Whether you've reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:
*Mavericks-Lakers and Rangers-Yankees in our town in the same weekend. Delicious. If you had a front-row ticket to just one, which would it be? Are there really semi-sane humans who'd choose baseball regular-season game 33 over basketball playoff game 3? Scary.
*You know that I've been trumpeting Dirk Nowitzki for years. Way before I arrived at the Dallas Observer and then since the day I got here. I guess I should be happy that all these national voices have hopped aboard the bandwagon that I've steered seemingly solo for a decade. So why am I cringing when I hear guys like Charles Barkley and Jalen Rose just nonchalantly praising him as an "elite superstar," an "impossible cover" and "the most skilled 7-footer in the history of our game"? Because it feels like I've been in the kitchen making cookies for years and folks have passed by snickering about how they weren't hungry and about how I couldn't cook a lick. Now, suddenly those same people are lined up around the block for a sample, upon which they exclaim, "Yep, I always knew these would be damn good cookies."
*If the Mavs beat the Lakers and play in the Western Conference Finals, we could be in for a very cool convergence. Of playoff intensity basketball and ... the end of the world. Yep, the latest round of "Jesus is Coming!" doomsdayers are targeting May 21 for The Rapture. That's a Saturday, so if the Mavs are hosting the Grizzlies or Thunder it could be a very sparse crowd at American Airlines Center. Then again, this Harold Camping guy originally predicted 1994 as the end of the end, then re-did the math and came up with two weeks from tomorrow, so we might not need to pack after all. Besides, surely Jesus will watch the game from an AAC luxury suite before ascending back to Heaven, right?
*Apparently 105.3 The Fan's RJ Choppy, Arnie Spanier, Josh Lewin and Greggo all picked the Mavs to beat the Lakers. I'm impressed. Me and all these dorks had it all wrong. I think.
*Something named Uncle Mo was supposed to win tomorrow's big horse race and then pulled a hoof or ate some bad oats or some such. Don't really care. The Kentucky Derby is the most overrated event in sports. I just don't get the fascination with horsepower, either in cars or animals. Give me humanpower any day.
*Shame on President Obama for not releasing Osama's death photos. Fuels another conspiracy after he'd just put the birther thing to bed. And the premise that the pics are just too gruesome is asinine. We've handled footage of JFK's head exploding all these years and we're repeatedly shown the deaths of thousands of Americans via the Twin Towers collapsing.
*I know you guys are too red meat-'n-full contact to consider tennis a sport, but there's an interesting start to the 2011 season. A player is off to the best record since Ivan Lendl in 1986, and his name isn't Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer. Novak Djokovic is 29-0. He will not, however, beat Nadal on the French Open clay.
*Don't dismiss the loss of Ron Artest in tonight's Game 3 as merely L.A. being down a knucklehead. Artest is still a good defender and one of Phil Jackson's options to cover Dirk. Plus, he'd started all 90 of L.A.'s games. Until tonight. Advantage: Dallas. For the series it's Barea 20, Artest 13.
*Talked to former Maverick Mark Aguirre Thursday and asked him about the Lakers' lethargy against the Mavs in Game 2. "I don't see the burning desire in their eyes or their play anymore," he said. Interesting.
*Death. Taxes. Nelson Cruz leg injuries. Whether it's hamstrings or quads, the Rangers outfielder will always be injury prone. Knock on a Louisville Slugger, so far it's nothing too serious.
*With Tony Romo's wedding taking place at basically a public venue in Turtle Creek, will it be Dallas' closest thing to a Royal Wedding?
*Sorry, soccer fans. FC Dallas' reigning MLS MVP David Ferreira is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a broken ankle suffered April 23. Quick poll, how many of you knew Ferreira was the MLS MVP? And how many even knew the MLS season had started?
*You guys interested in Saturday's Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley fight? Being a total convert to MMA/UFC, I won't watch a second of it. By the way, UFC 129's main event was a dud last week, but the undercard featured a legend of the sport being knocked out by a toe poke to the cheek and a guy, Mark Hominick -- who fought in the midst of his wife giving birth, mind you -- that never quit despite this disfigurement.
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*According to Rangers GM Jon Daniels, in his first exhibition game in Surprise, Arizona, new acquisition and center fielder of the future Leonys Martin had two hits, a stolen base and made a diving catch. Daniels is a low-key guy, but you get the feeling he envisions Martin patroling Rangers Ballpark in Arlington by the end of this season. Julio Borbon, you are on alert.
*My review of Extreme Midget Wrestling last night at Duke's? The stars of the show were rude, crass and abhorrent. They weren't nice or polite or accomodating to anyone, on the air or behind the scenes. Bottom line: Little people can be gigantic assholes.
*Since 9-1 the Rangers the Rangers are 8-14. And when we woke up this morning they were the second-place Rangers. Yuck.
*This weekend: Mavs-Lakers of course. Tonight. Sunday afternoon. Be there or be square. Don't be a stranger. And don't forget to hug your mom.