It's a tragically different world post-9/8. Used to be that Dallas fans could count on kicking Houston's butt in football. But that all changed with the Houston Texans' horrific 19-10 nationally televised victory over the Cowboys last September, the first time an NFL expansion team won its inaugural game. Sorry. Hate to bring up such a traumatic event. But it's important to remember even the ugly in our past, lest history repeat itself. The Cowboys play the Texans here Friday night in a preseason match-up. So if you've repressed the memory of last year's upset, your homework is to go to the Cowboys' Web site for a refresher. Click on the replay of last year's game in Houston. Then wipe your tears, blow your snotty nose and buck up. They're still celebrating 240 miles down Interstate 45. That's got to be put to a stop, and sniveling won't do any good. Maybe the giant foam fingers tucked away at the top of closets throughout the metroplex will, however. The Dallas Cowboys play the Houston Texans on Friday at Texas Stadium in Irving. Kickoff is 7 p.m. Tickets start at $36. Call 972-785-5000 or check out www.dallascowboys.com. --Cheryl Smith
Reasons to actually watch the Rangers
The Rangers play the White Sox all weekend, which is worth noting for at least three reasons. Despite the Rangers' less-than-stellar overall season, Raffy Palmeiro and A-Rod have been kicking butt at bat lately, so maybe they'll give White Sox slugger Frank Thomas a run for his money. Don't care? Well, there's always the possibility of a rabid White Sox fan going nuts under the hot local sun and attacking an umpire or assistant coach. Stranger things have happened. And, hot dogs and draft beer make a beautiful combo. The peanuts are really good, too. OK, that's four reasons to go see the Rangers. The Texas Rangers play the Chicago White Sox on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:05 p.m. at The Ballpark in Arlington. Call 817-273-5100 or the hotline at 1-888-96-TEXAS, or check out www.texasrangers.com. --Cheryl Smith
Walk on the Wild Side
These creepy crawlies get to stay in the garden
Entomologists suck. We're not just judgmental; they really do. If you don't believe us, pop into the Heard Science Museum's wildlife sanctuary, a haven for more than 240 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, plus a variety of insects. And at this weekend's Insects on the Sanctuary event, you can see researchers use a special kind of vacuum on the prairie to collect insect specimens. Now try to tell us entomologists don't suck. Naturalists age 8 and up can enjoy the Insects on the Sanctuary nature walk and visit the insect collection August 16 at 9:30 a.m. at the Heard Science Museum, One Nature Place in McKinney. Admission is $10 for non-members and $8 for members. Registration is required. Call 972-562-5566 ext. 236. --Michelle Martinez
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We always thought soccer should be more popular, more in the spotlight. After all, there's the intense display of physical endurance, full-body goal blocks and those crazy headers (which we could never get the hang of). It's pretty damn exciting, but don't take our word for it. Watch the Dallas Burn take on the Kansas City Wizards at 8 p.m. Saturday at Dragon Stadium, 1085 S. Kimball Ave., Southlake. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 214-979-0303. --Merritt Martin