Make a Run for It
My man Beardog Wheeler--have you ever heard a better name for a biker?--says that rain or shine the December 21 Big Texas Toy Run, which benefits underprivileged and challenged metroplex children who need a little holiday-season help, is going to be a roaring success. So get your bike tuned up and ready since everyone with a motorcycle is welcome to join in. All it'll cost you is a new, unwrapped toy or a $10 donation. Here's how it works: One parade of cycles gathers at Dallas' West End and another in downtown Fort Worth, and they meet at the Arlington Convention Center where they'll distribute toys and good cheer galore. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and off you'll go at 1 p.m. sharp, complete with police escort. Commemorative T-shirts and pens will be on sale at the starting points and the Arlington destination. Last year nearly 40,000 cycles participated and helped raise $800,000. This year's goal, says Beardog, is more bikers, more donations of toys and money. Call 817-466-4816. --Carlton Stowers
Spike It Up
Winter may be here, but for some people shorts and knee socks are still all the fashion. And by some people, we mean the members of the last four teams competing in the 2003 NCAA Division I women's collegiate championships this weekend at Reunion Arena. These athletes are more than just bobbing ponytails and a bump, set, spike routine. They are the best of the best in the Big 12 Conference. Among the cheering rows of fans, each team is hoping to conquer the semifinal matches on Thursday to compete for the final championship, which begins at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. If your desire for volleyball exceeds just having a seat in the crowd, volunteer opportunities are also available. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com. --Desirée Henry
Take a Giant Leap
Excitingly, the postseason future of the Dallas Cowboys is still unclear. The reviled Giants are in town Sunday. And since there's really no knowing what kind of team the 'Boys will field come high noon, we went to the most respected oracle at our disposal--Madden NFL 2004 for PlayStation 2--and fired up an advanced simulation of this week's contest. The results? A bit rough early on, but Quincy Carter righted the ship with four TDs (including one to Joey Galloway with four seconds remaining) en route to a scintillating 31-28 overtime victory. Want proof of Madden's accuracy? Troy Hambrick was a marginal liability (45 yards). Exactly. Interesting stat: Larry Allen had 11 "pancakes." Exactly. Oh, and Jeremy Shockey actually played (ineffectively, at that). So let's go with that for Sunday, and it'll cost you only $36 to $78 to let sidelined Shockey know that the "queerest" thing we've seen this year is his hair. Texas Stadium is at 2401 E. Airport Freeway in Irving. Call 972-785-5000. --Matt Hursh
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