The Mark Cuban Commercial That Continues To Drive Me Insane

If you watched last night’s Mavs game, then you saw Mark Cuban’s AT&T Uverse Live commercial about 200 times. No exaggeration. I was going to say 4,000 times, but that’s clearly an exaggeration. I’ve written about this over-aired commercial before, wondering why a billionaire would allow a telecommunications company to mock his bald spot in a television commercial. When a commercial airs as frequently as this one does, it’s impossible not to break it down shot by shot, frame by frame. It’s like reindeer and the Sami people of northern Russia and Scandinavia. The Sami have something like 1,000 words for reindeer. You know why? Because the Sami don’t get to watch basketball on TV. They are forced to watch reindeer on TV. As a result, they get really into reindeer. So it is with me and this Mark Cuban commercial.

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The New Yorker on Jordan Spieth

There’s a nice little ditty on The New Yorker’s sports blog about Bubba and Jordan and the Masters that you should read. A taste:

Spieth’s swing is a newly paved freeway through the heartland: smooth, straight, efficient, dependable. Watson’s is the spotty two-lane through the backwater. It’s tangled and indirect, a mess of rough road that seems to surprise Watson as much as anybody when it leads to the desired location.


Spieth plays with an effortlessness that is no doubt the result of great effort. He’s the Federer of golf right now: fluid motions, no sweat glands, an air of calm superiority.

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Leading Off (4/15/14)

Woman Found Guilty of Murder in Castration Death. Crystal Richardson claimed in court that she was just defending herself. But on the night of April 28, 2012, after using PCP, cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol, she castrated Cedric Lamont Owens and stabbed him more than 130 times. The jury didn’t buy her story.

Man Found Guilty of Murder in Stabbing Deaths. Just a couple months before Richardson’s bloody night in a Far East Dallas hotel room, in a house not far from that crime, William Gerard Palmer fatally stabbed his wife and her parents. Yesterday, a jury convicted him, too, and this account of the victims’ impact statements is tough to read.

An Item That’s Not About a Stabbing Murder. Cold enough for you this morning?

No Good Horrible Day for American Airlines and US Airways. The merging carriers made news yesterday for the wrong reasons. An AA pilot forgot he had a gun in his backpack and tried to bring it through a security checkpoint at DFW Airport. Meanwhile US Airways tweeted a picture of a naked woman playing with a toy airplane. A reminder to all of us that we need to be careful with our firearms and our aviation porn.

And, Oh Yeah, It’s Tax Day. Fun!

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Parsing That Long John Wiley Price Story

As Cristina mentioned in Leading Off, on Sunday the Morning News published a lengthy story about the FBI’s investigation of John Wiley Price. I can’t figure it out. Because almost none of it is new. After the FBI raids in the summer of 2011, the paper did a great job piecing together what the feds were looking for and all the curious financial matters concerning price: the land deals, the bankruptcy, the expensive cars, the cash in the safe. The story we got Sunday is just a rehash of all that, with one small addition:

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A Totally Boring 9-Minute Recording From Today’s Meeting of the Regional Transportation Council

Seriously, if you spend one minute reading this post — especially if you take the time to listen to the audio — then you really need to reevaluate your life, figure out where everything went so pear shaped that you had the time and interest to dive into this. That said, here’s your prep guide for the audio that I recorded today out in Arlington at the HQ of the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Tom Vandergriff Conference Center (decor theme: gray on gray). First, you need to know that cupcakes were served, on account of the NCTCOG’s 40th birthday. Keep that in mind. Second, I loitered in the NCTCOG lobby before the meeting and spotted not one, but two gentleman attendees wearing cowboy hats. In other words: my kind of meeting. I stayed for about 25 minutes, just the part where they discussed I-345. I’m only going to give you the highlights. Okay, here’s what you’ll hear:

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First Look at the Proposed Boy Scout Hill Restaurant Overlooking White Rock Lake

Jim Schutze has written something that you should read. It’s about the proposed restaurant at White Rock Lake. The hopeful developers are Lyle Burgin and Rick Kopf. I’ve had lunch with these guys, and I like them. Kopf rides his bike at the lake, and he seems to appreciate the beauty of the place, which is why, he told me, he wants to build a restaurant there. But I’m afraid Kopf and his friend are a bit like Lennie in Of Mice and Men. They don’t know their own strength. They just might crush the thing they love. And Schutze is right. Opposition seems to be building steadily in the neighborhoods around the lake (I live in one of them).

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What Does South Dallas Think About Highways? Let’s Ask a ‘Militant’ Black Leader.

In the discussion about possibly tearing down I-345, the Dallas Morning News editorial board and its partner, Michael Morris of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, have come to the defense of the working poor in South Dallas. At the paper, Rodger Jones writes about “economic justice,” and Tod Robberson tells us that lowering I-345 would throw the lives of South Dallas commuters into “upheaval.” Morris says only rich white people are interested in tearing down the elevated freeway. Let’s see about that.

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Leading Off (4/8/14)

Basketball Happened. Not gonna lie. I started compiling this morning’s Leading Off shortly after the UConn-Kentucky game. At 11 o’clock, the UConn student paper still hadn’t published the news. Too busy getting drunk, burning cars? Dunno. But the Kentucky student paper was on top of it. Also this: the UConn paper is called the Daily Campus. The Kentucky paper is called the Kernal. So explain to me again how Kentucky lost?

An Article About the Proposed Bullet Train Between Dallas and Houston! Our analytics tell us that people are pumped about this topic. So get pumped. Executive summary: who doesn’t loves trains? But bullet trains are expensive!

North Texas Likes To Lick Fingers, Eat Fried (And Other Sorts Of) Chicken. Yum Brands owns KFC and sells wings via WingStreet. It will try a new concept called Super Chix. Right now, there’s only one location, at West Park Row Drive and South Cooper Street, in Arlington. So I just told you that because. Um, chicken?

Sky Mirror Demands Sacrifice. You know all about the 80 concerts planned for the American Country Music Awards next year at the Death Star. Cool. If you like country music and large crowds of strangers touching you and having loud conversations on their cellphones when someone is performing and those conversating people ought to be paying attention to said performer. (Me, I’d rather stay home and eat chicken. Or even seitan, which my wife is now pushing at the house.)

Is There a Cancer Cluster in Flower Mound? The Texas Department of State Health Services is having another look at the data.

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Michael Morris Changes His Mind About I-345

On Friday, we discussed Michael Morris, who is the transportation director of the North Texas Council of Governments. Morris has played the race card, intimating that everyone in support of tearing down I-345 is rich and white and not concerned with poor people. Morris said he attended a meeting about the future of I-345 and noticed the following about those who want to tear it down:

“They were all white, they were very wealthy and I don’t think any of them live in the neighborhood.”

Now Morris, along with another road guy, Bill Hale, TxDOT’s Dallas District Engineer, has offered another argument for why we shouldn’t tear down I-345:

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Michael Morris, The Misinformationist

Michael Morris is the transportation director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. As Jason mentioned in Leading Off, Morris made some rather interesting remarks in the paper today about the effort underway to investigate whether it makes sense to tear down I-345. He went to a meeting where he met people who are suggesting that spending $100 million or so to repair I-345 is a bad idea and that we ought to consider instead doing away with it and allowing redevelopment to stitch downtown back together with Deep Ellum. Morris said he noticed something about those people:

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