Monday Morning FishHooks
It was a busy sports weekend here in DFW and the week ahead holds so much more. To help you get your arms around all the goings-on, I give to you my seven “FishHooks” of the week.
I don’t “get’’ Wrestlemania.’’ But I get why you get it. On Sunday night in Arlington, the fifth-largest crowd to ever watch an event filled AT&T Stadium for what I call a “male soap opera.’’ That’s not an insult to the 101,763 in attendance. Rather, it’s a complimentary tip of the cap to the record $17.3 million raked in by what Cowboys exec Charlotte Jones-Anderson admiringly called a “spectacle.’’ Women like soap operas with romance. And that’s OK. Men like soap operas with people throwing themselves off the top of something called “Hell in a Cell.’’ And that’s OK, too.
The Mavs have won four straight games and they’ve done it on the strength of coach Rick Carlisle button-pushing their way to success fueled by the likes of J.J. Barea (averaging about 25 points and six assists over the course of the week) and rookie Justin Anderson – who Dirk says has “slowed’’ down his game from “200 miles-per-hour to 150.” Dallas has finally bobbed over the .500 mark with five games left in the season, with a real shot at a playoff berth. Is that not good enough for you? Then you are a spoiled MFFL.
The Cowboys are taking advantage of this week’s “NFL 30 Pre-Draft Visits” by making sure to bring into Valley Ranch all of the top three prospects at QB – Paxton Lynch, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. You should take this as a hint that the Joneses and their lieutenants understand that a) the Tony Romo window is important but so is the window after that, lest you want it to be the Quincy Carter window 2.0, and b) backup QB on this team (and maybe any NFL team) is essentially “starter No. 12.’’ Finding a kid — if he exists — who can be both “bus driver’’ now and “Romo heir’’ later would be extremely valuable.
There are two certainties and there is one question as to whether Stars can win the Stanley Cup. The certainties: Their offense is good enough to do so and their defense is not championship-caliber. The question: Can their goaltending get hot enough to supplement that offense and overcome that defense? And then a question within a question: Which goaltender will be tabbed to do so? And how will you know Lindy Ruff tabbed the right one or the wrong one …until it’s too late?
Here comes my annual visit to the Texas Motor Speedway for this weekend’s Duck Commander 500. And like Wrestlemania, I’m not nearly as committed to the sport’s minutia (I know Kyle Busch is hot and I know Jimmie Johnson likes Texas) as I am to the festival. So we’ll all put a number in a hat and pick a driver and we’ll drink some of TMS’ own-brewed beer and I’ll be careful not to jump off any 20-foot-high “Hell in a Cells.’’ Oh, wait. Wrong spectacle.
The state of Texas had its March Madness imagination captured by so many entrants in The Tournament, and the region stayed locked in on Saturday because Oklahoma made the Final Four. But then Villanova crushed them, rendering a college Player of the Year type in Buddy Hield almost invisible. And it’s a reminder to all NBA fans, Mavs and otherwise, who want to tank in order to move up in the draft: Do so, and if you are very, very lucky, you get to draft Buddy Hield. … who is almost certainly not going to turn your franchise around. I’d be interested to let people who believe otherwise watch, say, Hield, Justin Anderson and Wesley Matthews go at it in a gym. The kid would get schooled.
It’s Texas Rangers Opening Day. The beer is golden and the sky is blue and the grass is green and the halter tops are white … and to top is all off, the Rangers are good.