Whether you're at the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:
*Watching Thursday night's NBA Finals Game 7, it struck me just how far your Dallas Mavericks are from a championship. Lakers 83, Celtics 79 was a rugged, violent scrum on every possession. I'm not going to call the Mavs soft, but they don't have the mindset or moxie to succeed in that harsh environment.
*Considering all he's been through, this fact must keep Dirk Nowitzki up at night: D.J. Mbenga has two championship rings.
*Last summer I actually got in a debate with Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan on the future of Neftali Feliz. Ryan contended you want your best arms to throw the most innings, while I sheepishly/politely/carefully countered the value of a shutdown closer. Feliz, whom the Rangers tried as a starter in spring training, closed three consecutive wins in Florida this week and leads the American League with 18 saves. If you're keeping score at home that's Me 1, Ryan 1,000,000.
*One sound is out in full force this week that tells me summer is here to stay: Locusts.
*I know the U.S. doesn't push or cherish soccer like other countries, but Slovenia? America has 310 million residents; Slovenia 2 million. (The metroplex is three times bigger for crying out loud.) Even though it's soccer, wouldn't a loss today by the U.S. be a monumental, embarrassing upset?
*When the Rangers get back to Arlington I'm going to solve this mystery. Before then, anyone know what this hand signal is that hitters are making toward the dugout after an extra-base hit? Ian Kinsler did it last night after his game-clinching double. Seen different variations from different players, but he made sort of a half-hook move with his arm with his hand shaped like a claw. Weird.
*You know things are going right when during a five-game road winning streak two of the key hits are by pitchers Colby Lewis and Alexi Ogando.
*After Pau Gasol's monster 19-point, 18-rebound performance in Game 7, Kobe Bryant praised "The Spaniard." Two things: 1. Wonder if Kobe could've gotten away with praising a good game by Eduardo "The Mexican" Najera? 2. Weird that it's not "Spainiard."
*The U.S. Open reminds us again that there is no more beautiful place on Earth than Pebble Beach. I'm lucky enough to have vacationed there, and I highly recommend it. The views literally take your breath away.
*Embarrassed to admit this, but I never knew much about Juneteenth. Decided it was better late than never, and I've learned that it's a celebration of General Order No. 3, the proclamation read in Galveston on June 19, 1865 and posted all over Texas courthourses and plantations stating that slaves were freed and, more so, that the relationship should be redefined into "employer and laborer." At the time there were 250,000 slaves in Texas. Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in Texas since 1979. Excuse my ignorance.
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*I hate pawn shops. Because, again, I'm convinced thieves steal our stuff and then take it there to make money. Case in point: Rodeo cowboy G.K. Lewallen won a championship saddle in 1965. Last winter it was stolen out of his Erath home. This week a fellow cowboy bought it back for him at a Garland pawn shop.
*So there's this one McDonald's commercial where a chick loves riding her bike. She crows that there's a particularly steep, tough hill on her ride, but at the top there's a McDonald's. She's then shown having her "reward": a cup of coffee, an Egg McMuffin and hash browns. Seriously? They're going to try to trick us into thinking that McDonald's is part of of a lively, healthy lifestyle?
*$199 to see every Dallas Cowboys game this season seems like a steal. Until you realize that it's a Party Pass "ticket" and there is no actual "seat." And until you realize the price includes two preseason games. Yuck. Still, if you buy a Party Pass to a single regular-season game it's $29. Through this deal it's $25. So worth it I guess.
*This weekend? Tomorrow I'll be out at Cowboys Stadium for 105.3 The Fan's Barbecue on the Star. Sunday, of course, is reserved for watching golf with dear ol' dad. Pops, who turned 70 recently, can still beat me on the course by the way. And, with a 10 handicap, I don't suck. Problem is he plays every stinkin' day, most times in the 70s.