Seems a safe bet that this is one of the most competitive categories in this whole damn book. In this corner, you have Eric Nadel, iconic voice of the Texas Rangers for more than 30 years. In this corner, you have Ralph Strangis and Darryl Reaugh, the only hockey announcers North Texas has ever known. Yet standing in the middle, stiff-arming the competition, stands Brad Sham, Dallas' version of Vin Scully. Yes, he roots for the Cowboys. But he does it eloquently, almost subtly, somehow without being a homer. And he's by no means a shill for Jerry Jones, evidenced by his memorable, disgusted calls of a drop by Roy Williams and a missed block leading to Tony Romo's injury by rookie fullback Chris Gronkowski. Quipped Sham before a win over the Texans last year, "If the Cowboys can keep from slipping in their own drool they'll be OK." Touche.
Just as Jason Garrett changed the culture of the Cowboys in 2010, Tyson Chandler transformed the Mavericks' defense. After a decade in which the team tried to out-offense opponents as its only path to victory, the Mavericks suddenly won games 91-89 instead of 121-119. In the middle of the identity switch was the Mavericks' defensive anchor, a free-agent center who blocked shots, took charges and barked instructions to teammates en route to earning third place in the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year voting. Dirk was Dirk and Jason Kidd was almost better than ever, but the Mavs don't win a championship without Chandler in the middle.
We know he inexplicably wanted to pitch in Philadelphia, and we recognize that the Rangers' starting rotation has been dominant for most of the season. Still, he is Cliff Friggin' Lee. And when he drove in more runs as a hitter in June than he allowed as a pitcher, we can't help but be jealous. Lee wasn't perfect in Texas, but he did win Games 1 and 5 against Tampa Bay in the Rangers' first ever playoff series triumph and then he shut out and humiliated the Yankees with 13 strikeouts in a crucial Game 3 of the ALCS. Here's hoping the Rangers again get to the World Series but don't have to face the Phillies and their former ace.
To convince June Jones to leave Hawaii for the Hilltop, SMU athletic director Steve Orsini persuaded prominent boosters to cough up $1 million each to pay for the new football coach's five-year, $10 million contract. Over the last two years we've seen why it was a shrewd move. After a dismal one-win debut, Jones and his pass-happy offense restored some dignity to the Mustangs program with consecutive bowl-game appearances. SMU, led by quarterback Kyle Padron, gave undefeated TCU a game for three quarters in Dallas and after a 7-6 season lost a heartbreaker to Army in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Pony pride isn't all the way back, but thanks to Jones it's galloping in the right direction.
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
It's a little tricky to find. If you're going south on Interstate 35E, take Illinois Avenue west about two miles to Pierce and hang a left (south) less than half a mile past the houses. Turn toward a parking lot at the back of an apartment complex and you'll see the trailhead and some parking to your right before you get to the gate to the apartments. If you yearn for a really well-designed biking trail, it probably doesn't get better than this inside the city. The Oak Cliff Nature Preserve is 121 acres on an old Boy Scout camp. The Texas Land Conservancy has partnered with the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association to create a series of clearly marked, well-maintained bike trails at all levels of challenge, from beginner to semi-nutcase. And if you haven't seen this part of Dallas before, you're going to be knocked out by the topography ... maybe literally.

Best Place to Laugh at Chicks Playing Sports

Top Golf Dallas

Top Golf
Call it the "clang of death" or "the shank from hell." At Top Golf, it's when one hears the evil sound of the ball's rock-solid plastic hitting the metal of the driving range roof. In that second, your life flashes before your eyes, as the culprit (usually a female) stands awkwardly with a club and giggles, "Sorry!" It's not that girls CAN'T play golf: Many do, and quite well. It's just that those girls are at a real driving range and not at Top Golf -- the self-proclaimed premier golf entertainment complex, with the focus being on the word "entertainment." The Putt-Putt for adults/driving range hybrid attracts group play dates more than it does the serious golfer. Throw in alcohol, and it's bound to get interesting if not a little risky. If you survive a shanking accident, you can always laugh it off. Better yet, hopefully the next try is a whiff. It's far funnier and way less frightening.

Best Of Dallas®

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