Last day of a year. A lot of takes to get off my hairy chest:
ITEM: No, I don’t believe the T-Mac-Wants-To-Be-Traded whispers will have legs. But yes, I would do almost anything to bring him to Dallas. Let the buyer beware, however: This is an odd bird, a loner, a sort of haunted guy. … and the baggage that he carries in Houston for a team that simply cannot win with him would make the trip up the highway and into the Dallas locker room.
ITEM: The NBA offered The Donaghy Scandal. The NFL offered The Vick Imprisonment. Baseball offered The Mitchell Report. If sure the NHL had some sort of controversy, too, but nobody noticed.
ITEM: So will one of you gun-owning morons email me () and explain to me why on New Year’s Eve you fire bullets into the air? I know as much about firearms as I know about physics, but. … when a bullet rises randomly upward, isn’t there a chance it will eventually travel randomly, tragically, downward?
ITEM: So do you root for watching history, and the Patriots going 19-0? Or are you like me, wanting Bill Belichick to lose and put his tail ‘tween his legs and his illegal camera back in its case?
ITEM: The Warriors in town on Wednesday. The Heat in town on Friday. Hey, Fate, why not have Roy Tarpley sing the National Anthem for both games and let’s conveniently present as many Mavs nightmares as possible into one neat package, eh?
ITEM: Dear Tony Romo: Keep your hands off Carrie Underwood’s purse, keep your hands off Britney Spears’ Starbucks Frappacinos, keep your hands of Jessica Simpson’s career and keep your hands off Sophie’s Bush.
Focus, kid. For just a month more. And then in February you can orgy with the Simpson Sisters, the Olsen Twins, The Golden Girls, whatever.
ITEM: If the Spurs played the Celtics in the NBA Finals, I say they’d be favored to win. Again. And I’ll tell you what else: As much as I hate SA, I’d be rooting for them over Boston. Because by that time sports fans will have had it up to HERE with friggin’ Beantown.
ITEM: For the Cowboys, that’s eight years of Week 17 games. And an 0-8 record. Three different coaches. Games at home. Games on the road. Games in domes. Games in bad weather. Yet, always, one constant: A loss. It is, at the least, freaky.
ITEM: Why is the Mavs’ rotation so troublesome?
Every time we turn around, Avery Johnson has invented a new lineup, a new rotation. … I must be a dumbass, because I don’t think it’s too complicated. Without doing all the math – heck, I won’t even use a pencil – how about:
Damp and Diop split 40-to-48 minutes at center. Dirk gets 34-to-38 minutes (and the most shots). Bass gets the remaining 12 at the 4, with George getting a sampling there. Josh gets 35 minutes. Devin gets 35 minutes at the point. Jet gets the other 13 there, and 15 more at the 2. Stack and Eddie Jones and a little bit of George split most of the leftover 38 and George.
And there you go. I think it adds up. What is so difficult about that?
ITEM: Wild-card predictions. …
The Steelers never beat Jacksonville. Tennessee should have that Happy To Be Here feeling and lose to San Diego. The Bucs defense will befuddle Eli and the Giants. And Redskins at Seahawks? I’ll take the home team, with the visitors having to make a 3,000-mile trip. I’ll take the good team over the hot team. The Seahawks will win.
At least the Cowboys hope so.
And there’s the NFL wild-card weekend picture, setting up a Bucs visit to Texas Stadium in two weeks.
ITEM: Are we boo’ers?
Do Dallas fans have the venom to boo the Warriors? To boo Nellie? Do Dallas fans even possess the venom to make D-Wade’s visit uncomfortable? I’m not judging, just asking: Are we boo’ers?
ITEM: Cleveland wins 10 games, so that Cowboys plan to have a top-five pick courtesy of a crummy Browns team didn’t work out. It’ll be the 20th pick. With two first-rounders, Dallas will still be a major player in that April draft.
ITEM: I really wanted to see my Vikings make the playoffs, if only to see what A.D. might do. Of course, since our coach DOESN’T EVEN PLAY HIS BEST PLAYER on the entire first drive of a must-win Week 17 game, doesn’t use him on goal-line, doesn’t use him on third down, doesn’t have him in at the end. … I guess even if Minny would’ve made the playoffs it wouldn’t mean we’d get to see Adrian Peterson.
Because Brad Childress might not have even played him!
ITEM: Let’s go get Kidd! Let’s go get Shaq!
Exciting thoughts. But I think both are born of a grass-is-greener notion. I can envision J-Kidd in a Dallas uniform. … and us growing tired of his missing shots and embroiling himself in woman problems. I can envision Shaq in a Dallas uniform. … and us growing tired of him slowing us down and missing his free throws.
ITEM: The Lakers wear 1980’s-style short-shorts in their loss to the Celtics, and you know, it was a cute gimmick. Except. … I wonder if it contributed to the loss?
Imagine if an NFL team wore leather helmets. Or if a major-league baseball team used tiny gloves. Don’t you think it’s possible the nuthuggers negatively affected the play of its wearers?
ITEM: A stunning announcement from Buffalo regarding Marv Levy. He’s retiring. But that’s not the stunning part. I’m stunned that Marv is still around to make any announcements. I’m stunned Marv Levy is even still alive.
ITEM: Demarcus Ware should keep a date open on his calendar just in case he wins a league or conference Defensive MVP Award. Ware is, at this moment, the most effective pass-rusher in the game. … and he plays the run. … and he drops into coverage. … and he keeps his nose clean. … and he’s the best player – maybe on either side of the ball! – on a 13-3 team. What more would voters want?
ITEM: That’s 13 straight for the Blazers, and remember, this is AFTER they were supposed to tank the season in light of the loss of Greg Oden.
You want a Mavs-related angle on Portland’s success? Forget this “window-is-closing’’ business. Forget this down-the-road “rebuilding’’ business. What Portland is doing is eliminating the excuses for other franchises.
The Blazers are exciting NOW. They are winning NOW. I expect no less of my teams. Mavs included.
ITEM: Do I have to feel guilty because I’m not watching Georgia Tech and Fresno State in the Humanitarian Bowl?
ITEM: This is where columnists close their pieces by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and it’s usually accompanied by a request that you “don’t drink and drive’’ and whatnot. I’ll do it a bit stronger than that: I could give a crap if you want to start out 2008 by killing yourself. I’m only really bothered if you use your booze and your car to kill ME or SOMEBODY ELSE.