Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DFW, We Have a Leader

FINALLY!

For a particular story I am doing, I have been asking a number of Rangers about who their leader is.  I have asked Manager Ron Washington  and GM Jon Daniels who they look to when they need to impart a message to the team.   The unanimous answer, on all fronts, has been one man: Michael Young.

This shouldn't come as a shock or surprise; but I will tell you it's impressive.  He leads by example and does it vocally, as well.   Pitcher C.J. Wilson might have said it best: "He's made so many sacrifices for the team.  To keep his bat in the lineup and keep his different positions, win a gold glove at short, now he's playing 3rd.  He can win a gold glove there you know."

Young's willingness to do whatever it takes and ability to excel at each attempt isn't lost on his teammates.  "Everyone's going home and looking at himself in the mirror saying 'what can I do to push the team over the top?' Wilson added.

Why does that impress the hell out of me?  Because for years I have asked just about every key player on every pro team in Dallas who the leader on his team was.  EVERY, single player gave me a different answer or named a few guys.  Some players (dallas mavericks) named the owner (mark cuban)!  It's so refreshing to have a team that knows who that guy is.  What's even more refreshing is to have a guy who's willing to put himself on the line to do it.  Many players aren't brave enough to do that and for Young to do is a testament to his character. 


Almost More Impressed by the Peeps
While I've been busy dissing the autograph flies at spring training, I must give huge kudos to the fans.  They are a loyal bunch.  I have asked Rangers execs asked if the number of fans is lower than in years' past given the economic climate.  Overwhelmingly the answer is no.  Fan turnout is impressive for a team not named the Cowboys, Yankees or Packers.  There's something to be said for the loyal baseball fan.  Even more impressive is the loyal Rangers fan.  There have been some rough years in the Arlington.

BTW, my personal favorite, The Cookie Lady, is in Surprise with her husband.  I did a story with her years ago and received about two dozen cookies for my colleagues at the station.  Here's hoping we see some of her sweets in the next few days! ;)
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Down Goes Hamilton (plus Day 1 Dish)

Not the kind of blog post title you want to see, is it?

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton left the team's first full practice earlier Wednesday after taking a tumble chasing a popup.  It was on a simple, routine catch in which he kind of dove for the ball.

He went into the training room and had examined.  The team is calling it a left shoulder contusion and muscle spasm .  He's listed as day to day but, to me, that's not the end of the story.  You always have to look a little closer with a player like Hamilton who appeared in only 89 games last year.  Has the injury happened before? Could it be a recurring issue?  There are always questions that need to be answered.

Hamilton left the Rangers complex early and went out the back way to get to his car, not taking the typical route that most players do get there (i wasn't the one who pointed this out, btw - a former player did).  Maybe that's not a huge deal but he didn't want to talk about the injury at all.  Fair enough.  He happened to be casually chatting with some print media types when I had just finished up an interview I was conducting.  We walk over with our camera and he's indicating he doesn't want to talk to us.  (I videoblog about this on YouTube).  Regardless, I walk to the car with him.  He was happy and polite enough to talk to me without the camera.  I ask him if it's a recurring injury and he tells me it's the "first time it's happened".  "So it's never happened before," I continue.  He reiterates it hasn't.  He adds that it's a bummer but perhaps a good thing that it happened early in spring training.  

I asked Rangers GM Jon Daniels and Manager Ron Washington the same stuff.   The "never happened before"/"first time it's ever happened" message was the mantra across the board.  Ok, cool.  Let's hope that's the case and that it won't be a bigger issue down the road or hasn't been an issue in the past.  I'm just sayin'.

Flies vs Hounds
I know autographs are really cool to some people.  To me, they're just ink.  Trust me, unless you see someone sign something, there's a good chance it's not real.  I've worked for two professional sports franchises, TRUST me.

Anyway, it's so weird....professional autograph seekers hang out at spring training practices trying to get players' autographs.  They will walk with a guy while he's walking from field to field to try and get him to sign something.  I heard one of the autograph guys bragging how he had "15,000" autographs to sell.  Seriously?  The players are working! 

The autograph seekers are affectionately termed "flies" because they swarm every time a guy gets near them.

Now, I understand that perhaps just below autograph seekers on the food chain is....wait for it....the media! Yes, we are a well-hated bunch.  Our nickname: "hounds".  I understand it but hate it.  I hate the stereotype that comes with being a reporter/anchor.  Too many times people don't understand our jobs or really know what we do.  BUT, I guess if I had my druthers, I'd rather be a hound...much cuter than a fly.
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Friday, February 19, 2010

U Can't Control What the Ball Do (or the Hooch Apparently)

So Josh Howard's "stomach illness" that  forced him to miss the Wizards game on January 20th was possibly a raging hangover?  Does that surprise you at all?  Lord knows I've been there (the raging hangover part) but at least I'm enough of an adult to get my job done.   

Eddie Sefko has the detes on something that doesn't surprise any  of us.  I remember reporting the "stomach illness" when I first heard the details that day and Derek Harper's first words were "he is outta here."  At least Howard's passion to party is consistent.  Sources have told me he was taking advantage of the Dallas nightlife until 5am just about every night during All-Star weekend.  (not passing judgment there....just reporting)

Howard is a player who repeatedly did not take responsibility for his actions.  He blamed the media for his wrongdoings and was constantly enabled by the Mavericks and his hangers-on.  He went from being the untouchable commodity to a player who's more of detriment than asset.  

Are you disappointed his departure didn't happen sooner?  Did the Mavs reluctance to trade him sooner hurt this team?   I had heard he was on the block for a while.  Perhaps other teams were wiser in their unwillingness to take him on a player.  Regardless, he's the Wizards problem now and he might  continue to be just that: a problem
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Monday, February 15, 2010

All-Star Week Impressions and a Little Hot Dish

This year's All-Star weekend was kind of like that nice, little home-cooked meal your Grandma makes.  You're not too sure how it's going to be.  You know it could be awesome and some of Grandma's legendery home cooking (mine made phenomenal chicken and rice, along with the best tuna salad EVER).  Or it could have been the version that slipped in recent years.  The kind that you knew could be great but really missed the mark.  Frankly, I thought it was going to be the latter.  I didn't think North Texas would be able to handle the traffic and insanity that was going to hit it.  But our little area did me proud.  Yes, downtown Dallas was a parking lot many times this weekend.  Jam Session, the Galleria, Northpark, nightclubs and restaurants were packed but I'll take it.

The game experience was great.  The arena looked amazing.  The scene was great.  People were able to chat with their friends and hang out in a little courtside bar that gave it a real intimate feeling.

Players unanimously loved it.  Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Derrick Rose, Lebron James, Deron Williams all loved playing in front of the crowd.  Stoudemire told me he was overwhelmed.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban must have been on cloud 9 the entire weekend.  From the trade to the success of the game, he had a smile on his face from Wednesday night to early Monday morning.  I asked him what it was like reading 108,713 (the record-breaking number of people in attendance Saturday night).  He told me that wasn't the "moment".  He said when he saw the number on paper he was blown away.  He said that Jerry Jones wanted the paper for his Cowboys Hall of Fame.  Cuban told him know and said that it was going in his "personal hall of fame."  He said it was in his back pocket.  We asked him to retrieve it so we could shoot it and he couldn't find it.   I love it.

On to the fun stuff!

From the Tool Shed
I've met Arnold Schwarzenegger before.  Not the we're friends and we hang. I've just interviewed him for a quick 30 seconds and moved on.  He was great.  I happened to be in the bowels of the AAC while he was making his way through Saturday night and was impressed yet again.  He was gracious, engaging, warm and welcoming to every single person who approaching him.  Very impressive.  He had the same number of security detail as this man who comes from deep inside the tool shed. Seriously.  I saw security escorting Stephen A. Smith through the AAC bowels on Saturday.  Really?


From the Did You Know Department: 
-The NBA gives celebrities complimentary tickets to attend the All-Star game.  Of course it does.  They like the buzz surrounding the event.  As you can imagine, the league wants to see shots of them during the game.  What's interesting is that some celebrities don't want any of the publicity or to be seen on camera.  If a celeb who's gotten the comp tickets tries to shoo the cameras away while they're getting a shot - tough.  A little birdie told me that league told it's cameramen and women to just keep shooting.
-Most Mavericks players bought suites for All-Star Saturday night.
-Just about every department from the Dallas Cowboys got a suite to the All-Star game.

Lebron Truly is the King
Wherever Lebron James goes, there he is.  He is the star, the focal point and truly the king.  Players defer to him.  Celebrities are in awe of him.  The media flocks to him.  It's interesting to see how in command he is of a room, a court or a 100-seat stadium.  He does look like he's 40, though.


Kobe's Not That Bad. I promise.
A lot of PR types and media folks don't like Kobe Bryant for a number of reasons.  I have absolutely nothing but fabulous things to say about him.  I always get an eye-roll when I say that.  Derek Harper sort of took Kobe under his wing when he was with the Lakers and Kobe has always respected and looked up to Derek.  Tons of players feel that way about Harp, honestly.  Because of  my professional relationship with Derek, Kobe has always been great to me.  There are always a million mediots (my new favorite word...thanks, Mike Fisher) surrounding him during interview sessions.  He always looks to me and lets me ask whatever I want (mediots typically compete with one another to get a question into a player....it's a battle trying to get one in).  And generally, he gives me a hell of an answer.  Yes, I'm biased.  Sorry.
Magic Also Loves JJ
I asked Magic Johnson about the Mavericks and he literally gave me an entire 3-minute interview.  I love Magic.  He's always been wonderfully sweet to me.  Magic loves him some J.J. Barea.  Magic went down the Mavericks roster and praised Dirk, J Kidd, Shawn Marion and then.....your favorite little sparkplug, J.J. Barea.  (I wonder if he's see him play lately?)  Although he did call him "Barerra".  Some of Barea's teammates still do that, too.  I told J.J. what Magic had said when I saw him on Saturday night and he was stunned.  "Really?" he asked.  "Yeah," I said.  J.J. lit up and high-fived me.  It was so cute.
 
A First-Timer's Impression
I interviewed just about every player this weekend except Chris Kaman (more on that later).  Our Chicago sister station needed me to get an interview with Bulls guard Derrick Rose.  It was his first all-star game in his second NBA season and it was so fun to see that youthful enthusiasm.  He will be 22 in October and marveled at every event he attended.  He grew up watching guys like Jason Kidd and Kevin Garnett and told me that he was picking their brains at every chance he could get.  It's a refreshing change from a guy who's been there, done that and is so jaded that a naked Victoria's Secret supermodel wouldn't even register.

Speaking of Not Registering
I tweeted this but I almost felt sorry for poor Chris Kaman.   He was a total also-ran.  Hardly anyone wanted to talk to him at the media availability sessions.  Fans were kind of like "eh, is that this guy" After the game, he had just one reporter interviewing him.  Granted he probably enjoys the lack of attention but to top it all off, he has to play for the Clippers.

Other Random Thoughts:
-Nuggets Guard Chauncey Billips continues to be one of the nicest NBA players I've ever met.  I brainfarted and asked him a dumb question and he smarted back "what's wrong with you today?" He's a good egg.  
-Former Spur Bruce Bowen is one of the nicest people I've ever met.
-I saw a hint of personality from Spurs Center Tim Duncan.  He actually laughed during a rare one on one interview I conducted with him.
-There was a group from NBA China streaming live back to China.  This poor woman was shooting her reporter with a camera pack on her back that showed the video she was shooting.  Every photographer I worked with said you couldn't pay them enough to shoot with that thing on their backs.  Not because it was heavy but because they were all scared of what that radiation was doing to to her insides!  That video backpack was SCARY looking.  Needless to say....it
 was made in China.
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Looks Like J-Ho's Gonna Go

And I thought I would be blogging about all sorts of All-Star media day dish.  Bugger!

It looks like the trade's going to happen.   Stein has the details here.  Fish has thoughts here.  Sefko has more detes here.

We reported Thursday night on TXA21 that deal  originated as a trade that would send Josh Howard and a spare Mav for Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson.  Dallas didn't want Stevenson but Washington insisted.  Dallas balked.  Sources have repeatedly confirmed as much.

The Wizards have sweetened the pot.

CBS11/TXA21 Producer Cody Winstead is the brains behind this department.  He did a little salary analysis with a couple of player variables using ESPN.com's Trade Machine:
Mavs
Josh Howard  1 year  10,890,000
Drew Gooden 1 year 4,500,000
Quinton Ross 1 year 1,033,342
James Singleton 1 year 1,030,189

Wizards
Caron Butler 2 years 9,780,970
Brendan Haywood 1 year 6,000,000
DeShawn Stevenson 1 year 3,883,929

So the Mavs would have cleared 17.5 million of the books with Howard, Gooden and Ross.

Now they'll clear just under 10 million (Haywood and Stevenson) and they still have Dampier at 12,115,500 as well.  Of course they have Butler next year who will come off the books.


I offer this cautionary tale: Remember 2008.  Jason Kidd was pulled from a Nets game after they thought the trade with Dallas was a done deal.  We had interviews with New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank commenting on the contributions Kidd made to the team.  Then Mark Cuban warned us with some always-excellent piece of advice: it's not done till it's done.   Of course, it eventually happened but it took a few detours before it finally reached an end point.

This one may still have little details left to iron out or perhaps a bigger sticking point could arise.  The real takeaway patience.  Nothing will be official until next week since the league office is shut down and in town for the All-Star game.

This I do know and it's what Cuban told us on Thursday at the NBA Jam Session ribbon cutting ceremony.  "We know the parameters of which we would make a deal.  If it meets our parameters we'll pull the trigger but if not we're not gonna do it."

There is no doubt in my mind the Mavericks won't be gun shy.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

All-Star Party Dish: Dirk Gets a Date. Actually 2!!!

Get your minds out of the gutter!  It wasn't anything seedy.  Details on the big date in a moment.

Let me start by saying that the snow blanketing North Texas this morning is nothing compared to the avalanche of professional athletes, celebrities and uber-parties that are heading this way this weekend.  I had some peeps at an event Jam Session that was supposed to be private at the convention center yesterday.  One particular NBA All-Star weekend veteran told me it was overflowing with chaos.  Officials were supposed to be limiting entry to the event at the Dallas Convention Center! Patience my friends.  Patience.  Crowds could be overwhelming this weekend.  Trust me.....Dallas hasn't seen anything like it.  I'm just sayin.....

Ok, on to the party.  There will be hundreds of events this weekend ranging from the private and ultra-exclusive to the come one, come all IF you pay $150 to get in the door.

I was lucky enough to emcee a fundraiser for the Seeds Foundation honoring Mavs GM Donnie Nelson for his contributions to their efforts.  The Seeds Foundation is a worthy organization that former Mavs scout turned head of NBA South Africa Amadou Gallo Fall founded that provides schooling to Sengalese youth.  These kids are getting educational opportunities they would never have the opportunity to receive.  This group is making a real difference. I met two Seeds Academy alums and they told me they are changed men.  It's a magnificent cause.

NBA great Dikembe Mutombo served as the honorary chair and was kind enough to help me time and against silence the crowd.  He truly is EF Hutton: when Dikembe talks, people listen.  Anne & Steve Stodgehill were the co-chairs while Mark Followill showed he's a multi-talented man with his live auction skills.  Others gracing us with their presence included: Mavs owner Mark Cuban, who is scheduled to the nanosecond this week, Ben Rogers and Jeff "Skin" Wade, Kenny Goss, Sterling and Inger Miller, Mavs PR guru Scott Tomlin and his beautiful wife, Abbi, designer Abi Ferrin, and too many fabulous names to mention.

The highlight, though, was the Big German.  Dirk Nowitzki is not only an All-Star, he is a gamer.  Nowitzki purchased a beautiful Rolando Diaz painting for four figures and then the fun came!!!!!  The highlight of the live auction was a date with said Nowitzki and Mavs rookie, Rodrigue Beaubois.  Not one to be outdone by Mark Followill awesome auctioneering skills, Dirk took the mic himself for his date.  Bidding started at $1,000.  Dirk worked the room and the mic (I would like to think I was a decent spotter but I doubt my skills had much to do with anything).  Bidding was fast and furious and when Kenny Goss topped everyone with a bid of $5,000, Anne Stodgehill matched it!  $10,000 for a double date with Dirk!  How awesome is that?  Turns out, Goss is good friends with Steve Nash and they're going to try to fly Nash into town and do a big group dinner at Goss and George Michael's home in Highland Park.

Tons of money raised?  Check.   Awareness for a great cause raised?  Double check.  Gobs of fun had by all?  Triple check  My only regret - not taking any pictures! 

And that event, my friends, was just the tip of the All-Star Weekend iceberg.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How's YOUR Mavs Hangover?

Mine isn't too bad since I am building up my tolerance with this becoming-more-frequent bad Mavericks play lately.  It kind of reminds of the trashcan punch we used to drink in college.  It was sickly sweet going down and made you feel like crap in the morning.  After a while, though, you got kind of used to it and the hangover wasn't as jarring and painful as it use to be.   

Let's take a step back.  The first two months of the season, we were in love with the Mavericks.   Derek Harper told me on a pre-game show that he thought they matched up well with the Lakers and that when Dallas is playing at a high level, they'd be almost impossible to beat.  

After beating the Spurs on January 8, Dallas was 14 games over .500 with a 25-11 record.  Since then, they have gone 7-9.  Ouch.  Yes, issues and injuries galore hurt this team and I think we're seeing how important a healthy Erick Dampier was the to the Mavericks but some of those nine losses were to dogs like Minnesota and Philadelphia.  Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said last season that he didn't think his team handled success very well.  I think that is being proven again this year.

Following Tuesday's 127-91 loss to the Nuggets last night, Derek and I discussed all the following at length on our postgame show: lack of leadership (something that has plagued the Mavericks for years), not taking a loss like that hard enough (Jason Terry didn't seem to upset in his postgame comments) and trade possibilities (lots of them).


Dallas was playing on the second night of a back to back and didn't get into Denver until about 4am the day of the game.  Reason to be tired, no doubt and Terry made sure to bring it up in his postgame comments.  That is no excuse to not even show up and actually play the game.  The Mavs didn't have  Dampier again, something they should get accustomed to, or Shawn Marion, something that's kinda frequent.   They had every excuse in the book and used each and every one.  Again, this is problem that has plagued this team for years.

When was the last time they showed you something?  Perhaps the Cleveland game in which they beat the Cavs without Dirk Nowitzki on December 20?

You pretty much knew the loss to Nuggets was going to happen when the schedule came out last year.  The thing is that the issues in the loss are disturbing.  They are representative of the bigger issues surrounding this team.  While I think the Mavericks need to make a trade for a number of reasons, I am not sure how much it can help.  I think it could be simply band-aid for bigger problems.

Some Advil for That Hangover
If you need a little medicine to help your Mavericks hangover consider this: Dallas sits at 32-20 after 52 games.  They were 31-21 at the same point last year after a 99-92 loss to the Celtics.  Feel any better?

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Blueprint Cleanse Day 3: To Break or Not to Break

Day 3 on the Blueprint Cleanse

This one was the challenge.  Days 1 & 2 were routine workdays and presented no social challenges.  Day 3 was a bugger not from a hunger or craving standpoint but from a "let's deal with reality" perspective.  I had a big, bad (actually fun) event Thursday evening.  Dilemma: do I continue with the cleanse or do I break it?

The day itself went wonderfully.  I exercised, doing an hour of a killer pilates class, a 40-minute walk with the dog and 15 minutes of jumping rope.  A lack of energy was never a factor for me on the Blueprint Cleanse.

I continued throughout the day on the juice cycle, downing them as needed, waiting about and an hour and a half to two hours between juices.  Then came decision time.

It was 6pm and I was drinking my last green juice of the cleanse.  I had gone 72 hours without food, essentially the recommended time for a full "Blueprint Cleanse".  I left for the event, which was a party honoring former Texas governor Bill Clements and his wife, Rita, for their contributions to the University of Texas system.  It was an assembly of some of the state's most interesting and educational, philanthropic and political minds.

Long story short, when the salad course came, I ate it.  I broke the cleanse.  I really felt fine about doing it.  That night I ate salad, fish, a bite of some yucky, generic chocolate flourless cake and a glass of wine.  I didn't feel badly or gross, I felt great.

Friday came and I still felt great.  I actually froze my cashew milk, the final juice of the cleanse, and drank it on Friday.  I juiced the entire day until dinner, which was an evening out with friends.

All told, the Blueprint Cleanse was a success for me.  The pre-cleanse puffiness I had was gone.  My stomach was as flat as it has been since bathing suit season.  I felt amazing.  I worked out every day while on it and, although hungry, I never lacked energy.  I thought it was a good, easy effective way to cleanse and jumpstart some water weight loss.  It was quite pricey, in my opinion.  Maybe it's a twice-a-year undertaking.  It inspired me to get back to juicing on my own.  For ease of use and an absolute idiot-proof way of getting introduced to juice fasting, it's excellent. 

Postscript:
After a weekend of roadtrip indulgences and an excellent Super Bowl party, I'm ready for another juice fast.  The interesting thing is - 2 of my girlfriends have gone Blueprint crazy.  They signed up to do it, too.  I think it would be fun to do it together with a group of folks.  That way we can be social and drink our juices together in wine glasses! (a girl can wish).
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blueprint Cleanse Day 2: A Lesson Learned & Gubnatorial Challenge

Day 2 was the same juice routine: 3 green juices, 1 pineapple/mint/apple (I wish it was a mojito) juice, lemon cayenne pepper and cashew milk.

Late in the evening, around 7:45 during our TXA21 broadcast, I was starving.  Absolutely starving and while I thought I brought my final juice of the day, the cashew milk, with me to work, I realized I hadn't.  Horror, panic and fear all set in.  My arm is looking appetizing at this point.  I decide to go for a double: green tea and some of that nasty, sugar-free hot chocolate we have at the station.  The tea is usually a good choice to satiate my 300-pound lineman appetite.  The interesting thing is that I started to drink the sugar-free hot chocolate and I couldn't finish it!  I was so surprised and downright happy that I thought it was ......wait for it.....TOO SWEET.  I'm a certified sweet/sugar addict and I couldn't get it down.  Hello, progress!

So our TXA21 broadcast ends and I am racing to get out the door and drive the 30 minutes back to Dallas and devour that cashew milk when I look below my cubicle and see it: that poor, little 16-oz bottle of cashew milk.  I knew I had brought it with me to the station!  It had fallen out of my cooler.  At this point it was warm.  That didn't do much for me.  I race home, get back around 9:30 and savor that beautifully cold cashew milk from the fridge.  By this point my hunger had subsided. 

I think that's a key lesson.  I am a HIGH volume eater.  While I eat healthily, I eat a lot.  I will generally snack on something when I have a craving and many times that could be something sweet: whether it's fruit, a Kashi bar or some of those damn M&M's my colleague has on his desk.   This was a big step for me, feeling that powerful hunger subside over time was something I am not used to doing.  I hope it's something I can carry over to my non-cleansing life.  

On the scale Thursday morning, it showed I've lost four total pounds.  I don't have really much to lose, just water weight to eliminate.  Tonight will be a challenge: a cocktail party and dinner honoring former Texas governor Bill Clements for his contributions to UT.  Do I drink the seltzer and say "no thanks" when the rubber chicken arrives?  Or do I freeze my evening juices for tomorrow, break the fast tonight and juice till dinner tomorrow?  Decisions, decisions.  Stay tuned!
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No More Staypuff Marshmellow Girl: Blueprint Cleanse Day 1

I have been an indulgent little piggy lately and had been looking to depuff.   A friend of mine, who just had the most beautiful baby girl, did a 5-day Blueprint Cleanse last week and as soon as I saw her Facebook post on it, I was like "done"! 

I ordered a 3-day cleanse, which you can pick up at Exhale Spa in Dallas.  It's not cheap.  Delivery to my door in Dallas is $255, pick-up at Exhale was $225.  I googled and found an online coupon which brought the total down to $205.50.  Still expensive. 

I chose the 3-day Foundation Cleanse. Their website says it's for "active, busy people who exercise and have tried many different diets but either can’t get their hands on fresh, whole food, or simply don’t have the time."  That's me to a T: exercise freak, love to diet but am constantly slammed and barely have time to walk my dog.

I actually have a fabulous juicer at home but I was happy with the portability of the Blueprint Cleanse.  The 3-day cleanse comes in three separate lunch bags which feature each of my six numbered drinks that I am supposed to drink during the day.  It's idiot proof and easy to carry around.  I run around all day: I can go from Mavs to Rangers or Cowboys or Stars or some random high school before heading into the station, so the ease of carrying is a plus.

In preparation for Day 1, the BPC people advise you to eat pretty raw and vegan for a few days, which I essentially do.  I eat a lot of seafood or chicken but the raw, vegan thing is not a challenge for me.  I did have a ton of candy the day before my cleanse started and a crabcake but it was a pretty vegetable-filled prep day.

I picked up my juice at Exhale Spa around 10am and had my first green juice.  It made of the juices of romaine lettuce, celery, cucumber, green apple, spinach, kale, parsley and lemon.  It was actually much sweeter than I expected.  I make a green juice many times in the morning consisting of lemon, apple and kale which is much tarter and more "green".  The Blueprint Cleanse's was sort of green "light".  It was good.

Next was a pineapple, apple and mint juice.  It tasted like a mojito without the rum.  It was FABULOUS.  Seriously, put some rum and crushed ice in there and watch me get delightfully tipsy.  A few hours after that was another green juice.  I had half of it before I went to Mavs practice and half afterwards.  I wasn't hungry at all at this point. 

Around 5-ish, I had my 4th juice of the day which was water, lemon, cayenne pepper and agave nectar.  This was wonderfully refreshing lemony drink with a spicy kick.  The Master Cleanse has you drinking a lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup drink throughout the day.  To me, that drink is heinous.  Maybe I'm too heavy handed on the cayenne pepper or maple syrup but that Master Cleanse drinks SUCKS!  The Blueprint Cleanse's was great.

Around 7 it was another green juice, followed by my last juice of the day around 8:30pm.  The final one is a cashew milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon juice.  Many who have done the cleanse say it's their favorite drink and they love it.  For me, it was just ok.  There were milky, cashew remnants in the drink.  It definitely had a wonderful vanilla/cinnamon flavor but I don't like milky, creamy drinks at all, so this kind of fell flat for me.

I wasn't ever really hungry on Tuesday.  I was tempted (as I always am) by the bowl of M&M's our assignment editor keeps on his desk right behind me.  Wednesday, I woke up a little lethargic and felt I needed a triple green tea cocktail in the morning (which I'm drinking now).   I did hop on my enemy - the scale - and found myself three pounds lighter.  No doubt it's water weight but I'll take it.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Are You Bored? The Mavs Are

I wish I could be bored at work and still get market value, which in the NBA ranges from the hundreds of thousands to the multi-millions.  But, alas, I have few skills.  I digress.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban joined me live at 6 on CBS11 for an interview and then we taped something for TXA21 for our 7-9pm broadcast on Tuesday from an event in Dallas.  This was prior to the loss in Utah and his comments seem to ring even truer today.  While we didn't have much time for anything really in-depth what he said was compelling.

When I asked him about his team's recent struggle he didn't hold back.  "I think (it's) just time of year where guys get bored," he said.  "They gotta get re-engerized.  I think we've taken who we are for granted in some respects and that we can turn it on and just beat people."

 He also intimated that the Mavericks take opponents lightly.

"The games we lost are to teams that are missing their stars or bad teams, really, that we should just be killing."  "I don't know why we got thru that lull but all teams go through it."

He concluded by saying, "The good news is we've got the talent we've got the pieces and I think we'll be able to pull it together and guys know there has to be a sense of urgency."

For a different interview I followed up on the "bored" comment.  "There hasn't been someone pressuring us in a big way.  We have a very veteran team and they've kinda been cruising in some respects."

This is curious to me.  I get that an NBA season is long, grind-it-out beating and some nights will go better than others but the "cruising" interpretation is interesting.  Has Rick Carlisle lost the guys?  I had heard that about this team while Avery Johnson was coaching, it happened to Nellie and it was something I also heard with Carlisle last season.  That could be an indictment on these players and a real show of the lack of leadership if every coach is falling on deaf ears.  

It's always key to let a season, in any sport, run its course.  That being said, the Mavericks need to correct these recent defensive lapses and find someone to give Dallas some offensive help.  It can't always be that Dirk one-legged turnaround at the free throw line.

And on that subject of a trade, Cuban offered this:  "If there's an opportunity there to get better, if a team wants to get off money and  we can add a player that makes us better, we're gonna do it.  We're not gonna sit pat just to sit pat.  A week ago I probably would have told you nothing (was going to happen) but I think now things are picking up some." 534f0cb35ec5561154ecf676396c97c626cbc2530fcea30148
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