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Could Nancy Lieberman Become Head Coach of the Sacramento Kings?

The NBA’s Sacramento Kings are reportedly unhappy with their head coach after a poor start to the season, and already looking around for someone to take over.

Slate takes a blind look at the resumes of five current NBA assistant coaches  and argues that “Candidate E” has the strongest case:

Candidate E

  • Earned a position on the USA national team as a senior in high school
  • Medaled in the Olympics as a player
  • 4-year collegiate player, 3-time All-American, 2-time National Player of the Year, 3-time national champion
  • Former professional player
  • Inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame
  • 4 years of professional head coaching and general manager/executive experience
  • Television studio and game analyst for professional basketball on regional and national networks
  • In 1st season as an NBA assistant coach

Candidate E is Plano’s own Nancy Lieberman, who talked about her current gig as a Kings assistant on our EarBurner podcast back in August. Bleacher Report is saying that Lieberman is, in fact, the favorite of the Kings owner to take over the team on an interim basis if they fire current head coach George Karl.

Leading Off (11/18/15)

Hillary Clinton Comes to Dallas. She attended a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser before a rally where she gave a speech that took swipes at both Bernie Sanders (on healthcare) and Greg Abbott (on a lot of things). On Texas taking in Syrian refugees, she said: “We can’t act as though we’re shutting the doors to people in need without undermining who we are as Americans.”

Zoo Wants 18 Elephants from Swaziland. The Dallas Zoo says the animals face “certain death” in Africa, and has applied for permits to bring them to the U.S. They say moving the elephants is vital to the survival of the nearly extinct black rhino.

Aryan Brother Kingpin Gets Life in Solitary Confinement. Tarrant County prosecutors were pushing to get James Byrd moved to a state prison — as opposed to federal prison — where policy allows for prisoners to be held in solitary confinement on the basis of gang affiliation. Prosecutors also say Byrd once stabbed a man 37 times in the face, and that isn’t even close to the most disturbing thing he’s accused of doing.

Police Looking for Woman Suspected of Robbing Two Banks. Both robberies happened within a week or so in October, and both banks are in Oak Cliff. She apparently has a scar on the right side of her face that begins at her lip and ends at her hair line, which will probably factor into a nickname if she robs more banks.

Jeff Banister is the AL Manager of the Year. It went down pretty much exactly as Jason predicted a week ago, for mostly the same reasons.

Tony Romo Looks to Major League to Motivate Dallas Cowboys

When I read the headline a little while ago that “Cowboys’ Tony Romo tweets video from Major League” to spur his 2-7 teammates to a stunning comeback, I hoped to discover that the clip in question was this one, so that I’d have an excuse to create the image above.

That wasn’t it. It was this one:

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Would This Have Been A Worse Season For the Cowboys?

In May, I predicted that the Cowboys would go 1-13-2. If you’re not used to reading sports standings, that is one win against 13 losses and two ties. Given what a cannonball into a pool filled with broken glass the 2015 campaign has been thus far, as I asked in the headline, would 1-13-2 have been a worse season for the Cowboys?

Pros: According to this, no team has ever tied twice in a season since overtime was instituted in 1974, which was also the year I and this magazine were born — a pretty good year, all told. Since I don’t think anyone is ever beating that, the Cowboys would have a permanent place in the NFL record book, alongside the mark it set in 1996 — most players to wear a full-length mink to a grand jury hearing. Plus, all those forfeits! So, still terrible but you’re getting something memorable in the exchange.

Cons: No one wants to forfeit that many games in a season, no matter what. I don’t even know why we’re discussing it. This is dumb. Who brought this up, anyway? Jeez.

Leading Off (11/13/15)

Dez Bryant Blasts the Media. The Dallas Cowboys receiver’s locker-room tirade on Thursday took issue with recent coverage by reporters, which led to a heated exchange with ESPN Dallas’ Jean-Jacques Taylor over a column Taylor had written. During the incident, Bryant claims that Taylor used the n-word in reference to him, while other reporters present say that Taylor didn’t. Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple and head coach Jason Garrett had to step in to calm their player down. Bryant tweeted after the brouhaha:

Denton Voters File Recall Petition. Residents upset with Denton Councilman Joey Hawkins’ vote in June to repeal the city’s fracking ban — a step the city council took after the Texas Legislature nullified the ban — turned in 125 signatures calling for Hawkins’ removal from office. Because Hawkins was re-elected in May with only about 300 votes, petitioners need to certify only 76 signatures to force a recall election. A similar effort is also under way to remove another council member who voted to repeal the ban, Kevin Roden (aka the would-be Savior of Sriracha).

Planes Report Laser Strikes. For the second straight evening, three pilots reported that some jerk southeast of Love Field was pointing a laser at their aircraft. A Dallas Police helicopter was dispatched to try to find the offender, but that effort was unsuccessful.

First-Grader Brings Guns to School. Don’t worry, the Little Elm boy did it accidentally. See, he’d picked up his dad’s backpack in the morning instead of his own. Apparently the kid’s backpack is identical to his dad’s. And his dad’s backpack contained the guns in preparation for a hunting trip. And the dad’s backpack with guns was in a place readily accessible to his son. Yeah, so forget what I just said: You should worry. We all should.

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Greg Hardy’s Lawyer: ‘Nicole Holder Tripped and Fell’

Deadspin just published the 126-page transcript of Greg Hardy’s NFL meeting that reinstated the player. Deadspin’s summary of how that meeting went: “At the hearing, Hardy’s private defense attorney was given license to present his version of events in an essentially non-adversarial process. He used the sex lives of Holder and Kristina Laurence, the principal witness for the state, to attack them and their credibility; claimed that Holder merely slipped and fell; and suggested that the judge at Hardy’s bench trial was uniquely biased against Hardy.” Just bananas.

Why Jeff Banister Will Win the American League Manager of the Year Award

In an unsurprising development, Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister was yesterday named a finalist to win the American League Manager of the Year award, which is bestowed annually by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. The voting took place at the conclusion of the season, prior to the playoffs, so the results are already known to whomever tabulates these things for the BBWAA. “Finalist” means that Banister was among the top three vote-getters. The winner will be revealed Nov. 17.

I say this news is unsurprising because the Manager of the Year award nearly always goes to the head coach of whichever club most exceeded its preseason expectations. Why? Because we really have no better way of evaluating the performance of a baseball manager. He never throws a pitch. He never steps into the batter’s box. He’s not nearly as involved personally from play to play, the way an NFL coach is. Most of the time, he’s just sending the next guy up to bat and hoping for the best.

There are certainly ways to pick apart a manager’s in-game decisions, like lineup construction, pitching changes, and use of bench players. But Ned Yost has been roundly (and rightly) criticized on all these fronts at times, and his Kansas City Royals just won the World Series. So who knows?

Most of the writers expected Toronto and Kansas City — which posted the best win-loss records in the AL in 2015 — to be good this year, which likely is why John Gibbons and Yost didn’t make the cut.

Instead Banister’s competitors are A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros and Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins. Here’s why I like his chances.

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Leading Off (11/11/15)

Anachronistic Bandit Terrorizes Fort Worth Horse Riders. Fort Worth police are looking for a man who has been hiding along riding paths, then jumping out and sticking up riders at gunpoint. Police say the suspect has struck at least four times in the last two months. Two men have been shot during the robberies. “It sounds like he has no care for anybody,” said one of the victims.

Arlington Says No to New Fracking. The city council there voted last night to deny a new oil and gas lease to Vantage Energy, the company responsible for a spill in April that involved tens of thousands of gallons of fracking water leaked into local creeks and sewers. Council members were apparently most bothered by the fact that it took the company two hours to call 911 after the spill.

Charles Barkley Thinks You Should Give Greg Hardy a Chance. “I believe that there are way too many black men we’ve just thrown away,” the basketball legend wrote for Bleacher Report. “Shouldn’t we get him some help, instead of kicking him out of the NFL? Shouldn’t we do everything possible to prevent it from happening again?”

U.S. Soccer Association Wants to Ban Headers for Kids. Citing concussion risks, the Frisco-based organization wants to ban headers for kids 10 and under, and limit them through age 13. Experts say it’s not the heading, per se, that causes the danger, but rather the risk of two heads colliding. (Disclosure: I had two diagnosed concussions playing soccer as a teenager. I wouldn’t recommend it.)

Stars and Mavericks Both Lose to Terrible Teams. A late third-period goal gave the last-place Toronto Maple Leafs the win over the first-place Stars. The middling Mavericks were never really in the game against the previously winless New Orleans Pelicans. Not a great showing.

How FC Dallas Can Advance On Sunday

FC Dallas lost Sunday night to the Sounders in Seattle 2-1. They meet again Sunday night at Toyota Stadium. One team will advance. You may not understand exactly how the MLS playoffs work, and that’s OK. If you’re used to how the postseason works in almost any other sport — at least in the U.S. of A. — a two-game, home-and-home series might seem weird.

This should help explain things. If you don’t have two minutes (which, come on), basically FCD needs to win by at least one goal while not allowing the Sounders to score two or more. So, 1-0 or 2-1 or something along those lines. #DTID

Dallas Wings Is A Dumb Name, and the Logo Is Also Not Good

Jason mentioned yesterday that the Tulsa Shock have officially moved to Arlington and are now known as the Dallas Wings. The team also unveiled its new logo. Before I go on: it’s awesome that the area finally has a WNBA franchise and I sincerely hope it does well and that people support them.

THAT SAID, I don’t dig anything about the new name or logo, so the franchise is off to a bad start. Dallas Wings is crazy generic, and put together with a clip-art logo, the whole thing looks and sounds like a gentleman’s club out by the airport that’s always really empty. It’s like a bad sports bar in Mesquite that oddly doesn’t even serve wings. It’s the name of the cycling group that is always mad-dogging cars in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven by the spillway and sweatily (and honestly kind of chubbily) crowding the entrance. It’s a fake Chili’s fast casual joint at 635 and Greenville with a Bud Light poster from the 2012 NFL season by the doorway.

Counterpoint: It definitely reminds me of being in Arlington.

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Sorry, Arlington. The ‘Dallas Wings’ Will Play in the WNBA

The team formerly known as the Tulsa Shock will play on the University of Texas at Arlington campus starting next season. Instead of opting for a name with stronger ties to the municipality in which they’ll be playing — the Arlington Vandergriffs has a nice ring to it — the ownership decided to embrace the international brand power of Dallas, even co-opting a version of the Pegasus for their logo and name.

Is this decision surprising to anyone?

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Is AT&T Trying to Ruin Jordan Spieth?

What’s it like to become so famous that a huge corporation — a corporation, mind you, that doesn’t sell golf equipment, nor operate golf courses, nor really count at all on golf-generated revenue streams — builds a mosaic featuring your likeness in downtown Dallas’ Main Street Garden, using 24,152 golf balls?

This sort of deification can’t be healthy for a 22-year-old.

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How We Can Still Save the Half-Built Trinity River Project

That photo above is a Google maps shot of a house that sits on the corner of Marlborough Ave. and Davis St. in Oak Cliff. It has more or less looked like that for the better part of five years. The house is the ultimate DIY project. As Rachel Stone reported in the Oak Cliff Advocate earlier this year, Ricardo Torres bought the house in 2008 and set about building his dream home. Torres is a crafty guy. He started from scratch with a plan for a two story home. Then he realized that if he added a third story, he could have a downtown view. You know what would also be cool? A game room. So he tacked on one of those, and the house grew like a drawing in a Dr. Seuss book.

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