Mac Engel

Big Mac Bites: The free agent the Mavs should pursue and the questions to stop asking

The question comes out as effortlessly as requesting the time of day, and yet it is something we have no business asking because it is so intensely personal.

The NCAA gymnastics championships were this weekend in Fort Worth, and among the competitors were seniors who will graduate in a month or two, including UCLA viral sensation Katelyn Ohashi.

During an interview I asked, “So what do you want to do when you grow up?”

“Uhhh,” Ohashi said, “everything?”

A brilliant response to a benign, yet highly personal question that unintentionally puts a person too often in a terrible position of addressing something that can cause a cascade of internal emotional responses.

There are a few of these questions that we ask as verbal bridges during another routine conversation that, in reality, is none of our bleeping business. See how many times you have asked ...

1. When are you expecting?

Unless you are in the delivery room, or can actually see or hear the baby coming out, don’t ask. Did it once. More than 25 years ago. There are some looks you never forget.

2. So, is the relationship serious?

Guys know better than to ask, mostly because they don’t care. Asking this question in front of both parties should result in friendship suspension for a minimum of three weeks, picking up all bar tabs for two months, and, the ultimate punishment, helping that person move when necessary.

3. Are you all going to get married?

Guys know better than to ask, mostly because they don’t care. No question is quite as piercing as asking someone if they are ready to commit until death do they part. Because when this question comes back around to the person who has not popped said question, there is a good chance they will wish they were already dead.

4. Now that you’ve graduated, so now what?

We ask the graduating high school senior this because it’s what you do, and we never ponder what the person may actually be going through. Maybe they can’t afford college. Maybe they don’t want to go. Maybe they have no clue. Maybe they are on a path different from yours.

And of the graduating college senior, it’s only the rest of their lives they have to answer for.

5. When are you going to have another kid?

Now that you’ve had one child, it is time for a brother or sister. Who knows what it took to get Child No. 1, or what else may be going on behind closed doors. Ponder for 10 seconds all of the moving parts behind this question, and determine if you really want to put the person in that spot.

All valid questions, and all equally benign, and yet all deeply personal and potentially bombs to a day or evening.

So, since we’re on the subject, how much do you make?

Big Mac Bites

Fort Worth athletics lost a good soul and provider this week with the passing of Herb Stephens. He played basketball at TCU, and served as FWISD athletic director in a long career in Fort Worth athletics. He also provided color commentary on TCU basketball radio broadcasts from 1999 to 2005 with play-by-play man Brian Estridge.

“Everything he did was full force,” Estridge said. “You have buddies who take up hobbies and drop them. He never dropped them. He took up the percussion at 60. He learned to play the bag pipes. He kept stacking up life, and he poured that passion into other people.”

MLB needs to address the save stat. On Wednesday, Rangers closer Jose Leclerc picked up his fourth save. He recorded one out to maintain a 12-7 lead. That’s wrong.

A reader asked me what the Dallas Mavericks record was pre Dirk Nowitzki, and during his career. Per ProBasketballReference.com, without Dirk on the roster the Mavs were 585-891 (.396). With Dirk on the roster, the Mavs were 987-687 (.589).

Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Elvin Hayes and Michael Jordan walk into a bar together. The bartender says, “This one is on me; none of your teams made the playoffs in the final year of you career.”

He doesn’t know it, but Jason Spezza’s time with the Dallas Stars is about over. He is 35, and has scored eight goals in each of the last two years. He’s a good guy and been a decent player here who simply looks like he physically can no longer do it.

The free agent you want the Dallas Mavericks to pursue is Bojan Bogdanovic of the Indiana Pacers. He won’t be cheap, but he can play.

TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle should never have been asked/forced/offered to apologize for his negative comments about Oklahoma and Texas opposing the potential addition of a third assistant to college baseball staffs. Schloss’ has been around long enough that he should be able to offer an opposing, professional, point of view.

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