This is Texas, and there are few things we enjoy more than football (state-sanctioned death and gas-guzzling pickup trucks, maybe, but that's about it). Which is why it's been so hard around here of late, what with the Cowboys ruining our year with the 6-10 disappointment that they tried to pass off as a season. So what do we do for our fix now? I suggest you check out the Dallas Desperados. Don't think of the Arena Football League as a step down from the NFL. If anything, around here, it's a step up. The cheerleaders are just as hot; they play cool, loud music; and they have some players whom you might remember from stints elsewhere--guys like former Cowboys backup quarterback Clint Stoerner. Plus, and this is the key, the Desperados coach doesn't ignore the fans or the media like a certain someone we know (a coach whose identity we'll protect by calling him Pill Barcells). You want quotes from the Desperados coach? No problem; he'll hook you up. Want to meet him after the game? Hell, he'll meet you before the game. Want to date his daughter? Um, yeah...not sure, but you might as well ask him--couldn't hurt, right? Either way, the Desperados want your business, and they deserve it more than the 'Boys. Check out their season opener against the Chicago Rush on Sunday at the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. Visit www.dallasdesperados.com. --John Gonzalez
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Things that are slimy, scaly and possibly fatal are best avoided. (And we don't mean our ex-boyfriends.) Sure, snakes can be a danger, but they're like those tortured artists we love--just misunderstood. In past civilizations snakes have been worshiped as gods because of their venom's healing powers. Helping to dispel the damaging stereotype snakes have accrued over the years, the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary presents the exhibit Venomous Snakes of Texas. Herpetologist Roger Sanderson helps visitors distinguish the dangerous snakes from the harmless ones, and the sanctuary will offer snake feedings, guided nature trails and special guest lectures throughout the month. The Heard, open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., is located one mile east of state Highway 5 on FM 1378, southeast of McKinney. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for ages 3 to 12 and 60 and over. Call 972-562-5566 or visit www.heardmuseum.org. --Danna Berger