Whitt's End: 9.16.11

*Kudos to Fox Sports Southwest and Rangers fans for raising $156,375 during Tuesday night's online auction to benefit the Shannon Stone Memorial Fund. Biggest-drawing item: 18-seat luxury suite at Cowboys Stadium for Oct. 2 Lions-Cowboys. Winning bid: $28,500.

*Why do people use toothpicks when there is an invention called floss? It might look more suave, but no way it's more effective.

*How impressive was LSU's defense Thursday night against Mississippi State? Fifteen tackles for losses. Wow.

*Speaking of college football, we'll have some clarification about all this conference clusterfuck Monday (hopefully) when Oklahoma's Board of Regents meets to discuss, perhaps decide a definitive direction on Big 12 affilliation. With Baylor blocking A&M to the SEC, this meeting may be the first domino.

*How good does this sound? Rangers potential ALDS tickets go on sale Saturday morning at 9. Obstructed view, standing-room and some reserve seats. Click on texasrangers.com, call 972-RANGERS or go in person at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington West box office.

*HOV cheaters, rejoice! As of October 3 getting caught riding solo in HOV lanes will result in only a $50 fine, down from $250. Reason? DART gets to keep all the fine money starting next month. So now it gets the full $50, when before it only kept $5 of the $250. My question, though, is this: Is DART running the HOV lanes to make money or ease traffic congestion? Because no doubt solo drivers will now even more brazenly clog up the lanes designated for high occupancy vehicles. More tickets. More revenue. But not fewer traffic jams.

*Dez Bryant doesn't wear thigh pads. And somehow we're supposed to be surprised when he gets a bruised thigh in a NFL game. Steroid testing. Concussion studies. Moving kickoffs for safety. Then the NFL up and allows players to play without pads. I don't get it.

*If you don't think this guy is cool, well then, you don't know cool.

*No good news on the NBA lockout and, honestly, it's no bugging me one bit. The Mavs are champs and if the first two months are wiped out I won't miss it. First time I really look forward to NBA games is the annual Christmas Day triple-header. Right now it's like we got to have sex with a supermodel, and are now being told we won't get to have it with her again for another couple months. Fine. Take your time. We're good.

*Funny blog about a certain dork this week on D Magazine's FrontBurner. I don't mind if I'm "wrong" about sports predictions, as long as one of those links doesn't lead to erroneous reporting.

*Love how fast Josh Hamilton circles the bases after a homer. Not an ounce of look-at-me showboating. Also love his arm. Most impressive play of the night might have been his laser beam from the left-field wall that landed -- sans hop -- in Ian Kinsler's glove about hip-high with the second baseman standing on the bag.

*If Jason Witten bulls his way into the end zone last week in New York instead of getting pushed out at the 3, Romo is probably being hailed this week as the emerging star quarterback who waltzed into New York and threw three touchdowns to beat the mighty Jets. Instead ...

*The greatest first pitch in the history of baseball. Or, juicy pinata material. Swing away. You're welcome.

*This weekend? Tonight let's take in TV On The Radio at House of Blues. Saturday maybe some GrapeFest or the Plano Balloon Festival, wherever she prefers. Sunday it's Cowboys-49ers pre-game on 105.3 The Fan at Noon from Frankie's in Lewisville. Don't be a stranger.

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