30 Hits & Misses

We’re proud to say we’ve made some good calls through the years, but, sadly, we’ve also made some blunders. Give us another 30 years, and we promise, we’ll try harder.

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In February 1995, Michael Irvin, wearing a lavender suit, made our cover as one of the 10 sexiest people in Dallas. Purple is in this fall.

In March 1988, Cecil Sharp profiled controversial county commissioner John Wiley Price
and suggested that he was on his way to being Dallas’ first black U.S.
congressman. Too bad Laura Miller profiled him three years later,
exposing questionable business practices as well as explosive allegations of rape.

In April 1986, we put Madonna on the cover and said she might be moving to Dallas to shoot a sequel to Desperately Seeking Susan.
But it wasn’t really Madonna, and she never moved to Dallas. We still
don’t know whether it was a real story or the lamest April Fool’s gag

In August 1988, Glenna Whitley asked the following question about the embattled director of Parkland Hospital:
“Who’s out to get Ron Anderson?” Sixteen years later, it turned out to
be Wick Allison, who argued that Anderson had wasted money and “lost
the ability to function effectively as the hospital’s president.”

In January 1976, we named writer-director Joe Camp, creator of the Benji franchise, the most likely to succeed in film. Then came Oh, Heavenly Dog, in 1980, and this summer’s Benji: Off the Leash!

The D
staff was shocked when a managing editor, who shall remain nameless,
quit after only a few days on the job. What happened? She said she was allergic to ink.

<< HIT
In March 1988, a 16-year-old from Plano by the name of Lance Armstrong
told writer Mark Henricks, “I’ll be the best in the world in five
years.” Of course, he was talking about his career as a triathlete, but
we’re not going to argue with him.

In January 1976, we named Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein, both doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center, most likely to succeed. Nine years later, they both won the Nobel Prize.

In 1983, Wick Allison, the founder of D,
sold his interest in the magazine and headed to the false paradise of
New York. He returned in 1995, but not before the magazine had folded.

In a 1976 story, we argued that the revitalization of the Trinity River was a key to the city’s future. Nearly two decades later, the bulldozers have just begun.

In August 1998, we argued that Chan Gailey,
then the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, would lead the team to the
Super Bowl. And maybe he would have if Jerry Jones had given him more
than two seasons, the shortest tenure of any Cowboys head coach.

If you believe us, JCPenney
has been resurrected more times than John Travolta. In June 1995,
Joseph Guinto wrote “How Bill Howell Saved JCPenney.” Adam McGill found
a new angle for a story on the retail giant in his April 2002 story,
“How Allen Questrom Saved JCPenney.” Not to be outdone, Guinto
responded in July 2004 with a story about Vanessa Castagna, who was
billed as “The Woman Who Saved JCPenney.” McGill is plotting his next

In August 1986, we provided a list of possible replacements for Tom Landry, complete with odds. No one on the list was named Jimmy Johnson, though O.J. Simpson showed up as a 50-1 shot.

We named Annette Strauss
one of the 10 sexiest women in Dallas in April 1975. Not to knock the
former mayor, but when we did it, we were in the middle of a five-day
bender with Hollywood Henderson.

We’ve had trouble making up our mind about Laura Miller.
In May 1999, she appeared on the cover with the words, “Who Is Laura
Miller, and Why Does She Hate Dallas?” Wick Allison answered that
question just nine months later by calling her “my favorite politician.”

In April 1992, Ruth Miller Fitzgibbons profiled George W. Bush
and argued that his role as the managing general partner of the Texas
Rangers provided the perfect springboard for political office.
According to Fitzgibbons, the job gave Bush “ample opportunity to hone
his image as a real Texan before he launches his own campaign. But
appearing as just plain folk should come fairly easily.” Voters would

In October 1990, we claimed that Candy Barr, a famed dancer at Jack Ruby’s club, was dead. We were wrong. It turned out that she was only living in Brownwood.

In May 1990, we published a story with a subhead stating, “Once again, reports of the Times Herald’s death are greatly exaggerated.” The paper folded 19 months later.

August 1990, just one year removed from Troy Aikman’s rookie season, we
billed him as the quarterback who could make us forget Roger Staubach.
The three Super Bowl titles were dreamy, but we’ll never forget Roger
the Dodger.

In December 1985, we made the case that New York City wanted to be more like Dallas. And we were serious.

<< HIT
Two years into Terrell Bolton’s
tenure as police chief, in December 2001, we called him “The $5 Million
Mistake.” Then, in May 2003, we surveyed the entire Dallas Police
Association—a survey Bolton tried to stop—and found that morale on the
force had tanked and most of the cops did not have confidence in the
chief. Finally, in August, Bolton was fired.

In February 1976, we presented a list of 12 ideal mayors for Dallas. None of them would run, but Adlene Harrison, whom we dissed, became mayor when she finished Wes Wise’s term.

January 1976, we ignored the example of every other large, successful
city in the country and said that Dallas didn’t need a rapid transit
system. Since then, though, we’ve come out in support of not just DART but penicillin and literacy, too.

In April 1975, we proclaimed that Trammell Crow’s Park Central would become the new downtown. Now downtown is the new downtown.

September 1975, Jim Atkinson wrote about an impressive up-and-coming
politician whom he said could lead the way for the Democrats. It was
none other than Phil Gramm, who switched parties in 1983 and served as a Republican senator from 1985 to 2002.

January 1976, Jim Atkinson wrote a short story about what life would be
like in 14 years. He posited, among other things, that everyone in the
year 2000 would have a stainless-steel robot that did household chores.

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Radio personality Ron Chapman once said that if D survived to publish a 12th issue, he’d eat it. We’re still waiting.

Our May 1975 cover featured Texas Rangers manager Billy Martin.
We argued that he’d win the pennant—and we were right. Except that
after getting fired, Martin won it with the New York Yankees in 1976
and 1977.

The cover of our August 1999 issue featured a comely brunette at the Middle Eastern restaurant Ararat,
which was named one of the best new restaurants of the year.
Unfortunately, after the magazine went to the printer, Ararat went
under. As it turns out, the review was still prescient: “What is this
restaurant where no one ever goes? How does it stay in business?”

In August 1990, we did a big feature on an unorthodox physician named William Rea
who believes that some people are allergic to everything. Then, in
January 2004, we did a big feature on an unorthodox physician named
William Rea who believes that some people are allergic to everything.

Photos: Irvin, Bolton, and Strauss: David Woo/Dallas Morning News; Chapman: Allison Smith/Dallas Morining News; Rea: Tadd Myers
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