Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End 1.29.21…
*"There’s a lot of things wrong right now,'' Luka Doncic said as his Dallas Mavs suffered a loss in Wednesday that marks the club's second three-game losing streak in 10 days.
Wow. Six losses in 10 days?! But ...
*Slow your roll on freaking out about the Mavericks’ slow start. And, yes, I said “start” because we’re not even to February.
At 8-10 entering tonight’s game in Utah, their 18 games played means they are 25 percent into their 72-game season. COVID has sidelined four key contributors (Maxi Kleber, Dorian Finney-Smith, Dwight Powell and Josh Richardson). Rhythm has been sidetracked. Trading deadline is still two months away; the playoffs four.
Would I rather them be 18-0? Yup. But do I taste, judge and throw away my anticipated “well-done” steak when it’s 25-percent cooked? Nope.
Unless I’m way off, the Mavs we see in late May will be drastically different and vastly better than the Mavs we are watching in late January.
*In the midst of the Jim Jackson-Jason Kidd feud soon to rip apart the team’s rebuilding plan, the Dallas Mavericks were 13-27. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Texas Rangers were setting the table for their first division championship and playoff appearance with the Hot Stove signings of Ken Hill, Mike Henneman and Kevin Elster. Boris Becker won the Australian Open. Tom Lehman was the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer. We were all watching Friends and Mr. Holland’s Opus, and listening to “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey/Boyz II Men. The stock market celebrated surpassing 6,000 (now 30,000), the interest rate was 8.25% (now 0.25%) and the minimum wage bumped to $5.15 (now $7.25 trending toward $15).
The Dallas Cowboys were playing in their final Super Bowl.
Jan. 28, 1996 wasn’t just 25 years ago. It was forever ago.
*Keep telling yourself that life is fair, but … in the last four months Tampa sports fans have enjoyed the Lightning winning the Stanley Cup, the Rays going to the World Series and the Buccaneers making it to a Super Bowl in their home stadium.
Meanwhile, Dallas-Fort Worth hasn’t lifted a trophy in 10 years – since the Mavs in 2011.
*Went to the Dallas Stars’ game Thursday night and they wore “blackout” uniforms that made them look like giant cans of Monster Energy drink. But, hey, anything to make a buck, right?
*Our COVID confusion continues: There were about 5,000 fans in attendance, or about 25-percent capacity of American Airlines Center. But when the Mavs host the Suns Saturday night, there will be zero fans. Same building. Similar events. Different rules. Almost a year into the pandemic, that number should be standardized via federally regulations.
*It’s a devastating commentary when hitting .280 with three homers and 10 RBI in 58 games wins your team’s Player of the Year award. The Rangers’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa, of course, did his damage in the field, winning the Gold Glove and ultimately bumping fan favorite and franchise cornerstone Elvis Andrus from his 12-year reign at shortstop.
*Love them or loathe them, The Ticket’s radio run is astonishing. By my math, DFW’s original sports talk station celebrated its 27th birthday last week. A couple of those guys have been holding down the same show since Day 1. Lasting in radio 27 months is a feat; 27 years is unfathomable.
That said, the days of The Ticket’s dominating dynasty are long over.
In light of Super Bowl’s “Radio Row” being canceled because of COVID, The Fan will next week hold a virtual Radio Row from its headquarters in Dallas. Big-name guests. Super Bowl frivolity. Just here, not there. That creativity and hustle has helped The Fan level the playing field among DFW radio listeners via over-the-air, stream or any other metric.
A 13-month scoreboard of the numbers doesn’t lie. The average ratings from Jan. 2, 2020 – Jan. 6, 2021:
Mornings: Fan 4.9, Ticket 4.8
Middays: Fan 5.4, Ticket 4.4
Afternoons: Ticket 5.1, Fan 4.0
Overall: Fan 4.4, Ticket 4.0
*The price for Matthew Stafford might be affordable but, he’s not better than Dak Prescott. The Detroit Lions’ quarterback has played 12 NFL seasons. He has yet to win a single playoff game.
Talented? Sure. Transcendent? Surely you jest.
*I know I’m supposed to be all gaga over those 8k cameras on NFL broadcasts, but all I really see is the same clear picture with a really blurry background. I’m not a “gamer”, so I asked some who are. The consensus?
“It’s sooo cool because they look just Madden!”
I guess I cherish the days when video games tried to look like real games, not vice-versa.
*Patrick Mahomes. Russell Wilson. Lamar Jackson. Josh Allen. Joe Burrow. Justin Hebert. (Maybe) Trevor Lawrence. That’s the short list of NFL quarterbacks I’d rather have than Prescott come 2023. He’ll be 30. In his prime. One of the best.
Cowboys need to solve their Dak Dilemma.
*If you’re the kind of fan who roots for Rocky, the Washington Generals, the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team and all underdogs locked in a slanted system designed to benefit the favorites, this week’s Reddit uprising should make you pump your fist in temporary exaltation.
I won’t bore you with stock-market x’s and o’s – mostly because I can’t – but the simple version is that amateur kids are delivering a financial blow to establishment bazillionaires by way of GameStop.
Bunch of young traders organize on Reddit’s “Wall Street” forum and drive up the share of struggling companies like GameStop, BlackBerry, Macy’s and AMC Theaters. Hedge-fund elites on Wall Street that bet on those doomed companies’ stocks to plummet are, shockingly, losing their shirts. For now, the millennials that still detest the moneygrubbers for their role in the 2008 recession are winning. One year ago, a single share of GameStop stock was worth $4. Today it’s at $200. The stock has skyrocketed 1,700% since Jan. 1.
It’s likely just a glitch in the system. And it seems the filthy rich might muscle their way to a win. But, for now, it is glorious.
*Larry bird saw the game in slow motion. Luka Doncic plays it in slow motion. In a great way.
*Security at DFW Airport confiscated 3,200 guns in 2020. That’s almost 10 per day.
Q: Who in their right mind attempts to take a gun on an airplane?
A: No one. Absolutely nobody.
*Next time you get tired of waiting for red light, start texting someone. Bingo, green! Works every time. You’re welcome.
*There will be a March Madness. Gonzaga and Baylor will make up half the Final Four.
*I haven’t been on an airplane since last March and here’s why I’m in no hurry to do so. A passenger on Frontier Airlines this week complained that the person in the seat in front of him was sneezing, coughing and generally hacking potentially deadly germs throughout the plane. The response from airline flight attendants (with the captain watching): “You can drive your car if it’s a problem” and “You ain’t no doctor” and “YOU should be on a ‘no-fly list’.”
There’s COVID confusion and then there’s this … dangerous indifference and, for certain, damaging public relations.
*22 consecutive weekends with at least one football game and now comes this vile, vacuous void. What will you do this weekend? I mean, other than miss football.
*Someone at the NFL has their thinking cap on: Youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman – who dazzled the nation at Joe Biden’s inauguration – will recite a poem before Super Bowl LV.
*Since the Cowboys went to their last Super Bowl, Tom Brady has gone to 10.
*This feels like the time of year when those New Year’s Resolutions just quietly melt away back into same ol’, same ol’. Yours?
*This Weekend? Saturday morning is for tennis. Saturday afternoon is for some quality time with Big Brothers Big Sisters lil’ bro Ja Ja. Sunday is for missing football. As always, don’t be a stranger.