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Making Dallas Even Better

A Pretty Fantastic, Unofficial, Redesigned Mavs Logo

Addison Foote gave himself a challenge: redesign all 30 NBA team logos in 30 days. The result is here, and his reworked and updated takes on the logos are almost all really good (I’m not crazy about the Atlanta one), most with subtle shapes that represent something iconic about the city without screaming and pointing. I really like his throwback Mavs logo, because I’ve always loved the original and have never fallen in love with what the team uses now. “I used both old and new Mavs logos as inspiration for this,” Foote writes. “I based it mainly off the old logo where the ‘M’ is wearing a cowboy hat. I updated it a bit and used negative space to showcase a horses ears and head.”

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Leading Off (10/2/15)

Texas Rangers Clinch Playoff Spot. With a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday, the team secured a spot in Major League Baseball’s postseason. They also sit three games ahead of Houston in the American League West standings, meaning with just one more win or a single Astros lost over the final three games of the regular season, they’ll claim their first division title since 2011. You remember what happened that year, right? The next stage in this remarkable, unexpected season for the Rangers is likely a visit to either Toronto or Kansas City for the first game of the Division Series next Thursday. If the Angels somehow take the final three games against the Rangers and the Astros win out, there’d be a tie atop the AL West. In that case, the Rangers would host a tiebreaker game in Arlington on Monday. The winner of that tiebreaker would advance to the Division Series, and the loser would get to play the Yankees in the Wild Card game.

Neiman Marcus Lays Off 500. The number of corporate and support positions eliminated by the luxury retailer represents 3 percent of its workforce of 16,000. CEO Karen Katz said the job cuts were made to save money that can be used to invest in future growth.

Arlington Family Accused of Faking Mental Illness. 55-year-old Doreen Mitchell, 29-year-old Michael Mitchell, 27-year-old Sonny Mitchell, and 58-year-old John Mitchell are charged with defrauding the Social Security Administration of $462,000 in benefits.

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Leading Off (10/1/15)

Susan Hawk to return to work today. Today´s the day that a lot of people have wondered about. Will Dallas County DA Susan Hawk be at her desk and ready to work? The past nine months have been troublesome for her and others—only time will tell if she regains her footing.

MACARTHUR high school bomb threat turns out to be hoax. Yesterday, Irving´s MacArthur High School was evacuated due to a bomb threat. After officers searched the building and came up empty-handed, they allowed the students to return. No word yet on who called in the threat. With the Ahmed saga, MacArthur High has had a month.

Police investigate possible kidnapping of teenage girl in Arlington. Yesterday evening, a teenage girl reported that men in a dark blue SUV had tried to kidnap her while she was jogging. Police are still investigating the whereabouts of these men.

National soccer hall of fame museum to come to frisco. The U.S. Soccer Federation and FC Dallas announced yesterday that Frisco will be home to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Museum by 2017. More details to come at a news conference on October 14. Soccer!

Now Is the Time for Dallas to Pounce on a Rangers Relocation to Downtown

Tarrant County is getting nervous about losing the Texas Rangers.

Over the weekend, there was a story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about how the Rangers, who began the season in miserable shape, have turned in a remarkable second half of the season, running their way up the standings and currently sitting 1.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros in first place of the American League West. And yet despite the storybook season, the Rangers are pulling terrible attendance numbers. That doesn’t bode well for Arlington as the team mulls their options ahead of the expiration of their stadium lease in 2024:

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Let Me, Zac Crain, Play QB For the Cowboys

First, a few caveats. I’m 41. I haven’t played football since I was a sophomore in high school, and I missed most of that season due to a really nasty illness that required surgery, and when I did play it wasn’t quarterback. I played, very sparingly, center and defensive tackle, and honestly I wasn’t great at either. (I preferred — and was actually decent at — basketball.)

Also, I’m left-handed, and so all the formations and plays will have to be adjusted to reflect that.

Furthermore, I don’t have a “prototypical QB body,” either. I’m 6 feet tall and of average build. Actually, that’s not a caveat. I’m taller than Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, so forget that. But, physically, yes, I do have some issues: I’ve got creaky knees, one ankle that is just this side of fictional, and an inherited tire fire of a back that has been going out on me since I was 18.

I also can’t throw too well. Not in terms of accuracy, or distance. I mean, I can throw, OK? But basically you’re going to have to just rip any sideline outs or deep passes right out of the playbook.

Also, I don’t have a passion for the sport. As I mentioned before, I prefer basketball, and after that soccer, and after that The Challenge on MTV. But I do watch football. Some. I mean, I’m not going to freak out if my Sunday takes me away from the games.

OK, and I have a demand for perfection that sometimes rubs my co-workers the wrong way, and that may be a problem if my co-workers are 300 pounds.

Now that all that is out of the way, here is my case: I’m available, I’m cheap, my clavicle bones are in perfect working order, I’ve never lost an NFL game, I definitely won’t be out hunting for my own stats, I already live here, I’m interested in a new career challenge, and I’m friendly with all the sports radio hosts that matter. You probably could use someone who can run a charm offensive right now.

And it’s not like I’m asking to play defense. That would just be dumb.

Chris Kyle Fans’ Corny Homage to the American Sniper

You remember Chris Kyle, right? Of course you do. He’s the American Sniper. He’s a modern-day folk hero. He was honored on the Cowboys star. He is beloved by people who go to Patriot Tour events, which are sort of like DigiTour for people who crush on ammo. Our own Michael J. Mooney wrote the book on Kyle. Sure, Kyle wrote a book on Kyle, but Mike’s is the book because Kyle’s book is filled with lies.

Mike’s article on Kyle is still one of the most read things on this website. That’s because people love Chris Kyle. But no one loves Kyle more than this guy in Walton County, Georgia, who turned a corn field into a labyrinthine homage to the Navy Seal sniper who is said to have killed more people in combat than any other sniper in U.S. history.

“We are not only honoring Chris Kyle but we are honoring all men and women who have served and are serving our great country,” [Corn Dogs Adventure Park] said on its Facebook page.

The maze opens today, if you’re itching for a road trip. In its own way, this thing is amazing. I mean, can you think of a more appropriate way to pay tribute to Kyle than getting lost in a tangle of out-sized and out-of-context patriotic messaging?

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Leading Off (9/18/15)

Rangers Sweep the Astros. Texas beat slumping Houston, 8-2, on Thursday night behind a six-inning effort from Colby Lewis and a three-run homer by Mitch Moreland. The win expands the team’s American League West division lead to 2.5 games with 16 left to play (including another three-game series in Houston next weekend). The overachieving Rangers are getting hot at the right time and now boast an 84-percent chance of making the playoffs, a 55.6-percent shot of winning the division outright, and a 100-percent chance of winning the World Series, according to every fan walking out of the Globe last night.

Ahmed Sucked Into ‘Viral Vortex.’ That’s how the Morning News describes the onslaught of media attention the Irving teenager arrested for building a clock has endured in the last couple days.  Here’s hoping he’s soon raking in some of that sweet, sweet ‘Alex From Target’ money.

North Texas Giving Day Raises $33.1 Million. The annual binge-donating effort for area nonprofits yesterday received 118,667 donations from 71,743 donors on behalf of 2,022 organizations. It’s a record. Give yourselves a pat on the back, everybody.

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How Are the Texas Rangers in Playoff Contention?

Back in April, no one gave the Texas Rangers much of a chance of making the playoffs this year. I wrote that a lot would have to break right for the team to even finish in third place. My bold prediction was a 76-win season.

Well, after last night’s victory over the Astros — and with 19 games left to play — the Rangers have already tallied 76 wins. They sit in second place, only a half-game out of first. Beating Houston tonight puts them atop the American League West standings. Take a gander at this line graph, which represents a season-long view of the playoff odds for each team in that division, according to FanGraphs:

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Leading Off (9/11/15)

Hinojosa to Get Dallas ISD Super’s Job. To the surprise of no one, interim district superintendent Michael Hinojosa is likely to be named the lone finalist to keep the gig permanently. DISD board president Eric Cowan said last night that’s what he expects to happen at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon. Hinojosa, who was previously superintendent from 2005 to 2011 before jumping ship to take a job in Georgia, has been back in the saddle for the last two months following the resignation of Mike Miles.

Jerry Jones Gets Second Hip Replaced. Indications are the Dallas Cowboys owner is recovering well after surgery last Friday, about six weeks after having his other hip overhauled. There’s no indication that Arlington voters were required to kick in half the cost.

Hall Arts Brings New Light Show to Downtown. Add the Arts District building to the growing list of structures that are Las Vegas-fying the Dallas skyline.

WARNING: Mid-Life Crisis Man in Uptown. The neighborhood’s walkable live-work-play environment is attracting a “new generation of renters.” Twenty-somethings are advised to be on the look out for older fellows who dress and style their hair like John Tesh, boast about how many people they can crowd onto their apartment balconies, and are known to be afflicted by goose bumps whenever seeing all that’s on display at Whole Foods. While unconfirmed, the scent of patchouli and the frequent playing of the trendiest world music are other possible warning signs.

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Rick Carlisle Believes He Can Fly

Rick Carlisle, the coach of the Dallas Mavericks, apparently owns a pretty sweet 26-foot-long Cirrus SR22 turbo plane, which generally starts at about $360,000. And the coach has been learning how to fly. According to this ESPN story, from Tim MacMahon, Carlisle has logged around 180 hours of flying time — all in the offseason and during breaks. He’s preparing for his next ratings test.

Most of the ESPN story is about all the safety precautions the coach takes, from his pre-takeoff checklist to the people he hired to train him to the rocket-propelled parachute attached to the entire plane (it has reportedly saved over 100 lives already). One other precaution he takes: he won’t fly with his wife and daughter.

“In due time, they’ll come up,” Carlisle says, “but I’m going to make sure I do all the work and have the appropriate ratings. It’ll happen when it happens. Donna and Abby are looking forward to doing it at the right time. I haven’t determined that it’s the right time yet.”

Leading Off (9/4/15)

Dallas Police Seek Sugar Daddies. The department announced Thursday, in conjunction with private group Safer Dallas, that it has launched a $2 million fundraising campaign to build a “reality-based training center.” Which has me wondering whether all current police training is conducted in a fantasy realm, like D&D. How do you suppose Chief Brown rates as a Dungeon Master?

Police Also Seek Jeep Cherokee. The vehicle is of interest in relation to Wednesday’s Uptown murder, in which 35-year-old dentist Kendra Hatcher was killed in the garage of her apartment building on Cedar Springs Road.

Booker T. Teacher Charged With Improper Relationship. Alexander Simon, 26, was arrested for doing something he shouldn’t have been doing with a 17-year-old female student at his Carrollton home in May.

Horned Frogs Top Gophers. TCU’s footballers beat Minnesota, 23-17, in their season opener, but the fact that the game was a tight one late had some questioning whether they deserve their No. 2 ranking.

Cowboys Win Final Dress Rehearsal. The score was 21-14 over the Houston Texans. Dallas’ first real game is Sept. 13 against the New York Giants.

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Video: Watch Elvis Andrus Steal Home

File this under “reasons Zac may have to start watching the Rangers.” Your Texas Rangers, you may have noticed, are in close contention for the post season, sitting three games out of first place in the west and currently holding the second wild card spot in the American League. They have won eight of their last eleven games, including beating the San Diego Padres last night 8-6. In the seventh inning, Elvis Andrus — the guy best known for clowning Adrian Beltre — pulled off one of the rarest feats in baseball, a straight steal of home. How rare? It was the first time a Ranger stole home since 2000.

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Frisco the Frontrunner to Get Soccer Hall of Fame

The Washington Post reports as much. The U.S. Soccer Federation is still negotiating a deal with the city of Frisco and Hunt Sports Group, which would provide funding to build the 15,000-square-foot project, likely in the same complex as Toyota Stadium, home to FC Dallas.

The site’s draw of thousands of youth players and their players to events like the Dallas Cup and the Hunt family’s long ties to soccer are cited as reasons Frisco is proving an attractive site. The previous hall of fame was in Oneonta, N.Y. but went out of business five years ago.

Will it prove more or less of a draw than the Bowling Hall of Fame in Arlington?

UT Dallas Prof Finds that NFL Players Get Arrested for Violent Crimes

A recent study out of UT Dallas finds that NFL players don’t get arrested all that often, when compared to their civilian peers. “There’s a perception that the NFL has this huge crime problem and that it’s longstanding. That’s what everybody believes,” Alex Piquero, the UT Dallas prof, said in a release. “The data show that it’s not true.” Aha! But the data do show that NFL players get arrested for violent crimes more than their civilian peers. Which led the Huffington Post to go with the clickbait headline “Why Aren’t We Talking About What This Study Discovered About NFL Violence?” We haven’t been talking about NFL players committing violent crimes? Kinda feels like we have.

The FIFA Scandal and Its Connection to Dallas

An alert FrontBurnervian has brought Aaron Davidson to my attention, and now I bring him to yours. The Miami New Times published a story today about Davidson, who has described himself as a “Tex-Mex-Costa Rican Jew.” He grew up in Dallas, went to Greenhill, got his law degree from SMU. Now he’s caught up in the FIFA corruption scandal. Here’s how New Times put it:

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