Whitt's End: 6.5.09
*Might Michael Irvin's days at ESPN Radio be numbered? This isn't sourced "breaking news", but more so a simple putting two-and-two together and arriving at a common sense conclusion. And, no, it has nothing to do with Irvin getting sued for allegedly stealing his Fourth and Long concept or the mysterious disappearance of that gun-pointing incident he reported last January. Consider: Irvin's 18-month contract with the station ends this month and, let's face it, 103.3 FM isn't getting sufficient bang for its buck. In April's ratings, ESPN got a 4.4 with its national shows from 6-11 a.m.before dropping off to a 2.9 with Irvin and partner Kevin Kiley from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. I know there's a certain panache to having the Playmaker on your airwaves, but at some point a Bristol bean counter is going to realize it's not worth it in the two categories that count most in radio: Ratings and revenue.
*Biggest surprise of the Rangers' surprising season: Not Josh Hamilton's dramatic drop-off. Not Elvis Andrus' acrobatic arrival. Not even Tom Hicks selling the team. I'm going with Scott Feldman's 5-0 record and 3.79 ERA. Remember, the guy didn't pitch well enough in Spring Training to even earn a job in the starting rotation.
*Explain to me again why the Cowboys announced they were severing ties with Greg Ellis a week before releasing him? No team is dumb enough to trade for a player who's about to be cut. Right?
*I feel better about a relaxed world in which Kobe Bryant can be referred to as the "Black Mamba." Not long ago he would've been the "African-American Mamba."
*I hate the damn Yankees, but it's a little sad how empty and quiet their new stadium is.
*Laugh at soccer all you want, but its international governing body - FIFA - turned a $184 million profit in 2008.
*A sign of the Apocalypse: Not only is the WNBA still in business, its Phoenix Mercury is replacing "Mercury" across the front of its jerseys with its new title sponsor, "Lifelock." We've giggled at Manchester United wearing AIG for years, but can the Pepsi Cowboys be far behind?
*A second sign of the Apocalypse: Turns out that Kate woman who shows up everywhere is famous for nothing more than having a bunch of babies. Really? Still can't believe we're that bored with our own lives. What happened to admiring people who had actual talent?
*At tomorrow's Belmont jockey Calvin Borel will attempt to become the first jockey to win the Triple Crown's three races atop two different horses. Maybe it's just me but I think the horses should get most of the accolades. It's like a driver winning three NASCAR races in two of the fastest cars. Yawn.
*Texas' 3-2, 25-inning win over Boston College last weekend featured 18 consecutive scoreless innings. You're telling me that's an instant classic? Fine, I challenge you to spend your sunny Saturday watching the replay.
*I know a girl who last week bought a hat "because it's in style." Never in my life have I made a fashion purchase based on that philosopy.
*Though he entered the French Open undefeated in Paris, some of us predicted Rafael Nadal's loss. Why? He lost his edge. In the past six months Nadal has cut his hair and traded in his Capri pants and sleeveless shirts for proper shorts and collared, sleeved tops. The douchey advisor that convinced Nadal to look more mainstream marketable cost him another major.
*I'm sensing some distinct negative trending to this column. Allow me to add some balance by listing three things I really, really like: 1. My wife. 2. Strawberry shakes. 3. Vacation.
*As I'm on vacation next week, there'll be no radio for me at 105.3 The Fan this weekend. Here's hoping you find the will to press on anyway.