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Making Dallas Even Better

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 (5/2/16)

Body Found on Central Expressway. All southbound lanes of Central were shut down last night after DPD responded to a fatality accident near Lemmon Avenue. Details are unclear but according to this, Sr. Cpl. Demarquis Black didn’t think the body was in a vehicle.

Stars Split First Two In Second Round. They fought back to tie the Blues in the third period yesterday, but a power play in the OT period took them down. Now it’s on to St. Louis, a phrase no one ever likes to say.

Another Attack in Oak Lawn. This one — a man out walking his dog early Saturday says he was called a gay slur and slammed to the ground — is the 17th since September.

11-Year-Old Kidnapped, Escapes During Attempted Rape. Corrine Allen Dunn, 34, allegedly lured the girl into his apartment. He was arrested Saturday afternoon. Good lord.

Plane Lands In Plano Backyard. A single-engine Mooney M20 was trying to land at the Air Park-Dallas airport, en route from Lubbock, when the pilot lost control. The pilot wasn’t hurt, and no one on the ground was either. I’m sure someone in the neighborhood got some good ‘grams out of it.

Cowboys Draft Players. One was Jaylon Smith, the Notre Dame linebacker who probably would have gone at the top of the draft if his knee wasn’t turned into pulled pork in his last college game, and who some think might not actually play again. There were also some others.

FC Dallas Has Another Road Disaster. When FCD has lost this season, and it’s not been often, it’s been ugly. But they’re still tied for first in the league, and Kellyn Acosta made the USMNT’s 40-man preliminary roster for Copa America.

A Little Bit of Blackie Sherrod’s Greatness

As Jason noted this morning in Leading Off, legendary writer Blackie Sherrod passed away yesterday afternoon. I remember reading his “Scattershooting” column in the Morning News when I was a kid, and while that was great, it was only a little bit of what Sherrod did. For a little more, here is “A Legend In His Own Mind,” which not too long ago appeared on our list of the 40 Greatest Stories in D Magazine history.

Once Again, the Art Ball Leaves the DMA Looking Not Great

Well, at least a crane didn’t crash into the facade this time and workers didn’t smash up the stairs and it appears as though the trees are gonna be OK. Probably. But, of course, after being covered by a floor in an ad hoc tent that had all manner of fancy people dancing or whatever on it, the front lawn looks like — and this is an industry term, so try not to get confused — garbage. I’m sure it’s the only site that makes sense and it’s worth the time and effort to revive the grass. I’m just a simple carpenter. What do I know about anything? I mean, in this case. Obviously, I know a lot about a lot of things, including street-crew-based dance movies, the numerical history of the Dallas Mavericks’ roster, and the various smells of downtown Dallas.

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Four Things That Should Be Renamed For Ron Kirk Instead of the Continental Pedestrian Bridge

The city council’s Transportation and Trinity River Project Committee will be briefed this week about the latest item to come off the assembly line at the city’s bad idea factory: renaming the Continental Pedestrian Bridge after former mayor — and guy who supports a plan that would cause 85 feet of the bridge to be torn down — Ron Kirk. I get the impulse to try to slap someone’s name on pretty much whatever as a way of honoring them. But there are better ideas. What are they? So glad you asked.

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Leading Off (4/25/16)

Film Critic Dies In Hit-And-Run. Gary Murray, president of the North Texas Film Critics Association, was crossing the intersection at Mockingbird and Central, after doing some interviews as part of his Dallas International Film Festival coverage. A car made a right at Mockingbird without stopping, hit Murray, and kept going. Murray was taken to Baylor, where he died. He was 53.

Johnny Manziel Expected to Be Indicted Today. The charge — stemming from an incident with his then-girlfriend, who claimed Manziel hit her, dragged her by the hair, and forced her into a car — will be misdemeanor assault with bodily injury.

Assault Allegation Against John Wiley Price Heads to Grand Jury. George Nash, a staffer for Dwaine Caraway, says the county commissioner choked him during the infamous scuffle between Caraway and Price as the Democratic primary neared. And, of course, at some point later this year, Price will face corruption charges in federal court.

Vehicle Found in Haltom City With Two Passed-Out Parents and Two Young Kids. Police are investigating what caused the parents to be unconscious; the kids, ages 2 and 4, are with their grandparents. Don’t want to go too far out on a limb but I think Occam’s razor plays here.

Stars Move On To Second Round. Somehow the Stars were able to outlast a team and a city playing for Prince and won a wild one against the … Wild to advance, and your boy is dangerously close to watching some hockey.

Mavs On Brink of Elimination. Dirk gave it everything he had, but the Mavs just didn’t have the horses on Saturday night against a deeply unpleasant OKC squad. They play Game 5 tonight, but it’s probably going to take some sort of miracle to even bring the series back to Dallas, given their injury sitch. If nothing else, I have built a garage apartment in my heart for Ray Felton and Salah Mejri.

FC Dallas Loses Its Second. Like the 5-0 blowout to Houston earlier, the 3-0 loss to the struggling Vancouver Whitecaps was another head-scratcher. But Mauro Diaz played for the first time in five games, so that’s one positive. I’d tell you more but I was having chicken parm at Gordo’s and so I wasn’t able to watch.

Tomorrow Is Mavs Skip Day

You shouldn’t really need any excuse to go to a Mavs playoff game, especially after Monday’s game, which almost legitimately killed me. But since tomorrow’s game has an early 6 p.m. start time, and not everyone keeps the banker’s hours I do, you might need an excuse to actually get to the game in time. The team has a lot of things planned pre-game, starting around 4 (see below), so you should probably get your story straight right now.

Here are a few excuses you are more than welcome to use. Just remember not to be wearing Mavs gear when you drop ’em on your boss.

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A Guide To Naming Things After Politicians

We’ve been talking all morning about the revelation that there is a movement afoot to rename the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge after Ron Kirk. Which is obviously a pretty bad idea. But then I realized that no one had put together a comprehensive guide to naming things after politicians. Can you guess what happened next? Reader, I made that guide myself, and because I know you are always on the go, I put it in chart form.

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Leading Off (4/18/16)

Flash Flood Warning In Effect Until Tuesday Morning. It feels like we just did this. Yesterday morning, I took my son to breakfast and almost got caught in high water on Garland Road. I went to McKinney in the afternoon and saw approximately a dozen wrecks on the way, so please be careful out there. People in Wylie can’t get a dang break. Also of note: the Trinity is expected to crest around 35.9 feet midday today.

Undercover Officer, Robber Exchange Gunfire. An officer in an unmarked car was approached by a robber early Saturday morning near a supermarket on Columbia Avenue. Guns were drawn. The officer wasn’t hurt. The suspect fled on foot.

World’s Largest Diamond Retailer Moving To Dallas. Signet Jewelers is developing a 250,000-square-foot campus at Cypress Waters.

Stars Up 2-0. And they could go up 3-0 tonight in Minnesota. I won’t act like I watched, but I can’t swear I won’t bandwagon the pants off this thing if they keep going like this. No one bandwagons like Zac Crain, and you can take that to the bank.

Mavs Fold Like a Pair of Pants. I will link to no highlights or recap, only this. The Mavs playoff opener against the Thunder was brutal start to finish, and it theoretically could get worse: J.J. Barea is out tonight after aggravating his groin injury, Deron Williams is doubtful with a sports hernia, David Lee is still out, so is Chandler Parsons, no one other than Dirk can shoot right now, and OKC is not getting worse I don’t think. They did good getting this far, but I don’t see any more wins coming.

FC Dallas Stays Unbeaten at Home. After giving up a first half goal to visiting Sporting Kansas City on a corner, Michael Barrios leveled on a feed from Maxi Urruti, and then sub Mauro Rosales put them ahead with a beautiful free kick. Mauro Diaz missed his fourth straight with a hamstring injury, but other than that, it’s been a fantastic start for FCD, now sitting on top of the league table

Your 2016 Dallas Mavericks’ Playoff Guide

Last night, the Mavericks — who were actually trying, or should have been — lost to the San Antonio Spurs’ JV squad, at home. Yes, they were missing J.J. Barea and Devin Harris, in addition to Chandler Parsons, out for the rest of the season after knee surgery. And David Lee left the game early with a heel injury. But still. Not a great way to head into the playoffs.

Even if they took care of business and smoked the Spurs like a Pecan Lodge brisket, it wouldn’t have really mattered. Portland won and Memphis lost, so the Mavs were going to finish with the No. 6 seed and a first-round matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder no matter what. But still. A little momentum going into Saturday’s game against the Thunder and who knows what might happen?

Well, probably not much.

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Who Would You Rather the Mavericks Face In the Playoffs?

I’ll be here tomorrow looking back at the Mavericks’ season so far and ahead to the first round of the playoffs. But first, there is one more game to play, tonight, against a “San Antonio” “Spurs” squad that will not feature a single starter or player of any real consequence. I don’t remember all the scenarios in play, but the team could finish as high as No. 5 (which would mean facing the Los Angeles Clippers) or as low as No. 7 (and play the actual Spurs).

So, real fast, who would you rather have the Mavs’ first round opponent? Let’s go down the list.

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Leading Off (4/11/16)

Jordan Spieth Quadruple Bogeys 12th Hole, Loses Masters. Oh, man. Oh, man. Oh, man. Wow. Jordan Spieth had been leading the Masters the entire way, though he started looking shaky with bogeys on 10 and 11. And then the par-3 12th came and — oh, man. Unbelievable. I started watching on No. 11 — I was frustrated with the Mavs game; they lost to the Clips and still need one win to make the playoffs — so I got there just in time to see him buckle like a belt. Spieth rallied a bit, but it was pretty much over then and there. The green jacket ceremony was brutal. The memes are plentiful. Easing you in with that one, because this next story is rough.

Dallas CPS Absolutely Failed Leiliana Wright. The 4-year-old was found beaten to death on March 13. CPS was contacted on her behalf on January 4. By its rules, Claudell Banks, the assigned caseworker, should have checked on Leiliana and her 2-year-old brother within 72 hours. It took 36 days. The entire case was handled just as poorly. I’m gonna go walk around for a bit.

Brenda Delgado Captured in Mexico. The dental hygienist, on the run for months, is believed to have orchestrated a hit on Kendra Hatcher, a dentist who was dating Delgado’s ex-boyfriend. Delgado had planned to surrender on Saturday, but she was found on Friday instead. She is awaiting extradition in a Mexico City jail.

Stars Clinch Top Seed in Western Conference. Their playoff series against the Minnesota Wild starts Thursday at the AAC.

20-Year-Old Nomar Mazara Has Big Debut. Three hits, including a homer. Pretty solid.

FC Dallas Earns Come-From-Behind Draw. If FC Dallas has any issues so far, it is getting its defense in order in the early going. It let them down in both halves on Saturday night. But they hung around and earned a point, behind a Tesho Akindele penalty and a San Jose own goal.  They are now one point behind Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake. Still plenty of time to get onboard.

A D Magazine Guess-tigation: How Many Points Will Dirk Nowitzki Have When His Career Ends?

After one meeting this morning and before another, I noticed this tweet from Mavs fan and photographer Andi Harman. If you live such a go-go lifestyle that you don’t have time to click that link, I’ll summarize. Ms. Harman goes on record with her prediction that Dirk Nowitzki will finish his career with more total points than the late Wilt Chamberlain. As of right this very moment, Wilt has 31,419 points and Dirk has 29,408. I happen to agree with Andi, but I got to wondering: how many points will Dirk actually finish with before he retires?

To try to come up with an answer, I had to follow the trail to some pretty dark places. That’s right. I had to use math.

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A Few Observations on Wrestlemania

As I mentioned this morning, I attended Wrestlemania 32 at AT&T Stadium last night. I was not there to review the show (look over at FrontRow for that) — I won tickets in a raffle at a benefit concert a couple of months ago, and took my 12-year-old kid — so I didn’t take any notes. As such, this is not an actual review. Just a few stray thoughts about the experience that stuck in my head.

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