You might think that Frisco is just a tree-barren concrete jungle of McMansions housing white-bread kids whose idea of diversity is having the option of eating ketchup on their cheeseburgers instead of mayo. And you might be right. But within the northern exurb of 100,000-plus citizens are some fairly attractive destinations, not the least of which is Fieldhouse USA, which is meant to provide an amazing sports venue for these same kids. The 144,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art indoor sports facility features 12 basketball courts (reconfigurable for volleyball or whatever), a turf-laden field for indoor soccer, flag football, kickball and lacrosse. Its "there's a sport for everyone" philosophy includes older coots too, who can join a fitness boot camp or an adult soccer or basketball league if their backs and knees will let them.

In a year in which our four major teams produced only one victorious playoff round, we had to look halfway around the world for goose bumps. Following in the historic footsteps of Allen's Carly Patterson, the bee-boppin' Plano gymnast nailed clean routines in four events on August 15, 2008, to capture the women's all-around gold medal in Beijing. Liukin became one of the faces of the Summer Olympics, her spunk and spontaneity leading to five overall medals. It was the most dominating performance by a U.S. Olympics gymnast since Mary Lou Retton also won five medals in 1984. In the wake of her triumph, Liukin was celebrated as an American hero, appearing on everything from Oprah to Wheaties boxes. More important, her glittering gold night in China cemented Plano's World Olympics Gymnastics Academy as the center of the U.S. tumbling universe.

Pondered giving this award to Sean Avery but, on second thought, he's a selfish asshole who alienated an entire locker room before forcing his way outta town and the NHL with his "sloppy seconds" comment. So we reconsidered, and gave it to the best of—let's be honest—some bad choices. In a forgettable, playoff-less season immediately sabotaged by injuries and Avery, left winger Eriksson was one of the few glimpses that wasn't grotesque. He led the Stars in goals (36) and plus-minus (+14) and contributed seven power-play goals and four game-winners. So bad were the Stars that it cost coach Dave Tippett his job. With another season like 2008, Eriksson can feel safe in keeping his.

The concept, hatched during a boys' trip to the Super Bowl, was simple. Men are better athletes than women. In turn, old boys can kick the basketball ass of young girls. Unlike most ideas light-bulbed by The Ticket, this one flick-flick-flickered and finally died a brutal and humiliating death. On a March night at SMU's Moody Coliseum, a team of Ticket hosts jumped to a 21-14 lead before being run down and eventually run over by a team of girls from Lake Highlands High School. It wasn't exactly Billie Jean King humbling Bobby Riggs, but it was a significant win for women to see middle-aged braggarts reduced to a puddle of fart 'n' fall-downs. Said The Ticket's Donovan Lewis, "It was a bad combination of age and gas." Title Nein indeed.

If you consider his breakout, dominating performance in this year's NBA summer league, this season will be one to watch for Woodrow Wilson alumni Anthony Randolph. Playing against rookies, sophomores and journeymen, he was easily the best player on the court, averaging 26 points and 8.5 rebounds a game and turning in one epic performance in which he went for 42 points along with three blocks and four steals. The scary thing is that he still has room to grow—he's added an inch of height and some 20 pounds to his frame since he was drafted out of LSU in 2008. Even scarier, he plays for the Golden State Warriors, which means he has access to Don Nelson's evil laboratory. Granted, he's got a long way to go to prove himself against the Dirks and Duncans of the league, but we're certainly not betting against him.

Judging by his performance this summer as a fill-in host when The Ticket starters took vacation time, Mike Bacsik's broadcasting has much more promise than his baseball career. The Dallas native's 13 years as a pro—mostly spent in the minors—would've been completely forgettable if not for a meaty fastball thrown to Barry Bonds on August 7, 2007, which Bonds hammered for his record-breaking 756th career home run. But after a humble start as a BaD Radio intern during the off-season, it doesn't sound like he'll be sent back down to the radio minors anytime soon. He proved capable enough to take over as producer of Norm Hitzges' weekday morning show and, naturally, as co-host of the Rangers' post-game show. Along with having baseball smarts, he's an informed basketball fan. Most important, he's got a sense of humor and doesn't flounder or clam up when talking about something other than sports—rare abilities among ex-jock broadcasters.

T.O. = gone. Released in March. Stop for a second. Breathe it in. Relax. Nice, huh? Never in sports has there been a more talented troublemaker than Terrell Owens. That he's a former Dallas Cowboy is good news. Great news. The Cowboys will have to replace his 60 receiving yards a game, sure, but at what price? No more leaders being late for meetings. Falling asleep in meetings. Screaming at teammates. Yelling for the ball. Dividing the locker room. With T.O.'s departure, the Cowboys are a less talented but better team. Next season you won't—at least you better not—watch a game in which one receiver gets 17 passes thrown his way while Felix Jones gets nary a touch. Whether he was vilified or validated, Owens was more trouble than he was worth. R.I.P, sculpted scapegoat.

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11336 Jupiter Road

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White Rock Lake

Sports: For Love of the...Um...Game

Web extra: Video of a Dallas Desire practice with running back Erin Marie Garrett's thoughts on the upcoming season.

OK, you can stop with the sniggering, Mr. Football Fan. And you, Ms. Feminist, don't grimace. Yes, we're talking about the Dallas Desire here, our city's franchise in the U.S. Lingerie Football League, but there will be no double entendres, puns or high-minded condemnations of sexual exploitation.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. To be a player on an LFL team, you have to be, if not a 10, at least somewhere north of an eight. And yes, the players—many of them models or actresses—take the field in sports bras and boy shorts. Sex appeal is certainly the selling point, but believe it or not, there's more than jiggles and giggles driving the Desire, which plays its first home game September 25 against the Denver Dream at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie.

There is, for instance, the football.Think they're not serious? Then picture the scene on a recent August afternoon on a field behind Hendrick Middle School in Plano. The sun is drilling down 95 degrees of hell, and the nearest breeze is somewhere near Lubbock. A dozen or so women, tanned and toned from a summer schedule of twice-weekly practices, don helmets and shoulder pads and line up for wind sprints.

Nary a giggle or tee-hee is heard."No walking on the field! No walking on the field!" a coach shouts, urging a few stragglers to hustle as the squad lines up for a series of practice kickoffs. "Attack, Liz, attack!" shouts another as the players scramble down the field in pursuit of a kick.

Being pretty shouldn't be this much hard work.

"We've heard some say it's degrading for women," says Erin Marie Garrett, who plays both running back and defensive line. "[But] we are athletes...Who's to say you can't look good while doing something and do it well?"

Like most players on the Desire, Garrett will play both sides of the ball, since the team only fields a 12-woman roster, with eight inactive players as backups. It's seven-on-seven, full-contact tackle, but there's no punting or field goals, the halves are 15 minutes long, and the field is just 50 yards. Otherwise, it's pretty much football as usual. Like this year's Best of Dallas® icon Rosie the Riveter, these women do everything men do. Only cuter. It's sort of like subbing the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders for America's Team on a Sunday—which, come to think of it, might not be a bad idea.

Off the field, Garrett models, acts, sings and works part-time in retail. If the league, which got its start as a half-time diversion shown on pay-per-view during Super Bowls, is successful, she hopes to parlay the exposure to boost her career off the field. Beyond that, though, the Desire gives her camaraderie with her teammates and a chance to exercise her competitive spirit. (She's played basketball and volleyball and performed in gymnastics and cheerleading in college in Florida.)

"A lot of us are competitive in nature..." Garrett says. "I like to hit hard. It's really a great way to get out some aggression and do it legally."

Sometimes, those hits bring pain.

Running back and defensive linewoman Jessy Jamez—also a model—was sitting out the recent practice with a pulled hamstring injured during tackling drills in a prior practice.

"It felt like I was going to be out the rest of the year, that's how bad it hurt," Jamez says, but she hopes to be ready to retake the field as the team ups its practices to four nights a week, three hours a night—not exactly NFL standards, but a fairly large commitment and a measure of how seriously this team of part-time players takes the game. "The lingerie portion of it is to entice people to the game," Jamez says. "After that, they want to see us play."

To make sure the play is up to snuff, the Desire has hired ex-NFL players as coaches. Head coach Antuan Edwards, for example, was drafted in the first round out of Clemson University in 1999 and played seven seasons in the pros, five of them as a defensive back for Green Bay. "Pretty women, you can see every day at the shopping mall," Edwards says, so when the Desire suits up fans will expect to see some football. "You guys are going to be amazed when we get on the field."

Well, one imagines that's the point of anything called lingerie football, but to be fair to the women, so what? There's beauty in the body of a finely chiseled athlete, in a long pass, a graceful kick return. Aesthetics is as much a part of our enjoyment of the game as cold beer, and if the Desire emphasizes the beautiful over the brutal in football...well, just sit back, enjoy the show and contemplate the sage words of Deion Sanders.

"When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good."Patrick Williams

Consistent upkeep is one of the most important factors to consider when planning a round of golf, as you don't want to find yourself three-putting on greens as slow as U.S. Open rough. Fortunately, you can always depend on Tenison Highlands to be in better condition than most other public courses. That it can be whipped into championship shape quickly is a big part of why the USGA chooses it for qualifying rounds, and why the Dallas City Championship tournament is held there each year. Of course, the rolling terrain, tons of trees, nice pro shop and rich history don't hurt, either. The one downside is that it's on the pricey side for a muni. But if you're on a budget, there's always Tenison Park's other course, Tenison Glen—a decent course in its own right.

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