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Sports & Leisure

Walking the Links at the Trinity Forest’s Byron Nelson Debut

| 1 week ago

The Trinity Forest Golf Club made its PGA Tour debut this week as the AT&T Byron Nelson got underway. I went out to the course early, eager to see what kind of reactions it was getting from players and fans. Like many, I’ve only experienced the tournament at its former venue, the Four Seasons at Las Colinas, where it had been held for the past 35 years. I’ve attended the Byron Nelson since I was a kid, and loved its old home.

Despite this—and numerous conversations I’ve had in the past few months with golfers and fans lamenting the move to southern Dallas—I was determined to keep an open mind. Perhaps because my expectations were low, I was pleasantly surprised. Trinity Forest, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and developed on the site of an old landfill, was in great shape. I walked Jordan Spieth’s first nine holes (10-18) before the temperature really heated up. The course reminded me of Chambers Bay in Washington, where Spieth won the 2015 U.S. Open.   

It’s a links-style course—rugged and with no trees. It’s different from what most fans are used to, unless they’ve attended some of the majors. Besides the trees, another thing missing from this year’s Byron Nelson are a number of top-ranked golfers, like Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, who lost in a playoff at last year’s tournament and won it in 2010. One of the top players who made it to Dallas is 2017 Masters champ Sergio Garcia. Before teeing off Friday, he took time to visit with Crenshaw and Peggy Nelson, the widow of Byron. 

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Sports & Leisure

Mercy Street Adds Soccer Field to West Dallas Complex

| 1 week ago

Mercy Street, the youth-focused nonprofit with a growing sports program, is adding a soccer field to its West Dallas sports complex. In March, Kathy wrote about how the Christian organization had partnered with the Texas Rangers to bring an MLB Youth Academy—baseball fields, classrooms, locker rooms, concession stand, the works—to the facilities at 3500 Goldman St.

FC Dallas must have thought that was a pretty good idea, because the Major League Soccer team and other corporate donors are helping foot the bill for the new field and soccer facilities. They’ll cut the ribbon this morning, good news for the 480 West Dallas young people and 81 volunteer coaches presently signed on for Mercy Street’s sports program, the athletic version of the nonprofit’s model of pairing young people with mentors.

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Sports & Leisure

I Experienced the NFL Draft

| 4 weeks ago

When the NFL Draft came to AT&T Stadium, it brought with it everything that comes along with professional sports: the spectacle, the passion, the commercialization, the traffic, the parking, the face paint, the athletes.

Everything except, you know, the sports.

By placing the 2018 Draft in an NFL stadium for the first time in its history, the league was only putting the final touches on a phenomenon that’s been in motion for years, turning a necessary function of the business into an event. Any one of the players selected could be an eventual superstar. So the draft is by no means irrelevant. But just because something has implications doesn’t necessarily make it worth witnessing. Functionally, this is not all that different than Trader Joe’s televising the stocking of its shelves.

So I showed up to AT&T Stadium on Thursday three hours before the start of the first round hoping to answer the very broad question of why? Why bring the NFL Draft to North Texas? Why come to the NFL Draft? Why travel across the country to see a man in a suit walk onto a stage and read a name into a microphone 32 times consecutively?

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Sports & Leisure

Jason Witten Is Retiring, Heading to ESPN

| 4 weeks ago

Hope the Cowboys plan on drafting a tight end, because Jason Witten is retiring, per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

With Witten on ESPN, Tony Romo on CBS, Troy Aikman on Fox, and Michael Irvin on the NFL Network, it’s becoming clear that former Cowboys stars never really retire from the public consciousness. They just put on ties and sit in booths.

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Sports & Leisure

Leading Off (4/27/18)

| 4 weeks ago

Vigil Held for Slain Dallas Police Officer. The gathering at the northeast Dallas police station honored Rogelio Santander, 27, shot Tuesday at a Home Depot in Lake Highlands. Funeral services are Saturday. Officer Crystal Almeida and Home Depot employee Scott Painter, who were also shot, remain in critical condition but are recovering.

Cowboys Take Boise State Linebacker With the 19th Pick in the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Welcome to Dallas, Leighton Vander Esch.

Will a New Freeway Help Collin County Traffic? TxDOT gave residents in McKinney a look at five potential routes.

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Local News

Leading Off (4/20/18)

| 1 month ago

Man Charged In Brutal Beating of Woman in Deep Ellum. After videos showing a woman assaulted outside a Deep Ellum venue spread on social media, Jarod Broussard, 35, was arrested on a felony domestic violence charge. Broussard, who was also fired from his job at an Uptown nightclub Thursday, was previously charged with assault in 2006 and again in 2010, but those charges were later dismissed.

Lifestyles of the Rich and the Fraudulent. Two North Texas debt collectors who pleaded guilty in federal court to running a $2 million scam spent the money on lavish vacations and cars.

What Caused the Engine Failure on That Southwest Flight This Week? Or: Everything you wanted to know about fan blades as the National Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation.

Dallas Cowboys’ Season Schedule Released. Opener at Carolina, Washington on Thanksgiving, five in prime-time, the defending champions on Nov. 11 and Dec. 9. I’m thinking 10-6.

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Sports & Leisure

The Cowboys Cut Dez Bryant

| 1 month ago

Dez Bryant has been released after eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, according to every NFL beat writer with a Twitter account. Tell yourself it’s a sensible football move for the organization as you throw up a tiny and sad little X, wipe away the tears, and put this highlight reel on repeat.

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Sports & Leisure

Dirk Nowitzki Has Ankle Surgery, Out For Rest of the Season

| 2 months ago
Whose house?

Dirk has been playing through ankle pain all season, yet still played the most games of anyone in their 20th year. He probably could have played the remaining three games, but since the Mavs more or less accidentally won against Portland on Tuesday night, it’s more important 1) for Dirk to start getting healthy now and 2) for the Mavs to do whatever possible to lose out. So this morning he had surgery.

My dude plans to fulfill the second and final year of his contract and come back for the 2018-19 season. He could possibly retire this summer if his body decides to cash in its 401(k) but the smart bet is he plays. And if he plays, he will likely look much like he did this season: not the Dirk you 100-percent remember but still insanely efficient and capable of occasional greatness. I don’t want to think about the end so let’s not talk about it. Instead, the next milestone.

Dirk finishes 2017-18 with 31,187 points, which is 232 behind the next big name on the all-time scorers list, Wilt Chamberlain. LeBron James is now more likely to pass Wilt first (he’s 494 points behind as of this morning), but The Big German should get there somewhere around his 19th game of the season. My quick math works out to 19.3 games in, so if I had to guess I would say he gets it early in the third quarter of his 20th game. Jumper, right baseline.

That’s probably the last skin he can put on the wall. After Chamberlain (and LeBron), the next plateau is Michael Jordan, who sits at 32,292 career points. If Dirk maintained his exact numbers from this season — 12 pt. avg. in 77 games — he wouldn’t quite get there, finishing with 32,111. Obviously, still amazing. And I don’t think even Don Nelson would have confidently predicted the guy with the floppy undercut and two big hoop earrings who showed up at that first press conference in 1998 would score more than 32,000 points and still be playing in 2019.

[clears throat for five solid minutes; takes a breath so deep I make plants die]

I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN!

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Sports

More Opening Day Reading to Get You in the Baseball Spirit

| 2 months ago

While the Rangers’ season got off with a hiccup, dropping their first game to the defending World Series champs Houston Astros, a Rangers fan had a much better opening day. Mets ace — and Mansfield’s own — Noah Syndergaard struck out ten, provided a critical bunt, and led the New York Metropolitans over the St. Louis Cardinals to their MLB-best 36th opening day victory.

In the lead-up to the start of the season, the Player’s Tribune published an article by Syndergaard about his attitude heading into the new season. That attitude, he writes, is in part shaped by his formative years growing up in Mansfield and playing a sport — baseball — that he didn’t want to play, but that his mom forced him into. The piece is nicely written and charming. Here’s a taste:

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Sports & Leisure

A Look Back at Texas Rangers’ Opening Days in 1972, 1994

| 2 months ago

Today marks one of the last times the Texas Rangers will open their season at Globe Life Park—barring delays, the retractable-roofed $1 billion new Globe Life Field is expected to be ready in 2020.

For that reason, and because baseball already feels like the most nostalgic of sports, let’s take a quick look back at two other opening days relevant to a team soon to move into a new stadium: The 1972 opener at Arlington Stadium, the team’s first game in its new Texas home after 11 seasons as the Washington Senators, and the 1994 opener at the Ballpark in Arlington.

Via SMU’s wonderful collection of old WFAA newsfilm, here’s a piece on the Rangers’ first ever home opener at Arlington Stadium, in 1972.

As a bonus, here’s an old WFAA story on the Major League Baseball players’ strike that delayed the 1972 Opening Day.

And via somebody on YouTube, here’s a television advertisement for Opening Day in 1994, and the inauguration of what was then called the Ballpark in Arlington.

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