Sports & Recreation

  • Best Sports Moment

    Quincy Carter gets released

    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… More >>
  • Best TV Sports Anchor

    Dale Hansen, WFAA-TV Channel 8

    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… More >>
  • Best Boating for One

    KayakPower.com

    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… More >>
  • Best Ranger

    Buck Showalter

    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… More >>
  • 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… More >>
  • Best Decision

    To suspend Hoop-It-Up

    We grew up loving Hoop-It-Up. Started by former D magazine Publisher Terry Murphy nearly two decades ago, it was a weekend that every weekend b-baller looked forward to, a chance to compete in three-man tournaments for bragging rights. But sometime during the past several years, it became an overly commercialized beast, one that had grown too huge and angry to… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Don Carter's All Star Lanes

    Bowling is one of the few things in life where it is almost impossible to think of a way in which it could be better. After electronic scoring entered the picture, amateur keglers were pretty much set for life. The shoes, the lanes, the pins, the balls--none of it requires any tweaking whatsoever, and, in fact, the enjoyment of the… More >>
  • Best Athlete We're Really Gonna Miss

    Antawn Jamison

    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… More >>
  • Best Rumor That Got Us All Worked Up Over Nothing

    Shaq to come to the Dallas Mavericks

    Ever since Don Nelson has been a head coach in the NBA, he's lamented the fact that he hasn't had a dominant center. Ever since you've been a Mavericks fan, you've lamented the same thing. And then, just when we all thought we'd die without seeing a true center in a Mavs uniform, rumors began to float that Shaquille O'Neal… More >>
  • Best Off-Season Award Winner

    John Thomson, Texas Rangers Pitcher of the Year, 2003

    Every off-season around Thanksgiving, the local chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America votes for a Pitcher of the Year from the Texas Rangers. Last off-season, they chose John Thomson. He is a nice guy, a decent pitcher. He also is a loser, at least that year. Let's be clear on this: The Rangers' best pitcher was a man… More >>
  • Best Top Pair

    Clonie Gowen, Dallas-based poker maven

    In the year that the poker craze went mainstream, Dallas put its stamp on the newest, hottest pastime in America. (Granted, we told you about Texas hold 'em and Dallas' T.J. Cloutier back in 2001, but who's counting?) This year, SMU student David Williams came in second in the World Series of Poker main event, and the millions he won… More >>
  • Best Chair Throw

    Frank Francisco, Texas Rangers

    Not since infamous basketball coach Bobby Knight hurled a folding chair across the hardwood has a piece of furniture gotten so much attention. But thanks to Rangers reliever Frank Francisco, collapsible chair throwing is once again en vogue. During a late-season game at Oakland, Francisco took offense to something that one of the A's fans was saying about his mama.… More >>
  • Best Maverick

    Steve Nash

    You could make a case that Dirk Nowitzki is a better player, or that Michael Finley was a better locker-room leader, but it would be hard to argue against Steve Nash being the guy who made the Mavs go. When he was in the lineup, the offense flowed. When he wasn't, the team looked like the Harlem Globetrotters after Curly… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch High School Basketball

    Forester Field House

    The secret ingredient that makes high school basketball so enjoyable at Forester Field House is this: The entire place smells like nacho cheese. High up in the stands or down by the court, inside the bathroom or just outside the front door. Everywhere. There's something about that smell, combined with sneakers squeaking on hardwood, that just means good times. The… More >>
  • Best Douche Bag

    Matt Starr

    Seriously, if you're going to act like "the biggest jerk in this park" (Rangers announcer Tom Grieve's words), you may as well make sure your actions are so assholish that Good Morning America talks about you. And Matt Starr did just that. At a June game between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals, Starr went after a foul… More >>
  • Best Public Golf Course

    Tenison Park Golf Course

    We recently played this course with two top-notch golfers, country club players who are very picky about where they play 18. They confirmed what weekend hackers like us had long suspected: Tenison Park's revamped course, The Highlands, is a jewel. The D.A. Weibring-designed course is a nice mix of tree, water and elevation changes. (The view from the tips, which… More >>
  • Best Cowboy

    Keyshawn Johnson

    Who really cares what the man does on the field? We sure don't. What we enjoy most about Johnson is what drew us to Michael Irvin and the rest of the bad boys from the '90s--he talks a lot, and it almost always pisses someone off when he does. That makes our job a whole lot easier, and we love… More >>
  • Best Local NBA Hopeful (Who Actually Has a Shot)

    LaMarcus Aldridge

    Seagoville High School hoops stud LaMarcus Aldridge spent most of his senior year trying to decide whether he would play basketball at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall or take his game directly to the NBA. This is the kind of decision you're faced with if you happen to be 7 feet tall and blessed with a… More >>
  • Best Sports Columnist

    Gerry Fraley, The Dallas Morning News

    You could say that the chief quality of a good columnist is that he or she always surprises the reader. Except that one can do so in bad ways, such as when a Metro columnist writes about his dog dying or the back-porch witticisms spouted by his parents. Fraley, though, surprises sports fans in good ways. He is a contrarian… More >>
  • Best Benchwarmer

    D.J. Mbenga, Dallas Mavericks

    Known to some as "DJ Banger," this 7-foot discovery from the Congo won't offer a lot in the way of scoring or minutes played this year. But several facts about him already make him our favorite Maverick. One, with his wide eyes and small but prominent ears, he looks like Popeye Jones' younger, bigger, thinner brother. Two, he already is… More >>
  • Best Star

    Mike Modano

    For a while there, we were thinking about giving this award to someone else, and then we realized something: We don't really know anyone else on the Stars. Not anymore. It seems as though all of our old favorites are gone. All of them, except Modano. Plus, the NHL might be on hiatus for a while, what with the impending… More >>
  • Best Sports Event

    Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships

    You just don't appreciate it, OK? The most important international event in Thoroughbred racing--more important than the Kentucky Derby, though not as historic--is coming for the first time to Grand Prairie. It's not like we get an abundance of championship sporting events in Dallas, and the Breeders' Cup is definitely the highlight of the international racing calendar, with $14 million… More >>
  • Best Youth Injection

    Texas Rangers

    Admit it: You thought the Rangers would be awful this year. You didn't like any of the veterans the team acquired; you thought that the young players were a year away from being great--oh, and there was that little matter of trading away the game's best player, Alex Rodriguez. But the surprising pennant run the team made changed all our… More >>
  • Best Professional Coach

    Donnie Nelson

    Just in case you're confused, we're talking about Donnie the son, not Don the father. Donnie, who is an assistant coach with the Mavericks in addition to being the president of basketball operations, wins this particular award, but not because of anything he did with X's and O's. Rather, he wins because the guy has some serious hoops skills. You… More >>
  • Best Billiards

    City Tavern

    If you're like us--and we hope you're not, because a trip to rehab is in your immediate future--the perfect game of pool happens between two events: the fifth bourbon-and-whatever of the night and the first broken glass. The former causes the game of pool to happen (because we're getting antsy and competitive), and the latter is caused by the game… More >>
  • Best Sports Event for the Whole Family

    A Frisco RoughRiders game

    We like Lone Star Park; it's as family-friendly as horse racing can be, but we're not real keen on initiating our 5-year-old son into the rites of gambling. That's why we venture to the Dr Pepper/Seven Up Ballpark in Frisco, which rises incongruously from a suburban expanse of malls and glass boxes. Step inside, and you're immediately sucked into an… More >>
  • Best Sports Talk Show

    The Hardline KTCK-AM 1310, The Ticket

    We really sweated about this one. Not because we're overly hairy, even though we are. Because we like so many sports talk shows. We love the laid-back stylings and intelligent banter of Dunham & Miller (and Gordon) on KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket during morning drive. We're big fans of Newy Scruggs on ESPN 103.3 after that. We think Bob and… More >>
  • Best Bait-and-Switch Strategizer

    Tom Hicks, Texas Rangers owner

    Following the A-Rod trade, someone asked the Texas Rangers owner if ticket holders--chiefly those who bought in after the "he's not going anywhere" comment by Hicks--would be given a refund. "There won't be any refunds," Hicks said, sounding like Paul Dooley in Breaking Away. "Of course not." The fans were all kinds of pissed off about that. For some reason,… More >>
  • Best Place to Work Out

    Premier Club

    All the amenities of the most expensive country clubs at a reasonable price, and close to downtown--anything you want in your gym, the Premier Club has it. Great basketball courts with good games running during lunch and after work; racquetball courts; acres of workout equipment; a revamped Olympic-sized pool; an indoor running track; scads of classes offering the latest workout… More >>
  • Best Sports Venue

    Texas Stadium - CLOSED

    With most professional sports franchises updating their facilities, there aren't a whole lot of old dogs panting out there anymore, which is why we're so fortunate to have Texas Stadium. Forget the Cowboys' drive to build themselves a new, modern complex that would be worthy of America's Team. What they don't understand is that they already have a first-rate facility.… More >>
  • Best Local NBA Hopeful (Who Doesnt Have a Prayer)

    Ray Johnston

    Ray Johnston is the kind of guy you don't wanna end up guarding in a pickup game at the local park. It's one thing to be shown up by the guy in the vintage Jordans and the headband cocked just so, who looks like he was practicing turnaround jumpers as soon as he could walk. It's quite another to have… More >>
  • Team Player

    Sarah Melton fell in love with basketball because she had to--there was no other choice. When you grow up in Indiana, that's what happens. In Indiana, there's basketball and...well, we're not really sure what else they have in Indiana because we've never been there. But we suspect it's miles upon miles of wheat and cornfields broken up by strategically… More >>

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