The Men's NCAA basketball tournament is in Dallas this weekend. It's a big, but not huge, deal. The games being played are just first- and second-round contests, and Texas Tech, trying to advance to its first Sweet 16 since 2005, is probably the biggest draw.
Barring an unforeseen miraculous performance or huge upset, this week's games are just another drop in the bucket for a region that, over the last 50 years, has hosted a slew of the most important sporting events on offer. As the country turns its eyes to Dallas, however briefly, over the next couple of days, let's look at some of the city's biggest turns in the sports spotlight.
1. Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25.
The reason this game is remembered, more than anything that happened on the field, is the reason it could be the only Super Bowl played at AT&T Stadium. Several sections of temporary seating were put in too late for the fire marshal to inspect, so 400 fans missed the game, much to their (and the NFL's) consternation. Before the seating snafu and the ice storm that greeted Super Bowl revelers when they arrived in Dallas, there was a possibility that Jerry World might become part of the league's regular Super Bowl rotation. Now, it seems like Houston may be as close as the big game gets.
2. Game 5 of the 2011 World Series: Rangers down the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2.
With the series tied 2-2 after Derek Holland's brilliant pitching performance in Game 4, the Rangers came back from a two-run deficit with solo home runs from Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland before a two-run double from Mike Napoli in the eighth inning put the game away, leaving the Rangers just one game from their first World Series championship. The raucous ovation that greeted the Napoli remains one of the loudest in DFW sports history.
3. 1994 World Cup quarterfinal: Brazil scores late to beat the Netherlands 3-2.
On a blistering July day at the Cotton Bowl, Brazil left back Branco converted a free kick from 35 yards out in the 81st minute to ruin the Netherlands' comeback from a two-goal, second-half deficit and save what would end up being a championship run for his country.
4. 1964 Cotton Bowl: No. 1 Texas defeats No. 2 Navy 28-6.
Playing in front of more than 75,000 fans in Fair Park, UT dominated Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach and his Navy teammates to secure the school's first undisputed national championship.
5. 2015 College Football Playoff Final: Ohio State beats Oregon 42-20.
Thanks to a big game from future Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott, the Buckeyes upset the Ducks for the first ever College Football Playoff championship. The game wasn't great, but the significance of naming a true national championship for the first time makes it special.
6. 1988 NBA Western Conference Finals: Mavs knock off the Lakers 105-103.
For a long time, this game was the greatest moment in Mavericks history. Facing elimination at home, the Mavericks held on to beat the Lakers in the loudest environment ever produced at Reunion Arena.
7. 1966 NFL Championship: Packers beat the Cowboys 34-27.
With a trip to the first Super Bowl against the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs on the line, the Packers stop the Cowboys late in the fourth quarter on a crucial fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line. The Cowboys, playing at home at the Cotton Bowl, couldn't cash in on their first NFL championship and wouldn't do so for five more years, when they finally broke through in Super Bowl VI against the Dolphins.
8. 1999 NHL Western Conference Finals Game 7: Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1.
After two consecutive years of top two playoff seeds and early playoff exits, the Stars finally broke through in 1999. After a sloppy 7-5 loss to the Avs in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals left them on the brink of elimination, the Stars went to Denver and beat the Avalanche at home, 4-1, to force Game 7. Back home at Reunion Arena, the Stars went up 4-0 in the cathartic deciding game, eventually winning 4-1. After the hard-fought series with the Avalanche, the Stars' Stanley Cup finals victory over the Buffalo Sabres felt like an inevitability.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
9. 2011 NBA Finals Game 4: Mavericks tie the series against the Heat 86-83.
Trailing by four in the game and one in the series to the Heat heading into the fourth quarter of Game 4, the Mavs methodically ground the Heat down, outscoring LeBron James and company 21-14 in the final quarter and tying the series up at two games apiece. The Mavs went on to win the next two games and their first NBA championship.
10. 2010 American League Championship Series Game 6: Rangers beat the Yankees 6-1.
The moment Rangers closer Neftali Feliz struck out Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez to send the Rangers to their first World Series is indelible, a moment of collective happiness for Rangers fans everywhere that may never be rivaled. Even when the Rangers finally win their first World Series, it will be hard to top the joy of that Friday night in Arlington.