*Opening night is set for the Rangers-Astros March 31 in Houston: Matt Harrison vs. Bud Norris. Yawn.
*So, gun nuts, to make your point that guns are cool you want someone to break into my house and confront me. But to make my point that guns are unnecessary, I just want you to be left alone safe and sound. You still sure you’re on the sane side of the argument?
*In this space one year ago: Lamar Odom’s tenure with the Mavs cratered with a 1-point, 1-rebound, 1-assist performance against the Lakers … C.J. Wilson Tweeting out Mike Napoli’s cell phone number … Pat Robertson claimed Peyton Manning would get hurt because the Broncos committed the sin of trading Tim Tebow … We all were obsessed with Kony 2012 … My Facebook got hacked … Hunger Games.
*March Madness got off to an awkward start on CBS when Greg Gumbel (black dude) tried a normal handshake but Ernie Johnson (white dude) insisted on a closed-fist dap.
*When I think of Danny McCray’s 2012 Cowboys season I remember countless missed tackles in the open field. I remember him being good on special teams, but exposed as a full-time safety. What does the NFL think of his season? It gave him a raise. From his base of $540,000, the league added a performance-based bonus of $236,316. I have zero explanation.
*I think it’s cool that President Obama fills out a March Madness bracket. But this morning I could’ve sworn I saw him filling out a women’s bracket. (Picking Baylor to win it all). I’m suddenly a red-state redneck: “What a waste of time!” Next thing you know ESPN will have Winter X Games every single month. Oh, they’re already doing that?!
*At next month’s Masters there will be a player from China who is … 14. Guan Tianlang qualified as a 125-pound 8th-grader. This will be fascinating.
*Watching Deron Williams rip the Mavs’ heart out this week, I couldn’t help but wonder if the season wouldn’t be in better shape had Delonte West been with the team.
*The Cowboys may continue to support Josh Brent, but in 2013 they will no longer employ Josh Brent. He won’t be on the roster this season.
*If nothing else I’ve learned in 4.5 years in radio that it’s a volatile industry. No one’s job is really safe and change is constant. Always sad to see a good teammate leave, especially a classy, fun buh-nan-uh like Jasmine Sadry. Her contract isn’t being renewed, and she will be missed at 105.3 The Fan.
*This weekend? Today we’re watching March Madness in Watauga at Papa G’s Sports Bar on Rufe Snow. Tomorrow I’m at Vandergriff Honda in Arlington 12-2, then up to Hank’s in McKinney for the 3rd annual Bikers Against Road Rage benefit concert. Sunday, maybe some quality time in the back yard with a cold beer and a hot tub. Don’t be a stranger.
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