Best of Dallas®

Best Of 2004


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Best Of :: Sports & Recreation

Best Athlete We're Really Gonna Miss

Athletes come and go all the time. That's the nature of, uh, the game. Generally, it doesn't faze us. Most of the time, actually, we're happy to see them go. Most of the time, the athletes who are on the way out (much like the ones who will replace them) are condescending jerks we'd like to kick in the junk but can't because of our stupid lawyers and their "law concerns." Former Maverick Antawn Jamison wasn't one of those athletes. He was a good guy, always quick with a smile or a kind word. He was a real person, and that was the biggest loss of all. He'll be playing elsewhere next season, but many of us will be rooting for him. Especially our sports columnist, who, we think, has an unhealthy man-crush on the now-departed baller. He's extremely odd that way--our columnist, that is, not Jamison.

Best Sports Moment

It's not that we're anti-Quincy Carter here at the Dallas Observer. In fact, we thought he should have started at quarterback over Vinny Testaverde. Hell, we think he should probably still be in a Cowboys uniform. They cut him for drug use? Drug use? Really? If we cut Observer staffers for drug use, there wouldn't be a paper. But that's neither here nor there. What made the circumstances around Carter's release so damn interesting was the fact that Carter got cut for using drugs even though he constantly talked about God this and God that. He was big into God, you see. Which made us wonder if God had something to do with his dismissal from the Pokes. Was the Almighty exacting revenge against a drug user who hides behind his good name? We think yes.

Readers' Pick

Mavericks in playoffs

Best TV Sports Anchor

Since Scott Murray and his hairpiece moved on to bigger and better things, Dallas has enjoyed a rare period of top-to-bottom quality as far as sports anchors are concerned. It's a likable group of guys who don't try to turn every highlight into their audition reel for SportsCenter. (Though Channel 33's Bob Irzyk comes hauntingly close at times.) In any other city, Channel 5's Newy Scruggs and Channel 4's Mike Doocy would be co-captains of the team, dual yardsticks by which the others are measured. But this isn't any other city. It's Dallas, and Dallas belongs to Dale Hansen. Why? Because of moments like this: While wrapping up his coverage of Quincy Carter's release from the Cowboys, Hansen--clad in his usual training-camp uniform: the ugliest floral-print Hawaiian shirt available--said, "I should've known something was up with Quincy Carter when he saw me in this shirt the other day and asked me if he could smoke it." Then he threw it back to the studio, where an amused (and most likely horrified) John McCaa said, "Only Dale Hansen." Exactly. That's why he's the best.

Readers' Pick

Dale Hansen

Best Boating for One

White Rock Lake, as we all know, is one of Dallas' few naturally beautiful spots, along with certain rooftops downtown and Angie Harmon's belly. But the best way to see the lake is from on the water. The best way to do that is either in a sailboat or a one-seater. But who can afford a sailboat? So get yourself to the lake and get yourself in a kayak. gives lessons for beginners through experts and even offers kids lessons. Not only is it a great way to get in touch with nature, it will give your arms quite a workout.

Best Ranger

A-Rod was right: These guys are a bunch of no-talent punks who aren't fit to carry his Prada bag. So what if they turned themselves around. So what if they won many more games without A-Rod than they won with the former A.L. MVP. Right? Uh, right. Sticking with A-Rod's theory--the theory that suggests that all players suck, except him--means that someone outside the lineup must be responsible for the turnaround. And someone is. His name is Buck Showalter. The manager, in only his second year, has "managed"--see what we did there?--to turn a last-place squad into a contender. Considering the pitching staff and the fact that the lineup is pretty much the same as it was a year ago (with one notable exception), we thought we'd give credit where it's due and laud Buck. He's done a fine job.

Readers' Pick

Mark Teixiera

Best Sporting-Goods Store
Academy Sports & Outdoors

When it comes to sporting goods, you need a place that carries a full spectrum of gear for everyone, from wet-behind-the-ears beginner to grizzled veteran. You want the simple two-person tent you can afford right now while you're still figuring out if you're an outdoors person and the tricked-out eight-person portable hunting lodge that gives you a goal to work up to should you decide that, yes, urinating in the woods is your bag. You want the 10-pound dumbbells for when you're just kind of kicking the tires of the whole "getting into shape" thing and the 20-exercises-in-one albatross that will one day be used as a coat rack when this process comes full circle. You need crappy running shoes and state-of-the-art ones, Styrofoam coolers and iceboxes that rival the Sub-Zero fridge at home, plain-jane cotton workout togs and stuff made out of Gore-Tex and CoolMax and Double Dry. You need a place that has something for every activity that could even tangentially be considered a sport and at every skill level. And that place, my friends, is, as the jingle says, Academy Sports and Outdoors. Academy!

Readers' Pick

Academy Sports & Outdoors

5836 N. Tarrant Parkway, Fort Worth, 76137

Best Athlete We're Really Gonna Miss: Antawn Jamison


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