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Why Texas Rangers Fans Need to Root Against the Rangers This Weekend

The Texas Rangers have been having a lousy season. That much you know because you checked out on baseball season back in July, when the team (beset by injuries) collapsed to the bottom of the standings. You probably also heard something about manager Ron Washington resigning because he cheated on his wife.

Fans could take some solace this season in the fact that the Rangers weren’t just playing mediocre baseball — they were terrible, laying claim to the worst record in all of MLB. That meant they were in line to get the No. 1 pick in the 2015 first-year player draft because those selections are awarded to teams in reverse order of their win-loss records from the previous season.

At the time of Washington’s departure, the Rangers’ record stood at 53-87, a .379 win percentage that made them a safe bet to finish with 100 losses, the standard measure in MLB for separating bad seasons from god-awful ones.

Then interim manager Tim Bogar took over, and it all fell apart.

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Mavericks Unveil Alternate Jerseys For 2015-16 Season

The team introduced all (or most, or at least the ones that will actually make the squad) of its offseason acquisitions today. They also unveiled a prototype of the alternate jersey they will wear next season. Why not this season? I think it probably has something to do with NBA uniform rules. I would actually investigate the matter if I was excited about the team wearing these jerseys, but I am not. I am sure the designer, Geoff Case, is a nice enough fella. And this was an interesting idea, crowd-sourcing a new look. But this jersey is so generic. And the colors make think of the Cowboys, not the Mavericks. I don’t like thinking about the Cowboys, ever.

My ex-wife used to do corporate design work, and this reminds me of the end product of a lot of those projects, where a million different people had a billion different suggestions and tweaks, and once they are all incorporated, because they all have to be incorporated, it ends up looking like nothing. It is safe and fake local. It’s a skyline. Whatever.

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Ron Washington Holds Another Press Conference

In the lobby of the Super 8 off South Hampton Road, a corporate securities lawyer that no one recognizes steps up to a lectern. He surveys the crowd, which includes an elderly couple from Shreveport checking in for the night.

UNIDENTIFIED LAWYER

I’d like to thank everyone for coming. Yesterday Ron Washington held a press conference to explain his decision to step down as manager of the Texas Rangers baseball team. This press conference is to answer all the questions left unanswered at the previous press conference, plus some new questions that the aforementioned press conference raised.

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Lee Nguyen’s Journey From Plano To Vietnam To MLS Stardom

I remember first noticing Lee Nguyen a few years ago, when ESPN Magazine ran an infographic listing the highest-paid athletes in every country. Nguyen was the highest-paid athlete in Vietnam, and the note next to his name mentioned he was from here. Through a mutual friend, we ended up talking on the phone, and I had planned on doing a story expanding on what it was like for him to be a star in Vietnam. But shortly after that, he came back to the United States. Which is where this story picks up.

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Ron Washington Resigned Because He Cheated on His Wife

In a press conference this afternoon, Ron Washington finally explained why, on September 5, he stepped down as manager of the Rangers. “I’m embarrassed,” he said, “more than I’ve ever been in my life.” And then he gave us the reason: “I was not true to my wife, after 42 years.”

I guess I really don’t understand this. He resigned because he cheated on his wife? Aside from him, his wife, and the lady he slept with — who cares?

The only thing I can imagine is that his wife told him: “It’s me or baseball. Pick.”

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How Will You Feel When Adrian Peterson Is Playing For The Cowboys Next Season?

1. Adrian Peterson won’t play another down for the Vikings this season, and most likely, because of his contract if nothing else, he won’t play another down for the team, period.

2. The Cowboys are still owned by Jerry Jones. He’s only ever shied away from a player for moral reasons once (Randy Moss) and regretted it ever since. Also, from Don Van Natta Jr.’s celebrated profile:

Then a man taps Jones on the shoulder, says Adrian Peterson wants to say hello and hands over an iPhone. Jones says hi to the Minnesota Vikings’ star running back and listens, nodding but not smiling. “Well, I understand, Adrian,” he says into the phone. The slanted smile returns. “I’d like that, too. … Well, I love your story. I love your daddy’s story. I’ve always respected what you’ve been about. I’ve always been a fan of yours.”

Listening to half the conversation, it is obvious Peterson is telling Jones he wants to play for the Cowboys. Peterson, 29, is in the fourth year of a seven-year, $100 million contract that will pay him $11.75 million this autumn to play for the Vikings.

“Well, we’ll see what we can do, if we can make that happen,” Jones is now saying. “Hmm-hmm. … I’d like that, too. … Well, we’re talking pig Latin here, but let’s see if we can do that.” Jones listens, nods and says again, “We’re talking pig Latin here, but let’s see what we can do about that. OK, Adrian, thanks.”

3. The Cowboys will be coming off another 8-8 season and will need to stay in the headlines.

So, again, how will you feel when Adrian Peterson is playing for the Cowboys next season?

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys

I had an ulterior motive for yesterday’s poll asking who deserves to be the most beloved coach in Dallas sports history. I figured that Tom Landry, longtime coach of your Dallas Cowboys, would win easily. I left him in, and didn’t just make it a contest to find the second-most beloved coach, because I wanted to gauge just how easily. (Answer: extremely)

I knew I’d be announcing this morning that the latest selection in our 40 Greatest Stories series is Peter Gent’s October 1981 article about Landry and his teams of the 1960s and ’70s. Gent, as many of you know, played for the Cowboys for five seasons and went on to a career as a novelist. His first was a semi-autobiographical effort about his pro football career, called North Dallas Forty, and he penned the screenplay for the 1979 film adaptation as well. He died of complications of a pulmonary disease in 2011, at age 69.

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Poll: The Most Beloved Head Coach in Dallas History?

A recent Grantland piece about the abrupt resignation of Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington referred to him as “the most beloved head coach in the history of North Texas sports not named Tom Landry.” Which got me thinking “Really?” And then “Hey, yeah, I guess so, maybe.”

Followed by, since we’re now 25 years on from Landry’s dismissal by Jerry Jones and that first 1-15 season under Jimmy Johnson, “Does St. Landry still mean much to today’s whippersnappers?”

So let’s take a poll. Nominees are the two most successful coaches in each of Dallas’ pro sports teams’ histories, based on overall record and championships.

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Leading Off (9/12/14)

Planners Back Off Tolling Central. The Regional Transportation Council met Thursday, and its members indicated they’re not moving forward with plans to toll some lanes of U.S. Highway 75. Of course, the move comes only after the Texas Transportation Commission, which is in charge of state-owned highways, said it wouldn’t support tolling. And the RTC didn’t actually take any action Thursday and could still move to toll other highways as a funding mechanism to increase traffic capacity throughout North Texas.

Lawsuit Against Jerry Jones May Be Too Late. The statute of limitations on civil claims of sexual assault is five years. The incident at the center of Jana Weckerly’s suit against the Dallas Cowboys owner, which was filed this week, took place five years and 10 weeks ago. But legal experts say Weckerly’s attorneys could argue that she was of unsound mind for more than 10 weeks of that period, or that Jones was out of the state on business for longer than 10 weeks since the alleged crime occurred. Either finding would make it possible for a judge to decide that the case can proceed.

Mineral Wells is Thirsty. The home of Crazy Water is looking for new water sources, as its primary reservoir (Lake Palo Pinto) has dropped from 28 feet to 14 feet in the last six months. If drought conditions don’t improve, the town could run dry by May of next year.

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SMU Coach June Jones To Resign

I don’t know if SMU would have outright fired June Jones during the season. Maybe they wouldn’t have fired him at all. But it can’t really come as a surprise that Jones is stepping down after two games, because SMU lost those two games by a cumulative score of 88-6. And one of those games was against UNT.

When I talked to Jones a couple of years ago, he said, “My biggest thing when I came here was that I wanted to, just like Hawaii, build it so that it could sustain if I wasn’t here.”

His agent, the once-powerful Leigh Steinberg, apparently standing in a full flight suit on an aircraft carrier, tweeted that “June had felt for some time he had accomplished mission to turn around program and needed a break” and it’s like Steinberg has no idea that you type words into a box, hit “send,” and then people can read those words.

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Can We Please Stop Conflating Michael Sam and Josh Brent?

Josh Brent drove drunk, after a previous conviction for doing just that, and was going between 110 mph and 134 mph in an area with a 45-mph speed limit, when he killed his friend and teammate Jerry Brown.

Michael Sam is the first publicly gay player drafted into the NFL.

Both are defensive lineman who have a chance to play for the Dallas Cowboys at some point this season. The comparisons should end there.

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Ron Washington Resigns as Texas Rangers Manager

The Rangers are having a lousy season, but no one really blamed Ron Washington for that. It was the injuries done killed ‘em.

So it comes as a shock today that Wash, who’s managed the club since 2007, has resigned his post in order to address an “off-the-field personal matter.”

His full statement, from the team:

“Today, I have submitted my resignation from the job I love – managing the Rangers – in order to devote my full attention to addressing an off-the-field personal matter.  As painful as it is, stepping away from the game is what’s best for me and my family.

“This is in no way related to the disappointing performance of the team this season. We were already discussing 2015 and looking forward to getting the Rangers back to postseason contention.

“I deeply regret that I’ve let down the Rangers organization and our great fans. Over the past eight seasons, it’s been a privilege to be part of some of the best years in club history and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here, and for the great management, players, and coaches who have made our time here a success.  Thank you for respecting my privacy.”

Tim Bogar is the interim manager.  Here is what Mooney wrote about Washington a few years ago.

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A Game-By-Game Guide To How The Cowboys Miss the Playoffs Again

The Dallas Cowboys will obviously again miss the playoffs and more than likely finish 8-8 in doing so. But how? Read this and save yourself a few hours every week.

Week 1: 49ers — WIN
More of a 49ers loss than a Cowboys win, but whatever. You know who doesn’t see it that way? Jerry Jones and every Cowboys fan, all of whom get way, way too excited about the season’s prospects. “Super Bowl” is mentioned with a straight face. Prevailing sentiment in town: OH MY GOD, ARE THEY REALLY GOING TO DO THIS THING?

Week 2: At Titans — LOSS
Nope.

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D Magazine Intern Lives Out Top Gun Dreams

This Saturday and Sunday, daring aviators from all over the world will perform death-defying maneuvers at the Texas Motor Speedway, the sixth of eight stops in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Instead of watching race cars whiz around an oval track for hours (kind of boring), the crowd on hand will look skyward as planes weave in and out of large pylons only 50-80 feet above the ground at 200-plus miles per hour.

Back in June, Texas native and world-class pilot Kirby Chambliss took me up to give me a taste of the sort of G-forces he and his competitors on the racing circuit must endure. First, an upright flat spin, where the airplane stalls and then descends down. From inside the steel contraption, I couldn’t tell where we were headed next. Up, down, jab right, then left. Why did I sign up for this? I thought to myself. Next we cartwheeled end over end three times, rolling the plane one-and-a-half times per second and then falling backwards at 90 mph. The cockpit filled with smoke from the tail.

My stomach is still in recovery, but it was worth it for the few minutes of getting to feel like Maverick from Top Gun. Check out the video evidence, and if you’re interested in going this weekend, ticket information is right this way.

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