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Friday, June 28, 2013

WHITT'S END 6.28.13

       Whether you're at the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End

   *It's been a wild week in local radio, what with The Ticket's BaD Radio almost moving to 105.3 The Fan before Cumulus sweetened the pot enough to keep Bob Sturm and Dan McDowell home. But now we're on the verge of another popular show perhaps moving ... off the air. From what I hear, The Russ Martin Show's contract is up Monday (July 1) and there has been little interest shown by parent company Clear Channel Media to re-sign Russ and his sidekicks in the afternoon. Surely you remember Russ, right? Not certain exactly what's going on at 97.1 The Eagle, but I smell big changes coming sooner rather than later.

   *Mavs nailed it on several fronts in Thursday night's NBA Draft. First, they selected who I think will be their point guard of the future in Miami's Shane Larkin. The Mavs are comparing him to J.J. Barea, but I predict he'll be the starting point guard opening night. But more importantly, they started cutting salary with an eye toward making a run at free-agent center Dwight Howard next week. Needing to shave $3.8 million off the books at the beginning of the night, Dallas now - after two trades down and the dumping of 2012 draft bust Jared Cunningham - needs to only trim another $2.7 million to be able to offer Howard a max contract with a first-year salary of $20.5 million.

   *That said, Mavs' GM Donnie Nelson admitted that if Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams or Michigan's Trey Burke would've been available at No. 13, Dallas would've kept the pick and taken either of them.

   *And if you don't believe Howard-to-the-Mavs is realistic, read this story and then check out what Dirk Nowitzki revealed at Mavs' draft headquarters last night. Yep, he's already picked up the phone and called L.A.

   *As I wrote Thursday, the Cowboys shouldn't cut Josh Brent just because the Patriots' released Aaron Hernandez. But, after Brent's second positive test for marijuana while on probation for Intoxication Manslaughter, I don't think there's any choice now but to cut him. Right? They are going to cut him, Right?! Isolated irresponsibility resulting in an accident I can stomach. Repeated, ridiculous behavior, however, cannot be tolerated. Dumb actions? Maybe. Dumb people? No thanks.

   *So Kanye West and Kim Kardashian named their child "North." No kidding. Now when North West gets fired from CBS Radio and the boss cites a "different direction", he'll actually be telling the truth.

   *When Derek Holland is good, he's great. Totally handcuffed the Yankees to the tune of a 2-hitter Thursday afternoon in The Bronx. Makes you wonder where that guy is every fifth day doesn't it? Speaking of Rangers' pitchers, don't look now but Yu Darvish hasn't won a game since May 16.

   *Johnny Manziel is the perfectly irritating combination of pampered and petulant. News surfaced this week that he faced suspension before his 2012 Heisman Trophy season until Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin bailed him out. And recently he received a simple parking ticket on campus, prompting him to Tweet: Bullshit like tonight is a reason why I can't wait to leave college station ... Bet the 12th Man finds that awfully Spirit-of-Aggieland endearing.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mavs' Draft-Night Win-Win: Save Money, Land Starting Point Guard

   Toldja a couple things earlier today:
   That the Mavericks would try to make enough trades down the draft to save money for a full-court  Dwight Howard flirtation in free agency.
   And that, if they made a first-round pick, one of their targets would be University of Miami point guard Shane Larkin.
   The Mavs traded down twice in the first round (from 13 to 16 through Boston and to 18 via Atlanta), saving approximately $1.1 million and, in my opinion, landing their starting point guard of the future in Larkin.

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Dirk Nowitzki - Front-Office Maverick - Already Recruiting Dwight Howard

   Dirk Nowitzki just poked his head into the Mavs' NBA Draft headquarters here at American Airlines Center and actually dropped a couple news nuggets:
   *He's already begun the recruiting process of free-agent center Dwight Howard, recently calling the Lakers' big man. "I reached out to him," Dirk says, "Told him that we'd love to have him. ... And if I need to jump on a plane, I'm free. I'm available."
   *He'll be in the team's "war room" tonight alongside owner Mark Cuban, general manager Donnie Nelson and assistant GM Keith Grant. And, for what it's worth, Dirk is intrigued by a potential future in Dallas' front office. "It's something I've always wanted to see how it's done," Dirk says. "Maybe I'll be more involved in that area when I'm done playing."
   *As for his eye for talent and his assessment of the Mavs' needs tonight, pretty spot on if you ask me: "We need help left and right. I mean, we need a shooter, some bigs. We need a lot of help."
   Dirk look refreshed. Ready to hop on a plane and go recruit. Yet not at all prepared to concede his career, even at 35, is winding down.
   "Patience is tough at my age," he says. "I hope I can play at a high level a couple more years and then who knows? I'm not sure where my post-playing days will take me. I'm not sure I'm made for TV. I have a face for radio. Me and (ESPN Mavs' radio play-by-play voice Chuck) Cooperstein."

What If ... ?

   Paper or Plastic? Only effects you until you get to the kitchen.
   Buckle or Un-buckle? Only effects you every second the rest of your life.
   When I was 7, I accidentally opened the door of my daycare’s station wagon while traveling 40 mph around a winding suburban road. As luck would have it – or was it fate? – daycare owner/driver "Aunt Dot" had refused to leave the parking lot of my school until every kid had buckled every seat belt. Circa 1972, that safety precaution was about as futuristic as remote controls, instant replay and the Internet.
   As the door flung open and I looked down at the pavement, gravel and my life rushing past my eyes, I remember how scared I was. I didn’t quite grasp the significance then, but the next 40 years it’s hit home quite often:
   What if I hadn’t been wearing a seat belt?

What If Aaron Hernandez Wore a Star on His Helmet?

   Cocaine (Bob Hayes).
   Vehicular Manslaughter (Dwayne Goodrich).
   Stealing From Your Own Mother (Larry Bethea).
   Pot (Nate Newton).
   Domestic Abuse (Harvey Martin, Dez Bryant).
   Indecency with a Child (Rafael Septien).
   Bribery (Thomas Henderson).
   DUI (Erik Williams, Jay Ratliff).
   Indecent Exposure (Lance Rentzel).
   "Runnin' Ho's In and Outta The White House" (Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, et al).
   Intoxication Manslaughter (Josh Brent).
   But on the Dallas Cowboys' long and illustrious rap sheet, there has never appeared:
   First-Degree Murder.
   Imagine - given they're the lazy punch-line to every NFL jurisprudence joke - if Aaron Hernandez played football with a star on the side of his helmet.

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Mavs' Shrinking Success Tied to Disasters on Draft Day

   The Dallas Mavericks' remarkable run of 50+ wins and playoff appearances for 12 consecutive seasons has ended. And it's not difficult to see where the decline began.
   As the Mavs tonight prepare to make a Lottery pick (13th) for the first time since 2000 when they fanned on Syracuse forward Etan Thomas, we're reminded of how general manager Donnie Nelson, owner Mark Cuban and the front office has continually failed to acquire draft-night talent to surround its all-time draft-night jewel, Dirk Nowitzki.
   While in this century the Mavs have launched air-ball acquisitions like Maurice Ager ('06), Nick Fazekas ('07), Roddy Beaubois ('09), Dominique Jones ('10), Rudy Fernandez ('11) and Jared Cunningham ('12), elite teams such as the San Antonio Spurs, for example, have used similarly low picks in the 20s+ to stockpile legit talent such as Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker, John Salmons, Luis Scola, Leandro Barbosa, Beno Udrih, Tiago Splitter, George Hill, Goran Dragic, Kawhi Leonard and Cory Joseph.
   Of course, in the Mavs we're talking about an organization that drafted Chris Anstey ('97), Randy White ('89), Bill Garnett ('82), Leon Smith ('99) and, in '96, Samaki Walker - four picks before a guy named Kobe Bryant.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Hard Lie 2 Wrap-Up: Your Q's and My A's

   Okay, let's bury this baby.
   Thanks for reading my 5-part, Hard Lie 2 series last week. Response was overwhelming. But apparently almost 10,000 words and over 50 documents weren't enough, because I've received countless questions about the story via email and Twitter.
   As this week has hopefully proven, this web site will be much more than just Greggo fallout. So until something newsworthy happens to someone on the show - Oh, I dunno, an arrest? A new radio job? A move to upstate New York? A pizza joint opening? - let this be the final item centering on the radio show formerly known as RAGE. Cool?
   But before we depart, let me put some answers to the five most popular questions in the wake of the story ...

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White Truck Wednesday

   My theory, as most do, simply began as an observation, sparked by an annoyance.
   Driving Metrpolex freeways - mainly 75 south from Collin County toward Dallas - I began noticing more and more a certain type of vehicle causing me the most anxiety. The white pickup.
   Had to be a couple of coincidences, but nothing more. Right?
   Wrong. White trucks riding cars' bumpers, the drivers regularly pounding on their steering wheels for traffic to part for their apparently more important path. White trucks dangerously swerving in and out of congestion, often illegally using the shoulder as their personal passing lane. White trucks, manned by a single driver, arrogantly using the HOV lane
   I hatched my White Truck Theory after a drive on the George Bush Tollway in 2008.

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Dallas Mavericks Moving to a New Radio Home?

   As your Dallas Mavericks prepare for a draft pick this Thursday and a recruiting strategy of Dwight Howard this summer, they're also pondering a move to a new radio station next season.
   The Mavs, who have been on 103.3 ESPN since before their first run to The NBA Finals in '06, are radio free agents in the wake of their four-year contract expiring after the 2013 season. And, according to radio industry sources, the team is at least "kicking the tires" on a potential move to 105.3 The Fan.
   When asked about his team's radio status via email, owner Mark Cuban responded "Nothing new to report."
   For a couple reasons, however, The Fan seems primed to steal the basketball away from ESPN.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Top 10 Players in NBA History. Yep, "He"'s Already on Here.

   Hate LeBron James.
   In fact, I'll never forgive him for mocking Dirk Nowitzki's flu cough in the 2011 NBA Finals. But these days, in the wake of Miami's Finals' triumph over the Spurs, I can't deny how damn good of a basketball player he's become.
   Last week he accomplished being only the third player in NBA history to win MVPs of both regular season and The Finals in back-to-back seasons. The other two? Bill Russell and Michael Jordan. Yeah, wow.
   Facing elimination in Games 6 and 7 against San Antonio James produced two epic performances totaling 69 points, 23 rebounds and 14 assists.
   Like him or not, you can't deny that greatness.
   Stubborn as I am, I can no longer keep LeBron off my list of the NBA's greatest all-time players, an elite collection that doesn't include the winningest player (Bill Russell), most dominant physical specimen (Wilt Chamberlain) or 2nd all-time leading scorer (Karl Malone). I can only take solace that LeBron's 11-1 in playoff series as a member of the Heat.
   And all us Mavs' fans gleefully know who gave him the one defeat. Right?
   My Top 10 Players in NBA History ...

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The Truth Behind Me vs. ... The Ticket?

   So, from my viewpoint, there is no Richie Whitt vs. The Ticket.
   But apparently this morning - this comes second-hand via Twitter, I didn't hear it because I got out of the habit of listening to them the last five years when I was at The Fan - The Ticket's morning show, The Musers, criticized me, calling me a "sideline sitter" and "Bitchy Twit."
   The first label, of course, refers to me having recently been fired from The Fan. Seems a little mean-spirited, but hey, it's their microphones. All's fair in love and radio. No biggie. And I guess the latter is supposed to be a zinger but, other than displaying their fundamental ability to rhyme, it just takes me back to 2nd grade.
   Folks are now asking a valid question, and one I'm not sure I have a good answer for:
   When did The Ticket and I get crossways?

King James Almost Beheaded

   During Monday's nauseating Miami Heat victory parade, someone thought it'd be a good idea to sneak the "floats" under bridges.
   Who's planning the parades on South Beach, Laura Miller?
   The King almost lost his crown.
   Maybe next time?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bottom Line: (With BaD Radio) The Ticket Marches On

   In one scenario Bob Sturm and Dan McDowell wouldn't be on The Ticket today at Noon, instead replaced by Rich Phillips and Donovan Lewis.
   In other scenario, Cumulus Media would reach an 11th-hour deal with BaD Radio to remain in the station's midday slot it's held down since 1999.
   In yet another scenario - one that revealed itself today - both scenarios occurred.
   How's that? Because in a weird twist to a dramatic plot that broke on Friday, BaD Radio got the deal it wanted to stay put on Sunday, plus the day off on Monday. The explanation from Sturm's (@SportsSturm) Twitter:
I know this might seem odd, but we are off today. Back on Tuesday at noon. Vacation starts Friday. See you then. #AllGood
   I'm sure Bob and Dan will detail their serious flirtation with 105.3 The Fan tomorrow, and I'll let those boys explain whether Cumulus upped the ante or if they settled for less money to stay put (but, c'mon, we know the answer to that one, right?) But for now we're left knowing they're remaining at The Ticket while wondering what the almost-move will do to morale - and the lineups - up the dial.

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Me 'n Mike "Douche": The 5 Dumbest Things I Did on TV Last Night

   Nervous? No way.
   Rusty? Damn skippy.
   It was good to be back yapping to the masses via moving pictures last night, hanging out with Mike Doocy on Fox 4's Sports Sunday.
   I'll let you give my appearance a final grade, but I will admit that is was far from perfect. Giggly goofbally at times, even.
   In fact, when Sybil made me watch the replay this morning I found enough flaws for a list.
   I call it The 5 Dumbest Things I Did on TV Last Night:

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