Whether you're at the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:
*If you're breathlessly waiting to hear Mickey Spagnola's take on the Cowboys cutting Terrell Owens, you'll have to go here. Because, alas, The Ticket's beloved "Ranch Report" is no more. Remember, Mickey was/is an employee of the Cowboys, not The Ticket. Maybe his daily updates will be reincarnated when the Cowboys and 105.3 The Fan announce their impending partnership. (Sometime in March, I'm guessing.)
*Speaking of old faces in new places, former Dallas' Only Daily baseball beat writer Evan Grant has been hired at D Magazine to pen a
sports baseball blog. Since competition is good for our lil' corner of the blogosphere - the "Shops at Legacy" wouldn't be booming with just one shop, right? - I heartily welcome InsideCorner. Always liked Evan. Superior x's and o's baseball guy with whom I've always been friendly. Only thing I found strange about his leaving the DMN: A former editor says that Evan recently interviewed for the paper's food critic job. On his new blog: Pitching reviews and pizza recipes?
*Fantastic week for our local sports owners. Mark Cuban rips the Mavs. Jerry Jones cuts the Cowboys' dead weight. And Tom Hicks unveils $4 million in improvements to Rangers Ballpark. Seriously, braaaah-vo!
*Left over from my trip to the Texas Special Olympics/Dallas Area basketball tournament last weekend is this touching vignette from Dallas director Jesse McNeil: In addition to 240 events annually, the TSO stages a competition for its most severely affected children. The event, part of a Motion Active Training Program, requires kids to - check this out - push a pencil about three inches into a target zone or stack square blocks atop one another. Can you image? "When they accomplish a task those kids smile like they've just won the Final Four," says McNeil. "It chokes me up every time." Us too.
*Think Sean Avery's signing with the New York Rangers closes the books on his stint with the Stars? Hardly. Dallas - thanks, Brett Hull - will still pay half of Avery's $12 million contract over the next three seasons. When it's over, the Stars will have forked over $9 million to Avery, who played all of 23 games in Dallas. In these troubled economic times ... oh, forget it.
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*Mavs backed up their spirited win over the Spurs with an effort that totally wilted in the second half at New Orleans. Siiiiiigh. I feared as much. *Guess who won't be the Grand Marshal at the Observer's annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Greenville Ave. next Saturday? Terrell Owens, that's who. Why? 'Cuz his ass got cut. Let's all pour out a green beer for him, shall we? On second thought, screw him. Drink up.
*If you need me tonight I'll be at Nokia, taking in the music of Led Zeppelin - as interpreted by the Fort Worth Symphony. That's right, I'm cultured. Now pass me a Pabst.
*Rangers' center fielder Andruw Jones struck out in 10 of his first 14 spring training at-bats. Looks like he'll be gone by March 20. In other words, Nay.
*Bravest man alive must be our own Hank Haney, who has accepted the challenge of trying to fix Charles Barkley's her ... key ... jer ... key, five-piece golf swing on a new Golf Channel reality show called The Haney Project. Alternate title: Just Shoot Me. *If you want to read my Observer cover story on the Mavs it's right here. My column on the Special Olympics is over here. And if you want to hear me this weekend on 105.3 The Fan, I'll be on Saturday 1-2 p.m. and Sunday 7-11 a.m. As usual, if you don't want to hear me I'll be on at those times nonetheless.