One in an occasional series (meaning we'll do it when we get around to it) in which we ask important Dallas questions of Jeff Liles, a local guy who's been in bands and stuff and is sort of semifamous.
Jeff, what do we do with Reunion Arena?
How about having the building live up to its freakin' name for once? The word "reunion" is commonly defined as: "a large group of like-minded old people gathered together to compare elastic waistlines and daily medications." Perfect. With The Bone blowin' up the airwaves, Urban Outfitters furnishing your apartment and another Bush in the White House, clearly this is the way we ball in 2002. Lots of lost souls out there. Lots of people who still haven't found what they're lookin' for. Reunion Arena is perfect for all the ancient, has-been retread rock bands "reuniting" for that last wheelchair-friendly concert tour before finally calling it a career. Reunion Arena can become like a giant late-'70s rock-and-roll bar (remember Mother Blue's?) that exists for no reason but to give geezers one last go-round with the $300-a-ticket rock concert experience. Just look at what's out there: The Who, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Yes, Dokken, Ratt, Foreigner, Ted Nugent, Cinderella, Doobie Brothers, Skid Row, even guys who were never together to begin with, namely Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth. You'd think it was 1981. They're just pitiful downsiders who deserve to play in a big empty arena, if for no other reason than necessary karmic deflation of ego. Reunion Arena could book a different band every night, and their mulleted fans could just live inside the building full time. That way, the rest of us get on with our lives when they finally bulldoze the place. In the meantime, Reunion Arena could serve as ground zero for estranged people trying to locate lost loved ones. Got a missing kid or grandparent? Go to Reunion Arena and wait it out. Find a stray dog or cat? Bring 'em here. Need a place to hold a high school or college reunion? Bingo. Need a place to renew your vows after a rocky period of matrimony? They don't call it Reunion Arena for nothing. Or do they? --Jeff Liles
Dalbie and Tex
For a beloved American icon, Barbie certainly has her share of detractors. One particularly mean Web site, www.barbyisbad.com, has even created a whole line of faux Barbies--including Burka Barby and Talibarby--along with animated films of "Barby" and "Kehn" dolls being very, very naughty. Now, we're not saying we hate the icon of toys, as do those who run www.barbyisbad.com; we just think she could use a little local flair. So we've created our own line of Barbie-esque dolls, giving certain neighborhoods a mascot. After all, what city should know more about big-haired plasticized womanhood than Dallas? We call our dolls Dalbie and Tex...
"Plano Soccer Mom" Dalbie: A bake sale-lovin' mom, Plano Dalbie never skips a beat, even when her days include dropping little Johnny off at practice, picking up the dry cleaning and never using a turn signal in her monstrous SUV. ("Secretly Suicidal Accountant" husband sold separately.)
"Central Expressway Panhandler" Dalbie: She works intersections in a friendly way, avoiding eye contact with those too scared to roll down the window. It's a sucky way to pay off student loans from SMU, but it's better than the other ways to work red lights.
"Cedar Springs Diva" Texie: Stockbroker by day, absolutely fabulous by night! He loves Cher karaoke and shoe shopping (though size 16 Manolos are hard to come by). The Diva Texy Ultimate Wardrobe Playset includes seven pairs of glitter high heels, a blond wig and an Armani suit for Texy's alter ego, "My Girlfriend Thinks I'm Straight" Tex.
"Stemmons Freeway Stripper" Dalbie: Though she prefers the term "exotic entertainer," Stripper Dalbie was born to shake her booty. Her eyeliner is as thick as her ass-length mane (which she wears in a Madonna "fountain" 'do), and she comes with a real-size cutoff half tee for you--just like hers!
"I Rock Deep Ellum" Tex: Faux vintage T-shirt, Dickies and boy-band hair--Deep Ellum Tex is hip to only the most reputable albums. He describes his band as "the Velvet Underground having their butts kicked by the Beatles."
--Michelle Martinez and Merritt Martin
This week, the most overrated Dallas Cowboys players, things, ideas, etc.
1) Erik Williams, tackle, 1991-'00. For a long while, the most dominating unit in the NFL consisted of Tui, Nate, Step, Gesek and Big E, and none was more hard-core than the latter. But the parties took it out of him; so did the car accident, and he was never the same. During his final years, he hurt the team a lot more than he helped it.
2) Joey Galloway, wide receiver, 2000-present. Some guys are able to forge a reputation that far exceeds their output, and the smart ones can parlay that into being overpaid, overhyped and overhonored. The real smart ones are content to take the money and cruise, and Galloway's real smart.
3) Deion Sanders as wide receiver. There's more to offense than just being able to run fast, like holding onto the ball.
4) The Dream Backfield. In 1986, the titillating idea of a Herschel Walker-Tony Dorsett backfield was all you heard about. It didn't pan out for two reasons: injuries, and because Tex Schramm couldn't convince his pals in the NFL it would be a better game if they played it with two balls instead of one.
5) Alexander Wright, wide receiver, 1990-'92. A great athlete who wasn't a very good football player, Wright was one of Jimmy Johnson's few misses.
6) Alonzo Spellman, defensive tackle, 1999-'00. Far more interesting when he had a platinum Mohawk and was holed up in a Motel 6 on the Jersey Turnpike with guns, scotch and blondes.
7) The End-of-Career Pickup. Some of them worked out magnificently (John Dutton, Efren Herrera, Rafael Septien). Others, while their best days were behind them, chipped in here and there (Lance Alworth, Mike Ditka, Herb Adderley, Billy Truax, Forrest Gregg). But even more had clearly had it by the time they came to Dallas to collect retirement checks (Tommy McDonald, J.D. Smith, Buddy Dial, Bobby Joe Conrad and poor Jackie Smith, a category all his own).
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8) Darren Benson, defensive tackle, 1995-'98. For a guy who just wanted to be left alone to make his way through this world as a roofer, we sure heard a lot about how great he was going to be.
9) Larry Brown, cornerback, 1991-'95, '98. For a change, it was someone else doing the overrating--namely, the Oakland Raiders--and it's always nice to see them take it in the shorts.
10) Houston Texans 19, Cowboys 10. This doesn't exactly fit the theme of the list, still: No weight loss, no plastic surgery, nothing short of a permanent makeup clown smile could have hidden what Jerry must have been thinking after that stupefying bit of pigskin chaos. --Mike Rhyner
Mike Rhyner is co-host of "The Hardline," weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on KTCK-AM (1310).