Let's be honest: There's no way we can be trusted in this category anymore. We're too conflicted. Key members of the Best of Dallas crew are friends with Ticket personalities. Pop-culture columnist Robert Wilonsky spends as much time preparing for his intermittent Hard Line appearances as he does answering Marvel Comics fanboy e-mails. We'll just say that our favorite hour of the day on sports radio is from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on The Ticket, when we get 10 snippets of the day's best discussions, bits and interviews from all Ticket personalities, so that's the show we're awarding this honor. Besides, Mike Rhyner will just make more jokes about this paper's strip-club and phone-sex ads no matter who wins, so why bother? Oh, speaking of Rhyner: Dude, SugarDaddy69 left a message in your QuestPersonals voice-mail box that you might want to check out--he sounds delicious.
For years we've been beaten down with how "in tune" the Mavericks brass is with foreign basketball. They have contacts in former Iron Curtain states and Mediterranean hovels. Yes, they are omnipotent and omnipresent when it comes to overseas hoops. That's what we were told. Enter Antoine Rigaudeau, a midseason pickup whom almost no one, save Don and Donnie Nelson, had heard of. Rigaudeau, who's French, came to Dallas after playing the past six seasons in Italy. He reminded us a lot of the Spurs' Manu Ginobili, only with a lot less talent. Rigaudeau appeared in 11 games and averaged 1.5 points. Better yet, in one game, he drove the baseline only to air-ball a layup, prompting color commentator Bob Ortegel to quip: "That's the best play he's made as a Maverick." Sad but true. Which is why we're giving him this award; he garnered one more accolade than expected.
There's a lot to like about Christie's: The food's pretty good, the multiroom layout gives you a sense the place is larger than it really is, and the TVs carry most any game you wanna see. But we like Christie's for the pool tables. Not only can you play for half-price during happy hour on most days, they're not the typical bar short tables (the ones that you pop 75 cents into; the ones about as big as your dorm fridge). Come for the beer, eat the food and be sure to play with your stick. It's encouraged.
Seems like the guy's been around since the invention of electricity, but he's still the best, even if he does skip out too often to host a charity golf tournament or whatever it is he does when absent. While the Dallas area has a generous helping of quality sports anchors, Hansen separates himself from the pack simply by being Dale Hansen. Everyone else gives you the scores and an occasional well-done feature, but Hansen's the guy who shoots from the hip with opinion and even a nice touch of sarcasm now and then. Always keeping things in perspective, his sportscasts never sound like they're originating from the war-torn front lines.
Forget the stats, or lack thereof. Forget the fact that he makes many more millions of dollars than you or your friends or you and your friends combined. Think only of this: Without Chan Ho Park, what would the Texas Rangers medical staff do? The man is a terrible pitcher, sure, but damn if he doesn't keep the trainers and doctors busy and wealthy. From a sore this to a broken that, he's a regular hypochondriac who never misses a chance to go on the disabled list. And good for him. If he's not going to pitch, he may as well contribute in his own special way. Thanks, Chan Ho, from Dr. John Conway (team physician), Jamie Reed (head trainer) and Ray Ramirez (assistant trainer). Without you, their families wouldn't eat.
It's hard to remember now, but before last season, everyone was trying to downplay expectations for the Dallas Mavericks. Just because they beat Utah in the playoffs doesn't mean they'll do even better this year, prognosticators said. The Mavs shut that talk up quickly when they won their first 14 games to start the season. Now, if only they could go further in the playoffs.

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