Whitt's End: 4.8.11

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Whether you've reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:

*So Nuggets coach George Karl wants some of the Mavs, huh? "If we had to pick and choose, we would probably say 55 percent Dallas and 45 percent Oklahoma City," he says of his preferred playoff opponent. "Only because Oklahoma City is athletic like we are and they have two great players," he told ESPN radio. Honestly, I don't blame him one bit. The Nuggets used their superior athleticism and speed to win three of four over Dallas this season and whipped them, 4-1, in the second round of the playoffs in 2009. I can't help but wonder know things would be different if the Mavericks hadn't lost their second-best player -- Caron Butler -- on New Year's Day. Take away any team's No. 2 and there will be a significant drop-off. Right, Miami Heat?  

*After beating Colorado last night in their home finale, your Dallas Stars aren't dead. Yet. They've won three straight and yet with two games left they need some help. Can't help but think back to this gut-wrenching loss. Sorry.

*While the Rangers are off to a 6-0 start, the Boston Red Sox are 0-6 and have been outscored 38-16. Two things to keep us from pronouncing them the Dead Sox: 1. There are 156 games over six months remaining; 2. In 2007, the Mavs started 0-4 and finished an NBA-best 67-15. In other words, it's early.

*Sad day in radio. Jagger has been a fixture in this area for decades, but this was his last show as the morning host on 105.3 The Fan. Dude is a class act, very professional to the end. Come Monday, The Fan's sportsier mornings will be manned by New School with Shan and RJ.

*Tiger Woods meanders to a 1-under 71 in the opening round of The Masters. He trails leaders Rory McIroy and Alvaro Quiros by six shots. Six. Yet this morning the ESPN headline blares "Tiger in Contention!" Not that Tiger is out of the tournament by any means, but "in contention" seems a little bit pander-ish, doesn't it? It is, in fact, the reason a lot of folks root against him.



*Keep seeing Southern Cal offensive tackle Tyron Smith pegged to the Cowboys with the No. 9 pick in numerous NFL mock drafts. Dallas hasn't drafted an OL in the first round since way back in 1981 with Howard Richards. Smith is a beast, but he makes me wonder what happened to previous to-the-Cowboys-trendy-pick Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara. He'll be at Valley Ranch for a visit next week, so maybe we'll ask him.

*I'm very conflicted. Don't like her Tea Party-ish politico views, but I really enjoy the view of Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

*Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls is having an MVP season. I won't argue that. But nobody carries the ball like him when dribbling. Saw one of his signature moves against the Celtics last night, and this just in: You can't -- legally, anyway -- take the ball in your left hand and move it from your left hip to outside your right foot on a cross-over. It's been a subtle, slow progression from "shuffling feet" traveling to "breaking ankles" highlghts, but I betcha old guards like Bob Cousy and even Derek Harper don't recognize the game these days.

*Had this discussion on the radio the other day: If given $1 million post-tax, could you comfortably retire? I suck at math and money, but my feeling is that of course you could. Keep a modest lifestyle, yeah. You couldn't pay off your house and buy one for mom and Jaguars for all your kids, etc. But it's doable, right?

*Good to see former Florida coach Urban Meyer spending so much time with his family. I honestly didn't realize he was related to Mack Brown.

*When's the last time you went bowling? I went over the holidays and remembered how fun it was. Then my buddies wanted to bowl a second frame. Nonetheless, two local amateurs will compete this weekend for $50,000 in the AMF National In-League Tournament. Hurst's Philip Palmer and Michael Wood of Arlington are headed to Las Vegas, where they'll compete against 108 bowlers.

*In my adopted Lent observance, I haven't had a carbonated soft drink since mid-February. And now I'm giving up something else that has long been a staple: Dallas' Only Daily. Nothing against the paper or its product. Still love me some Tim Cowlishaw and Evan Grant and Kevin Sherrington. But I got the bill for my renewal this week and was taken aback: $406 a year for seven-day delivery and access behind the Morning News' online pay wall. Wow. And this in the same week that we learned that DMN publisher James Moroney's 2010 salary jumped to $1.3 million from $478,090 in 2009. I like the feel and mobility of the actual paper, but no thanks. I'm done. I can do without expensive newspapers and airlines that charge for bags. There are other viable options. Randy Galloway, what are you up to these days?

*Further proof that Super Bowl XLV was an epic flop: According to the state comptroller's office, the city of Arlington brought in $5.8 million in February, same as January. Money quote from mayor Robert Cluck: "I had a fear our bottom line would be negative because of the huge weather problems." So not losing money is ... winning?

*This weekend? I'll be out at Texas Motor Speedway, duh. I don't really know a toy Yoda from a Toyota, but I'll be on Tony Stewart's pit crew for Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500. Wonder if I get a share of the winner's check if when we wind up in victory circle? Don't be a stranger.

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