Whether you're at the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:
*I'm setting the over/under on Tiger Woods saying the word "sorry" in this morning's sanitized statement at 4.5, and I'm taking the under. I'll also be shocked if he cries. At some point he will, but not today. Oprah, anyone?
*The Austin suicide pilot (53-year-old Joe Stack) brings to light a couple points: 1. Even in the post-9/11, Homeland Security era, we're still naked and vulnerable to the solo attack. If someone is that deranged, yet simultaneously so meticulous and determined, they're virtually impossible to deter. 2. As he wrote in his suicide note: "Nothing changes unless there is a body count." Sad, but true.
*Speaking of government incompetence and feeling exposed, Homeland Security lost 289 weapons over the last four years, including guns left at fast-food restaurants, stolen from bowling alleys and two rifles that fell off a truck bumper when agents drove away. Sleep well.
*How many people with similar ongoing IRS fights are less concerned about human victims today and more anxious to learn the status of records that may have been destroyed? Shame. Aside from the soap and the alter ego and, yeah, the fighting, wasn't that the premise for Fight Club? All financial records burned to the ground so we all started from scratch? I think that's right.
*As Texas Rangers spring training commences in Arizona, we're all excited to monitor Julio Borbon and Vladimir Guerrero and Rich Harden. But isn't the most important player Josh Hamilton? If he's healthy and hitting like the first half of 2008, the Rangers can win the West. If not ...
*Couple games into his Mavs career we're reminded that Caron Butler is more a scorer than a shooter. His range is out to only about 16 feet, but he loves to drive aggressively - sometimes wildly - to the hoop. Refreshing.
*It's official: We're boring.
*The Cowboys are pondering splitting training camp next summer between San Antonio and Oxnard, Calif. Hate this idea. Last year's camp was all under one roof, and all about football. The results were pretty dang good. Now there's talk of playing in the Hall of Fame game because of Emmitt Smith's enshrinement and spending time on the west coast. Ugh.
*Longer odds: That you'll win the lottery and have your ticket stolen, or that you'll be named Willis Willis?
*World's biggest waste of money: Pet insurance. Grow up in the country and you learn pretty quickly that dogs come, dogs go, dogs survive. Most detailed medical attention the dogs of my youth received was me picking about-to-pop ticks out of their ears.
*Not exactly sure how Josh Howard is going to "stick it to the Mavs" in the wake of his banishment to the lowly Washington Wizards. But news that Howard missed a game at Washington last month after a late night of partying just reiterates it was time for him to go. Officially Howard missed the game with a "stomach illness." You and I know it as a "hangover."
*Rangers' reliever C.J. Wilson likes curling. Yet another reason not to fully trust him.
*Tea Party movement poobah Dick Armey calls President Obama "intellectually shallow ... you have no ability ... the most incompetent President perhaps in our lifetime." Chalk it up to a case of mistaken identity. Right, Dubya?
*Dude in McKinney spends a night in jail for not paying $388 in fines from citations issued to him for watering his yard on the wrong day. Judge eventually dismisses fine and citations, saying the night in jail was sufficient punishment. Got me to wondering: What's a night in jail worth? Would you do it to avoid paying $100? $250? $500, $2,500? Everyone has a price.
*In related news, I've spent two nights in jail. Free subscription to this here Sportatorium if you can name the offenses.
*Soccer sucks, but cheerleaders are cool. FC Dallas is holding tryouts for its dance team Sunday at 10 a.m. at Frisco's Power House of Dance. Contact director Tamara Jenkins at email@example.com for an application packet.
*There's Pro Bull Riding at Cowboys Stadium this weekend. Something tells me the attendance record of 108,000 is safe.
*Sad, the 9-year-old in The Colony did in fact commit suicide. And thanks, by the way, to all the responses to my suicide column in the Dallas Observer. I've never been so touched by so much feedback.
*Watched the new video of JFK arriving in Dallas. Question: What's the big deal?
*President Obama met with the Dalai Lama. Anybody out there you're dying to meet? For me, maybe this guy.
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*Family Guy > Sarah Palin. By a mile.
*Figure skaters are athletes, but figure skating isn't a sport. Make sense? Because it's 100 percent subjective. Nothing more than a beauty pageant on ice. Complete with feathers and make-up and sequins. And then there's the women ...
*My enduring images from NBA All-Star Weekend: Jerry Jones and LeBron James shaking hands at midcourt. And Shaquille O'Neal pulling out his wad of walking-around money: $9,000.
*This weekend I'll be celebrating at my brother's 40th birthday (damn, that makes me feel old) and celebrating at my 25-year-old buddy's bachelor party (damn, that makes me feel old.)