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Hear Mavs Broadcaster Mark Followill on D Magazine’s EarBurner Podcast

Dallas Mavericks television play-by-play man stopped by the Old Monk yesterday afternoon in the wake of SMU’s painful NCAA tournament loss. He chatted with Tim and Zac about that, the Dallas Cowboys’ signing of Greg Hardy, WFAA sports anchor Dale Hansen’s reaction to the Greg Hardy signing, and how he got his start in broadcasting.

It’s a super-sized episode because there were just too many hot takes to pack into 30 minutes.

Remember to subscribe to EarBurner on iTunes or listen via the Stitcher app, your preferred podcatcher, or the embedded player below.

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Leading Off (3/20/15)

Thursday Was a Texas Basketball Massacre. All five teams from the state in the NCAA tournament lost. Baylor and SMU fans can argue about who suffered the more painful last-minute loss.

Irving Endorses Anti-Islamic Bill. Spurred by fears of nonbinding, voluntary mediation at a mosque, the city council, led by Mayor Beth Van Duyne, voted on Thursday to endorse a bill by State Rep. Jeff Leach of Plano that would forbid judges from using foreign law in their rulings. The bill’s language is nearly identical to a previous proposal by another lawmaker designed to limit the influence of “large populations of Middle Easterners.” Said Van Duyne, ““Why anyone would feel this is hatred or bigotry is absolutely beyond me.”

State to Audit DA’s Office. It’s the first time the state auditor’s office has used the authority the legislature gave it in 2011 to conduct such reviews. They’ll look into the alleged improper use of forfeiture funds during the tenure of former district attorney Craig Watkins. If violations of the law are found, the DA’s office and Watkins himself could be subject to a civil penalty up to $100,000.

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: March 19

A pretty thick fog has descended downtown, which I’ve seen enough movies to know means one of two things. Either something supernatural that means us harm is lurking in the mist, or an army of Orcs is hiding nearby. More realistically, I’m concerned about the folks headed to Savor Dallas’ Arts District Wine Stroll later this evening. A few glasses of wine can make you get lost. A thick fog can make you lost. Combine the two and you may never escape. There are worse things than being condemned to an eternity of strolling and drinking in an unearthly mist, but hopefully it clears up. I don’t care what your culinary credentials are, you can’t eat or drink your way out of the fog.

After surviving a good deal of ice, I think we’re going to make it through this. That’s good news, because there’s a lot going on tonight, from the dining bacchanalia of Savor Dallas to the fist-pumping weirdo rock of TV on the Radio.

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If Only Dallas Could be More Like…Minneapolis

Yesterday John Neely Bryan fielded a question about transplants coming to Dallas and wanting to make this city more like the place they came from. But this comparative disconnect works both ways. Too often I’ve heard people from Dallas comparing this city to New York, or San Francisco, or some other coastal metropolis with a larger population, older history, completely different geography, or any other number of factors that makes a comparison with Dallas a little silly. Case in point: we built a suspension bridge over our drainage ditch of a river because, you know, amazing big cities have suspension bridges.

But what if we had more modest ambitions. What if we put all of our hopes and dreams into becoming the next — that’s right — Minneapolis?

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Tony Romo Kills It on Jimmy Kimmel

If there was any doubt that Tony Romo has a future as a broadcaster when he retires from the game, he erased that doubt last night. He was great on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which was broadcasting from Austin. To watch the entire segment, you need to sign in here with your cable provider info. But here’s a taste, a clip of Romo recounting how he tried to convince the Jones boys to keep DeMarco Murray:

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The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Prison

The seven guys with whom I recently spent two months living in a small room at the Kaufman County Jail while awaiting transfer were in the distressing habit of compulsively watching local TV news, which is the lowest form of news. They would even watch more than one network’s evening news program in succession, presumably so as to get differing perspectives on the day’s suburban house fires and rush-hour lane closings rather than having to view these events through a single ideological prism.

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Leading Off (3/19/15)

SMU Plays First NCAA Tournament Game Since 1993 Today. The Poinies play UCLA in Louisville at 2:10 on truTV. They are trying to win in the tourney for the first time since 1988, when the Kato Armstrong-led squad beat Notre Dame. That same year, SMU coach Larry Brown won the national title with Danny Manning and Kansas.

Dale Hansen Rips Cowboys For Signing Greg Hardy. As he is wont to do, the WFAA Channel 8 sports anchor went off during his “Hansen Unplugged” segment following the Cowboys’ signing of Hardy, the defensive end who was accused of assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend. A sampling: “Is there no line you won’t cross? Is there no crime you won’t accept? Is there no behavior you will not tolerate? The Cowboys have decided players who use illegal drugs can play. You drive drunk and kill a teammate — putting everyone on that highway at risk — there’s a place on this team for you. You can rob a department store and play. And now you can beat a woman and play with a star on your helmet.”

Arrest Warrants Issued For Two Women in Illegal Buttocks-Injections Scheme. The two women are Jimmy Joe Clarke and Denise Rochelle Ross, also known as “Wee Wee.” They are wanted for practicing medicine without a license. Scamming (allegedly) women who desire to have larger hindquarters — because, thanks to Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, that is in fashion — is a crime no one would have even contemplated as recently as maybe five or six years ago. It’s shameful, but innovative. Jimmy Joe and Wee Wee should give a TED talk.

Mavs Withstand Comeback By Magic. They lost most of a pretty big second-half lead but still had enough left to take down Orlando, a feisty young team better than its record, especially since immaculately coifed rookie Elfrid Payton (who had a triple double) has started coming on. And Rajon Rondo did this.

ICYMI: Dallas Chapter of American Institute of Architects Formally Opposes Trinity Toll Road. “Any highway similar to the Trinity Toll Road will divide our city and destroy the park’s unique potential and its recreational, economic, and environmental benefits,” said the group’s statement. That’s more than 300 firms and 2,000 people.

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How You Can Save Western Civilization by Reading True Grit

In April, we’re asking everyone to read Charles Portis’ True Grit as part of D Academy’s literacy nonprofit Big D Reads. D Academy fellows raised enough money to purchase 17,000 copies of the book and will be handing them out at more than 60 events during the month of April.

The fellows have spent the last few months talking about “grit.” One alumnus of the group, David Hopkins, recently shared his own thoughts on the word’s meaning:

I want to discuss a popular TV show my wife and I have been binge-watching on Netflix. It’s the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends into madness and desperation, lead by his own egotism. With one mishap after another, he becomes a monster. I’m talking, of course, about Friends and its tragic hero, Ross Geller.

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: March 18

Everybody settle down. St. Patrick’s Day is over, and while you might still be enjoying your spring break, the real world is here. It’s time to get serious and buckle down. We have things to do. Fortunately, some of those things are a lot of fun. Tonight, for example, you can see a legendary post-punk act at Trees, or catch the classic “boy meets girl, boy and girl instantly fall in love, then out of love, then back in love, and then, as in most romantic operas, girl dies tragically” story at the heart of La Bohème at The Dallas Opera. Here are our picks for things to do.

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Did Yesterday’s Downtown Traffic Mess Say Anything About the I-345 Teardown?

I didn’t drive downtown at all yesterday, but by all the accounts I saw online it was an absolute mess every which way you looked, thanks to a nasty accident on Interstate 35E that shut down several lanes.

Mike Drago over on the Dallas Morning News’ editorial blog used the opportunity to make an argument equivalent to saying, in the midst of a March snowfall in Dallas, “So much for global warming…”

Patrick Kennedy (and those who echo his ideas) advocate tearing down I-345, the elevated downtown bypass that feeds into Central Expressway and Woodall Rodgers, rather than repairing or replacing it. For the betterment of neighborhoods, they say, a goal around which we can all rally. Kennedy says surface streets can easily soak up an additional 252,000 cars per day, well over the 160,000 cars that traverse I-345. There’s a whole political action committee formed around this guesstimate.

As an editorial board, we’ve kept an open mind to the idea until there’s some better data. In the interim, you have to repair the thing before it falls and kills someone. We also think some other big-ticket projects, notably the totally doable decking of I-30, ought to take higher priority.

But related to the capacity of surface streets, here are a couple of non-rhetorical questions: Isn’t it fair to think of today’s three-lane closure on Stemmons a bit of a pressure test for Kennedy’s theory? If the assertion about surface street capacity is correct, then why was my boss late to work?

I concede it’s one rush hour during one day in late March. But wasn’t this morning as close to a real-life test as we’re ever going to get?

No, no it is not.

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Leading Off (3/18/15)

Crazy Kidnapping Drama Ends in Haslet. Nathanial Tillery allegedly assaulted Kevin Garcia, a 55-year-old convenience store clerk in College Station, then stole Garcia’s truck — after loading Garcia’s unconscious body into the bed. The saga ended just before 1:30 p.m. yesterday when Police and Texas Rangers arrested Tillery in Tarrant County.

Lying Officer Could Be a Problem for Prosecutors. This is a bizarre story. A self-proclaimed “resident expert” on DWIs, Sgt. Stephen “Tiny” Baker of the Dallas Police Department, insists he pulled over a car in 2012 because he saw the car run a red light. This, despite video evidence that it was, in fact, Baker, who ran the red light. Experts say this could put at risk other cases in which Baker testified. He’s on administrative leave pending investigation.

Oswald Cutout Bothers People at JFK Memorial. Yep. It’s a cutout.

The Cowboys Could Sign Greg Hardy. Here is a story about how the Cowboys might soon finalize a deal with defensive end Greg Hardy, who had 26 sacks in his last two full seasons in Carolina. Here is an excerpt from a protective order filed by Hardy’s ex-girlfriend:

“On May 13, 2014, Greg Hardy attacked me in his apartment. Hardy picked me up and threw me into the tile tub area in his bathroom. I have bruises from head to toe, including my head, neck, back, shoulders arms, legs, elbow and feet. Hardy pulled me from the tub by my hair, screaming at me that he was going to kill me, break my arms and other threats that I completely believe. He drug me across the bathroom and out into the bedroom. Hardy choked me with both hands around my throat while I was lying on the floor. Hardy picked me up over his head and threw me onto a couch covered in assault rifles and/or shotguns. I landed on those weapons. Hardy bragged that all of those assault rifles were loaded.”

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Our Salesman-In-Chief’s Sorry Case for the Trinity Toll Road

What’s left to say?

As Tim pointed out yesterday, the mayor of Dallas unleashed a full-frontal attack on good sense and truthfulness over the weekend in the form of an op-ed on the Trinity Toll Road. Tim says someone with patience needs to break down the argument and feed the lies back to the mayor. I think Wylie H. – curiously anticipating the appearance of the op-ed in the DMN – already did that with his long post last week.

For my part, I’m baffled, but not by the mayor’s op-ed. It is largely what he has been saying throughout, simply regurgitating talking points that have long been presented by toll road backers as fact even if they have been systematically exposed as fiction on numerous occasions. He claims to have listened to everyone’s opinion on the topic and has come up with his own, yet he avoids defending any of his individual justifications for the road, merely trotting out the same disproved notions carte blanche. The tone of the op-ed attempts to preclude any further debate; it also suggests a cynical form of dismal, characterizing further disagreement as dissent. What confuses me is how the mayor can continue to be so persuaded by erroneous information and so dismissive of the many civic leaders who have flipped their position on the road.

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