Whitt's End: 6.17.11
Whether you've reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:
*Jason Terry's voice is still hoarse from all the partying and cigars, but yet we're already peeking at 2012. Problem: The Mavs aren't a team built for the future, but rather the here-'n-now. Dirk Nowitzki will be 33 Sunday. Jason Kidd will be 39 next year. Tyson Chandler, Jason Terry, DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood are in their 30s. The next generation of Mavs: J.J. Barea, Roddy Beaubois, Ian Mahinmi and Dominique Jones? Um, let's embrace this while we can. Official 2012 NBA title odds: Miami Heat are the favorites at 5-2, followed by the Lakers at 11-2. Mavs are No. 5 at 10-1. Fine by me. By the way, Mavs began 2011 at 20-1. Anyone make any money?
*So American Airlines awards Dirk with 200,000 miles and an all-expenses paid trip to Barbados. I get it: LeBron James took his talents to South Beach; Dirk took his to the South Carribean.
*Watched Josh Hamilton on Letterman last night. Couple things. Props to Josh for first saying he has been clean and sober "since '05," then admitting he "had a little slip-up in '09 with alcohol." He didn't mention the co-eds and whipped cream, but, seriously, good on him for keeping the record straight. But there was a tense moment when Hamilton kept pushing the Jesus angle. At one point during Josh's "accepting Jesus Christ" this or that, Letterman interrupted him and said "I dunno so much about that but..." Did you, like me, hear the Ed Sullivan Theater groan? Hamilton then went out back and blasted a couple fastballs from Dave and Samuel L. Jackson into the NYC afternoon. Very cool.
*These May PPM radio ratings come void of opinion, slant or agenda. Last month among the desired demo of Men 25-54 overall The Ticket earned a 5.9, followed by ESPN at 4.4 and The Fan at 3.1. As for May afternoon drive, The Fan earned a 3.5. In the fourth week of May, the show hosted by yours truly and Greggo checked in at 4.3, highest since last November's move to 2-7 p.m. Yearly snapshot: From May 2010 to May 2011 The Ticket's Hardline improved from 6.6 to 7.3, ESPN's Galloway and Company from 3.3 to 4.1 and RAGE from 1.8 to 3.5. Commence (and welcome, by the way) data teardown spiced with personal attacks in 3...2...1...
*So how did my face-to-face with former Cowboys' defensive end Charles Haley go? He called me "Richie the Shit" and I shot back with something he hates even more: "Chuck". In the end we didn't exactly hug it out, but we did shake hands. Seriously, it's good to see him -- thanks to bipolar meds -- smiling more than scowling these days.
*Good for the Mavs to include former TV analyst Bob Ortegel in yesterday's parade. The organization not only won, but they did it with class. Bravo.
*Remember the crazy clamor over the arrival of In-N-Out Burger a couple months back? Went last night on the way home and the line was...four cars.
*Speaking of food, after talking with fans along the parade route we decided today on The Fan we're gonna try Kool-Aid-soaked pickles. I'm thinking yuck. I'm also thinking I'll try anything once.
*Only two disappointments from the Mavs' parade: Shawn Marion almost dazzling us by dancing The Dougie and fake mayor Dwaine Caraway predicting a "two-peat." I remember a day when teams used to repeat. But two-peat?
*Next time someone comes at you with that ridiculous "Dirk grew out of being soft!" bullshit, direct them to this fantastic read. Props.
*Talked with Cowboys tight end John Phillips this week. Said his knee -- torn in the first half of last year's first preseason game -- is 100 percent. In other words, you're on notice, Martellus Bennett.
*Seems like just yesterday I was covering the arrival of a 21-year-old phenom named Jason Kidd to Dallas. Back in '94 I was the Mavs beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram when Kidd told me about his love for John Wayne and how he wanted to change the reputation of the Dallas franchise. Took him two tours and 17 years, but mission accomplished.
*That whining you're hearing is from Arlington, where Rangers fans were grousing over the Mavs stealing their spotlight. Then the Rangers went to New York, got swept and now the seamheads are suddenly fine with basketball being the top story. Sorry, Rangers fans. Going to the World Series was a great tale. But the Mavs trumped it. Big time. Your move. (Didn't see it, but I guess Alexi Ogando is human after all?)
*Cool quote via Rick Carlisle: "There's a big difference in life between success and fulfillment." A-friggin'-men.
*Finally caught up on some TiVo last night. Watched HBO's Borg-McEnroe "Fire and Ice" documentary. Looooved it. Amazing fact I'd forgotten. Neither Bjorn nor Johnny Mac won a Grand Slam tournament after the age of 25. Rafael Nadal is 25, Roger Federer 29 and Andy Roddick 28.
*Finally, the gathering spot south of AAC earned its name: VICTORY Plaza.
*Once upon a time this was a high priority, but now I almost forgot: Strikeforce MMA at AAC this weekend.
*Lost amidst the Mavericks and the ugly Vancouver scene in the wake of the Bruins rallying to win the Stanley Cup, I think I dreamed that the Stars hired a head coach. Nope, reality. But, wait, who the heck is Glen Gulutzan? After the Mavs' playoff run, Finals triumph and yesterday's post-parade celebration in the building, I can't imagine going to AAC for the Stars' press conference. Quintuple yawn.
*Favorite moment from the post-parade: AAC erupting into a "Thank you Mark!" chant. Dude deserved every second of it. The owner didn't get to sleep in, as this morning he was already in New York for NBA collective bargaining agreement talks. Yep, an NBA lockout looms as well.
*Okay, how would you have played this? Last Sunday I went to a casino in Hollywood, Florida for some pre-Game 6 blackjack. $50 bet. Got two 9s against dealer showing 5. I split them. Right? I wound up getting 4 total 9s and one hand of 11 I doubled-down on, giving me hands of 19-16-18 (doubled)-20. I'm feeling good about my $250 on the table when the dealer uncovers under her 5 a 10 and then -- you guessed it...a 6. Twenty One. That's the way gambling go. I thought maybe I should've stuck with original 18, but I always split. You guys?
*In the previous five years the Mavs won two road playoff games. This year they won seven in eight weeks.
*Thirty-six Texas athletes, including six from Dallas-Fort Worth, will leave tomorrow for the Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece. Awesome.
*In case you missed it: My public, yet oh-so-giddy apology to the 2011 Dallas Mavericks. If you predicted a title this year, take a bow. Otherwise, the line forms behind me.
*This weekend: Time for dear ol' dad. Tomorrow I'll be at the second annual 105.3 The Fan Father's Day BBQ at Cowboys Stadium. And Sunday a little golf in the morning and then laying on the couch watching the U.S. Open all afternoon. My pops, for the record, is one of the rare golfers who -- at 71 -- shot his age. Don't be a stranger.
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