Sports & Recreation

  • Best Futbol Player

    Kenny Cooper, FC Dallas

    Kenny Cooper just may save American soccer or at least take it to the next level. At just 23, Cooper has all the skills to develop into a premier-level striker, the one thing the U.S. National Team has always lacked to go from middling to elite status. Unlike Landon Donovan, the current poster boy for American soccer, Cooper has not… More >>
  • Best Local Daily Sports Columnist

    Tim Cowlishaw

    You can only chuckle at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Randy Galloway referring to Deion Sanders as "nine toe"—yeah, still—so many times, right? Cowlishaw has developed a definitive, authoritative voice as the lead columnist at The Dallas Morning News. Already with strong backgrounds in hockey and football, he even tuned up on NASCAR to the point where ESPN values his opinions… More >>
  • Best Pro Coach

    Wade Phillips, Dallas Cowbowys

    Kinda by default, admittedly. Avery Johnson got fired. Ron Washington almost got fired. And the only reason Dave Tippett didn't get fired is because everyone forgot about hockey. Phillips basically generated action from inaction. His laid-back, country-fried persona was just what the Cowboys needed in the wake of a Sergeant Asshole named Bill Parcells. Phillips set the tone immediately, referring… More >>
  • Best Local Sports TV Anchor

    Mike Doocy

    WFAA-Channel 8's Dale Hansen may have pushed our policy on term limits had his banter with weatherman Pete Delkus not deteriorated from witty to warped. Doocy has the advantage of batting first in the sports wrap-up show game each Sunday night, and more often than not he takes advantage with a solid, often spectacular Sports Sunday on KDFW-Channel 4. His… More >>
  • Best Local Sports Radio Show

    Dunham & Miller

    Honorable mention to a strong debut by ESPN Radio's Michael Irvin, who lands news-making interviews with controversial subjects such as Pacman Jones and Josh Howard. Still, we can't reward a show whose co-host is homosexual. (Wink.) Given Greg Williams' departure from The Hardline, the most consistently entertaining/informative show belongs to George Dunham, Craig Miller and Gordon Keith, 5:30-10 a.m. on… More >>
  • Best Owner

    Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys

    We suppose you instead wanted Tom Hicks? Didn't think so. Sure, the Cowboys' owner is asking for your family's DNA in return for a seat at his new Jonestown coliseum in Arlington, but you can't deny the guy's unyielding desire to win. This offseason alone, he paid about $70 million in guaranteed salaries to retain players such as Flozell Adams,… More >>
  • Best Hire

    Nolan Ryan by the Texas Rangers

    Unless we're totally cross-eyed on this one, SMU football coach June Jones will be accepting this hardware multiple times in the future. But for now, no personnel transaction has positively affected a franchise like the return of Big Tex to Arlington. While it's difficult to accurately quantify Ryan's influence, there's no denying the Rangers are pitching quicker, playing harder and… More >>
  • Best Promotion

    Grand Prairie AirHogs Give Away a Funeral

    When you're a fledgling independent minor league baseball franchise trying to carve a niche in the metroplex's saturated sports landscape, nothing is off limits. At least that's how the Grand Prairie AirHogs tried to justify tempting karma by giving away a $10,000 funeral—complete with plot, headstone and casket—at a game in June. The genius promotion, highlighted by fans dressed in… More >>
  • Best Decision

    Rangers Keeping Ron Washington

    By all accounts, the manager was as good as gone in late April. His team had baseball's worst record (9-18). The Bad News Bears displayed better fundamentals. Washington was this close to getting axed. Owner Tom Hicks admitted it was "pretty close." But just as management began constructing a contingency plan and even a list of potential successors, the Rangers… More >>
  • Best Drama

    Greg Williams versus Mike Rhyner

    Next to Jimmy Johnson vs. Jerry Jones, and Mark Cuban vs. Don Nelson, the divorce of Dallas' most popular sports talk radio duo proved one of the most compelling in recent memory. Williams initiated the destruction with Rhyner—his longtime host on The Ticket's The Hardline—via habitual lying and drug use. But the dismissive treatment of Williams by station management and… More >>
  • Best Athlete That Made You Proud to Live in Dallas

    Michael Johnson

    We assume it's easier to part with an Olympic gold medal when you have four more on your mantel, but still, the legendary Dallas sprinter made us all proud when he dashed toward integrity in June. After learning that four of his U.S. 1,600-meter relay teammates had admitted to taking steroids in preparation for the Sydney Games in 2000, Johnson… More >>
  • Best Minor League Franchise

    Frisco Roughriders

    There are teams with wackier names (the Grand Prairie AirHogs) and teams that play in more obscure leagues (the Dallas Diamonds of the Independent Women's Football League), but nobody does small ball like the Frisco RoughRiders. There's a pool in the outfield, a cowboy mascot that rides a black horse, and the baseball ain't bad either. If you're looking for… More >>
  • Best Imitation of What We Wished Dallas Was Like

    Arlington

    This just in: Dallas has moved to Arlington. Inexplicably, it left us with only John Wiley Price's "black hole" and half-assed plans for the Trinity River. Thanks a lot. If you're keeping score, the new $1 billion stadium once targeted for Fair Park will now host Cowboys games starting in 2009, the Cotton Bowl starting in '10, the Big 12… More >>
  • Best Athletic Director

    Steve Orsini

    SMU's AD, turns out, could sell green bananas to an astronaut headed for the International Space Station. After all, he's got the Methodists again believing in big-time sports. In his two-year reign, SMU has constructed the $13 million Crum Center basketball practice facility, spent $1 million upgrading Moody Coliseum, splashed Dallas with a $750,000 "Pony Up" marketing campaign, drawn blueprints… More >>
  • Best Player We Hated to See Leave

    Devin Harris

    As much as we respect Jason Kidd, man, we really miss the former Mavericks point guard of the future. Don't you? He was young. Had impeccable character. He was a one-man fast break. Sure he didn't hyper-develop like Deron Williams or Chris Paul, but you get the feeling all Harris needs to become an elite point guard is the addition… More >>
  • Best Place to Tee Off

    TopGolf Dallas

    We all know that golf is less a sport than a Zen exercise in patience, but who's got time for that? At TopGolf Dallas, you don't have to endure a four-hour, 18-hole marathon in order to get your duffer's competitive juices flowing. TopGolf is a huge complex that at first glance looks like nothing more than your usual double-decker driving… More >>
  • Best Sweat

    CrossFight

    After a year of boot camp workouts elsewhere, we thought we were ready for this. Then the CrossFight class started. Running, crawling, kicking, punching, push-ups, sit-ups, jump-rope, weights. It's a killer 90 minutes that tests every muscle in the body and produces more sweat than a group hug at NFL training camp. At a dojo tucked into a woodsy corner… More >>
  • Best Public Golf Course

    Cowboys Golf Club

    It pales in comparison to Jerry Jones' new $1 billion stadium in Arlington, but for a mere $184.95 you can hack it around one of Texas' premier tracks. If you don't mind the constant stream of thunderous airplanes that use Cowboys' 18th fairway to line up a runway, you can almost convince yourself you've left the city. Dramatic elevation changes.… More >>
  • Best Intimidating Answer to a Legitimate Question

    Marion Barber

    The highest-paid running back in Dallas Cowboys' franchise history received a seven-year, $45 million contract in the spring despite starting just one game and never producing a 1,000-yard season. How's that, you ask? Because Marion Barber is a badass, forged out of muscle, menace and downright mean. He's the NFL's toughest, scariest runner, fueled by the disposition of a traveler… More >>
  • Best Sports Venue

    QuikTrip Park

    Before JerryWorld opens its doors and grabs this title for the next decade, Quik-Trip Park in Grand Prairie stands as the best place to catch a ballgame. Sure, it's minor league baseball, but this team is good (the AirHogs made it to the championship series this season), and the fan experience at the park offers the most variety and bang… More >>
  • Best Local Olympic Athlete

    Nastia Liukin

    We wanted to crown Duncanville boxer Luis Yanez. No, really. If you only knew. But it's hard to argue with the five medals— one gold, three silvers and a bronze—that the 18-year-old gymnast won in Beijing in August. Plus, the bouncy blonde from Parker, who trains at the same World Olympics Gymnastics Academy in Plano that gave us Carly Patterson… More >>
  • Best Horse Trainer

    Steve Asmussen

    Questions about doping aside, there's no taking away from what Steve Asmussen's done in the last year. He's gone from the guy who takes the leading trainer crown every year at Lone Star Park to the guy who's training the best horse in the world. That horse would be Curlin, and earlier this year, after the 4-year-old had won just… More >>
  • Best Golfer

    Anthony Kim

    Justin Leonard may have the best résumé of any pro golfer living in Dallas (two majors and 11 PGA victories), but nobody in the area has had the year Anthony Kim has had. In May, Kim won his first PGA Tour tournament, the Wachovia Championship, with the lowest score (-16) in the tournament's history. Two months later, he won the… More >>
  • Best Ranger

    Josh Hamilton

    Though his arrival cost the Rangers a National League Cy Young candidate in Edinson Volquez, Hamilton's impact and future have overshadowed even the return of Nolan Ryan. The slugger has overcome his well-chronicled drug demons—hope you're taking notes, Pacman Jones and Josh Howard—to become the face of the Rangers franchise and baseball's best story of the season. Hamilton had 95… More >>
  • Best Cowboy

    Jason Witten

    It's OK. Your heroes can still be Cowboys. Best buddy Tony Romo has more famous girlfriends, and Terrell Owens has more shiny endorsements, but no player was more important to the Cowboys last season than Witten. Already with a spot reserved in the Ring of Honor as the franchise's all-time best tight end, the Pro Bowler caught everything thrown his… More >>
  • Best Sports Moment

    Stars Eliminate Sharks in Four-Overtime Classic

    In another year in which most of our teams cock-teased us with regular-season foreplay and playoff impotence, the Stars finally gave us reason to explode. On a Sunday night in early May, the Stars advanced to the NHL Western Conference Finals with a classic 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center. In an epic hockey game… More >>
  • Best Maverick

    Dirk Nowitzki

    Last year he didn't push his team to the NBA Finals as in 2006 or win Most Valuable Player as in 2007, but the giant German is now and will be into the foreseeable future the heart and soul of the Mavs. Plus, anyone who bit his lip under Avery Johnson's reign deserves some sort of plaque, right? Nowitzki again… More >>
  • Best Star

    Brenden Morrow

    Once upon a time he sheepishly accepted the team's "C" from longtime icon Mike Modano. But this spring he unceremoniously shoved ol' Mo' to the third line and clearly ascended to one of our best two-way athletes. In Dallas' spirited three-series playoff run, captain Morrow was like the legendary Mark Messier, physically checking opponents off their skates at one end… More >>
  • SPORTS: Space Cowboys

    Assume that one day humans overcome physics' celestial speed limit and head to the stars. What shape will commercial space travel take? If predicting the future were as simple as extrapolating from the present, we could make a few educated guesses: Checking a bag will cost you $1.7 million; you will be scanned by a jaded, cranky robot before you… More >>
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