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Friday, August 30, 2013

WHITT'S END: 8.30.13

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

   *Sure, $765 million is a lot of money. But as the total price tag for 4,500 former NFL players complaining of life-altering concussion side effects? I always thought memories were priceless.

   *Looking for My Top 10 Whitty Observations from Thursday night's scintillating Cowboys' loss to the Texans? It's right over here on NBC's Blue Star Blog.

   *Love a lot of the Cowboys' pieces heading into 2013 season. But you can't ignore how bad their lines will be. No Jay Ratliff. A limited Anthony Spencer. No Josh Brent. No Nate Livings. Doug Free at a position he's never played. It's ugly. And it's not lost on former Cowboy/ESPN's Darren Woodson: "You have to win in the trenches. That’s the sauce. We can say what we want to say about Dez Bryant and Jason Witten and Miles Austin and Tony Romo but if you’re not winning in the trenches, you’re not winning a championship." Sorry, the Cowboys aren't winning in the trenches this year. And they're not winning a championship.

   *At the beginning of August we were panicky about the Rangers. They were six games back of the A's. In an epic scoring drought. And now? At the beginning of September it's all good. Texas is 19-6 this month and can tie the best month in franchise history by winning Friday and Saturday against the lowly Twins. That the way baseball go. Big series starts Monday afternoon in Oakland.

   *Johnny Goofball's suspension will be shorter than the time you take to read Whitt's End.



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Week 1/8.29.13: You Betcha

   I'm starting with a mythical bankroll of $10,000, courtesy of my friends at Bodog sports online casino. First of all, because their site is easy to navigate. More importantly, because they're based in Costa Rica and have had minimal success tracking me down in the past.
   I'll analyze games/wagers of  local interest each weekend and make a pick every Thursday. With any luck, by Christmas it'll be new iPhone 6s for everyone!

   Always loved sports. Almost as much as sports gambling.
   In college I was a tad, shall we say, obsessed. Won thousands. Lost of tens of thousands. Had the bookie threatening to break my legs. Had to paint Dad's house to pay off an emergency "loan." And had more than my money's worth of fun along the way.
   Just ask any of the '80s-circa "entertainers" at Lace in Arlington.
   In fact, if I was given another five free lives, I'd likely risk one of them trying my hand as a professional sports gambler in Las Vegas.
   Which brings us to you.
   I know you bet. It makes sports more interesting. More fun. And I can help.
   Each Thursday I'll scour the college and NFL betting lines and find a winner, free of charge. (If I learned anything through the years it's that the way to win is quality of bets, not quantity.)
   Got one.
   And it sounds crazy, because I'm betting against the SEC.
   TCU plus+5 points against LSU Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium feels really strong. I know, I know. LSU has won 41 consecutive non-conference games. Six SEC teams are ranked ahead of the Big 12's best, Oklahoma State at No. 13. And truth be told, LSU will probably have a bigger crowd in Arlington.
   But here's where the Horned Frogs stay close. TCU picked off 21 passes last year, returns its top five defensive backs and top four tacklers from 2012. Gary Patterson's kids can play defense.
   And LSU can't play offense.
   The Tigers had one of the nation's worst passing offenses last year. Mediocre quarterback Zach Mettenberger returns, but leading rusher Jeremy Hill may not play pending pending discipline for his off-season arrest.
   TCU might win this game, as LSU's vaunted mystique is dissolving right before our eyes.
THIS WEEK: TCU +5 over LSU, for $1,000.

So In The End Johnny Goofball is Guilty. And Free?

   Johnny Manziel got from Point A to Point B at a rate that suggested he couldn't have possibly traveled any slower than 93 mph.
   There was, however, no radar data of the event.
   Bottom line: Johnny Goofball will sit out a half of football Saturday in a game that he, yep, probably would've played only one half.
   The Aggies will destroy Rice on the opening weekend of college football. Manziel will both throw and run for touchdowns. And the NCAA again looks like damn, hapless fools.
   “NCAA rules are clear that student-athletes may not accept money for items they sign, and based on the information provided by Manziel, that did not happen in this case.”
   I'm going to assume the joint NCAA/A&M release was written with a straight face. Though offering a plea bargain to a suspect guilty only of an "inadvertent violation" is laughable.

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"Glory Hole" + "Secret Sauce" = Cowboys' Bitter Disappointment or, Finally, a Happy Meal?

   Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame-seed bun.
   The year was 1974 and as an impressionable 10-year-old punk I was wide-eyed about fast-food in general and McDonald’s new hamburger in specific. It was a double-decker delight. And it was trumpeted into our lives with the coolest, catchiest theme song on TV. (No, we hadn't yet invented a DVR to skip the ads.)
   Had to have the special sauce. The special sauce made the Big Mac. Everyone in every home on every sandwich attempted to duplicate the special, secret sauce. And now, just like that, the Cowboys have the secret sauce?
   Indeed, at least according to team vice president Stephen Jones, honing his quirky hyperbole in preparation for sooner-than-later filling Dad’s shoes.
   “Obviously we feel like we have a great organization in the Cowboys but we can always be better,” he said. “We look for ways to be better. We do that both on the field and off the field. We’re convinced we’ve got the ‘secret sauce’ to put this thing back together again and win championships.”
   Wait, what the what?!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

White Truck Wednesday: 8.28.13

   My theory, as most do, began simply as an observation, sparked by an annoyance.
   Driving Metroplex 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.
   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. And white trucks, manned by a single driver, arrogantly and unlawfully using the HOV lane.
   Consider this my weekly ode to white trucks, the most aggressive, dangerous and soulless vehicles on our roadways ...

   Not sure exactly who (or what) Brie Cadman is, but he/she/it is hired. On the spot.
   I get texts and emails and Tweets regularly alerting me to White Truck This or White Truck That. Received a link to Brie's web site last week and an item about vehicles' "tells" totally echoes what I've been chirping about for years.
   According to study at the University of California-Davis, the drivers of white pickups are ... Status-seekers ... Dissatisfied with their lives ... Lower education ...
   Nailed it.
   The full Monty:
   Pickup drivers don't like high-density living situations and are more likely to be dissatisfied with their lives. They tend to be workaholics, have lower education, be full-time employees, have service-related jobs, and be middle-income.
   As for what the color of your vehicle says about you:
   White: status seekers, gregarious
   Black: aggressive personality, rebel
   Silver: cool, calm, may be a loner
   Green: reactive
   Yellow: idealistic
   Blue: introspective, reflective, and cautious
   Red: someone who is full of energy and pizzazz
   Cream: contained and controlled
   I rest my case. Until next week.
   Now on to this week's White Truck Wackiness ...

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Jason Garrett: Less Hat; More Power

   Off to the Cowboys' Annual Kick-Off Luncheon at AT&T Stadium today where - I can almost guarantee - there will be no twerking or rump shaking or booty poppin' or ... hats.
   It's indoors. It's formal. And it's becoming normal these days to see Jason Garrett without headwear.
   In Texas, the old saying to identify a fraud goes “Big hat; No cattle.”
   At Valley Ranch, the new slogan to validate a leader is “No hat; More command.”
   In case you haven’t noticed, Garrett this preseason has stopped wearing his trademark topper – hat or visor – on the sideline. But, if you were paying attention last Saturday night at AT&T Stadium, he’s wielding more control than ever.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Top 10 Hottest Women on Dallas/Fort Worth TV

   Miley Cyrus wouldn't make this list.
   Nor her dirty foam finger.
   To be included on my (sorta) annual list of the Top 10 Hottest Women on Dallas/Fort Worth TV candidates must 1) Regularly appear on local TV; 2) Be professionally classy; 3) Be walking-down-the-street smokin' hot.
   Watched MTV's Video Music Awards and Billy Ray's spawn is 0-for-3.
   As you may have already surmised, this isn't a heady post. It's shallow. And sexist. Sue me.
   (My girl Sybil would obviously be on this list. But that would be some sort of conflict of interest, and her guest appearances on KTXD's The Broadcast aren't yet "regular.")
   This list has nothing to do with the experience and deliveries of local TV stalwarts like Campos and Clarice, and everything to do with those that wow us daily on the boob tube with their charisma and, um, charm(s). Ya know, the women that make us stop and watch, no matter what they're gabbing about.
   Yeah, these women ...

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Johnny Goofball Denies He Took Money For Autographs. Yeah, Right.

   Sorry, Aggies.
   As most of us have known all along but you've been too stubborn to admit, the Johnny Goofball autograph story isn't merely an erroneous ESPN fabrication that you can simply mute via midnight yell practice. Now CBS is on the story. And now the NCAA is spending six hours questioning the reigning Heisman Trophy winner about whether he took money in exchange for signing autographs.
   That's right, six hours.
   Guarantee it didn't take that long for the conversation to go like this:
   NCAA: Johnny Goofball, er, Football, er, Manziel, did you get paid for signing all those autographs?
   Goofball: Nope.
   NCAA: Okay, we're done here. Carry on.
   As Texas A&M struggles with the risk-reward of playing its quarterback Saturday against Rice in College Station, the vital question remains unanswered. According to CBS, Manziel denied to the NCAA that he accepted cash for his countless signatures.
   Then why?

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Dez Bryant Poised For Greatest Season Ever by a Cowboys' Receiver

   As you send the kids back to school this week, prepare yourself for a history lesson as well.
   Because Dez Bryant is about to embark on the most prolific season ever by a Dallas Cowboys’ receiver. Stuff that in your backpack.
   For a franchise that boasts Hall-of-Famers Bob Hayes and Michael Irvin, ‘70s All-Decade member Drew Pearson and even the productive, petulant Terrell Owens, Bryant’s 2013 season will re-boot the record books.
   Barring injury of course, he’ll break Irvin’s team-record for catches (111 in ’95) and yards (1,603 in ’95), and Terrell Owens’ mark for touchdowns (15 in ’07).

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Canine Corner: Begley

   After much success with our "RAGE Rescue" program, we've decided to continue helping local pups find homes by featuring more dogs from DFW Rescue Me. We'll call this blog item "Canine Corner", and we'll post an available dog each week. (Last week's entry was Ed.)

  Begley is a two-year-old Shepherd/Greyhound mix (with a touch of Great Dane). He's a very sweet dog, just a little shy when he first meets people. He's already housebroken, crate-trained, and up-to-date on all shots. Begley would do best in an active house, and he'd be great with other dogs.

  To find out how you can adopt this darling doggie, please click here.

Dave Chappelle's Oddball Comeback: More Heat than Humor

   You know how you sometimes go cold turkey on soft drinks or cigarettes or exercise and eventually you forget why you loved it in the first place? Then you finally give in, indulge and ... meh.
   That's what it was like seeing Dave Chappelle in concert Sunday night at Gexa Energy Pavilion Starplex. The memory of Chappelle's former TV show is much funnier than the reality of Chappelle's current stand-up act.
   After walking away from $50 million on Chappelle's Show, getting psychiatric care in South Africa and vanishing for six years, the comedian is re-surfacing as part of the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival. It wasn't exactly Emmitt Smith meandering for a couple yards as an Arizona Cardinal, but neither was it the vintage Chappelle you remember.
   Despite the ho-hum finale, the show - which drew 15,000 to Fair Park - was a hoot.

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Another Reason to Love Dirk Nowitzki

   Flip-flops. A blonde buh-NAN-uh. A disinterested mascot. Mark Followill. And a goofy giant German.
   Imagine the Lakers asking Kobe to do a commercial like this? Yeah, right.

Cowboys 24, Bengals 18 : My Top 10 Whitty Observations

   As is customary, the Cowboys' media representative strolled through the team's locker room at AT&T Stadium Saturday night alerting us dorks with notepads, microphones and cameras to the details of players' impending interviews.
   "Tony Romo," she said - as we all anticipated the usual will be in the interview room in five minutes - "will be in the coaches' office ... on speakerphone."
   Okay ... Wait, what the what?!
   After an impressive pre-season finale in which he threw for two touchdowns in the win over the Bengals, seems the quarterback left the stadium without speaking to the media. And now, to make it right, he was calling in. From his car.
   No biggie. No crime. Just weird. Never in four decades covering covering this team have I enjoyed listening to a player hold his post-game presser via phone.
   While that was surprising, the Cowboys' cuts from 90-75 this week won't be.
   Dallas has to make 13 roster moves before tomorrow. One will be the moving of Tyrone Crawford (who tore his Achilles the first week of training camp) to Injured Reserve. Other names you'll read about but won't miss:
   Receivers Anthony Amos. Jared Green and Eric Rogers. Tight end Colin Cochart. Linebacker Deon Lacey. Kicker Brett Maher. Defensive linemen Jabari Fletcher, Jerome Long and Jason Vega. And, despite his interception to seal Saturday night's win, defensive back Xavier Brewer, along with Jakar Hamilton.
   For my Top 10 Whitty Observations on the game, let's jump over to NBC 5's Blue Star Blog.

Friday, August 23, 2013

WHITT'S END: 8.23.13

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

   *Congrats to avid reader Robert Candeleria of Fort Worth. By paying attention this week he knew that the winning sentence was "I saw Tony Romo's baby at DFWSportatorium." Took his knowledge to Pollo Campero this morning and now he's got a full belly of free Latin chicken and two tickets to a big sporting event. Very cool.

   *With a loss to the Bengals, the Cowboys (1-2) would clinch a losing record in the preseason for the first time in more than a decade. You heard me. Last time the Cowboys were under .500 in exhibitions was 2001 (2-3), when Dave Campo coached and Quincy Carter handed-off to a fella named Emmitt Smith. Since '02 the Cowboys are 28-16-1 in the preseason, a winning percentage (.622) better than over their last 11 regular seasons (.534). But they had losing pre-season records before all three of their Super Bowl seasons in the '90s. Moral to the story: There is little or no predictive value in the outcomes of NFL pre-season games. If the Cowboys fall to 1-3, shrug.

   *Alerted you about a month ago to a potential fourth 24-hour sports-talk radio station in the Metroplex. Despite the obvious hurdles - it's an AM station in an already crowded market dominated by a ratings-greedy gorilla named The Ticket - apparently plans are still a go. Though the initial Sept. 1 launch date is pushed back. ... In other radio news, I still hear ol' friend Randy Galloway is very open to being bought out of his contract by his new bosses over at The Ticket. His contract runs through December, but he's lame-duck done.

   *Something I bet you thought you'd be saying by now but haven't: "Man, I miss Nelson Cruz." As long as the Rangers play the Astros we can't forget about the steroid slugger.

   *Dig a tad deeper and the three teens that gunned down that college baseball player in Oklahoma weren't merely thrill-seekers, but people filled with evil, hate and gangs. This was a hate-crime, right?

   *How bad of an off-season has it been for Johnny Goofball? From accepting the Heisman Trophy as America's best overall college football player, to now not even considered the best quarterback in his conference. He's second-team pre-season All-SEC, behind Georgia's Aaron Murray. Gig 'Em. Giggle.