Red River

Are you ready for Dallas' ugliest weekend of the year? No, Ross Perot isn't taking his family out for ice cream. We're talking about the swarm of horribly colored football fanatics descending upon the Cotton Bowl, 3750 Midway Plaza in Fair Park, on Saturday for the annual TX-OU game. Honestly, burnt orange and crimson? Still, we won't be whining about clashing colors anywhere near the shouts of "Texas sucks" and "beat the hell out of OU," as that might not be the best time to recommend pastel tones. The rivalry began in 1900, when teams had to take trains to the game (rather than modern-day, corruptly purchased Hummers), and has sold out every year since 1945. Therefore, if you haven't snagged tickets yet either, hit eBay immediately or settle for the after-game festivities strewn throughout Dallas. You could try reviving the gunshot-tainted tradition of herding down Commerce Street, which stopped in 1994 because of, um, the deaths, but we recommend you visit the safer West End, where drink specials will be as plentiful as poorly dressed football nuts. --Sam Machkovech

Put on the Big Flex

Bulging muscles, staggering athleticism and...funk music? Well, you certainly have to give the 2003 NPC Heart of Texas Bodybuilding and Fitness/Figure Championships and Martial Arts Festival some credit for the variety of programming. Not only will this event offer the best in local flexing and greasing but also some mad cool martial arts stuff for the kids, and the dance group Universal Funk will provide the backup track to some special guest bods. The party runs October 10 and October 11. VIP tickets are $35, and open seating is $25. Plano Center, 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano. Call 972-247-1539. --Mary Monigold

Ride That Pony

The bell rings. The gates open. The horses pop out like marbles from a catapult, bumping each other, straightening out and rolling en masse toward the finish line. In a few seconds, it's over. You ask yourself, haven't I seen this race before? It must be Lone Star Park's Fall Meeting of Champions, which features top-quality quarter horse racing, plus a few scattered events for novelty breeds such as Appaloosas, paints and Arabians. It doesn't have quite the excitement of Thoroughbred racing, but there's one distinct advantage to the nine-week fall meet: Crowds are generally sparse, and you might find yourself in a line of one at the betting window just a couple of minutes before post time. Racing runs Wednesday through Saturday until November 29. Post time for the first race is 6:35 p.m. For reserved seats, call 972-263-PONY. --Julie Lyons

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