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Leading Off (8/29/16)

| 1 hour ago

Tony Romo Breaks Back, Again. Romo has an L1 compression fracture, which should leave him on the sidelines for six to 10 weeks (but maybe it should be for good — don’t be a hero, Tony). But Jason Garrett has refused to rule him out of the season over, which, come on, my dude. Romo is in a back brace. He’s had tons of back problems before. He’s 36. It’s now or never for him and the team. Don’t act like he’s going to play, and for God’s sake, don’t actually play him. Let’s just get going with the Dak puns.

Fried Jell-O, Cookie Fries Take Top Honors at Big Tex Choice Awards. Fried Jell-O won Best Taste, while Cookie Fries came away with Most Creative. If any TV news station needs someone to do a “how do they come up with stuff???” face, I do a pretty good one. It has more to do with your nose than you’d think. Don’t forget the nose when you’re making a face. It’s like the offensive tackle — it makes everything else work.

Rangers, FC Dallas Stay On Top. In better sports news: behind a strong performance from Derek Holland, the Rangers took down the Indians 2-1 to win the series between the division leaders. And after falling behind early in Houston, FC Dallas had a flurry of second-half goals (one on this insane 60-yard pass from Maynor Figueroa to Michael Barrios) to win 3-1 and pull five points clear of their rivals for the Supporters’ Shield.

TWU Volleyball Coaches Resigns After Eight Players Hospitalized. Last weekend, eight Texas Women’s University volleyball players had to be admitted to a hospital with rhabdomyolysis, a muscular condition that causes harmful proteins to enter the bloodstream. Late Friday, while the rhabdomyolysis cases were being investigated, coach Shelly Barberee resigned. But Barberee said it “is in no way related to student-athletes’ hospitalization,” adding that she was “working diligently to address matters in my personal life.” That type of statement, in my experience, raises more questions than it answers. If you told me two weeks ago that TWU volleyball would be one of the most interesting sports stories in North Texas, I would have said, “Finally you guys are catching up. I’ve been following TWU volleyball for years. Welcome to the party.”

Frisco ISD Voters Reject 13-Cent Tax Hike. Fifty-eight percent voted no on a tax increase that would have paid for more teachers and more competitive salaries. I guess I don’t really get it. I figure most people — and yeah, I’m speaking broadly — move up to Frisco for the good schools, so I’m surprised voters were so strongly against keeping the good schools good. A little help, Mayor Maher Maso?

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Sports & Leisure

Why I Sort of Hope Tony Romo Is (Not Seriously, But Definitely) Injured

| 3 days ago
Photo by MC Glasgow via Wikicommons
Photo by MC Glasgow via Wikicommons

Last night, in the first quarter of the Cowboys’ preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Tony Romo hurt his back while trying to slide after a scramble but instead kind of falling awkwardly and getting folded up by the Seahawks’ Cliff Avril. Cowboys fans freaked out. I guess it looked worse than it was, because Romo wanted to go back in but the team (smartly, somehow) wouldn’t let him. After relieving Romo, rookie QB Dak Prescott once again looked pretty solid.

I thought about it last night, and I thought about it some more this morning, and I suppose the best way to put my feelings about Romo getting injured is “delighted.” Because now — oh, yes — the dire wolf of chaos is knocking on our door. [fans self so intensely I briefly levitate] YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Let us, in fact, do this.

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Dallas Metro Ranks Eighth in Regional Olympic Medal Count

| 3 days ago

If you are an aspiring Olympic athlete training  in the Dallas area, you may considering moving to California — or maybe Colorado Springs. That’s because when you break down the Olympic spoils from the United States’ recent world-topping athletic romp in Rio by metro area, Dallas ranks eighth among American cities — and a lowly 35th in medal count-per-resident — according to a new study. Topping the list of Olympian cities: Los Angeles and San Francisco. In fact, if LA were a country, it would have won more medals that either Canada or South Korea. San Francisco would have tied with Brazil.

But it’s that second data set in the analysis — medal count-per-resident — that I believe tells a more interesting story about athletics and regions. The cities and towns that top that list tend to be smaller university towns or places that boast specialized training facilities designed to churn out world class athletes. It seems to suggest that it’s not the place that generates the athletes, but the facilities that draw athletes to the place. In other words, if regional boosters want to boost the [email protected]’s medal count rankings, they may not have to worry about improving DFW’s abysmally low health and fitness rating. Perhaps they could find some incentives to lure Colorado Springs’ U.S. Olympic Complex to Frisco.

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Fair Park

Why Should We Trust a Fair Park Plan the City Won’t Let the Public See?

| 3 days ago

Ellen Williams, a member of the board of trustees of the Foundation for Community Empowerment, has a powerful column in the Dallas Morning News that minces few words about the public process — or rather, lack there of — that has defined Fair Park privatization plan.

At the center of her suspicion is a simple fact that even after the park board had to fight with their chair just for the opportunity to properly vet the contract brought to the city by former Hunt Oil executive Walt Humann, the city now won’t release the amended contract until the day of the council budget meeting. To Williams, that’s evidence of something worse than any bad terms or broken promises that may or may not be contained in the contract. It suggests that this latest effort, for all of its promises of a new day for Fair Park, represents more of the same old Fair Park history:

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Beer Distribution for Dummies

| 3 days ago

Let’s say you make a craft brew in your garage. You name it something like, She’s Not Stout She’s My Sister. You serve it for free to friends who come over for barbecue, and they keep telling you it is amazing and you should sell it. So you talk to your lawyer buddy who agrees to trade you legal advice for two kegs, and you figure out how the heck to get licensed and all that. You sell your vintage Jeep Wrangler that you can’t fit in the garage anymore because of the brewing equipment and buy a second-hand refrigerated van. You start small, distributing to a guy that you play tennis with who has a hipster bar in Oak Cliff. The hipsters, who try to out-hipster each other, start spreading the word that they alone have discovered an amazing craft brew with a very clever name. Other Dallas bars start placing orders. You quit your day job. Life is grand.

Then you get a call from a bar in Houston:

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Politics & Government

Podcast: Why Walkability Matters to the Future of Dallas

| 3 days ago

Maybe you’ve heard somewhere that a debate is under way over the best way to build a second light-rail line through downtown Dallas. The Coalition for a New Dallas — which is a PAC co-founded by D Magazine owner Wick Allison and which operates from within D Magazine World Headquarters — favors taking the new stretch of rail entirely underground through the city center.

Coalition executive director Matt Tranchin stopped by the Old Monk this week to chat about this and other transportation and walkability issues important to the future of the city. Give the show a listen.

But first, a few notes:

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Leading Off (8/26/16)

| 3 days ago

Cowboys Lose Practice Game, Survive Romo Scare. The Seattle Seahawks beat Dallas, 27-17, but the final score was irrelevant since it’s still preseason. What really worried fans was seeing Tony Romo hit the turf with a back injury on the third play of the game, even if afterward the quarterback said he feels fine. Romo missed 12 games last season because of a twice-broken collarbone. On the plus side, rookie Ezekiel Elliott and backup QB Dak Prescott turned in encouraging performances.

Ezekiel Elliott Visits Pot Store. Marijuana is legal in the state of Washington, but its use remains banned by the NFL. That’s why Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called a TMZ video of Elliott visiting a Seattle dispensary “not good.”

Dallas ISD Board Elects New Officers. In what looks like fallout from last week’s contentious vote on the proposal to put a tax increase on the November ballot, district trustees voted to replace flip-flopping board president Lew Blackburn (who voted against the tax vote after publicly supporting it) with Dan Micciche.

Judge Throws Juror in Jail. Gregory Duc allegedly tried to get out of serving on a civil court jury by claiming he has a bias against nurses. He was slapped with a contempt order by Judge Gena Slaughter after his “tone and body language indicated general hostility.” Duc spent 24 hours in the Dallas County clink.

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Visual Arts

Why Is There a Lee Harvey Oswald Mural in the Bishop Arts District?

| 4 days ago

I was strolling through the Bishop Arts District last weekend when, near the corner of Madison and 7th, I happened upon a new mural. The likeness isn’t perfect, but the numbers match up — The mugshot of Oak Cliff’s most infamous former resident and Dallas’ most notorious killer is emblazoned on a wall in a neighborhood packed with boutique shoppers and brunchers. (For reference, another nearby mural pays colorful tribute to Batgirl, Oak Cliff’s own Yvonne Craig.)

Dallas has a complicated relationship with the man who shot John F. Kennedy. There’s a weird mix of historical guilt, lingering tragedy, and cheeky irreverence. No one blinks at a bar in the Cedars bearing Lee Harvey Oswald’s name. The Texas Theatre, where Oswald was arrested hours after killing the president, of course has its share of decorative photos related to the events of Nov. 22, 1963. Take a 15-minute walk north of this new mural, and you can see Oswald’s old rooming house. There’s no point ignoring the city’s history.

Still, I was briefly taken aback, standing there with my ice cream while happily chattering couples slurped down mimosas in the near distance, to find myself stared down by the mug of an assassin. Maybe that was the artist’s intent. It’s provocative, if mostly unoriginal.

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