There are teams with wackier names (the Grand Prairie AirHogs) and teams that play in more obscure leagues (the Dallas Diamonds of the Independent Women's Football League), but nobody does small ball like the Frisco RoughRiders. There's a pool in the outfield, a cowboy mascot that rides a black horse, and the baseball ain't bad either. If you're looking for a night at the ballpark but don't want to watch the Texas Rangers, the Roughriders are a nice alternative. Plus, unlike some of those other franchises, you may see a future star in Frisco.

We suppose you instead wanted Tom Hicks? Didn't think so. Sure, the Cowboys' owner is asking for your family's DNA in return for a seat at his new Jonestown coliseum in Arlington, but you can't deny the guy's unyielding desire to win. This offseason alone, he paid about $70 million in guaranteed salaries to retain players such as Flozell Adams, Marion Barber, Terrell Owens, Terence Newman and Ken Hamlin. The Cowboys are profitable. The new stadium will no doubt be a financial windfall. But unlike Hicks, Jones reinvests his money in the team in an attempt to improve the product. And, who knows, he might even convince Mark Cuban to host a future NBA All-Star Game.

Top Golf

We all know that golf is less a sport than a Zen exercise in patience, but who's got time for that? At TopGolf Dallas, you don't have to endure a four-hour, 18-hole marathon in order to get your duffer's competitive juices flowing. TopGolf is a huge complex that at first glance looks like nothing more than your usual double-decker driving range. But it's really the coolest way to practice your game. Here's why (and, bear with us, it's a new concept, after all): See, each range ball contains a little microchip inside it. When you buy a bucket of balls, the chip registers your name for each ball. The driving range isn't your usual burr-laden wasteland; it's actually a huge swath of targets, expanding in concentric circles out from different flagsticks. When you hit a target, you get a certain number of points, all of which are tallied up on a computer right next to you. It sounds confusing, but it's not, and it's damn fun. You are welcome to bring your own clubs, try out TopGolf's loaner sets or check out a new driver at the pro shop. The complex is enormous too, with meeting spaces, executive suites, outdoor misters, bars, a restaurant with an actual executive chef, a 54-hole Disney-scale mini-golf course...it is, really and truly, fun for the whole family. Oh, and one more thing. There are "caddies"—OK, really, they're hot lady servers—who'll bring you beer while you play. It's like being in a videogame. But with beer.

As much as we respect Jason Kidd, man, we really miss the former Mavericks point guard of the future. Don't you? He was young. Had impeccable character. He was a one-man fast break. Sure he didn't hyper-develop like Deron Williams or Chris Paul, but you get the feeling all Harris needs to become an elite point guard is the addition of a jumper and the subtraction of Avery Johnson's handcuffs. Never liked the trade that brought Dallas Kidd in exchange for half its team and all its future. While Harris continues to develop as a New Jersey Net, the Mavs are left with a tiny window and an older, slower leader. Could be wrong, but giving up on Harris may turn out to be owner Mark Cuban's worst move since he climaxed The Benefactor with Jenga.

Kinda by default, admittedly. Avery Johnson got fired. Ron Washington almost got fired. And the only reason Dave Tippett didn't get fired is because everyone forgot about hockey. Phillips basically generated action from inaction. His laid-back, country-fried persona was just what the Cowboys needed in the wake of a Sergeant Asshole named Bill Parcells. Phillips set the tone immediately, referring to his best receiver as "Terrell Owens" instead of merely "the player." Geez, it ain't rocket science. Shackles removed and pressure evacuated, the Cowboys won 13 games and produced a record 13 Pro Bowlers. His "the best team didn't win" whine/rant after the playoff loss to the Giants wasn't very becoming, but it still feels like Phillips is the right guy at the right time. Of course, if the Cowboys don't win the Super Bowl this season, the son of a Bum will find himself winning "Best Coach to be Fired" in next year's issue.

When you're a fledgling independent minor league baseball franchise trying to carve a niche in the metroplex's saturated sports landscape, nothing is off limits. At least that's how the Grand Prairie AirHogs tried to justify tempting karma by giving away a $10,000 funeral—complete with plot, headstone and casket—at a game in June. The genius promotion, highlighted by fans dressed in black and pallbearer races between innings, received publicity on ESPN and in publications across the country. Ironically, the funeral was won by a 60-year-old woman who had undergone 20 surgeries for various medical ailments. Toldja God works in mysterious ways.

Cowboys Golf Club

It pales in comparison to Jerry Jones' new $1 billion stadium in Arlington, but for a mere $184.95 you can hack it around one of Texas' premier tracks. If you don't mind the constant stream of thunderous airplanes that use Cowboys' 18th fairway to line up a runway, you can almost convince yourself you've left the city. Dramatic elevation changes. Unique views. And, far as we can tell, not a blade of grass out of place. Even the putting green—shaped like a star, of course—is immaculate. Inside the clubhouse are replica Super Bowl trophies. Outside, you might just run into Cowboys such as Tony Romo or Terry Glenn. For your exorbitant fee, you get range balls, golf and all the food and non-alcoholic drinks you can inhale. Sample the jalapeño sausage near the 14th tee. You won't be sorry. Until the next day.

Though his arrival cost the Rangers a National League Cy Young candidate in Edinson Volquez, Hamilton's impact and future have overshadowed even the return of Nolan Ryan. The slugger has overcome his well-chronicled drug demons—hope you're taking notes, Pacman Jones and Josh Howard—to become the face of the Rangers franchise and baseball's best story of the season. Hamilton had 95 RBI at the All-Star Break, had the Rangers above .500 into August and had us goose-bumping during an unforgettable, 28-dinger performance at the Home Run Derby in Yankee Stadium. Most impressive, the center fielder landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, attracted the national media to Arlington and made the Rangers again relevant. For all the right reasons.

In another year in which most of our teams cock-teased us with regular-season foreplay and playoff impotence, the Stars finally gave us reason to explode. On a Sunday night in early May, the Stars advanced to the NHL Western Conference Finals with a classic 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center. In an epic hockey game that climaxed a fantastic series and prompted lots of bleary eyes, Brenden Morrow scored in the fourth overtime—at 1:23 a.m., thank you very much. After goalies Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov traded unfathomable saves for more than five hours, Stephane Robidas sent a nifty pass in the crease to Morrow, who tapped in the Game 6 series clincher and the goal that ended the eighth-longest game in NHL history and the third-longest in Stars' history. The game reminded us again that there's nothing in sports quite like playoff overtime hockey. Screw David Blaine, Stars fans can hold their breath 20 minutes at a time.

QuikTrip Park at Grand Prairie

Before JerryWorld opens its doors and grabs this title for the next decade, Quik-Trip Park in Grand Prairie stands as the best place to catch a ballgame. Sure, it's minor league baseball, but this team is good (the AirHogs made it to the championship series this season), and the fan experience at the park offers the most variety and bang for the buck. There's not a bad seat in the house, and with tickets ranging from $6 to $12, it doesn't set you back a couple hundred bucks just to have a night out with the wife and kids. Speaking of the kiddos, they'll enjoy shooting hoops, playing Wiffle ball and golfing in the park attached to the stadium while you head out to the sports bar or cigar bar in left field for a cocktail.

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