BEST SOCCER FIELD 2020 | MoneyGram Soccer Park at Elm Fork | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Whether you're a soccer enthusiast or you catch the fever every four years, this spacious complex is perfect for a game of futbol. MoneyGram is home to 19 soccer fields (or "pitches," as our brothers and sisters across the pond call them) and conveniently located next to a wide range of trails. There's plenty of lighting, too, meaning you and your friends can kick around a soccer ball long after the sun has gone down. This expansive facility has hosted some major competitions, so it's passed muster with the pros and soon-to-be pros.

Scheels' newest store in Grandscape Texas is impressive for reasons beyond its massive selection of sporting stuff. It's like some kind of consumer funhouse for people who like to do more than sit in one place and stare at an inanimate object for hours at a time. It has helpful staff and an impressive selection even by big-box store standards that runs from aerobics to youth sports. The staff who work the floor and manage the place own part of the company, so you're not dealing with surly teenagers who are just counting the minutes until closing time. The place has a Ferris wheel. Seriously, the place has a frickin' Ferris wheel along with an arcade with a 10-pin bowling alley and places for unique selfies, so the kids will have something to do.

The Trinity Forest Trail is one of the most beautiful we have in the entire city. It's fine for running, but it feels much safer on a bike. It's flat, much like the rest of Dallas, so don't plan on getting a huge quad workout, but do take a ride to experience the overwhelming beauty that is the Great Trinity Forest. There's no loop, but going back and forth allows you to take in different perspectives of the landscape. Enter at the small entrance near 4608 TX-12 Loop (west of the Audubon) to get as much mileage as possible, connecting to the AT&T Trail, which will show off Dallas' best boondoggles (the golf course and horse park).

Daniel Rockey

This is a wonderful spot because you can get lost for a while in its 121 acres, forgetting you're in Dallas as you wind up and down through both prairie and dense trees. You can spend hours on these trails, and they're actually worthy of putting on higher boots instead of regular sneakers.

Kathy Tran

Far North Dallas has a spacious dog park that's nearly worth the drive if you live in the city center. NorthBark has 22 acres for your pups to roam off leash among a lake, trails, a pavilion and showers. It's even the largest of its kind in North Texas.

Time is cruel, and no matter how much joy an athlete has brought fans over the year, eventually they must hang up their jersey and head off to ... Las Vegas? After 16 seasons with the Cowboys, not counting a year off spent in a TV booth that's best forgotten, Whitten left the Pokes a second time to sign on with the Las Vegas Raiders. In Dallas, he racked up 1,215 receptions and 12,977 yards receiving, the second most of any tight end in NFL history. Beyond the stats were countless clutch plays by the big man — he's 6'6" — who was a favored target in do-or-die moments. A legendarily tough player, Witten played through a broken jaw in his rookie season in 2003, when he was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team. He missed one game then, and went on to start in 245 games for Dallas. At 38, he may have lost a step on the field, but he still shines in fans' hearts.

When the time comes for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to retire, he should consider professional poker as a new career. (We hear Las Vegas is welcoming.) The man obviously knows when to hold 'em and knows when to fold 'em. Negotiations over a contract extension between the team and Prescott dragged on throughout the offseason, with talks stalling partly over whether Prescott would take the team's five-year offer or hold out for the four-year deal he wanted. As a July 15 contract deadline neared, Prescott held pat, causing the team to place an exclusive franchise tag on its star and pay him $31.4 million for the current season. Contract talks have been pushed on down the road. Meanwhile, top quarterbacks are signing ever larger deals and an expanded salary cap in the future means Prescott could be in line for a bigger payoff, assuming he plays up to snuff this season. Some sports columnists say the team erred by not reaching a long-term deal for a player it obviously didn't want to lose, essentially wasting the franchise tag money. We should know better whether they're right sometime about the end of December.

In August, longtime sports radio talk show host Norm Hitzges revealed he was being treated for bladder cancer, prompting an outpouring of support from sports fans who follow The Texas Radio Hall of Fame member on 96.7 FM/1310 AM The Ticket. Hitzges, 76, broke the news on Norm and D Invasion, the show he co-hosts with Donovan Lewis. Like the players he covers, Hitzges wasn't going to let his body keep him from the field, and he told listeners he intends to keep working as he undergoes treatment. More good news for fans: The five-year survival rate for all stages of bladder cancer is 77%, according to the National Cancer Institute, rising to 96 percent in cases where the disease hasn't spread.

As in Luka Doncic, the Mavericks guard who is quickly running out of "first" and "youngest" accolades to win. In just his second season, the Slovenian star was named first-team All-NBA, becoming the third Maverick to be named to one of the three All-NBA teams. (Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash are the other two, natch.) At 21, he is the youngest player to start an All-Star Game since LeBron James in 2005, and the youngest player to lead the NBA in triple-doubles, The Dallas Morning News reported. Even grander, he's filled the large Dirk-shaped hole in the hearts of Mavs supporters and has given North Texans a reason to learn where Slovenia is on a map. Despite what you might have read, he is not the son of D Magazine's senior editor and rabid Mavs fan Zac Crain, though at this rate don't be surprised if there are a few baby Luka's bouncing on the knees of season ticket holders in the years to come.

Sure, it was a pandemic-shortened season played without live fans, but a win is, as they say, a win: For the first time in 20 years, the Dallas Stars made it to the final round in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which the team has won only once, in 1999. Dallas will face Tampa Bay from the Eastern Conference, two cities known for their winter sports. We're going to take a chance here and make a prediction: The Stars win in the sixth overtime of Game 7 in Edmonton. (To be honest, we know less than dick about hockey, but we know what makes this burg happy, so let's be happy. It'll be a change for 2020.)

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