Zac Crain is a senior editor at D Magazine. He moved to Dallas in 1997, and since then, he's worked as an editor at the Dallas Observer and American Way, written for Esquire and Spin, ran for Dallas mayor, written a book, and served as "glue guy" for a handful of rec-league basketball squads. Scouting report: can't go right, but he's a creative passer, and semi-accurate set shooter.

Leading Off (7/24/14)

A.C. Gonzalez Explains Why City Repaid More Than $810,000 To HUD, Kind Of. I don’t know, does this make any sense? “He stressed that the funds are not lost, but rather put back into the city’s line of credit for other HUD projects. Though general fund dollars were used to pay back the Project Reconnect money, the groups that ultimately use the funds are typically on the hook for the expenses, he said.”

Chandler Parsons to Bro Out Like Crazy Once He Gets To Dallas. According to this.

Steve Blow Has a Strong Take On Border Situation. Maybe? I mean, I really can’t tell. He’s sort of all over the road. But I can relay the following: there are a lot of paragraphs.

Rangers Trade Joakim Soria. Haven’t really been paying attention, but I gather Soria was the team’s closer. Anyway, since there’s no hope for the team this year, I think they should start having fun with it. Give Evan Grant a few at-bats. Bring back some legends at let them play a little. Raffle off an appearance in the pitching rotation. Whatever.

Full Story

Watch Robert Newhouse Run An Obstacle Course

As Michael mentioned this morning, during what I can only imagine was some sort of fugue state, Dallas Cowboys great Robert Newhouse lost a long battle with heart disease yesterday. I went looking for Robert Newhouse highlights on YouTube, but then found this: Newhouse running an obstacle course as part of the Superteams series, a Battle of the Network Stars-style, made-for-TV contest that pitted that year’s Super Bowl champs against the winner of the World Series. Except, in 1978, George Steinbrenner refused to let the New York Yankees participate, so the Cowboys faced the Kansas City Royals. (An aside: I would 100-percent watch the pants off this if it still existed, because I love stupid, made-up contests.)

The clip is almost 10 minutes long, but you only have to watch the first two, which includes Keith Jackson referring to Newhouse as “a stocky, block-busting, hard-running fellow from Houston,” which he absolutely was, but he was very clearly also — and Jackson could have at least mentioned it — the owner of a glorious head of hair.

Full Story

A Look at Kidd Kraddick’s Show A Year After His Death

If you, like me, enjoy it when the Morning News lets Alan Peppard write something more than recaps of society events and such, you will like this long piece about how the rest of Kidd Kraddick’s morning show crew has carried on since his death last year. (Note: while a lot of design has gone into the layout of the story online, and it looks nice, it can be a bit of a pain to read if your internet connection is slow. But also note I have, like, 40 tabs open, so who knows? Could be on my end. It’s usually on my end.)

Full Story

The Good Guys: A Look Back

Four years ago around this time, you could have tuned into Fox on a Monday night and watched an hour-long action-comedy called The Good Guys, shot in Dallas and set in a semi-accurate but definitely made-for-TV version of Dallas. Prior to its debut in June 2010, I spent some time on the set and wrote several thousand words about the show. Some of those words were dedicated to what The Good Guys could do for our city, both economically and culturally. It could give the city’s rank-and-file members of the TV and film production community steady work and maybe (maybe!) change people’s perception of Dallas, the ideas formed by J.R. Ewing’s various machinations and Chuck Norris doing spinning axe kicks in a cowboy hat.

Well, it didn’t.

Full Story

My Detente With the Avian Kingdom Is At An End

If you read this blog, or our magazine, or follow me on Twitter, you are more than aware I have had — as of late — a bit of a problem with birds. Specifically, owls. The owl situation seems to be under control now, though I assure you, my head remains on a swivel whenever I am outside my house after dark. More troubling, however, is that now the problem has spread to pretty much all birds.

Full Story

Leading Off (7/17/14)

Here Is Pretty Much All You Need to Know Regarding How This Prime Prep Mess Happened. “Members of the State Board of Education, the elected panel charged with authorizing charters, were captivated by [Deion] Sanders’ involvement when Prime Prep came up for approval in fall 2011. Some members asked him to pose for photos and sign autographs before the charter was approved.” Solid hustle, guys.

Funeral Home Director Under Investigation Arrested For Failure To Pay Child Support. On Monday, eight bodies in various states of decomposition were found in the building from which Dondre Johnson and his Johnson Family Mortuary had recently been evicted. Yesterday, Johnson was arrested for failing to pay child support. Good news: he has a few days to salvage this week. Bad news: it still could get worse.

Exoneree Working To Help Exonerate Others. Charlie Scott started House of Renewed Hope in 2010, with fellow exoneree Johnnie Lindsey; Scott served 13 years for a murder he didn’t commit, and Lindsey served 26. They investigate cases, pay for DNA testing, polygraphs, attorney’s fees, and help in whatever other ways they can. Mooney: this is my official dibs on the screenplay rights to this awesome story.

Beagles Rescued From Scientific Experimentation! Their names are Chip and Dale! Look!

Full Story

When Will Someone Put Tim Rogers In His Place?

Look at this smug jerk. Who is typing this sentence and has had about enough of him? Me, that’s who. I’m sure you agree. So many reasons. Here are just a few.

1) He dresses like this every single day. Sunglasses, too. Even if he wasn’t wearing them, he refuses to look anyone in the eye.
2) He’s too good to actually read our blog. Pretty proud of it, really.
3) I can put it in no plainer terms: Tim Rogers of D Magazine hates our troops.

So, when is someone going to come along and put him in his place? I’m sorry I had to air our private business on the blog, but he forced my hand.

Full Story

Dirk Nowitzki Takes Even Bigger Discount, Is The Best

When Dirk Nowitzki agreed — no surprise — to re-sign with the Mavericks, the terms were pegged at three years, $30 million. The “hometown discount,” they call it. Considering that the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers were willing to make him a max offer (which would have been somewhere north of $20 million a year), that was a HUGE bargain. Today, Nowitzki officially signed his contract and the deal is even better: three years, $25 million. He lopped off another $5 million to help facilitate Chandler Parsons’ new deal. He’s the fourth-highest-paid player on the team. The fourth. Do I even have to say it? Okay, why not: I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN.

Full Story

Top Recruit Emmanuel Mudiay Not Coming to SMU After All

Emmanuel Mudiay, who played at the embattled Prime Prep Academy (now its official name), was going to be the player that propelled SMU from on-the-rise program to legit national title contenders. OK, maybe that’s dreaming big. But that certainly was on the table, or at least near it. Not gonna happen now, since Mudiay has decided to skip college and play ball overseas. His statement:

Full Story

Chandler Parsons: A Brief Primer

As you no doubt have heard, unless you skipped Leading Off and/or avoided pretty much every other local media outlet, Chandler Parsons is now officially on the Mavericks. To get you up to speed: here is some context of how it all went down. Here is what coach Rick Carlisle thinks about Parsons’ potential. Here is an example of what the women on my Twitter timeline think about the signing for non-basketball reasons. Also: I wish Parsons would not wear No. 25 with the Mavs, because it reminds of the last/only other time they actually signed a free agent, Erick “Panhands” Dampier.

Full Story

A Message To Dwyane Wade From Zac Crain, Mavs Fan


Full Story

Tesla Maybe, Who Knows, Possibly Sort Of Considering Southern Dallas Factory

The idea is certainly eye-catching and extremely heavily qualified: Tesla might be looking at land in southern Dallas for a new $5 billion battery factory. Would that be huge? Indeed, it would. Tons of jobs, and likely a ton of ancillary development would come along with it, too, because workers need places to eat and live and so on. Good times. Yes, sir. But, OK, hold on, where did this information come from?

Michael Morris, director of transportation for the Regional Transportation Council, said an unidentified site in southern Dallas “may be placed under consideration” for the factory and that additional transportation improvements are needed in the area.

Call me “justifiably skeptical.”

Full Story

Leading Off (7/10/14)

President Obama Meets With Governor Perry, Local Officials. County Commissioner Elba Garcia called the meeting an “exchange of ideas.” President Obama said “Dallas has been incredibly compassionate.” This outstanding photo was taken.

Texas Rangers Now Dead Last In All Of MLB. The team is 38-53, they have lost 18 of their last 21 games, and they’re sitting on a .418 winning percentage. That’s a brutal way for the Rangers’ best stretch in franchise history to end. Let’s just hope it’s an injury-fueled aberration and they’re not on the verge of becoming the 1990s Dallas Mavericks.

DART’s Orange Line to DFW Airport Opens August 18. Awesome. Also would be great if there was a stop on any of the lines near my house, but whatever.

Fort Worth Woman Inadvertently Kills Coyote Pup. That’s what this story should say in the headline, or at least the first paragraph. But, no. You see the photo of the coyote pup. “Ah, that’s pretty cute. I’ll keep reading.” It says a woman found the little coyote behind a restaurant on the way to work and thought it was a dog, whom she named Taco. “Oh, ‘Taco’ — adorable. Let’s see what happens next.” After she took Taco to the animal hospital, two things were learned: 1) Taco was, in fact, a coyote. “Delightful misunderstanding. Could happen to anyone.” And 2) Taco had all the signs of having rabies. “Oh, but — oh, no. No. The only way to test for rabies is — dammit, not Taco!” The story ends, “The only way to test for rabies is to sample the brain tissue, so the coyote was euthanized and will be tested.” THANKS FOR NOTHING, FOX 4.

Full Story