Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End 9.25.20 ...
*I know Dwyane Wade is long gone and the Dallas Mavericks exacted sweet revenge in 2011, but I still can’t make myself root for the Miami Heat.
Wade flopping in 2006.
LeBron James mocking Dirk Nowitzki’s cough in 2011.
I like former Mav Jae Crowder and I love me some Jimmy Butler, but there’s just something about the Heat that makes me pull for … whoever they’re playing.
*Just two games into the Dallas Cowboys season and it’s crystal clear: You can’t be a fan of both Jason Garrett and Mike McCarthy any more than you can like Harry Styles and Johan Strauss. While the former head coach was so conservative he once punted from the opponent’s 41-yard line on fourth-and-1 in overtime, the new boss is already 1 of 5 on fourth downs, has called two fake punts on his side of the 50 in the same game and sacked conventional wisdom by attempting a two-point conversion facing a nine-point deficit.
Garrett is the safe Blackjack player that stands on 16; McCarthy the gambler who doubles down on 6. (Though the new boss hates being called a "gambler,'' as Fish explains below.)
Though I’d preferably see quarterback Dak Prescott and not punter Chris Jones throwing this team’s pivotal passes, give me McCarthy.
Granted, I don’t comprehend the math behind last week’s premature two-point attempt. But in America we can’t even agree on how – or if – to wear a mask, how can we expect to be united in a risk by America’s Team?
We absorbed a decade of Garrett’s playing-not-to-lose vanilla, the result of which was talented teams regularly underperforming into .500ish records and failing to win multiple playoff games in a season.
McCarthy’s aggressiveness is jarring and, at times, head-scratching, but over the course of a season it will give the Cowboys a better chance to win.
*Another reason you should embrace McCarthy: He’s molding his system to fit his talent, not vice-versa. The result? The Cowboys have used their “11” personnel – one running back, one tight end and three wide receivers – on 85% of offensive snaps, by far the most in the NFL.
When you have Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, get them on the field together as much as possible.
*While I fervently support Black Lives Matter, the facts do not lead to Breonna Taylor being targeted and/or murdered because of her skin color. That said, I empathize with the outrage over this week’s grand jury decision because … A Louisville police officer was charged with multiple felonies for shooting into adjacent apartments, but not Taylor’s. And the officer that fired the fatal shot wasn’t charged at all.
There is a $12 million settlement with Taylor’s family. There have already been corrective reforms made in her name at the Louisville Police Department. An officer involved has been fired and charged. But – although this case didn’t approach murder – nothing short of “negligent homicide” seems to represent justice.
*Blue Bell ice cream may be as Texan as bluebonnets, but the Brenham-based company this week was slapped with the largest food-safety fine in U.S. history. The creamery must pay $17.25 million for not recalling contaminating product in their 2015 listeria outbreak that killed three people.
Amazing how irrationally loyal Texans just conveniently forgot that case last summer when shopping in their freezer section.
*What kind of short-but-sour year was it for the Texas Rangers? They weren’t able to show off their new stadium, which has been panned for its exterior appearance. COVID-19 swept through their radio (Matt Hicks) and TV booths (C.J. Nitkowski). Free-agent gem Corey Kluber pitched only one inning. They have allowed eight grand slams in 57 games, just one shy of the franchise record for 162 games. Meanwhile, slugger Joey Gallo has five at-bats with the bases loaded and has driven in exactly 0 runs.
Oh, and at 19-38 they enter this weekend’s final three games against the Houston Astros with a win percentage of only .333, which would be the worst in the franchise’s almost 50-year history.
*Lone bright spot for the Rangers is a veteran who wields a ton of power without swinging a bat. Former Nashville radio disc jockey Chuck Morgan will on Saturday be behind a Major League Baseball stadium microphone for the 3,000 consecutive game. That’s 38 straight years without missing a game, 37 of them in Arlington (He spent 2002 with the Kansas City Royals). Take that, Cal Ripken.
Morgan, the team’s No. 1 ambassador and iconic public address announcer, is also scheduled to work the World Series at Globe Life Field next month.
*Again, I won’t pretend to be knowledgeable enough to break down the tactics of the Dallas Stars’ Stanley Cup Final deficit to the Tampa Bay Lightning. But I do know this: Leading scorer Tyler Seguin picked the worst possible time to endure a career-worst 12-game drought without a goal.
It’d be like the Mavs trying to win the NBA Finals with Luka Doncic not producing a triple-double for 3 weeks.
*While the Stars battle the Lightning, their most familiar play-by-play voice is fighting cancer. Ralph Strangis, who called the team’s Stanley Cup appearances in 1999 and 2000, recently underwent multiple surgeries for bladder cancer, the same disease being fought by legendary Ticket host Norm Hitzges.