Commentary

Streaking teams have us all atwitter

Dallas teams, even in the minors, are on a roll, the NFL's soft but Jon Kitna isn't

Updated: December 6, 2010, 8:17 PM ET
By Ben Rogers and Jeff "Skin" Wade | ESPNDallas.com

The Give and Go is Ben and Skin's weekly back and forth on anything from the world of sports that they feel compelled to carry on about. The word waterfalls cascading through this cyberspace are the absurd products of Ben and Skin, and only Ben and Skin. The ideas expressed in this "column" in no way represent the thoughts of anyone else even remotely related to ESPN Dallas. In fact, ESPN Dallas has no idea what to make of any of this. Actually they're quite worried. We mean like really, really worried. We're venturing into inmates running the asylum territory. We're through the looking glass here. This isn't Kansas anymore. We also acknowledge that those last three sentences were definitely overkill. So uhh, oh yeah, you can hear the aural version of this insanity every weekday from 9 a.m. to noon on 103.3 FM ESPN. Here come the Internet, sucka:

Hoop Fever

Ben: Winning streaks make the best sports marketing magnets. How can folks not be fired up for some Mavs basketballing after seeing them rattle off nine straight? For that matter, the Mavs' D-League team -- the Texas Legends of Frisco D-League basketball dominance starring Nancy Lieberman and Rashad McCants -- have rattled off five straight themselves. The Rangers' playoff run flooded their bandwagon. The FC Dallas playoff run made me watch American soccer for the first time since 3rd grade. If the Stars can somehow win 20 straight, I promise to even watch a few minutes of one of their games. We are a homerrific yet front-running, bandwagoning, win-and-we-will-be-there sports market, which means that basketball must currently be on the hearts and minds (and hearts) of the Metroplex something fierce.

[+] EnlargeNancy Lieberman
Otto Kitsinger/Getty ImagesIt seems like every team in Dallas is hot right now. Even Nancy Lieberman's Texas Legends have won five straight in the NBA D-League.

Skin: I was all dialed in ready to enjoy the LeBron hatefest the other night, but that game stopped being competitive by the time the second quarter started. I ended up flipping over to watch the Stars dispatch the Ovechkins and it was damn fine televisioning, sir. Speaking of the Thursday night hatefest, I think I'd rather move to the Gaza Strip and wait for them to get a D-League Team than be a Cleveland sports fan. Such horrible misery for those poor folks. The best thing they have is Drew Carey, and he's no Bob Barker. By the way, @bobbarker is the twitter handle for a strange UK man who doesn't host game shows. I suggest you follow him.

Ben: Sounds like terrible Twitter advice. Weren't you also the one who suggested that I follow some Canadian plumber who happened to be named Richard Dawson? I'll never get those 11 minutes back, ever. Although I did learn a lot about angular discharge tubes and low-riding pants. Random sidenote: Cleveland may be the furthest thing from Hawaii in my mind, of course besides New Jersey and Philadelphia. But back to the thread, I'm talking to more and more folks who are taking in that D-League experience up in Frisco and liking what they see. Like the Mavs, it doesn't hurt matters at all that they refuse to lose.

Skin: I hear Plumber Dawson has turned his Twitter feed into a television show just like the CBS William Shatner sitcom $#*! My Dad Says. It's on The CW and it's called Dawson's Crack. If they get some of those Gossip Girls on it I'm in. Sadly there's only one Golden Girl still with us, but she's clearly at her peak. Damn, I'm rambling. But yeah man, Frisco and stuff. You and I should put together a team for that 40 and over D-League. I'd love to get the band back together. Me, you, Donald Duck Dunn, Blue Lou Marini. It'd be awesome.

Cleveland's Revenge

Skin: Have you stopped to ponder what we may be doing on the air at this time next year? Global basketball icon Marc Stein reported the NBA is about to go all Expos in this piece and buy up the New Orleans Hornets. The league is full of overpaid bigs that can't play a lick, and they are straight draining owners. And football seems worse. Seems like the NFL's plan is to stop the long-term damage inflicted by monster hits by fining players till they cant afford to tackle. Then the NFL won't have to spend hundreds of millions setting up VA's to take care of players when they reach 50 and can't move or think. And then they want to increase the number of games so that the Super Bowl is a battle of awesome practice squad dudes. Players ain't going for that. No hoops, no football; I hope you REALLY enjoyed your three-hour dalliance with American Soccer.

[+] EnlargeJames Harrison
AP Photo/Don WrightIt's hard not to wonder how the Pittsburgh Steelers' James Harrison would fare if the NFL continues its transition to flag football.

Ben: I just tried to buy the domain NFFL.com so I could squat on it and wait for the National Flag Football League to put my kids through college. Unfortunately, an even more unrealistic squatter is apparently waiting for a National Fantasy Football League of some sorts to be his lotto ticket. Regardless of lack of a viable financial Hail Mary, the NFL is on a crash course to reducing all contact and will inch closer and closer to flag football in the coming years. If that happens, I might just punt on real sports and instead launch a fantasy capture the flag empire. As for your flag basketball idea or whatever you and Stein are selling, I don't like it as much.

Skin: Give it time to develop. I mean look at Alan Ball. Naw, don't do that. I'm actually more worried about sports television on Sundays next fall if there's no NFL. You and I can always spend three hours a day talking about the Focker trilogy. I don't know that Berman has that in him. TJ, maybe. I didn't see Meet The Fockers and was wondering if I could still see Little Fockers and have it make sense without that crucial second installment. I really loved the first one, but I passed on number two cuz it looked too much like Ishtar or Yentl or some other '80s movie I didn't see neither. Any advice?

Ben: Meet the Fockers was gold, dude. You failed yourself... and Robert DeNiro. You'd better watch your back from now on. He's likely to offer free stolen dresses to your wife, Karen, if she ever pays him a visit near a suspicious back-alley loading dock somewhere. My Sunday nights are more than filled with Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead. Not quite Sopranos level contentment, but I can get by just fine on the strengths of those two Sunday night masterpieces.

Kitna's Revenge Fever

Ben: I love the intensity that Jon Kitna shows on the sideline. I wonder if #9 will come out of his Romocoma now that Kitna has showed him the leadership blueprint. The days of getting everyone fired up by high-fiving Barbie Carpenter on an exotic beach while Journey plays a private concert in your Romobrain are gone. Also, Carpenter is gone. I prefer the new Sean Lee version anyway. Remind me again why Wade Phillips wouldn't get out of his coaching hammock to notice that a rookie could potentially challenge his favorite pregame speech-giving player for some sacred playing time.

[+] EnlargeArnel Pineda
AP Photo/Robert E. KleinArnel Pinedo can sing Journey songs just like Tony Romo, but can he quarterback like him?

Skin: Look Mr. Coach Killer's Son, everyone knows that you don't just play promising second-round rookies in place of 35 year-olds when you're like 1 and 6 and out of it before November. Right? Hmmm, wait a minute here, let me rethink this. I'd like to re-evaluate that idea on the fly. Really I'm just kind of working this out, you know, typing aloud. Doing a little workshopping here, perhaps a little internal table talk. Just sort of throwing some stuff against the wall to see what sticks. Just trying to get a little bird's eye view here. Really I just want to take this to the lab for a moment, put it under a microscope and really examine what we're talking about here. There's a lot of emotions here, Ben. This is some pretty heady stuff.. Did you say they were replacing Tony Romo with a tiny Filipino dude who sings exactly like him?

Ben: Garrett has become a different man now that he's free from the burden of Wade's contagious malaise. Maybe Romo will, too. To see this team bounce back from a blocked punt touchdown to go on a 10-minute, 4th quarter, clock-killing touchdown drive revealed character, great character. Then to win in overtime revealed even more. It also revealed next year's head coach. Viva La Garrett, Skin. Before you can kill a coach you first have to lift him up onto your shoulders and run towards unreasonably lofty expectations at warp speed. Step one is almost complete.

Skin: You're right, Ben. It doesn't matter how much of Wade's contagious mayonnaise this team mixed into what was left over of its Big Tuna. It was a tired sandwich with stale bread. Garrett has changed the game with his punctual tomato spread on a deliciously accountable rye and now a Scandrick/Ball-led secondary can't be thrown on by anybody, especially HOFers. So take that sports. You've been turned upside down and smashed on your melon. And Kitna apparently told Aikman before Romo's injury that the Cowboys second-team was the most talented huddle he'd ever been in. That gives me more confidence than ever before that the Cowboys will win the Practice Squad Super Bowls. Drink it in Cowboy fans.

Listen to Ben Rogers and Jeff "Skin" Wade weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on ESPN 103.3 FM.

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