Sports & Recreation

  • Best Place to Skateboard


    We could suggest lots of places where they like skaters, where they even charge them admission. But what the hell is that? It's not skating unless somebody in a blue uniform chases you. Grab your board and get downtown! Start at the Masonic Temple at Harwood and Young streets for a backside nosegrind on the long sloping ledges in front;… More >>
  • Best Public Golf Course

    Texas Star

    Tightfisted locals who carp about the upgrading of Dallas' scruffy municipal courses would probably have heart failure if they saw what Euless calls public golf. City-owned-and-run Texas Star is without a doubt one of the best munies in the nation, with fees almost to match. In Euless, every man (and woman) is king, which in this old game means mirror-smooth… More >>
  • Best Get-Wet/No-Sweat Exercise

    Tricia Moon's water aerobics classes

    Chest-deep in a swimming pool, no one can see you sweat. No one can see the flab flopping around either, which is another benefit of water aerobics, the fastest-growing form of exercise for the gym-weary boomer crowd. Tricia Moon's classes--ongoing at the DISD pool on Hermosa at Peavy and at the White Rock Athletic Club--combine high-energy aerobics, underwater weight and… More >>
  • Best Place to Work Out

    Cooper Fitness Center

    So, it's pricey, but where else can you jog or walk on a shock-absorbing one-mile outdoor track set against 30 acres of lush pecan, red oak and cedar trees? Where else are the ducks, geese and squirrels so relaxed in their natural habitat they actually risk asking you for spare change? Face it, there is no place like the Cooper… More >>
  • Best Locker-Room Conversation

    Mike Young and Hank Blalock

    Spring training is a relaxed atmosphere where the players talk candidly and the reporters wear sunscreen and bad Hawaiian shirts. Some of the conversations are considered off the record. Some, not all. During prescribed media hours, Rangers second baseman Mike Young and third baseman Hank Blalock engaged in a conversation with some members of the media, among them a bad,… More >>
  • Best Sports Columnist

    Gerry Fraley, The Dallas Morning News

    Sports columnist Gerry Fraley is everything the city columnists for The Dallas Morning News are not: fiercely opinionated, wry, relevant and readable. He is unafraid of taking on local icons--for years, he wrote that local legend Pudge Rodriguez was overrated--and he always provides facts to back up his takes. His "Just Venting" column, which runs on Page 2 of the… More >>
  • Best Double Standard

    Steve Nash's and Nick Van Exel's hot war opinions

    When the war in Iraq began, both Mavs point guards made comments that suggested they were very much against the war. Canadian Nash received no grief from fans. It was suggested on radio call-in shows, however, African-American Van Exel be booed at games. Now, if you don't think that doesn't have at least something to do with their skin color,… More >>
  • Best Sports Moment

    The Showdown in Surprise: Carl Everett vs. John Gonzalez

    So many qualified candidates for this award, but we're partial to our own here at the Observer, so the fix was/is in. During spring training in Surprise, Arizona, our sports columnist, John Gonzalez, attempted to interview Ranger Carl Everett in the clubhouse for a feature he was writing. Everett, who had never heard of the Observer, gave Gonzalez a hard… More >>
  • Best Puffy Ankle

    Larry "Puff Daddy" Allen

    Football commentators like to remind people that there are only two current Dallas Cowboys who were a part of the team's early- and mid-'90s Super Bowl wins: Darren Woodson and Larry Allen. Actually, we think there's only one and a half of them, because Allen is half the player he used to be. Now that's not all his fault. Apparently,… More >>
  • Best Kodak Moment

    Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash's drunk pix

    Remember the photo that appeared in your inbox this summer? No, not the one with the horse and car battery. The ones of two Dallas Mavs, Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash, out on the town, tippling themselves silly. Who among us hasn't regretted being in front of a camera lens after seven too many cocktails, right? But for the N&N… More >>
  • Best Sports Grandmother

    Bill Parcells

    Have you seen those photos of Bill Parcells stalking the Dallas Cowboys sidelines during practice? The ones where he's wearing a big old-woman hat, oversized shorts tucked under his man breasts and a big floppy T-shirt tucked into said shorts? All he needs is a wig and he's Jonathan Winters. … More >>
  • Best Sports 'Stache

    Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett

    There are exactly seven certainties in the local sports world: On the whole, Rangers pitching will suck; Dale Hansen will be friendlier on the air than off; Mike Modano will have hot women near him when in public; Steve Nash will hit that clutch free throw; Darren Woodson will do the right thing; Mark Cuban will say the wrong thing;… More >>
  • Best Liar

    Jerry Jones

    Really, this award ought to be a lifetime achievement sort of thing, and it should probably be retired hereafter, because Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is just so good at lying that no one is going to be able to beat him. That said, he had a career year in this category. First he told us how he was fully… More >>
  • Best Dallas Star

    Marty Turco

    OK, OK, so he sucked in the playoffs. So what? Who the hell wants to watch hockey in the summer, anyway? No, see, Marty Turco did us all a favor. Besides, everybody stumbles here and there, right? Just look at what the Stars goalie did during the regular season, though. Turco was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, given to… More >>
  • Best Professional Coach

    Don Nelson

    Uh, let's see now, the other candidates were: Buck Showalter, who tried mightily but all for naught; Dave Tippett, who had a fine season but was a bit boring, to tell the truth; and Dave Campo, who...well, he coached the Pokes for a while--let's just leave it at that. So congrats, Nellie, you da man by default. Actually, Nelson would… More >>
  • Best Response to a Dumb Sports Question

    Dirk Nowitzki

    Last season, Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki was laid up with an injury. During that period, a reporter from a very well-respected national magazine decided that he wanted to talk to Nowitzki about international basketball--a story that most every sports writer addressed some two years ago. This reporter, being particularly dim and oblivious, also decided to interview Nowitzki after a game… More >>
  • Best Sporting-Goods Store

    REI Store

    Our friend has asked us to go on a camping trip with him. We are too embarrassed to tell him that we are scared of the bears/ticks/spiders/mosquitoes/dark, and that we, like Glenn Frey, belong to the city. So we suck it up and go to REI, a place where we can buy so much cool camping gear that we can… More >>
  • Best Pickup Basketball Game

    Glencoe Park

    The players who show up for Glencoe's all-day Saturday runs are serious, arriving at 9 a.m. with coolers and lawn chairs, digging in for the long haul. The games are just as serious, which makes sense, since if you lose, you lose the court. So don't bring that weak stuff up in here. We say this, because we tried to… More >>
  • Best Reason to Drive to Frisco

    Frisco RoughRiders

    With Frisco now home to so many new and used Dallasites, it is becoming more likely that those of us who fear to tread north of LBJ Freeway will be forced to make the trek someday. To comfort us when we get there, at least during spring and summer, are the freshly transplanted Frisco RoughRiders, the AA farm team for… More >>
  • Best Sign for the Rangers' Future

    The young infield

    We know, we know: Alex Rodriguez has a $252 million contract, and for that kind of money, he should be able to play all four positions. Whatever. The oldest, most-played, least-interesting gripe about the Texas Rangers is the national media's bitching about A-Rod's contract. Bottom line is that he's also a perennial All-Star, consistently one of the game's top five… More >>
  • Best Team to Never Watch

    Texas Rim Rockers

    We here at Best of Dallas Central tried to organize a road trip to Dodge City, Kansas, to catch the final game of this Fort Worth-based minor-league (United States Basketball League) expansion team. Too bad we missed it. The Rim Rockers lost 146-107. It would have been the perfect game to watch, because we wanted to see a team that… More >>
  • Best Finish to a Season (Almost)

    The Mavs get to, and lose, the Western Conference Finals

    Once again, this doughnut of a team (big hole in the middle) proved that what it lacks in muscle it makes up for in heart. Led by the clutch play of Nick Van Exel (see below), the Mavs proved once again they're the best ticket in town. … More >>
  • Best Mark Cuban Decision

    Establishing the Fallen Patriot Fund

    The Dallas Mavs owner often has doled out his cash in stupid ways (see Shawn Bradley, Raef LaFrentz, et al.), but the Fallen Patriot Fund, established in April by The Mark Cuban Foundation, is money well spent. (He kicked off the fund with a $1 million donation, and he matches all donations dollar for dollar up to 1 million bucks.)… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley (in Memoriam)

    Bronco Bowl

    The Bronco Bowl Entertainment Center, a family-fun staple for decades, passed away in August after battling a lengthy illness. Best known for its concerts, the complex was once one of the primary Texas outposts for televised bowling matches back in the day, and continued on as the premier place to rack up a few frozen turkeys until its death. It… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog

    Brookhaven College

    One of the best things about Brookhaven's jogging track is the lack of crowds that afflict that other top jogging spot, White Rock Lake, so keep this one just between us. Brookhaven's two-mile course skirts the perimeter of the campus, and nearly half of it has a rubberized surface, so it's tender on the joints. The track winds through small… More >>
  • Best Quote

    Mark Cuban comments on Nick's nutsack

    After Nick Van Exel's gutsy performances in the playoffs, ESPN's Marc Stein asked Mark Cuban about NVE's big-game aptitude. "You can't say enough about Nick," Cuban replied. "I don't know how he walks around. I'm sure he has to get specially tailored pants, because he's scraping the ground every game." In other words, if you take the shots with the… More >>
  • Best Team We Never Watch

    Dallas Diamonds

    The area's best non-high school football team does not play at Texas Stadium. (Gee, ya think?) It is not the SMU Mustangs. (Gosh, ya sure?) No, the area's best footballers lay claim to Birdville Stadium in North Richland Hills. The Dallas Diamonds, the all-woman semipro football team--led by rookie linebacker/fullback Jessica Springer (the 5-foot-9, 210-pound can of whupass)--has pasted some… More >>
  • Best Sports Venue

    The Ballpark in Arlington

    Sure, it's no longer brand-spanking-new, and the team that calls it home stinks, but the 49,166-seat stadium is, far and away, the most enjoyable spot for the sports fan to visit. It's comfy and clean, fan friendly and you can't beat the fresh summer air. And, when the Texas Rangers start muffing easy ground balls and the bullpen is doing… More >>
  • Best Attempt at Pissing Off God

    Deion Sanders

    Since we work at the Observer--the unholiest of unholies--talking about God can get a little tricky. No need to pop up on his screen, you understand, lest he take note of all the bad things we've done and issue a collective smiting. Still, we're pretty sure the Big Guy has some other sinners ahead of us on his "to do"… More >>
  • Best Half of Basketball Ever

    First half of the Western Conference Semifinals Game 2

    It looked fairly bleak for the Dallas Mavericks after the Sacramento Kings pantsed them in Game 1. Here we go again, most thought, remembering the similar drubbings that occurred at the hands of those same Kings in last year's playoffs. Even we gave in and predicted the Mavs would be sent home after five games. And then Dirk Nowitzki and… More >>
  • Best Place to Roller-skate

    White Rock Skate Center

    For less than seven bucks, it's possible to revisit that hardwood heaven that was vital to middle school social life. Roller-skating lives on, complete with spinning colored lights and a smooth-voiced DJ, at the White Rock Skate Center. Skates are included in the admission price, although patrons are welcome to bring their own (we've been showing off our pair of… More >>
  • Best Dallas Cowboy

    Reggie Swinton

    There are players, and then there are playas. Word. Reggie Swinton is one of the latter. No, he's not that great a football player--seven catches for 63 yards last year is hardly impressive. But the man can straight rhyme. He's like one of the Fat Boys, only with slightly less talent. Shortly after the season ended, Swinton's first rap album… More >>
  • Best Reason to Go to Plano

    The World Olympics Gymnastics Academy

    If you're the type who always wants to be first in the know about everything, then you'd better study up on Carly Patterson and Hollie Vise--because you'll probably be hearing a lot about them at next year's Olympic Games in Athens. Patterson and Vise, both 15, each train at the Plano-based World Olympics Gymnastics Academy, one of the country's premier… More >>
  • Best Unintentionally Funny Sports Moment

    Alex Rodriguez

    Watching bad baseball is not our favorite pastime. Still, every now and again, usually after many beers or lotsa drugs, we find ourselves watching the Rangers. And, every now and again, we're thankful that we did. June 19, Texas at Oakland, was such a day. That afternoon, while covering second base on a steal attempt, All-Star Alex Rodriguez took his… More >>
  • Best Sports Talk Show

    The Ticket Top 10, KTCK-AM (1310)

    Let's be honest: There's no way we can be trusted in this category anymore. We're too conflicted. Key members of the Best of Dallas crew are friends with Ticket personalities. Pop-culture columnist Robert Wilonsky spends as much time preparing for his intermittent Hard Line appearances as he does answering Marvel Comics fanboy e-mails. We'll just say that our favorite hour… More >>
  • Best Dallas Maverick

    Antoine Rigaudeau

    For years we've been beaten down with how "in tune" the Mavericks brass is with foreign basketball. They have contacts in former Iron Curtain states and Mediterranean hovels. Yes, they are omnipotent and omnipresent when it comes to overseas hoops. That's what we were told. Enter Antoine Rigaudeau, a midseason pickup whom almost no one, save Don and Donnie Nelson,… More >>
  • Best Billiards

    Christie's Sports Bar

    There's a lot to like about Christie's: The food's pretty good, the multiroom layout gives you a sense the place is larger than it really is, and the TVs carry most any game you wanna see. But we like Christie's for the pool tables. Not only can you play for half-price during happy hour on most days, they're not the… More >>
  • Best TV Sports Anchor

    Dale Hansen, WFAA-TV Channel 8

    Seems like the guy's been around since the invention of electricity, but he's still the best, even if he does skip out too often to host a charity golf tournament or whatever it is he does when absent. While the Dallas area has a generous helping of quality sports anchors, Hansen separates himself from the pack simply by being Dale… More >>
  • Best Texas Ranger

    Chan Ho Park

    Forget the stats, or lack thereof. Forget the fact that he makes many more millions of dollars than you or your friends or you and your friends combined. Think only of this: Without Chan Ho Park, what would the Texas Rangers medical staff do? The man is a terrible pitcher, sure, but damn if he doesn't keep the trainers and… More >>
  • Best Start to a Season

    The Mavs go 14-0

    It's hard to remember now, but before last season, everyone was trying to downplay expectations for the Dallas Mavericks. Just because they beat Utah in the playoffs doesn't mean they'll do even better this year, prognosticators said. The Mavs shut that talk up quickly when they won their first 14 games to start the season. Now, if only they could… More >>

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