The Bronco Bowl Entertainment Center, a family-fun staple for decades, passed away in August after battling a lengthy illness. Best known for its concerts, the complex was once one of the primary Texas outposts for televised bowling matches back in the day, and continued on as the premier place to rack up a few frozen turkeys until its death. It also had an extensive assortment of video arcade games, air hockey tables and Pop-A-Shot stations, as well as a wide variety of beverages that would get a man as big as 325 pounds "drunker than Cooter Brown," according to a longtime fan of the establishment. The Bronco Bowl Entertainment Center is survived by memories of $10 parking fees and a Home Depot.
Brookhaven Campus
One of the best things about Brookhaven's jogging track is the lack of crowds that afflict that other top jogging spot, White Rock Lake, so keep this one just between us. Brookhaven's two-mile course skirts the perimeter of the campus, and nearly half of it has a rubberized surface, so it's tender on the joints. The track winds through small patches of woods and past the school's athletic fields, offering a few gentle inclines to get that heart rate up. Better still, there are emergency call boxes along the route in the event you are: A) over 40, B) out of shape and C) too stupid to consult your doctor before beginning a running regimen.
After Nick Van Exel's gutsy performances in the playoffs, ESPN's Marc Stein asked Mark Cuban about NVE's big-game aptitude. "You can't say enough about Nick," Cuban replied. "I don't know how he walks around. I'm sure he has to get specially tailored pants, because he's scraping the ground every game." In other words, if you take the shots with the game on the line, it proves you have big balls. We couldn't agree (or be disturbed) more.

The area's best non-high school football team does not play at Texas Stadium. (Gee, ya think?) It is not the SMU Mustangs. (Gosh, ya sure?) No, the area's best footballers lay claim to Birdville Stadium in North Richland Hills. The Dallas Diamonds, the all-woman semipro football team--led by rookie linebacker/fullback Jessica Springer (the 5-foot-9, 210-pound can of whupass)--has pasted some of its early-season opponents, especially the Missouri Prowlers, whom the homegirls have beaten twice by a combined score of 138-0. Hey, Bill Parcells, you got a scout at their games yet? Couldn't hurt.

Sure, it's no longer brand-spanking-new, and the team that calls it home stinks, but the 49,166-seat stadium is, far and away, the most enjoyable spot for the sports fan to visit. It's comfy and clean, fan friendly and you can't beat the fresh summer air. And, when the Texas Rangers start muffing easy ground balls and the bullpen is doing its el foldo, there's still plenty to see and do. Visit the Legends of the Game Baseball Museum, Children's Learning Center or Friday's Front Row Grill. And the cold beer at the concession stands can quickly take your mind off the team's being in last place--again.
Since we work at the Observer--the unholiest of unholies--talking about God can get a little tricky. No need to pop up on his screen, you understand, lest he take note of all the bad things we've done and issue a collective smiting. Still, we're pretty sure the Big Guy has some other sinners ahead of us on his "to do" list. Chief among them: Deion Sanders. Prime Time recently was taken to court by a Dallas mechanic named Phil Compton, who claimed that Sanders paid only $1,500 of a more-than-$4,200 bill for repairs done on a 1961 convertible. Sanders, who never misses an opportunity to show that he's "down with the Lord," handed Compton a check and said, "Praise Jesus...I follow what in my heart I'm told to pay." The implication, obviously, was that the son of God gives great discounts, but only if you're in his good graces. More remarkably, a judge ruled in favor of Sanders in the case. The end result? A proposed 11th commandment: Thou shalt not pay a lot for that muffler.

It looked fairly bleak for the Dallas Mavericks after the Sacramento Kings pantsed them in Game 1. Here we go again, most thought, remembering the similar drubbings that occurred at the hands of those same Kings in last year's playoffs. Even we gave in and predicted the Mavs would be sent home after five games. And then Dirk Nowitzki and Co. put up 44 in the first quarter of Game 2, on their way to 83 for the half. To put this in perspective, most Eastern Conference games topped out at a few points shy of that mark after four quarters. Only our wedding day tops this on our list of all-time greatest moments. We're not even remotely kidding.

For less than seven bucks, it's possible to revisit that hardwood heaven that was vital to middle school social life. Roller-skating lives on, complete with spinning colored lights and a smooth-voiced DJ, at the White Rock Skate Center. Skates are included in the admission price, although patrons are welcome to bring their own (we've been showing off our pair of pink Puma "Roller Kitties"), provided they've had no concrete exposure, which will mar the rink floor. We're still shocked, though, at what little effort we used to put forth as youngsters, considering how sore and bruised we are after one night of rollin'. Parents can even skate free Sunday afternoons when they bring the little ones. A little advice, though: Don't skate too close to your kids; this could be the day of their first "couple skate," and you could end up on their list if you jeopardize their shot at a rolling slow-jam with the crush-of-the-week. The center also offers a damn fine snack bar with requisite pump-cheese nachos, and the refs put on quite a show mid-rink with their rubber-legged roller dance moves. Exercise, entertainment and memories await those who pass through the White Rock's doors, so strap on those familiar brown and orange wheels and hit the rink. Don't worry if it's been awhile; we're still known to cling to the walls when we get a bit shaky...and our apologies to the small child we careened into during a crazed attempt to get off the floor before the speed-skate.
There are players, and then there are playas. Word. Reggie Swinton is one of the latter. No, he's not that great a football player--seven catches for 63 yards last year is hardly impressive. But the man can straight rhyme. He's like one of the Fat Boys, only with slightly less talent. Shortly after the season ended, Swinton's first rap album dropped: Whatcha Gone Do? On wax, Swinton addressed socially pressing issues such as cars, hos, pimps and freaking. Thank you, Reggie, for going where no other rappers dared go. You kept it real, dawg. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, Swinton's CD was a highlight (maybe even the highlight) of the season. Well, nowhere to go from there but up. But we were wondering: Do you think new head coach Bill Parcells bumps Whatcha Gone Do? in his ride? Yeah, probably.
If you're the type who always wants to be first in the know about everything, then you'd better study up on Carly Patterson and Hollie Vise--because you'll probably be hearing a lot about them at next year's Olympic Games in Athens. Patterson and Vise, both 15, each train at the Plano-based World Olympics Gymnastics Academy, one of the country's premier gymnastics training grounds. In the recent World Gymnastics Championships, the pair helped the U.S. women win the team gold medal for the first time, as well as each pulling in an individual medal (Patterson a silver on the all-around, Vise a gold in the uneven bars). They're already heroes to the academy's current students--and an inspiration for more girls to follow in their footsteps.

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