The Idle American: Scattershooting Sports with Uncle Mort

Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks became a Dallas legend.

My uncle likes the Dallas City Council’s decision to re-name a street in Dirk Nowitzki’s honor.

 My Uncle Mort, a dedicated “frog gigger” during most of the 20th century and all the years so far in this one, claims to have made the best possible use of “Indian Summer.”

“It was the shortest season ever, limited to a few hours on November 24,” he mused. “I’m glad I didn’t waste it watching TV. I’d have been dissecting NFL and NBA games–specifically the Cowboys’ whimper against the Patriots and the Mavericks easy disposition of the Rockets. Yep, catching sun rays was the best choice.”

Mort, at age 107, favors “frog-gigging” over anything on TV, and that’s what he did during the aforementioned telecasts. He was up on the frogs, 54-0 when they forfeited…..


   The old man feels sorry for Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys who thought this was going to be “the year.” Instead, Jones’ brow grows ever more furrowed, and his “flip-flops” on current coaches leave fans guessing. They aren’t sure if he’s going to fire Jason Garrett or include him in his will.

Mort says Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban is generally silent, letting his team do the talking. Dallas fans may try to “hurry up” completion of the football schedule so they can shift interest to basketball–the way Baylor University fans used to do.

“What a whammy it was for Jones during his visit to New England,” Mort said. “Not only did his team lose, it was raining too hard to see the changing tree colors. The best he could muster was varying shades of gray, but mostly dark gray.”…

Don Newbury

   I tried to switch the subject back to the Mavs, but Mort wasn’t through.

“On whether to wear gloves, ain’t this something that quarterbacks can decide before the game starts? Dak chose to wear ‘em for the first time ever when he discovered that ‘barehanded’ wasn’t working.  Yet, Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady seemed to ‘make do’ without gloves.”

Admitting it a stretch to think of the late Michael Jackson as a quarterback, Mort opined that if the teen idol ever had been, he would have worn BOTH gloves….


   My uncle likes the Dallas City Council’s decision to re-name a street in Dirk Nowitzki’s honor. A portion of Olive Street near American Airlines Center is now “Nowitzki Way.”

“Coaches often learn that having a street named for them can be the kiss of death,” Mort said. “They’ll name a street after you one year, then chase you down it the next.” In Dirk’s case, however, fans will smile upon reflection of the “gentle giant” every time they traverse “his” street.

As to Luka Doncic, the newest Mavericks’ sensation who is turning heads around the planet,

Mort figures “the sky’s the limit,” but doesn’t see a street in Doncic’s future, however. “They’re more likely to name a universe for him,” my uncle chuckled….


   In New Haven, Connecticut, halftime “activities” generated far more coverage than the outcome of the game that would decide the Ivy League Championship. Bands usually take over at intermission, but if they marched at the Yale-Harvard football game, it was on the parking lot.

Taking over the field were some 500 protestors from both universities (and a few from other places) with arms liked to indicate concerns about global warming, and several other “gruntles.”

Police arrested 42 protesters, and an hour passed before the second half resumed. Time from kick-off to final whistle spanned four hours and 40 minutes….


   For fans keeping score, Yale prevailed 50-43, but somehow, much of the luster of winning is lost when another evidence of a democracy being ripped apart raises its ugly head.

Must civility continue to spiral downward?

Why is it not surprising that some highly visible folks chose to protest? It is a delicious irony that one person arrested was Sam Waterston, an actor known for his roles in TV’s Law and Order, and a Yale graduate….


      Dr. Newbury is a former educator who “commits speeches” round about. Comments or inquiries to: [email protected]. Ph.: 817-447-3872. Web: Twitter: @donnewbury. Facebook: don newbury.   

Don Newbury is the author of the humorous and inspirational When The Porchlight’s On. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.

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