Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:
*How quirky is Mavs’ head coach Rick Carlisle? After Wednesday night’s win over the Kings at American Airlines Center he strode to the team’s windowed offices, entered the front door, made a hard right turn behind the receptionist’s desk and – for a good 10 seconds – straightened a large photograph on the wall. Detailed? Anal? OCD? Wonder if he was thinking about that crooked thing during the game?
*You can keep blaming Tony Romo and crying that the Cowboys will never win with him as quarterback, and I’ll just keep getting people like Troy Aikman and Warren Moon and Brian Billick and Babe Laufenberg to speak the contrary. No offense, but I’m pretty sure they know a qualified quarterback when they see one. Of course, maybe you’d like it if they walked in your office, observed you working for a couple hours and then boldly claimed “Nope, this guy sucks. Get us another one.”
* Michael Jordan > LeBron James. It’s ridiculous to even have the debate. But just for grins, Jordan regularly endured hard fouls that these days would be flagrant fouls. His game has more variety, and his skills are more refined. Other than that, he’s 6 for 6 in NBA Finals, with 6 MVPs. Game. Set. Match.
*Rangers have won 90, 96 and 93 games the last three years. This season Vegas has set Texas’ number at 87. Give me the over. I know the Rangers lost 37 percent of its offense via the departures of Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young, but they also welcome to the Houston Astros to the AL West. That’s about 40 games against the Astros and Mariners. 90 seems a layup, if only because of the pitching and the schedule.
*You may not know the name Jack Eskridge, but guaranteed you recognize his work. Eskridge, 89, died this week after a life in which he recruited Wilt Chamberlain to play college basketball at Kansas, witnessed the famous flag-raising at Iwo Jima during World War II and, oh by the way, created the most iconic logo in all of sports – the Dallas Cowboys’ star. He did that as Tom Landry’s equipment manager in 1960.
*While we were all worried about an asteroid about the size of an Olympic swimming pool coming within 17,000 miles of the Earth, yesterday Russia (about 1,000 miles east of Moscow) was sucker-punched by a meteorite that injured 500. Most amazing stat about the 10-ton rock: It was traveling at 19 miles per … second. My tiny brain can’t even fathom that. Imagine running most of the White Rock Marathon in the blink of an eye.
*From this column one year ago: Josh Hamilton in Sherlock’s … Rise of Jeremy Lin … Death of Gary Carter … Delonte West’s fractured finger … TCU football drug scandal … 105.3 The Fan helping save the Greenville Ave. St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
*Rangers’ pitcher Derek Holland is determined to take a more serious approach in 2013. It’s what I’ve wanted for years. Why? Not that his Harry Caray impersonation isn’t funny, but name another goofball/elite athlete. Only one I can think of is Shaquille O’Neal. But pitching is serious business, right Nolan Ryan?
*Sorry, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the 4,000 people aboard the Carnival Triumph cruise ship. Take a jaunt to Oak Cliff. People without homes and jobs and who dodge drive-by bullets on a daily basis. If the worst thing that ever happens to you in life is that you’re stranded on a luxury, powerless cruise ship for 3 days and are forced to poop in a bag … come on. In return you get a full refund, a free future cruise and $500. I’ll sign up for that right now.
*The Mavs’ impressive streaks are ending. For the first time in 11 years Dirk Nowitzki won’t be in the All-Star Game this weekend in Houston. And come April Dallas won’t be in the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. That is, unless they go 18-12 over their final 30 and pass the Blazers, Lakers and Rockets. Good luck. And, no, I don’t think the trade targets of Brandon Jennings and Eric Gordon are game-changers.
*Mistakes can be accidental. Dishonesty is always a choice.
*Please explain this one to me: American Airlines limps into bankruptcy, finally merges with US Airways. End result? CEO Tom Horton leaves the company with a $20 million severance package. If only we could do our jobs that crappy and be rewarded so richly.
*College basketball fans storming the court has gotten so diluted that it’s now silly. Once reserved for colossal upsets, these days home teams rush the court after beating their 20th-ranked opponent. Weak. More passé than Gangham Style.
*Spent Valentine’s Night with Sybil watching The XX in concert at Granada Theater. Before it was dinner at the adjacent Sundown. Cool, quirky menu. If you’re into meat, try the Manitoba burger. Big patty, topped by cheddar, bacon and big pile of barbecue-ladled brisket.
*Not sure what his defense will be in the murder charge of his wife, but I hear South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
*Kudos to the Rangers for shaping a marketing campaign around former radio announcer Mark Holtz’ “Hello, win column!”
*If you listened to our afternoon show on 105.3 The Fan this week you heard Carlisle admit the Mavs’ situation was “dire,” Cowboys’ defensive players Jason Hatcher and Brandon Carr say that new coordinator Monte Kiffin told them to watch film of the Seattle Seahawks in order to get acclimated with his 4-3 system, agent Jordan Woy say “it’s likely” that Anthony Spencer will re-sign with Dallas, Aikman label Romo as a “special player” who can “certainly win a Super Bowl,” and Rangers manager Ron Washington say that it remains World Series or Bust for his team. Stay tuned.
*RIP, Crystal’s Pizza Palace on 183 in Irving. For a wide-eyed boy who grew up in Duncanville before I-20 was constructed and who rarely traveled north of the Trinity River, there was a time when Crystal’s felt like Six Flags.
*There was a day when us teenage boys sprinted to the mailbox for the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Those days are gone. Reason? Yep, the Internet. You can see hotter girls wearing fewer clothes in the click of a button. For free. At least that’s what I heard.
*As a fake Catholic, I observe Lent because I think it’s empowering and therapeutic to deprive yourself of your cravings. This year: No soda for me until Easter. That’s 40 days of Captain Morgan and … water?
*You can have Jimi Hendrix. I’ll take Junior Brown.
*If you can’t stand listening to me on 105.3 The Fan daily, don’t read this item. The Richie and Greggo Extravaganza is now simulcast every night at 6:45 on TXA 21. Yep, now you can put an ugly face with my annoying voice.
*This weekend? Tomorrow let’s get back on the tennis court in the morning and head back to Vandergriff Honda in Arlington Noon-2. Sunday I’ll be celebrating little brother’s birthday at Babe’s chicken in lovely Cedar Hill. Don’t be a stranger.
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