Saturday, December 11, 2010

Why Cliff Lee is Forcing My 88-Year Old Neighbor to Drink More Scotch

The question “What will Cliff Lee do?” is on your mind, my mind and especially my fabulous 88-year old neighbor Frances' mind. (you MUST read the story the Dallas Morning News did on her during the MLB playoffs, click the link).  Every time she takes her four-pound yorkie Molly out for a walk, Frances stops by my place to ask if I have any updates on Cliff Lee.  I don't know what Lee's doing but I do have a little something from the Rangers.

I talked to CEO Chuck Greenberg on Friday.  He, of course, was part of a contingency that included assistant general manager Thad Levine and co-chairman of the board Ray Davis who visited with Lee, his wife Kristen and agent on Thursday at Lee’s home in Arkansas.

Greenberg wouldn’t divulge much other than to say they presented Lee with a complex menu of options.  I got the impression the Rangers weren't interested in a long term deal a la the Yankees seven year offer. Greenberg indicated that the Rangers would prefer to do a shortER term deal.  But when it's all over, what he indicates doesn't mean a dang thing.  It's all about what Lee agrees to do.

I could continue but you can watch the interview for yourself here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mavs Don't Want to Get in a Small Ball Race with the Nuggets

Notice the new neck tatts
The Mavericks towered over the Nuggets shortened lineup on Wednesday night in a 102-101 win.  Dallas hopes to use size to its advantage again on Saturday when the two teams meet at the AAC.

With multi-tattooed tall guys Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin recovering from offseason knee surgery and Nene a late scratch because of a groin strain, the Nuggets didn't have a player on the floor taller than 6'9 during the game's 48 minutes. 

Between us girls, if a roster says a player is 6'9, it's more like 6'7.   They all lie.  I got in trouble once when I interned for the Rockets for revealing a Hall of Fame player's real height.

I digress.

What's the Mavericks philosophy when playing a team that goes small?  Try and stay big.

"We've got to try to keep our length in game as much as we can," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after practice Friday morning.  "That’s one of our real defining attributes."

That doesn't mean the Mavericks are going to go big at all costs.  They'll size up the matchups and hope to take advantage.

"There are times when sizing down makes sense," Carlisle added.  "We looked at it a bit in the first game anything’s in play."
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

College Football......Boone Pickens Style...Trust Me, It's Good

There are times you shoot a story and it’s just fine. It’s lovely. You learn a thing or two and move on from there. Then there are times you spend an evening learning more than you ever thought you would and come away amazed. The latter was the experience I had shooting a piece with Dallas billionaire Boone Pickens.  Here's the link to the story that aired on CBS11.

I’ve wanted to attend an Oklahoma State football game with the 1951 graduate for years figuring a story would offer a unique perspective and interest viewers. Our schedules finally aligned and I got the chance to travel with him, some of his employees, friends and colleagues to Stillwater for the Cowboys game against Texas A&M.  I knew it would be fun but I didn’t know I would learn so much about this 82-year old man who has the stamina and character of someone 50 years his junior.

His schedule is exhausting. Take this particular Thursday, for instance: He worked a full day and then hopped on his plane to Oklahoma while still monitoring various business activities back in Dallas.  At the same time, he’s enduring my dumb questions, along with a more thought-provoking discussion with a newspaper reporter from the The Daily Oklahoman. He also had some employees on the plane so they could discuss a few issues. 

View from Suite
Once he’s off the plane, Pickens does a fair amount of entertaining and greeting the hoards of people who want to meet him.  From the OSU athletic director to the basketball coach to various school personnel, they all wanted to say hello. This was before Pickens had even walked into his eponymous facility. Once he was inside Boone Pickens Stadium and gotten his usual pre-game ice cream and tried to make his way to his suite, he was stopped time and again by friends, well-wishers and, frankly, fans. 

I walked around the stadium before the game to talk to people on campus. He has rock star status. One tipsy frat told me “T. Boone is my homie!!!!” Okay, a little beer might have gotten said frat a little more fired up than usual but I got the impression most of the students feel the same way. He has a real connection with the student body. They think he’s cool.

His suite, located on the 50-yard line and next to the university president’s box, is honestly one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. Rich wood cabinets, gorgeous wallpaper and beautiful furniture decorate the luxury box. That’s just the beginning. The food was amazing: freshly picked tomatoes and squash from a local farmer’s market were served for the halftime dinner along with some beautiful steak. Dried fruit, various dips and these amazing, impossible to stop eating jalapeno-cheddar pretzel bites served as appetizers.

I bring all this to your attention because Pickens doesn’t do anything halfheartedly. From his business interests to his passion for Oklahoma State, he’s all in at all times. We had a microphone on Pickens while he watched the game. We typically get the best stuff for our stories during these moments because many people forget they are on-camera. Pickens watched the Texas A&M/Oklahoma State game with binoculars. When I was logging the tapes we shot, I could hear him telling his wife, Madeleine, information on the players any college football scout would appreciate.  He understood the plays and knew in-depth details about almost every OSU player.

He’s a man concerned with details. He’s given around half a billion (with a B) dollars to Oklahoma State University. That money has gone towards both the athletic and academic programs. I asked him what was important to him in regards to the athletic department and the answer surprised me. Yes, the facilities are vital and, to me, Boone Pickens Stadium seems like the college football equivalent of JerryWorld.  Beyond that, Pickens is focused on two other elements: the food and beds.

“I am confident that a kid playing up here when he goes back to wherever it is Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, when he goes back in the summer what does he talk about?” Pickens asked me. “He doesn't talk about the stadium. He'll talk more about what he has to eat. We really have good food.”

He wants the athletes to eat well and knows how important it is to their success. He also knows how much it costs: about a million bucks a year.

Why beds?

"A bed is very important to an athlete,” he explains. “He wants one long enough.”

Pickens has had former Cowboys players who are now in the NFL tell him they miss the beds at Oklahoma State more than anything else.

We got back from Stillwater around 11:30 pm. On the way to the airport, I asked him what his upcoming schedule was like. He had a full work day on Friday before flying to his ranch later that evening for a function on Saturday. Then it was on to California for an event at the Ronald Reagan Library, followed by meetings in Washington D.C. before heading back to Dallas for a Thursday morning breakfast meeting.

I was tired from the trip and exhausted just hearing his schedule. How does he do it? 5-Hour Energy? Starbucks triple espressos?  My personal fave, Tall Skinny Caramel Lattes?  No. Pickens has never had a cup of coffee in his life. He’ll drink herbal tea. He eats pretty well, save for an admitted sweet tooth.

I think it all goes back to a certain passion for winning.

“I've always said show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser,” he said. “I am competitive and I want to win.”

Simply put, that’s his philosophy and he seemingly applies it to every, single thing he does.

It’s obviously working.

Leading the Band
My Favorite Story:

There were some good ones that night.  It was hard to pick one. 

Pickens is one of the most even keel men I've met, excuding a calm confidence.  He would cheer and "wave the wheat" when Oklahoma State scored.  He was cordial and friendly, yet pretty business-like during the game except when the band played outside his suite. Members of the OSU band stopped by his suite to perform. Pickens had grabbed a snack and was heading back to his Cowboy-orange leather seats when heard the band just outside his suite entrance.

“That’s my band!” he exclaimed with a huge smile.

Then he proceeds to go into the hallway of suite level at Boone Pickens Stadium and not just listen to the band. No no no, to borrow a phrase from Roy Williams. Pickens went out there to lead the band. He knew the words, he knew what to do and he proved to me, once again, that billionaires, at least this one, simply do it better.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are There Football Spies Among Us? TCU Thinks So

TCU's Gary Patterson thinks there's a spy in the college football ranks.  Not quite 007-style but he does think the Baylor Bears got an edge on Saturday in something that someone saw at a Frog practice or scrimmage.

Patterson says the Bears ran a particular play against his team that has only been run by one group.

"Our own offense," he said.  "When would you have seen that?  Sometime in the spring in a scrimmage? Some other time?"

"I've been playing Art Briles going back to Houston and he's never lined up and ran a read option out of a double-wing, tight end formation, ever. But there's only team that ever has: our offense. So where would you see that?"

"People come to our scrimmages in the spring and the fall," he explaines. "There (are) a lot of guys that are ex-coaches now that can write down on a piece of paper how you defend each other."

It's one reason why he limits media access to practice.  Like most programs do, TCU only allows media members to attend and shoot practice during particular drills.  Practices are also, typically, closed to the public.  He admits he'd rather be overcautious in this area.

Even Patterson admitted he got some video from a newscast "five or six years ago" out of Lubbock that fired his kids up. "It's my job to help you do your jobs," he said referring to the media. "It's also my job to help my kids not get beat."

Patterson isn't the first coach to believe that there are football spies out there or that opposing teams can learn something from watching local newscasts.  When I covered the University of Tennessee, there was a rumor going around that a Vol scout was in Atlanta one weekend and saw something that the Bulldogs were working on in video used on an Atlanta affiliates 6pm newscast.

Who knows. 

The Cowboys took advantage of the Redskins a number of years ago when they charged admission to training camp.  Then-coach Dave Campo sent one of the Cowboys scouts to watch Redskins practice.  That Redskins game on September 18, 2000 resulted in Campo's first win, a game ball for the scout AND yours truly!

TCU vs SMU: The Lesson Gary Patterson Learned from the 2005 Loss

It's the battle for the Iron Skillet.  4th-ranked TCU puts its 3-0 record on the line when they play 2-1 SMU on Friday in University Park.  The Frogs will be the highest ranked opponent ever to visit Ford Stadium.

The Famous Skillet Getting Air-Time
Honestly, many of the current TCU players have no clue what the Iron Skillet is. 

"Isn't it something you cook in?" half-joked safety Tejay Johnson.

The trophy for the winner of this game was born after the post-WWII college football boom, according to both schools.  TCU and SMU students created the ceremonial trophy that was given to the game's winner.  The tradition died but was resurrected in 1993.

TCU's Gary Patterson has only lost once to SMU in his ten years as the Frogs head coach.  That one loss came on September 10, 2005 when the then-Phil Bennett coached Ponies beat TCU 21-10, ending the school's six-game win streak over the Mustangs.  It was the Frogs only loss of the season. 

The loss came a week after TCU had upset 5th ranked Oklahoma in Norman.  Let down game?  Trap game?  What happened the week between the OU win and the SMU loss?  Patterson explained during his weekly media briefing on Tuesday.

"The mistake I made is that I shouldn't have let anybody come to my practice," Patterson said.  "I was asked by my marketing group if I would allow media to come see our team because nobody had really showed up and we'd been 5-6 before in 2004."

"I let people come down and talk to my players on the field after practice on Sunday and treat them like celebrities.  That's the way they played all week.  They didn't concentrate they didn't do anything they needed to do to get ready for the ballgame."

So is Patterson doing anything differently this week, after the win over Baylor?  Well considering it's a short week and the game is this Friday, they'll be in shorts all week.  Patterson has found it keeps them fresher when they don't have a full week between games.  Another lesson learned.
Monday, September 20, 2010

Cowboys Locker Room Report: Don't Believe the Hype

That's what a number of Cowboys players were trying to tell the media today, doing their best to channel Public Enemy.  Unfortunately, I don't think we're the ones that need convincing of that.

Safety Gerald Sensabaugh brought up the fact that the Cowboys are constantly mentioned in the same breath as this year's Super Bowl.  Receiver Roy Williams alluded to it, as well. 

To that you have to ask - isn't it the Cowboys themselves that are doing it?  Remember quarterback Tony Romo on stage at the Cowboys training camp kickoff party in San Antonio telling fans that he would "See them at the Super Bowl!!!!!".
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pet Friendly Paradise: Hotels That Get it Right

MSNBC has a nice little piece on pet-friendly hotels in the U.S.  While I haven't stayed at any of the properties profiled, I have braved the plane hell and hotel hassle of bringing my dog with me on the road and found some great options.

Birdie in San Antonio
All Kimpton properties are pet friendly.  I brought my dog, Birdie, to Seattle where we stayed in the Alexis Hotel   which is within walking distance to Pike Place market.  It was fabulous.  They had a gourmet dog-bone welcome gift for Birdie, as well as their own beautiful lab on staff.

From Seattle we stayed at the Pacific Palisades hotel in Vancouver, another Kimpton property which welcomed us with open arms.  Birdie's gift was a simple little travel dog bowl from Ikea.  They were nice enough to decorate it and it's become our travel bowl for her any time we're on the road.  It was a cheap little item that the staff put some effort into making special.  Smart gesture on their part as it has become a lasting, warm memory for our family.

Many more pet-friendly hotels come to mind.  Birdie has visited the Hotel San Jose in Austin, a few Ritz-Carlton properties, the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi and Hotel ZaZa in Houston where she got on tv when a local station did a story profiling hotels that have "gone to the dogs".

We've also stayed in New York's Waldorf-Astoria, where the doormen absolutely fell in love with Birdie.  I was surprised at how accommodating they were.  They were just fabulous. 

The security guards at a particular office building on Park Avenue didn't appreciate it, however, when she decided to use the bathroom on their greenspace outside the skyscraper (of course, we picked it up!) When a dog's gotta go, she just has to go.

Some Advice: 
Check the hotel's website regarding its pet policy but go the extra step to call the property directly.  With Kimpton properties, you know they are pet friendly but you still have to let them know you are coming with your pet.  Also some hotels use their own discretion.  The Waldorf-Astoria's website said one thing, while the representative from the hotel said another.

Some hotels charge crazy-high fees while others allow pets for free.  It's on a hotel by hotel basis and it's always better to call the property and get a contact name of a hotel representative in case there's any discrepancy or confusion.
Thursday, September 2, 2010

5 Tips For Women Traveling Alone

5 tips for women traveling solo
Taking a selfie, before it was cool, at Parc de la Cuitadella during a solo trip to Barcelona in 2008

Travel is one of the few things you spend money on that makes you richer. It's a shame to limit your travel with friends and loved one. While there's incredible joy of experiencing a city or travel experience with a partner, traveling solo opens up an entirely new world. 

Antoni Gaudi, Solo Travel
La Perdera, Barcelona

The great thing about going it alone is that you can do absolutely whatever you want.  Want to sleep till noon and have a theme-park dinner at 10pm in the Tivoli Gardens?  No problem.  Plan to spend all day on the Mediterranean Sea?  You can.  Want to sit at that cafe right off the Seine River and people watch in Paris for two hours, you can and no one will complain.  There is no one to tell you can't.  It's the ultimate freedom.

You also meet the most fascinating people.  I had dinner with the actual Pep, of Barcelona's famed Cal Pep restaurant one night.  He was busy but spent time with during dinner at his magnificent restaurant explaining the dishes in broken English while I mangled my responses in terrible Spanish.    

 From Balcony at Les Ombres

I've lived in Guam, vacationed in Tel Aviv, run a half marathon in Jerusalem and jetted to Barcelona and Paris all solo. I've also spent way too much time on the road for work by myself. There are safety precautions every women traveling solo should consider. Here are five top tips for your next adventure.  While these are primarily focused on international travel, these tips work for any destination. 

5 Travel Tips For Women Traveling Solo

Keep Your Purse Close and CLOSED
When strolling solo through Barcelona's Gothic Quarter or gawking at the Eiffel Tower, you'll be alone in a sea of people.  First and foremost, keep your purse closed and tucked securely under your arm.  I don't bring a big backpack, for many reasons, but from a safety perspective, it's impractical.  A pickpocket or thief can grab something out of one of those zipper pockets even if it's securely closed with safety pin or other attachment.  I carry a nice mid-size crossbody bag, nothing too big or too small, and keep it closed at all times. Barrington Gifts Stadium Crossbody bag or GiGi New York's Madison Crossbody are great for touring a city.

Don't Carry Your Entire Wallet 
Tallin, Estonia

Bring a small cardholder to hold your essentials: one credit card, ID and some local currency. I usually don't exchange currency prior to departure.  I have an international ATM card that charges significantly less fees and commissions when changing money so I generally get local currency through an ATM. I also use a credit card that doesn't charge international exchange fees which, again, saves money. 

With your small card case, if you do have the unfortunate luck of getting something stolen lifted, at least not everything is gone. Carry just one card and some cash for the day. 

Don't Wear a Ton of Jewelry

When traveling overseas or traveling solo, wear the less expensive jewelry.  I have a great big shell ring, some silver pieces and beaded necklaces that I bring.  None of the good stones or really nice watches.  With a lot of sparkles on your hands or ears, you will stick out like a sore thumb and in a bad way.  You will attract attention of potential pickpockets, gypsies or others who might think you a good candidate to rob, attack or do something even worse.  Don't do it.  It's just not worth it.

RELATED: Chic travel jewelry

Old City, Jerusalem, Israel
Old City, Jerusalem

Dress Appropriately
I learned this the hard way.  I was walking through Jerusalem's Old City and got terribly lost.  I was wearing an outfit that, honestly, was pretty conservative for me: a long-sleeved knit top, denim skirt and closed-toe shoes.  Having my legs exposed as I was unknowingly walking towards the Muslim Quarter was the mistake of a lifetime.  I had men sneering at me and hurling words I didn't understand.  It took a sweet 12-year-old boy to clue me in. 

"You must stop," he said.

"I'm just trying to get out of here," I replied.

"No," he responds.  "You are not Muslim.  That is the Muslim Quarter.  You are not allowed."

Light bulb moment.  Message understood.

Walking back to my hotel, I got more awful comments thrown my way by a variety of men.  It was really one of the most uncomfortable experiences I've ever had.  The rest of the trip, it was jeans and long-sleeved shirts.

Take a moment to understand the cultural expectations of the city you're visiting. If it is expected that women cover their shoulders, legs and face, you should comply. If you want to make a statement, don't visit the city or the site. You made the choice to go there, wear the appropriate clothing and there shouldn't be an issue.

RELATED: Ritz Carlton Tel Aviv Review

Don't Let Them Know You're Solo
Part of the fun of traveling solo is that you meet a variety of people and end up chatting with some lovely folks.  Some, though, not so lovely.  Don't let them know you're alone.  If some inquiring mind asks you why you're eating alone, or hiking by yourself, just say you're visiting your dad or that your brother is back at the hotel.  My father actually lives in Israel and spent a few days of my time there with me.  He didn't have the stamina to run around with me all day, so I would be alone most of the time.  The "dad at the hotel line" worked quite a bit for me when dealing with those guys. 

RELATED: Brown Beach House Tel Aviv Review

What About You? 
Are you a solo traveler? Is there a place you're dying to visit by yourself? I would love to explore Rome solo. Have a question about visiting a city solo? Email me. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Barcelona Food Porn

Entrance to La Boqueria

Paris gets all the love.  No doubt it should, it's home to some of the world's best and most innovative  restaurants.  But Barcelona's cuisine is fresh, flavorful and stunningly executed.  From sampling cheese, fruit and cortaditos in La Boqueria (where I would begin every day) to some of the more elegant and refined tapas bars, there is an explosion of flavors to be found in Barcelona.  There were three spots, though, on my latest trip to the Catalan capital really blew me away and I had to share.

Bar Mut

The first was Bar Mut, a popular wine and tapas bar in L'Eixample.  This is a local spot.  In fact when I got there and tried to order in my bad Spanish, my server told me to wait while he got the one English speaking server in the joint to assist me.  I needed it because some of the menu items needed explaining.

I started with the jamon iberico, widely considered the world's finest.  Before I go any further, I hate ham. Can't stand it.  Yet, I could wear a dress made of the cured, nutty meat and eat my way through it even if Karl Lagerfeld himself hand-sewed it.  It's amazing.  The pigs are fed things like barley, maize, chestnuts and acorns resulting in a slightly sweet yet salty, nutty flavor that is stunning.

Following the ham, we had the razor clams that were simply sauteed in parsley and olive oil.  I ordered the small clams and wish I had gotten the larger ones because they were delicious yet hard to get out of their little shells.  From there it was on to cheese and mussels.     

The particular night we were there was a holiday, the Festival de Sant Joan, that celebrates the summer solstice.  It's sort of  like a non-independence day July 4th holiday: fireworks light up the sky, families celebrate on the beaches or head out to eat.  The tiny Bar Mut was packed with families enjoying the night.  It was quite the authentic, upscale Catalan experience.

La Torreta de L'Escorial
While making the three-mile uphill walk from our hotel to the beautiful Park Güell, my boyfriend and I started to get faint around 1pm.  He noticed this cute little pink building on the right side of the street that I was convinced was a doctor's office.  Wrong again.  It turned out a quaint, charming neighborhood restaurant.

We were the only Americans in the joint.  There wasn't an English speaking server or English menu so my bad Spanish skills were put to the test but I did ok except for dessert.

Both of  us ordered the menu of the day, which came with either soup or salad, a choice of three entrees and a dessert.  Water, beer or a cold carafe of red wine was also included.

Both of us started with the gazpacho which was amazing.  It was a fresh puree of tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers and herbs.  It wasn't the chunky salad-soup I was used to eating.  This was creamy and  unquestionably delicious.

The boyfriend ordered a sauteed chicken dish served with cooked pimientos de padron.  This was the first time I sampled the salty, sweet and almost smoky pepper.  I could have eaten a whole plate of those alone.

I ordered a salad.  It was fresh, simple lettuce salad served with fried fish filets.  I love fish, just not fried.  The flavor was actually quite good but a fried fish is just not my preferred choice.   Bad Spanish, again, biting me in butt.

We had our choice of desserts ranging from a flan to a beautiful cuatro leches cake.  Unfortunately, I ordered the ice cream.  My bad Spanish got me in trouble, again.  I thought I was ordering gelato (hello, helado!) which is served all over the city but, no.  This, however, was a brick of Neapolitan ice cream sliced out of a box. Blech.

What made this restaurant so special was the local flavor of it.  It's the kind of place where 70-year old men solve the world's problems over a full fish and three bottles of wine.  Or maybe it's more of a place where men take their secretaries, who may be a little more than there their secretaries, if you know what I mean.  At least that's what looked like was going on at the table next to ours.

I would go back again and again order the same ice cream out of a box just for the experience of it.

Santa Maria
Real food heaven came when we visited a place in El Born called Santa Maria.  It's sort of a luxury tapas concept run by a chef who is definitely fun.  He shoots YouTube videos of his creations which are definitely television worthy.

We did the tasting menu, which cost €27 per person and featured nine courses.  It was the absolute steal of a lifetime.  The wonderful tempranillo we had that night muddled my what-would-have-definitely-been perfect recall so here are the highlights:

We started with a tiny peach-mango smoothie that was light, refreshing and a great amuse bouche.  Next was one of the most amazing salads I've ever consumed.  It featured shrimp, mint and avocado in a mojito-like vinaigrette.  Simply sublime.  The flavors were fresh, delicate and complemented each other perfectly.  A white fish ceviche followed and then it was hakefish topped with and avocado puree.

Frog legs were next on the menu.  I am embarrassed to say that I had never tried them until that night.  I can't say the cliche´ held true for me: they tasted supremely better than chicken.  They were lightly friend and seasoned in a way that I can only call "Barcelona style".  If you've been there you know what I mean.

A filet with apricots dressed in a whiskey sauce was served after the frog legs.  I can't say that was my favorite.  I am not a steak fan nor do I enjoy whiskey.  It was an interesting marriage of flavors but it was a course that I could have skipped.  Pickled cabbage was served with the filet.  An interesting choice in my opinion.  I would have rather had more frog legs or hakefish.

Dessert was perhaps the best.  The chef proved the urban legend wrong by combining fruit-flavored Pop Rocks with a Coca-Cola foam (a nod to Spain's most famous chef, Ferran Adrian) for a wonderful little concoction they call Dracula.  It was a simple, sweet mixture but fun to eat.  We spent a good five minutes trying to figure out what exactly it was we were eating.  Pop Rocks!  We finally determined.  Needless to say, we lived.

We weren't done.  At this point, my skinny jeans were about to bust.  We closed the meal with two small cookies, chocolate truffles and a little white chocolate, nut concoction that was sort of a better tasting version of the infamous white trash party treat

This was a NIGHT.  An absolute treasure of an evening that lasted a good three hours. We walked the mile and a half back to our hotel at one in the morning satiated but hungry for another dining experience like that.

Anyone who has visited Barcelona knows the food is one of the highlights of a trip there.  From the traditional Catalan pa amb tomaquet to freshly caught mussels or the Dracula dessert, the food there is a study in Catalan and Spanish culture.  It might force you out of your culinary comfort zone because you can definitely run into a rogue calf brain here and there.  But if you just trust the menu and kind of go with it, you will create a food memory that will last a lifetime and will definitely have you longing for more.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What to Look for at Next Month's Landry Exhibit at the State Fair of Texas

Forget walls.  You will want a door to talk when you're done reading this.

What door am I talking about?  The one that will be on display during next month's State Fair of Texas at
an exhibit called "Remembering Tom Landry: The Personal Collection."

The Dallas Historical Society is compiling the artifacts and many never before seen items in the exhibit which Landry's widow, Alicia, collected over the years.

Their son, Tom Landry Jr., gave me a preview of some of the things you will see.  As expected, there will be a number of fedoras which Landry so famously wore on the sideline while coaching the Cowboys.  One of the more interesting objects is that aforementioned door.  It came from Landry's actual office at the Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch.  A Cowboys fan carved the door for the former coach.  Landry Jr. said that was one of his personal favorites. 

No doubt you will find your own if you get a chance to visit the exhibit.  But just imagine some of the conversations that took place behind that door?  Again.....if it could only talk.
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dez's Deal is Done

Hold out, schmold out.  Okay that was weak. 

What isn't is how quickly and efficiently the Cowboys worked out a deal with receiver Dez Bryant.  Many speculated this would be a hold out situation but the Cowboys and Bryant's agent, Eugene Parker, started talking Monday and were able to come to agreement today.  Bryant is the first of this year's first-round picks to agree to a deal.

The DMN's Todd Archer says it's a five-year deal worth $11.8 million.

"This was very important to me to be able to get this done in time for the first practice," Bryant said in a team-issued statement. "I want to help this team. I want to compete. I can't wait to start playing football again."

My money says that's the best quote we'll get from him all year. 
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones is meeting with the media Thursday night.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trust LeBron: If You Want to Meet the Hotties, You Gotta Take Pilates

LeBron James has sent half a dozen emails and twitter questions to me.  Okay, not him, but his tweet has you got you, dear peeps, asking me a few things.

On July 15th @KingJames (self-esteem is NOT an issue w/ him) tweeted: "just got done putting in work at my high school. Great workout! Headed to pilates class now". 

A few folks recalled that I have blogged about and done a story on CBS11 about pilates.  Many more just asked how to pronounce it.  Pih-lah-tees.  You're welcome. 

Tons of professional athletes practice pilates: LeBron James and DeMarcus Ware just to name a few.  It gives them an incredibly strong core, which is essential for everything they do.  But it doesn't matter if you play football, crunch numbers at a desk or cart kids around all day, pilates can help you move better in every aspect of your life.  I always get the "How tall are you?" question.  I respond by saying  my height depends on how much pilates I do in a given week.  Men take note: pilates improves your posture in ways you can't believe, giving you an extra inch or even two.

I could rave on and on about it.  Instead, I am reposting a blog entry I did on the practice in April:

April 6, 2010 
If You Want to Meet the Hotties, You Gotta Take Pilates
An NBA player, I am 90% certain you know, told me that.  I had heard he was taking classes at a popular gym.  I asked him about it and he simply responded with "If you want to meet the hotties, you gotta take pilates!"  Then he proceeded to form a wide sh!t-eating grin which led me to believe that he did, in fact, meet some hotties.  
Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fenway Park Fun in Photos

View looking up to the press box from the camera well next to the Rangers dugout.
From fighting through hour-long rain delays that forced fans to jam-pack into the concourse to learning the significance of the red seat in right field, we did Fenway Park.  I didn't know quite what to expect.  It blew me away.

The structure is old and dated, yet its history is unmistakable and it possesses a charm that no amount of money can buy.  Here are a few of our photographic highlights, taken with the crappiest cell phone camera HTC makes.   Have to dedicate these pics to my friend, Andrea Bohnen.  She's a ginormous Red Sox fan and would have rocked the experience much more than me.

All the pics after the jump.  Enjoy!!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fenway Fun

Rangers Thursday Workout
Rumor has it that the first time Roger Clemens arrived at Fenway Park in a cab in 1984, he thought the cab driver made a mistake.  I can see why.  On a non-gameday, Fenway could look like something you'd see in an urban warehouse district. 

"The cab ride in is always fun," said Michael Young.  "You have a ball park pop up in the middle of the neighborhood."

This is my first trip here and I am digging it.  I've been to some minor league ballparks that are nicer than these hallowed grounds.  That being the case, it's an almost refreshing change from the MEGA-BILLION-MONOLITHIC-STADIUMS/BALLPARKS-ON-STEROIDS.  Fenway doesn't scream at you from a highway.  It just sort of invites you to come hang out and enjoy a game. 

Rangers Dugout Looking out to Green Monster
David Murphy played his first major league game here with the Red Sox and still thinks coming to Boston is cool.  "Everybody's going to the new expensive ballparks which are nice but to step in the batter's box on the field where so many incredible players have played and a lot of big games have been played it's just, as a baseball player, you find that special."

The Red Sox have spent more than $100 million dollars adding seats and upgrading the park but according to many Rangers perhaps the best improvement has nothing to do with aesthetics.  Well, at least visual ones.  I'd heard that Fenway sometimes stuck with you after you left.  Kind of like the stench of a smoky bar that lingers on your clothes for a few days. 

One Ranger, who shall remain nameless, mentioned to me that the vile, etched-in-the-concrete smell of  urine/beer is gone. 

 "It feels different because they changed the tunnel from the dugout to the clubhouse," Josh Hamilton told me.  When I asked him if it smelled better he smiled and said "Much!"
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rangers Are Back in Boston and So Am I

It's my first YouTube chat in FOREVER! We're in Boston for two games of the Red Sox series. We got a a big bag o' fun. At least we hope.
Saturday, July 10, 2010

How The Cliff Lee Trade Unfolded in the Rangers Clubhouse

The timeline of the Rangers/Mariners trade was fascinating.  Watching this franchise-defining moment develop in the clubhouse was even better.

The Rangers clubhouse opens to the media at 3:35 before a 7:05 game.  Our first order of business is to check the lineup posted on the wall.  I noticed Joaquin Arias was playing first base instead of Justin Smoak.  Not unusual but interesting.

Manager Ron Washington typically does his media interviews shortly after we get in but not on Friday.  While we were waiting for Washington, we got some interviews with pitcher Matt Harrison, who was scheduled to start on Saturday, and Michael Young.

About 10 minutes later, still no call from Rangers PR man John Blake to talk to Washington.  Very curious.  Around that time, our ears are straining to try to hear anything being whispered.  Blackberries are working overtime with some of us, me mostly, overtweeting.  I sent the following around 3:50-ish or so, knowing something was going down: interesting day in rangers clubhouse. #anythingcanhappen. #fb
Friday, July 9, 2010

Your Thoughts on the 3-Headed Heat Monster

You hate it.  I get it.

With the signings of Chris Bosh and LeBron James, the Miami Heat have formed a three-headed Bosh-James-WadeMonster. 

Not to be confused with Lost's Smoke Monster.  

But you despise it with every fiber of your being.  Not the Smoke Monster but this new look Heat team.  You hate the fact the Heat have got, on paper, the best team in basketball.  I don't need to remind you every girl's "good on paper" mantra.

You Mavs fans, of course, have hated the Heat for a few years.  Here are some of comments you sent me via twitter:

Claybo4131 I expect the NBA wants Lakers-Heat for the next 5 or 6 years

jdhainley  they are not a lock. they still have to contend with boston in the east and all of the western conference, including mavs  

HLmotorcars  Mavs Fans should be very Thankful we have Dirk, and that Loyalty still means something to some players in the NBA.

mkuhn325 If egos don't tear them apart they'll be a tough team to beat. Remember the 08-09 Cowboys?
FromDa401 not a lock to win it all. Celtics big 3 = success. the Miami superteam could be a disaster. it's a wait and see approach.  

RRavidgolfer No, they still need key contributors off the bench. Although some might want to play for the Heat now for less $$$.  
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Go Back Time by Getting Out of Town: Newport, RI

I was just telling someone this weekend how much I love Newport, Rhode Island.  It's like traveling back in time to another era.  Mark Twain  coined the term the "Gilded Age" to describe the era of excess that defined Newport.  That excess still exists but so does a restrained elegance that makes Newport so magical.

What a treat to get to my New York Times (finally) and see the travel section did a story titled "12 Unexpected History Trips".  Newport is on that list along with some of my other favorite cities including Washington D.C., Palm Springs.  The article suggests hitting all the mansions, I would add hitting Flo's clamshack and taking a tour of old Doris Duke Foundation homes in town.  I stayed in one built in the 1700's and it had a remarkably solid wooden structure build like nothing else.

I've spent a few summers in Newport touring Vanderbilt mansions, watching croquet matches with the intensity I would a Mavericks playoff game and having lunch with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' stepbrother (he had a thing for my hostess).  It's a special, special place.  You never know who you might meet.  When Jackie's stepbrother was talking to me having about lunch with the "President", I thought he was referring to the president of a beach club.  Turns out he was referring to JFK.

Only in Newport.  Trust me.
Sunday, July 4, 2010

Parisian Fashion Observations...Men, Pay Attention!

What a treat to be in Paris earlier this June.  Forget the gardens, monuments and Fete de la Musique!  Yes, they were all fabulous.   But perhaps even better than the wine, strolling along the Seine and the soccer was the people watching.  It was just as much of a sport as was exploring the city.

Let me tell you: I've been all over the world and haven't had as much fun checking out the visual eye candy as I did in Paris.  It was fascinating discovering what the Parisians wore.

Surprisingly, the women weren't as uber-chic as I thought they would be.  Many of them wore suits to work or a simple dress.  I did see one young lady dressed entirely in vintage 80's fashions who put together a look that, in concept, might not be so hot but, on her, was amazing.  She had on sort of MC Hammer gypsy pants, a polka dot short-sleeved shirt with an olive-colored vest.  She carried a vintage alligator clutch and looked spectacular.  I know it sounds kind of goofy but it was very now.

What I did notice is that big statements rings were adorning the hands of many women.  Everywhere I looked they were sporting a big, honking cocktail or stone ring.

Anyone who knows me knows I love a statement ring.  My always impeccably dressed colleague, Mr. Laufenberg, constantly gives me crap for wearing big rings.  Big ring wearers are on trend right now but it's one I've always subscribed to and one I don't think I'll ever give up.

What knocked my socks off was how impeccably dressed the men were!  They wore everything from slim, European-cut suits my stylish colleague Steve Pickett wears to colorful and perfectly blended resort shorts and casual looks.  It was the visual equivalent of a good, natural gelato: cool, elegant and something that I could take in all day long.  The men knew how to dress for their bodies and worked it like nothing I've seen in the States.

What really blew me away were the scarves.  French ladies are known for having a flair to wear a scarf that complements and completes a look.  But who knew the French men had such a knack for perfecting them?

I saw a number of men wearing scarves in place of a tie with their jacket-and-pant work ensemble but one man really epitomized Parisian chic.  He was having lunch two tables away from me at Cafe Balzac  in the 8th Arrondissement.  He was probably in his 60's with a full head of white hair and was having lunch with a gorgeous woman on an even more beautiful summer day.  He wore a camel-colored jacket with a slate-blue shirt and an elegant burgundy scarf knotted under his shirt collar.  I should have snapped a picture but I didn't want to look anymore like an American tourist than I already did but WOW.  He wasn't particularly handsome just incredibly put together and that made him stunningly attractive.  And let me say this: every woman who walked by the cafe noticed him.

It was proof that style has no gender rules or age limit.  Anyone can work it and it's amazing how far a little effort and fashion sense can go.

Here's a great link to some shots that GQ photographer Tommy Ton took of real European men on the street.  They may be a little "out there" for many Texans' tastes but they could be a springboard for experimenting with different looks.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dirk's a Travelin' Man But Why the Pitstops, Detours & Runarounds?

Dirk Nowitzki's travel plans just get curiouser and curiouser.

First Donnie Nelson was going to meet him Germany.

Then Nelson gets a phone call while he's supposedly standing in line at the airport from Dirk's adviser, Holger Geschwindner, that they are coming to Dallas to meet with him on Thursday at Dirk's home in Dallas.  The Mavericks organization even told us as much.  I had confirmation that Dirk was arriving in Dallas from Germany on Thursday.

Then there's the New York city detour to meet with Jason Kidd.  I have confirmation from an impeccable source that Dirk is scheduled to arrive in Dallas on Friday morning from NYC.

BUT WAIT, then ESPN's Marc Stein tweets that Dirk arrived in Dallas on Thursday night.


No doubt, Stein is right.  Of course, Dirk has every right to do whatever the hell he wants and I applaud him for doing it, although if I were him, my butt would be enjoying a mojito on the roof of the Peninsula Hotel.   But why the game of travel cat and mouse?  Dirk reportedly has a killer schedule and sponsorship commitment.  Cool, I get it.  But why was his itinerary released by the Mavericks?  Is there a reason?  Is he trying THAT hard to shirk the media and avoid any fans that might be waiting for him at the airport?  Is it beyond that?  I'm not saying it's crazy, right or wrong but is it just a little peculiar?

Dirk's NYC Pitstop. Cause for Concern? No, According to the Mavs

Dirk Nowitzki was supposed to be in Dallas Thursday to meet with Mavs GM Donnie Nelson.  He was even confirmed on a flight from Germany to DFW.

That all changed in the last 12 hours when it came out he was stopping in New York, supposedly, to have dinner and chill with teammate Jason Kidd. 

How concerning is this to Mavericks and could Dirk be meeting with Nets/Knicks execs or some other team brass?

Here is what I know:

-From multiple Mavericks sources, I am hearing they are not concerned with Dirk's change of plans to spend the night in NYC.  They still remain confident that he will return to the Mavericks.  Donnie Nelson has been quoted saying it's no big deal.  I've heard from people who do not have to tow the company line say the same.

-I can understand Dirk's desire to lay low.  Jason Kidd has said that Dirk isn't about glitz and glamour, which is true.  I can see him exiting that Terminal D at DFW airport beaten down to a pulp seeing Mavs fans (sorry) and media (that I already know he hates) greeting him and welcoming him home.

-Finally, for what it's worth, I've heard from some very-in-the-know NYC area folks that all the Knicks and Nets brass are in Ohio trying to pitch to LeBron James.

So, it seems Dirk's layover in New York is something just about any of us would do: hang out with a friend in one of the best cities in the world and possibly avoid delay that inevitable onslaught of media and fans waiting to welcome him back to town.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mavs Dig Dirk & Want You To, Too!

By now you should know the story. 

At 11:01pm North Texas time, Dirk Nowitzki will become a free agent for the first time in his career.  He and his advisor, Holger Geschwindner, are coming to Dallas on Thursday to meet with Mavs GM Donnie Nelson.  Nelson found out that bit of information while he was at DFW airport trying to get a ticket to go to Germany to woo Dirk.  He was standing at the ticket counter when Holger called to deliver that news.

Kind of weird turn of events, dontcha think?  I feel Dirk will stay in Dallas but wouldn't be totally shocked if he left.  Would you?  Maybe he feels he's done all he can with the Mavericks and the best opportunity to win a title is with another team.  Just sayin....

On to the fun stuff.

The Mavericks are putting on a fullcourt press to get fans involved in the keep Dirk in Dallas campaign.  It's got a fun title: DFW Digs Dirk

There is a video message saying just that currently scrolling on Dallas' Hunt Building overlooking Woodall Rogers freeway.

Thursday, the team will start selling DFW Digs Dirk t-shirts on and all team fan shops at the AAC, North Park Center and Willowbend Mall.  Plus, you amateur graffiti fans get to have fun, too!  With your purchase of a shirt, you get some shoe polish to decorate your car and show more support.  The best part is that all Dirk-related merchandise will be....wait for it......41% off. 
I can't believe the 2010 free agency summer is finally here.  We've talked about it for so long.  It's going to be a crazy few days.  At least the Mavericks want you to be involved and have a little fun trying to convince Dirk this is where he should keep playing.

Stay tuned!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hooey Diet Alert: Hoodia Ice Cubes Help You Drop Pounds?

Please.  What's the saying?  If it sounds too good be true.....

It's called the Hoodia Ice Cube diet.   In theory, you either drop one hoodia-filled ice cube into some liquid or just pop the frozen cube straight every day.  The hoodia frozen in the ice cube is from a succulent plant native to the African desert.  Desert Labs, the company that manufactures the little green cubes, says they contain a molecule called P57 that is supposed to suppress your appetite.

Hoodia started getting a lot of press a few years ago as a supplement that tricks your brain into thinking you're full .  60 Minutes even profiled the plant in 2004.  It does have some scientific evidence to back up the appetite-suppressing claims but it's still pretty cloudy. 
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cowboys Offensive Lineman Alex Barron Likes His Gum

It’s not often we get to chat with offensive linemen. They are, generally speaking, the most reluctant group on a football team when it comes to talking to the media even going so far as to institute a fine system if one of them “breaks the code”. Leonard Davis and Adre Gurode aside, you don’t see a ton of interviews (tv in particular) with Cowboys linemen. So it was a rare treat on Tuesday when a few of us interviewed new Cowboys tackle Alex Barron who Dallas acquired in a trade with the Rams for Bobby Carpenter.

Before we go any further, Barron is a physical specimen! He stands a pretty accurate 6’7 and is listed at 302.  It's not a soft, have-another-a-pastrami-sandwich 302, either.  Even fully clothed this man looked solid.

He would be a great addition to the Mavericks frontcourt. I tried to butter him up, or beat him down depending on your perspective, by talking some basketball with him. I knew he was a double-double guy at Wilkinson High School in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He admitted a few small area universities and community colleges tried to recruit him but he played football at Florida State.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

North Texas Summer Fun: For Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Think Ham's

May 15th doesn't just serve as a reminder for me that my taxes are one month late.  The date is much more important.  It means that Ham's Orchard in Terrell is finally open!  I discovered Ham'View Blogs when my parents bought some property in Mineola a few years ago and since then, every trip east involves a stop at Ham's.  Although, truth be told, it's not like I need an excuse to go, just a free hour.

Ham's is true orchard and roadside market about 35 miles east of Dallas on Highway 80.  It serves fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade ice cream, cobblers and all the stereotypical country kitchen stuff that everyone's Texas Grandma had in the pantry.
Monday, May 24, 2010

Cowboys Turning 50 & Feeling Fine w/ New "Celebration" Logo.

The traditional "gift" for a 50th anniversary is gold.  Something golden.  Austin Powers infamous Goldmember comes to mind.  Fancy a smoke and pancake?

I digress.

The Cowboys unveiled their 50th anniversary "celebration" logo today.  Your thoughts?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dirk Opting Out: Take a Chill Pill, Miss Saigon

Dirk Nowitzki can put Dallas in a panic like few men can.

In honor of Sex and the City's 2's Thursday release, I'm taking inspiration from the HBO show's second season for this one.  In the episode, "Old Dogs, New Dicks", one drag queen tells another to "Take a chill pill, Miss Saigon!" and I think that's the message Mavericks fans need to heed. 

Marc Stein had this news mid-afternoon on Saturday.  I was literally walking out the door to go the HP Byron Nelson Championship when the Steiny posted the article on  My brother, Lance, called and texted in a panic.  My phone started exploding. 
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cabo San Lucas Resort Reviews

Esperanza Review, One & Only Palmilla Review, Las Ventanas Review

From the blue topaz-like water to the sweet, blue agave scent that seems to waft through the air, Los Cabos is one of my go-to quick getaways.

Long a favorite of Los Angeles celebrities and professional athletes, it's an easy trip for those of us coming anywhere ranging from Dallas (two hours 17 minutes) to northern California natives (just under three hours).  I arrived this past Saturday for a three-day jaunt and barely missed every Mavs fan Denver Nugget nemesis.  Our driver had just taken Chris Anderson to the airport.
Friday, May 14, 2010

Tread Fitness Class Review

Tread Fitness Dallas, Tread Fitness

From sprints and hills to squats and flutter kicks, high intensity interval training is guaranteed to make you work as hard as you can but shed some serious fat in the process.

“This is, like, the hardest workout of my life,” Victoria Snee of Mix 102.9 FM told me after taking a class at Tread Fitness in Dallas.

High intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, is a method of working out that uses short bursts of aerobic activity paired with a short recovery period. It’s so effective at increasing the body’s endurance as well as burning calories and fat that it produces rapid, dramatic changes to your shape and fitness level.

Tony Hauser has dropped ten pounds in just seven classes.

“That’s one of the most amazing things is that it’s so quick,” Hauser told me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Neftali Prays to Higher Power

That would be Rangers power hitter Vlad Guerrero.

Shortstop Elvis Andrus gamely served as my interpreter while I chatted with Felix about his seventh save in eight tries.  Feliz struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth inning to secure the Rangers 13-12 win over Kansas City on Thursday. 

I asked the just-turned-22-year old what goes through his head when he's out there.  He said he tries to simplify everything and just get outs.  Generic enough.

Then he made me smile when he mentioned he was praying that either Guerrero or Josh Hamilton would get a hit.  By now you know they did more than that in the top of the ninth.  They hit back to back home runs, Hamilton to tie the game and Guerrero with the go-ahead.

Guerrero is killing it now, especially in Arlington.  He's currently batting .453 at home, the highest home average in the A.L.  His .407 all-time mark in Arlington is the highest among any player, at any park.

Btw, I am so disappointed in my attempts at Spanish.  It's painfully bad.  Open to any and all suggestions.  I do Pimsleur on the Ipod.  Haven't broken down & gotten Rosetta Stone.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

THIS is Your Leader?

This column by Jeff Caplan on got me thinking.  I'm in a bit of sinus medication induced haze right now, so that might not be such a good idea but I couldn't let this go.  I digress.

Many (notice I don't say all - many) Mavericks players say on-camera or to a reporter that Jason Kidd is this team's leader.  As that leader isn't he held accountable to the team in some form or fashion?  Isn't he the one to look to when adversity or first round failures happen?

Kidd did not participate in the Mavericks final exit interviews last Friday after their Game 6, season-ending loss to the Spurs.  Head coach Rick Carlisle had no issue with it.  "He went back to Phoenix to get away from it and do some personal things," he said.  "I've got no problem with that."

Granted, Kidd wasn't 100% during the series and, according to two excellent Mavericks sources, was dealing with an ear infection this postseason.  But that's not an excuse for bolting so quickly.  If he is that leader in the locker room, he owes it to his team on that last day to be there.  Send that message, whatever it may be, but at least make a statement!  In my biased opinion, he also has an obligation to speak to the media on that final day.  Yeah, sure, we're a beating but part of the high-paying pro-athlete gig is dealing with us fools.  Dirk Nowitzki did.  Carlisle did.  Caron Butler did.  Kidd - MIA.

Great leaders do not walk away from circumstances that don't suit them as Kidd did last Friday.  They meet them, face them, learn from them and move on. 

I am not so sure, though, that Kidd truly is the Mavericks unquestionable leader, as we've heard a few times before.  After one particular loss to San Antonio, I got into a conversation about leadership.  The message was communicated to me that the Dallas locker room lacks a real sense of leadership.  Why is that not surprising?

That's something that's plagued this team for years and, once again, when looking for a man to serve as a leader for this team - there's not one to be found.
Friday, April 30, 2010

Even Roddy B's in on Free Roddy B. He's Funny, Too!

I hear you.   I read your tweets and found you on facebook.  The Free Roddy B campaign has never been as loud as it was in the final three quarters of  the Mavericks series-ending Game 6 loss to the Spurs.

You know the story.  Beaubois had 16 points in 18 minutes in the second and third quarters.  He provided that speed and spark off the bench that helped Dallas rally from a 22-point deficit.  Yet in the fourth quarter, he was mysteriously on the bench until the 2:44 mark of the final period.  At that point, the Mavericks trailed 89-81 and it was a cliche case of too little too late.

Even Mavericks owner Mark Cuban claimed he shouted "Free Roddy B!" when Beaubois was off the court.  Cuban was aloof when asked about it after the game.  "I'm not a coach, so I don't even have an opinion on that," he said.

It's rare when Cuban doesn't have an opinion on something, isn't it?  Isn't his lack of one telling?

Friday Carlisle took responsibility for Beaubois' benching saying that there are "no right decisions when you lose."

General manager Donnie Nelson stuck with the message.  "You can go around and around with that stuff," he said Friday.  "Pick your poison.  I don't think it's the right thing one of the all-time great 4th quarter performers Jason Terry is not out there.  It's such tough call but I think in those situations you go with the knowns."

Beaubois is smart and while he's cool with the coach's decision, he, like any competitor, saw opportunities to contribute.  "For sure, I wanted to play," he said.  "In the season I never really knew when I was going to play or not.  I just wait and that's it."

As for the Free Roddy B movement and the Mike Fisher-designed t-shirts that are scattered around North Texas, Beaubois admits it's pretty cool.

 "I was flattered when I saw that (the t-shirt).  It's good to have support from fans."

When asked if he had a Free Roddy B t-shirt he said someone gave him one Thursday night.  The media throng asked if it was from Cuban to which he replied in his wonderfully thick Guadeloupe/French accent, "no".

You kinda had to be there.