Thursday, September 29, 2011
Enjoy golden age of sports in Dallas-Fort Worth
By Eddie Gossage
Is there a better sports market than Dallas-Fort Worth?
I know the ink-stained sportswriting elitists of New York City would scoff and say Gotham is the best. Chicago beat writers would down another bratwurst an tell you Da’ Windy City wins. Boston’s haughty scribes would slam down their glass, wipe the froth from their upper lip and remind that they have Fenway, the Pats and "The Gah-den." The L.A. sports media would hit you back that they, uh, have ... you know ... perfect weather.
But there is simply no contest. None. Give it up for North Texas. We have it all. And it’s not even close. This is the golden age of sports in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Look at the local venues. Look at the local teams. Look at the local colleges. Look at the local events. In no particular order, in the last year we've:
Hosted the World Series.
Won the NBA Finals.
A local university won the Rose Bowl.
Hosted two of America’s biggest NASCAR races.
Staged the Super Bowl.
Put on two of the PGA Tour’s iconic golf tournaments.
Been the site of three college football bowl games in a span of nine days.
Hosted several months of thoroughbred and quarter-horse racing.
Site of local college stadium building boom.
Uniquely promoted twin Indy Car races in one night -- the first time that's been done in 30 years.
Oh ... and our high school football team can beat up your high school football team. That goes without saying.
Part of it are the teams. The Mavericks took their talents to South Beach and slapped LeBron James and the Heat. The Horned Frogs proved bigger than the Big Ten's Badgers in the "Grandaddy of Them All." The Rangers made it to the Fall Classic before falling to the Beard, but "that's the way baseball go."
But a big part of it are the venues. Check your big screen because Cowboys Stadium is a lone star without peer. Texas Motor Speedway is the biggest -- as big as, well, Texas. The local golf tournaments are as venerable as the Colonial and lord over others like Byron himself. Horses simply ought to be racing in Texas at impressive and stately Lone Star Park. The Ballpark in Arlington is a classic throwback. American Airlines Center is home to Mavericks and Stars, yet is big enough to park the locally-based airlines' biggest jets inside.
A few years ago SMU renovated its football stadium, and June Jones finally resurrected the Mustangs to a bowl game victory. TCU's stadium is expanding along with the school's rose garden. The University of North Texas built a new stadium for its Mean Green, complete with wings in the end zone (which we like, even though we don't really know why). And the Cotton Bowl, which no longer hosts the Cotton Bowl, may be prehistoric but it could be the greatest site in college football when it is decorated in burnt orange and crimson right on the 50-yard line.
And did I mention that our high school football team can beat up your high school football team?
So give credit to Cuban and Jerry and Bruton and Nolan and TCU, SMU and UNT and the Colonial and The Byron and the Chickasaw Nation for Lone Star Park and the rest for the great teams, venues and events -- we'll leave Tom Hicks out of this conversation.
Nobody -- not NYC, not Chi-Town, not Boston, not L.A., not St. Louis, not Miami, not Atlanta, not Detroit, not San Fran, not PHX, not Houston, not anybody -- has been on a roll in sports the way Dallas-Fort Worth is right now. If you are a sports fan, this is THE place to be. This is the golden age. This could well be the golden year for sports for any community -- ever.
And you know our high school football team can beat up your high school football team.