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Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons

October 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

**UPDATE** WR Miles Austin will start over WR Patrick Crayton
cowboys falcons
The Dallas Cowboys are back in action this week after a productive bye week, yeah thats right the Cowboys had one of their most productive weeks of the season without even playing a game. Heading into the bye week the local and national media ripped the Cowboys because the barely squeaked out a win against the ailing Chiefs. While sloppy play against poor teams is nothing to celebrate the Cowboys are 3 – 2 – 0, and last time I checked a winning record is a good thing. The Cowboys had a productive week for two reasons, the first of these reasons is that all three of the running backs are healthy again heading into the week 7 match-up against the Atlanta Falcons. Dallas also made a roster move that will help the special teams as well as help ensure that Felix Jones stays healthy. The signing of Allen Rossum a 12 veteran return man should keep RB Felix Jones and WR Patrick Crayton off the field in return situations. This is great for the Cowboys because it limits Felix Jones exposure to big hits as well as offer an upgrade to Patrick Crayton. The second way the bye week was productive was in the standings is in the NFC East Standings, all of the other teams in the NFC East lost during the Cowboys bye week, and these losses were to some bad teams. The problems in Washington run deep and were not helped by the loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. The Eagles also lost to a team / organization with huge problems, the Oakland Raiders knocked off the Eagles. Last but definitely not least, the New York Football Giants got a drubbing by the New Orleans Saints high octane offense. After all of this the Cowboys sit tied with the Eagles for 2nd place in the NFC East 2 games behind the Giants.

This week the Dallas Cowboys will face the Atlanta Falcons in a game that will test the Cowboys at their Death Star in Arlington, TX. The Falcons have the offensive weapons to be a match-up nightmare and their defense is ranked 24th in the league, to put this in perspective the Cowboys are ranked 22nd in total defense.

Gameday Information:

Cowboys-Falcons Game Information
Cowboys – Falcons Game Time: 3:15 PM – Central Time
Cowboys – Falcons Day / Date: Sunday – October 25 2009
Cowboys – Falcons Location: Cowboys Stadium – Arlington TX
Cowboys – Falcons TV Channel: FOX
Cowboys – Falcons Announcers: Troy Aikman and Thom Brennaman
Cowboys – Falcons Betting:

  • Odds, Spread, Advice
  • Early Point Spread: Cowboys -4.5
  • Early Over-Under: 47
    Our Pick: Take the over, both teams have great offenses and mediocre defenses, so this should be a shootout.
    Cowboys – Falcons Tickets:

  • Cowboys Stadium Parking Information

  • Buy & Sell Tickets on StubHub!

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COWBOY CORNER – WEEK 6 Bye Week

October 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Time to forget Dallas’ NFL odds to win the Super Bowl for now. After a hot/cold first five games of the season, the Cowboys are still a respectable 3-2 with plenty of time to improve. Let’s grade their offense and defense to date while they’re on a bye.

Week 6 DALLAS COWBOYS – BYE WEEK

Cowboys Passing Offense: C+

It may seem strange to grade the Cowboys’ passing game so poorly considering that Tony Romo’s yardage is right in line with his career norms and that Dallas has the NFL’s No. 8 passing attack. The reality, however, is that the stats are padded by some easy matchups and two particularly big games.

The Cowboys lit up Tampa in Week 1 and the Romo/Miles Austin connection put on a show in an overtime game against Kansas City, but Romo was mediocre-to-bad in between, throwing one touchdown compared to four picks against the Giants, Panthers and Broncos. Terrell Owens is gone and Roy Williams is not only hurt but had lost a step anyway. The Cowboys have to hope Austin is for real and must get Jason Witten more involved to pass the ball effectively. Week 9 will be a true test when America’s team travels to Philadelphia. The Cowboys will be underdog NFL picks.

Cowboys Rushing Offense: A

Dallas ranks third in the NFL on the ground, averaging 161 yards per game. Most impressive is that they move the chains no matter who gets the ball. Marion Barber hurts his quad – Felix Jones comes in to hit home runs. Jones hurts his knee – Tashard Choice carves up defenses. If the Cowboys are smart enough to ride the underrated Choice until Barber and Jones are fully healed, their grade will jump to an A+ by season’s end.

Cowboys Pass Defense: C+

The numbers look bad but they’re skewed by Dallas’ early-season struggles against Tampa and the Giants. In the last three weeks, they’ve held Carolina, Denver and Kansas City under 230 yards. A full season of Terence Newman in the secondary is helping. For the Cowboys’ pass defense to improve, however, they have to pressure the quarterback more. Dallas led the NFL with 59 sacks last season – 3.68 per game. The Cowboys have just 10 through five games – two per game, and that includes some easier matchups against Tampa, Kansas City and Carolina.

Cowboys Run Defense: B-

The Cowboys got gouged by Tampa’s runners in Week 1 but have survived reasonably well since – against some good running teams too. They don’t have a shutdown front seven like the Vikings have but their run-stoppers aren’t a detriment to Dallas’ sportsbook odds either. Keith Brooking and company are a solid if unspectacular group.

Overall Grade: C+

Perhaps a 3-2 team deserves a higher grade, but the Cowboys have fallen short of expectations thus far. Their schedule was easy enough to make them 4-1 – and that doesn’t include their winnable home loss to the Giants. If the Cowboys want to make the playoffs and save Wade Phillips’ job, they have to beat some good teams. I’m betting management will make some major changes in the offseason if that doesn’t happen.

Dallas Sports Roundup – October 13 2009

October 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Sports Roundup

While the Cowboys’ NFL odds (8.5-point favorite) didn’t deliver – how did the Chiefs play our boys that tough? – They at least emerged with a “W” over the weekend. Let’s catch up with the rest of our Dallas Sports teams.

Dallas Mavericks

It’s only preseason, yes, but it’s always nice to see the Mavs in the win column. After losing a squeaker in their opener, they’ve rattled off consecutive wins. First, Dallas downed the Washington Wizards 123-115 in a road contest. Five Mavs scored 14 or more points – including surprising newcomer Kris Humphries – and Shawn Marion led the way with 26 on 11/15 shooting.

Next up, the Mavericks downed Memphis 114-107 and Humphries was the big story again. He had 16 points and nine boards in just 21 minutes of play; he’s making the case for a bigger role than he had as a Toronto Raptor.

Dallas Stars

If there’s an early message for hockey fans and sportsbook bettors this season in the Lone Star State, it’s that the Kids Are All Right. I’m betting management and owner Tom Hicks hoped the youth movement would be ahead of schedule after Dallas did little to improve via free agency this offseason and, so far, the hopes are being answered. The Stars have won just one of their first four games but haven’t lost in regulation. Youngsters James Neal and Jamie Benn have been bright spots, combining for four goals and seven points over that span.

Texas Rangers

As the Rangers’ offseason begins, it appears they’ll let several big-name players walk in free agency. Hank Blalock, once a cornerstone of the franchise, simply has too many holes in his swing and can’t hit lefties. Omar Vizquel could retire any day now, as could Eddie Guardado; Andruw Jones is a shadow of his former self. The trickiest situation is that of Marlon Byrd, whose price will rise significantly after he led the team with 89 RBI this season. Whatever happens, the Rangers remain on the way to becoming better baseball picks to make the playoffs in 2010.

Big 12 College Football TV Schedule – Week 7

October 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

big 12 schedule
Five big 12 conference games will be televised in week 7. Two of these match ups will be between top 25 teams. The match up of the week will definitely be between the 3rd ranked Texas Longhorns and the struggling Oklahoma Sooners who have fallen to the 18th spot after dropping 2 games this season. The other big match up this week will be between #24 Missouri and #14 Oklahoma State. The TV schedule, times, channel, and game tickets are all available below.

Texas Longhorns – Oklahoma Sooners | 2009 Red River Shootout
The Texas Longhorns will face off with the Oklahoma Sooners in this weeks Big 12 Match up of the Week. This game is the 104th time these two teams have met to settle their Red River rivalry. Texas leads this series 58-40-5, although the Sooners have won 6 of the last 9 games.

Texas-Oklahoma Location: Cotton Bowl – Dallas, TX
Texas-Oklahoma Day / Date: Saturday – October 17 2009
Texas-Oklahoma Time: 11:00 AM Central Time
Texas-Oklahoma TV Channel: ABC
Texas-Oklahoma Tickets:

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Turco must win, Turco must win!

October 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

by Richard S  Pollak, the Hockey Guy

Two years ago, Dallas Stars number #1 Goalie Marty Turco was named one of the 100 most influential men in ice hockey by the Hockey News. The revered grand daddy of all hockey publications, it was  the first hockey magazine that I ever got paid to write for. Today, Turco didn’t even make it as one of the top 5 goalies in the Pacific Division. In order for the Stars to go anywhere into the playoffs, this season ,  Turco must win. At 34, he is in the last year of his $5.7 million dollar per year, no trade contract ,that makes him the second highest paid player on the roster, eight highest paid goalie in the league  and a Free Agent at the end of the season.
Backup goaltender Alex Auld gave the Dallas Stars their best performance  of the season in their first victory as he stopped 21 of 23 saves against the previously unbeaten Calgary Flames in the Pacific Northwest. Auld looks to be the backup goaltender than the Stars did not have in their organization last year. Turco is now projected to play in 10-15 less  games this season because of Auld than last season.

If the Stars don’t get off to a fast start on the season under new coach Marc Crawford and his new system which asks the defensemen to be more aggressive charging up the ice and expects the forwards to come back more defensively on the transition, Turco is in for his most challenging season ever. It will take a while according the team standard line for the players to learn this new system. Turco is  meanwhile  playing for a new multi year, big bucks contract which should be enough incentive to succeed. So far he hasn’t shown  the fans that stopper mentality on the his  most crucial game challenge for Turco the shootout. It used to be a given that he would stop every opponent in an overtime shootout but has lost that edge in losing his first 2 shootouts this season .

The Stars look ahead to their first test of the season against an Eastern Conference powerhouse in the Boston Bruins. The Bruins boast  All-Stars:  Netminder Tim  Thomas,  6 ft – 8 inch Defenseman  Zdeno Charo plus  premiere Forwards Marc Savard, Patrice Begeron and Milan Lucic. The Bruins will be hosting my hometown Philly Flyers in the annual outdoor ice classic at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day.

The Rev Speaks: Fab Forty

October 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

This column arrives a little later than usual, but it was an inordinately busy week in the confessional booth.  An eclectic mix of personalities conspired to sabotage any free time I had, all of whom rendered me both nonplussed and depressed.  For starters, one of the paragons of the fashion world committed the sin of lust.  I readily admit that sartorial savvy is one area about which I know very little; however, even a dilettante like The Rev can quickly realize where Ralph Lauren went horribly wrong.  Even though the haunting image of Filippa Hamilton was digitally altered, Mr. Lauren is preaching a most dangerous message.  (Our society’s depraved obsession with outward appearance is one of the myriad reasons why I am scared to death of raising a daughter.)  The fact this picture was photo shopped only makes the situation worse.  In essence, Mr. Lauren is saying it’s not good enough for women to be a skinny size eight.  Stop eating and shrink down to become emaciated, size zero ghouls!  Granted, this country—and especially right here in the Lone Star State, except at the aberration that is NorthPark Center (the “look at me” headquarters of North Dallas Pretty People) where one either dresses like an understudy to a porn “star” or like a member of a gangster’s entourage—wages a battle of attrition against obesity, but clothing companies are fighting back in a most irresponsible way.  You want to know what’s truly sexy, ladies?  Self-esteem and Christ-likeness.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6.13-17).

Secondly, I was forced to address the sin of pride displayed so egregiously by President Barack Obama.  (The Rev’s standard operating procedure never involves discussing politics, but sometimes exceptions are made.)  Granted, it wasn’t Obama’s fault that the fools at The Nobel Foundation awarded him their highest honor, but the leader of the free world certainly didn’t do much in the way of apologizing.  (In fairness, I would have been equally offended had George W. won the prize, especially after a mere nine months in office, 9/11 or not.)  The foundation has in essence insulted truly revolutionary previous winners like Norman Borlaug, a man whose innovations improved the quality of life for untold millions of people.  The Rev does not have a problem with sitting presidents winning this prize, but to be awarded the honor largely on campaign promises yet to be delivered is both careless and naïve.  Remember the telling words of the Book of Proverbs: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (16.18).

Thirdly, there was the distressing news from Calgary that former NHL star and probable Hall of Famer Theoren Fleury was sexually abused for years by his youth hockey coach, Graham James.  Sadly, he wasn’t the only teenager victimized by a trusted coach or adviser.  I’ve never played hockey—or any sport, for that matter—but I’ve talked to enough people to understand that the world of youth hockey is about as competitive as it comes.  Parents will spend countless dollars (the equipment is more expensive than baseball, basketball, and football combined) to secure their sons’ spots on elite club teams.  The men in charge of these leagues are made out to be mighty emperors who can do no wrong.  While these coaches might actually teach a handful of these callow teenagers what it takes to become the next Great One, they must not be worshiped and followed blindly.  After all, they are fallen human beings.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments (Exodus 20.4-6).

To end the hectic week of sports news, Michael Crabtree at long last came to his senses, realized he wasn’t a magnificent receiver like Michael Irvin, and inked a contract with the 49ers.  This issue has been blogged and debated about ad nauseam, so The Rev won’t waste much space with this now antiquated story.  I wonder how clueless Crabtree must be—did he learn anything while onboard the Leach Pirate Ship in Lubbock?—to hold out until Week 5 of the NFL season and still accept nearly the same terms San Francisco originally offered.  I’ll be careful not to judge since money makes even the most pious man’s knees weak, but I fail to see what you could buy for $40M that you couldn’t for, say, $32M.  Another Maybach or ten?  I hope Crabtree receives better advice at this next level than he did from his myopic agent, Eugene Parker, and his parasitic advisor, Nine-Toed Deion.  (It is not fair to question Fleury’s though process since there’s a big difference in this case: Fleury was an adolescent when he was victimized, and Crabtree is an adult.  He presumably knows better than to trust the counsel of men with cavalier—no, not the U of Virginia variety, Arey—ulterior motives.)  I’ve watched a lot of Texas Tech football in my day, primarily because both my father and older brother have degrees from Guns Up U, and Dallas’ own Crabtree remains one of the best Red Raiders in recent memory (with apologies to Wes Welker and Kliff Kingsbury).  It will be interesting, to say the least, watching his NFL career unfold after such an inauspicious beginning.  As King Solomon writes, Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor (Ecclesiastes 7.12).

Speaking of lists . . . because this is supposed to be a sports column, I will now shift my attention to what I call The Fab Forty.  In what is a most difficult exercise, I will now present my top ten favorite (read: not necessarily the best) players from the four major sports in Dallas.  (With no apologies to FC Dallas, but definitely multiple apologies to the Dallas Sidekicks and the amazingly short-lived MISL.  I spent many nights at old Reunion Arena watching the cardiac Kicks battle such classic teams like the Baltimore Blast, Cleveland Crunch, San Diego Sockers, and St. Louis Steamers.  When the best goalie GAA of all-time is a shockingly high 4.03, you know this is soccer as it’s meant to be played: fast and furious, with lots of scoring.  For the record, my favorite Sidekicks are Tatu “Not the Russian pop duo, but rather the guy who takes his kit off every time he scores and throws it into the adoring crowd,” Doc “Indoor Warrior” Lawson, and Krys “Don’t Call Me Leelee” Sobieski.  I still remember their first and only MISL Championship in 1986-87 [Slogan: The Wild Side of Soccer!”] when they defeated the Tacoma Stars four games to three.)  But I digress.

One final disclaimer: I only include players whom I saw play.  For this reason, many legendary names from the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor (i.e. Hayes, Lilly, and Wright) and venerated Rangers (i.e. Jeff Burroughs and Fergie Jenkins) are left out.  Without further ado . . .

DALLAS COWBOYS (years played with team)

1. Troy Aikman, 1989-2000.  Eight Ball.  Three SBs.  Well-spoken and well-groomed analyst on FOX A-Team.  Speaks with Musers every Thursday morning.  Enough said.

2.  Michael Irvin, 1988-1999.  The Playmaker.  Three SBs.  Ultimate competitor.  Audio gold. Discovered Jesse Holley on “4th and Long.”  Acted like an immoral donkey off the field, but very few athletes are saints.

3.  Daryl Johnston, 1989-1999.  The Moose.  Three SBs.  Battering ram.  Sacrificed body.  Vastly improving FOX broadcaster still partial to all things Cow.

4.  Emmitt Smith, 1990-2002.  Three SBs.  Made of steel.  All-time leading rusher in NFL history.  Ridiculous “diamond surrounded by trash” comment knocks him down list, as does his inability to form a sentence when employed by ESPN.

5.  Jay Novacek, 1990-95.  Best TE to play in Irving.  Three SBs.  Never afraid to absorb a hit across the middle of the field.  Shockingly, only 22 TDs as a Cowboy.

6.  Darren Woodson, 1992-2003.  Best SS in franchise history.  Three SBs.  Reliable and loyal leader in the locker room.

7.  Larry Allen, 1994-2005.  Man primarily responsible for keeping Aikman non-concussed.

8.  Jason Witten, 2003-present.  Best TE in the game, soon to be best TE in Cow history.

9.  DeMarcus Ware, 2005-present.  Most intimidating and ferocious Cow pass rusher since Charles Haley.  And fortunately, a little more reserved.  (Can’t link since it’s R-rated, but just Google Haley’s name combined with the book title Boys Will Be Boys and you’ll see.)

10.  Kenny Gant, 1990-94.  I was a sucker for The Shark Dance.

Dishonorable Mention: Barbie Carpenter, Quincy Carter, Dwayne Goodrich, Chad Hutchinson, Eldorado Owens, Rowdy, Rafael Septien, GM Jerry Jones (he fired Jimmy and hired both Campo and Wade).

DALLAS MAVERICKS (years played with team)

1. Rolando Blackman, 1981-1992.  Modeled my FT stroke after his.  Sadly, my percentage was much lower than Ro’s stellar .840 rate.

2.  Dirk Nowitzki, 1998-present.  The Mavs’ version of Jimmy Johnson’s genius “Herschel Walker” trade.  Robert “Tractor” Traylor to Milwaukee.  Dirk to Dallas.  The rest is history.  Ironically, would be involved with another Traylor, but Crystal not as favorable to Mavs this time.

3.  James Donaldson, 1985-1992.  Solid rebounder and stout defender.

4.  Steve Nash, 1998-2004.  Mark Cuban’s biggest mistake.  Now a two-time (although a bit undeserving) MVP.  Best PG in club history.

5.  Mark Aguirre, 1981-89.  Still holds 13 franchise records, including most points in a single season (2,330 in 1983-84).

6.  Derek Harper, 1983-1994, 1996-97.  Despite the blunder of letting time run out against Lakers in 1984 WCSF, Harp remains one of the best ambassadors of the game.

7.  Jason Terry, 2004-present.  Incredibly streaky shooter, but when he’s on he’s virtually unstoppable.

8.  Michael Finley, 1996-2005.  Outstanding captain for many years, but his repeated failures in the clutch ultimately drops him down on this list.

9.  Roy Tarpley, 1986-1991, 1994-95.  Were it not for the nose candy he could’ve been one of the legends in Dallas.  I still vividly remember ignoring my heated game of APB at Balls Hamburgers on Midway/NW Highway to watch Tarp dominate the Kings in his much-ballyhooed (and, sadly, ephemeral) return to the Association in November 1994.

10.  Brad Davis, 1980-1992.  One of the original Mavericks.  Some might say including two white PGs (does “Dancing Queen” Jason Kidd classify?) on one list would be insane.  He redefined short shorts and the porn star mustache.

Dishonorable Mention: Uwe Blab, Coach Quinn Buckner, Ericka Dampier, Josh Howard, Martin Muursepp, Cherokee Parks (he went to Duke, after all), Antoine Rigaudeau (he’s French, after all), Keith Van Horn

DALLAS STARS (years played with team)

1. Mike Modano, 1993-present.  The only remaining Minnesota North Star on the roster.  Best American-born player in NHL history.  The Stars’ Aikman.

2.  Brett Hull, 1998-2001.  Normally one needs to play longer in Dallas before I shower with praise.  The self-proclaimed “Ambassador of Fun” and third-highest goal scorer (741) in NHL history vaults way up this list because of what he did in the third overtime on 19 June 1999.  Sabre fans need to get over it already.  At least you have the Bills to cheer you up . . . oh, wait.  Dallas > Buffalo.

3.  Ed Belfour, 1997-2002.  What Hull was to the offense, Belfour was to the defense.  The Eagle was the second biggest reason the Stars won the Cup ten years ago.

4.  Joe Nieuwendyk, 1995-2002.  This future Hall of Famer was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner in that brilliant 1999 run to the Cup.  He now serves as the Stars’ hopefully prescient GM.

5.  Derian Hatcher, 1993-2003.  Moved south to Dallas from Minneapolis with Modano.  One of the best enforcers/defensemen in franchise history.  The pugnacious captain came up huge on the blue line multiple times in the playoffs, and also responsible for making the ever-mouthy Jeremy Roenick drink through a straw.

6.  Brenden Morrow, 1999-present.  Although injury-prone, the current captain is the undisputed leader in the room.  When he is in the lineup, the Stars are a much better team.

7.  Jere Lehtinen, 1995-present.  Injury-prone as well, Lehts is a three-time Selke winner.  A phenomenally versatile and redoubtable defensive forward.

8. Sergei Zubov, 1996-2009.  Best Russian to ever don a Stars sweater.  Zubie was an awe-inspiring assassin running the point during power plays.

9.  Steve Ott, 2002-present.  First few years in the league he was known only as a fighter.  Has now developed a more well-rounded offensive arsenal (19, 27, 46 last season) to complement his blitzkrieg defense.  The Otter is a poor man’s Lehtinen.

10.  James Neal, 2008-present.  Hasn’t even played the equivalent of a full season in the league (80 games thus far), but this 22-year-old stud is built like a tank (6-3, 206), shoots lefty, and is nearly impossible to knock off the puck.  The future is very bright for Neal, which is why he already cracks the Top 10.  Modano’s heir apparent.

Dishonorable Mention: Sean Avery, Matthew Barnaby, Todd Fedoruk, Mike Lalor, Roman Lyashenko, Janne Niinimaa, Tobias Stephan, Jamie Wright

TEXAS RANGERS (years played with team)

1. Steve Buechele, 1985-1991.  As a child, I always felt sorry that the fans booed #22 so lustily.  Only later did I find out they weren’t booing, but shortening his last name as a sign of respect.  No matter.  The proverbial die was cast.  He was my favorite.  Styled my mullet after his.

2.  Nolan Ryan, 1989-1993.  The Ryan Express finished out his Hall of Fame résumé in Arlington by recording his sixth and seventh no-hitters and his 5,000th strikeout.  Records unlikely ever to be broken.  Also “pwnd” (ask my high school students what that means) Robin Ventura in August 1993, the penultimate month of his career.  Now the Rangers’ president and resident snow monkey expert.

3.  Rusty Greer, 1994-2002.  Played with reckless abandon which, as a result, abridged his career.  Many of the most acrobatic catches in club history came courtesy of the The Red Baron.

4.  Michael Young, 2000-present.  Who would have ever thought that the former Blue Jay spare part (Young was traded with Darwin Cubillan to Texas for Esteban Loaiza in July 2000) would mature into one of the most indispensible Rangers?  The 2009 season was basically wrecked when he went on the DL and missed the last month.

5.  Pudge Rodriguez, 1991-2002, 2009.  Despite the rampant steroid rumors, Pudge is by far the best catcher in franchise history (with no apologies to Geno Petralli and some apologies to Don Slaught), as well as one of the most beloved players to ever wear a Rangers uniform.

6.  Ruben Sierra, 1986-1992, 2000-01, 03.  Besides Pudge and Oddibe McDowell, Ruben was the only Ranger in franchise history to ever have an excellent shot to hit for the cycle in any game and/or an outside shot of winning the Triple Crown in any season.  Was absolutely electrifying to watch.

7.  Pete Incaviglia, 1986-1990.  Inky Power was alive and well for five summers in Arlington.  Perhaps the slowest base runner in franchise history (with apologies to Bill Haselman, Larry Parrish and Mickey Tettleton).

8.  Ian Kinsler, 2006-present.  Everything from his knee-high socks to the all-out hustle screams old school.  I love it.  (Although he needs to stop swinging for the fences every AB.  And staying healthy would help.)

9.  Neftali Feliz, 2009-present.  Yes, he’s only appeared in 20 games for the Rangers. Yes, he’s only 21 years old.  But he’s the undeniable future for this club.  Much like Neal for the Stars, Feliz is the Rangers’ cornerstone.  (Pitching wins the WS.)  Feliz Navidad indeed.

10. Roger Pavlik, 1992-98.  Perhaps the most misunderstood and most unfairly maligned Ranger in history (I’m talking to you, Bryan), Pavlik richly deserved his All-Star appearance in 1996 (although some argue that fellow Ranger Kevin “Little Big League” Elster should have earned the invite).  A truly blessed way to celebrate my final summer of freedom after graduating from St. Mark’s and before leaving for Davidson College.

Dishonorable Mention: Mark Clark, John “Empty Golf Shirt” Hart and his enabler Tom Hicks, Chad Kreuter, Ruben Mateo, Laynce Nix, Chan Ho Park, Sammy Sosa (even W. can make mistakes), Mark “Traitor” Teixeira

Here ends the lesson.  And all of God’s people say . . . “Amen!”

***Happy 30th birthday, Andrew!!***

Cowboy Corner – WEEK 5 | Betting Advice – Point Spreads – Odds

October 8, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Cowboys’ NFL odds are in a tailspin after they fell flat in Denver against a surprisingly stingy Bronco defense. They got their defense under control for the second straight week but scoring continues to be a problem. Can Dallas get back on track with a cupcake matchup in Kansas City this Sunday?

Betting Odds – Week 5
DALLAS COWBOYS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Sunday, October 1, 1:00 p.m. ET
Favorite: Cowboys -8

Cowboys offense vs Chiefs defense

There’s no hiding from the fact that Tony Romo hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 2. Yeah, Terrell Owens is gone and Roy Williams got hurt last week, but those excuses only take you so far. Romo remains an athletic, elusive quarterback capable of making big plays; he simply has to be better for the Cowboys to make any kind of playoff run this season. The Chiefs rank 28th in the NFL in pass defense and have just five sacks on the season, so Romo will have plenty of time to make plays. Look for him to perform more like he did in Week 1 against the weak Tampa defense, when he threw for 350-plus yards and three scores.

The Cowboys rank third in the NFL with 163.8 rushing yards per game and should pummel the Chiefs’ porous front seven according to betting software projections. Marion Barber appears set to play and Tashard Choice is a more than capable backup, so this tandem should run wild if Romo can’t get the passing game going.

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Big 12 College Football Schedule – Week 6

October 8, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

bi12schedule
All 12 teams will play conference games this week, for most of the teams it will kick off their conference play for the season. There have only been 2 Big 12 conference games so far this season, Texas defeated Texas Tech and Kansas State defeated Iowa state last Saturday. The Big 12 Matchup of the Week take place when Nebraska makes the trip to Missouri, both of these teams are ranked in the top 25. Last week Oklahoma was defeated in Miami by the Hurricanes ending any hope of a national championship for the Sooners this year.

Nebraska Missouri
Nebraska Huskers vs Missouri Tigers | Big 12 Matchup of the Week
Nebraska and Missouri will meet for the 102nd time, the winner of this game has played for the North in the Big 12 title game for the past 3 seasons.

Nebraska-Missouri Location: Faurot Field – Columbia, Mo.
Nebraska-Missouri Day / Date: October 8 – 2009
Nebraska-Missouri Time: 8:00PM Central Time
Nebraska-Missouri TV Channel: ESPN
Nebraska-Missouri Tickets:

Texas Longhorns vs Colorado Buffaloes | Big 12 Schedule
The Longhorns return to action this week against the Buffaloes this week. These teams will meet for the 18th time.

Texas-Colorado Location: Darrell K. Royal-Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas
Texas-Colorado Day / Date: October 10 – 2009
Texas-Colorado Time: 6:15PM Central Time
Texas-Colorado TV Channel: ESPN
Texas-Colorado Tickets:

Oklahoma Sooners vs Baylor Bears | Big 12 Schedule
Oklahoma will face the Baylor Bears after a disappointing loss to the Miami Hurricanes last week. Heisman winner Sam Bradford is questionable for this game. Oklahoma is 18 – 0 against Baylor.

Oklahoma-Baylor Location: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium – Norman, OK
Oklahoma-Baylor Day / Date: October 10 – 2009
Oklahoma-Baylor Time: 2:30PM Central Time
Oklahoma-Baylor TV Channel: ABC
Oklahoma-Baylor Tickets:

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Texas A&M Aggies | Big 12 Schedule
The Oklahoma State Cowboys were the victors last year when they played Texas A&M by a score of 56 to 28, OSU’s WR Dez Bryant will be inactive for the game due to allegations that he spoke with Deion Sanders in the offseason and then lied about it.

Oklahoma State-Texas A&M Location: Kyle Field – College Station, TX
Oklahoma State-Texas A&M Day / Date: October 10 – 2009
Oklahoma State-Texas A&M Time: 11:30AM Central Time
Oklahoma State-Texas A&M TV Channel: FSN
Oklahoma State-Texas A&M Tickets:

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Kansas State Wildcats | Big 12 Schedule
Texas Tech will try to improve their conference record to 1 – 1 against the Kansas State Wildcats who are 3 – 2 this season.

Texas Tech-Kansas State Location: Jones AT&T Stadium – Lubbock, TX
Texas Tech-Kansas State Day / Date: October 10 – 2009
Texas Tech-Kansas State Time: 6:00PM Central Time
Texas Tech-Kansas State TV Channel: FSN – SW | FSN – MW
Texas Tech-Kansas State Tickets:

Kansas Jayhawks vs Iowa State Cyclones | Big 12 Schedule
The Jayhawks and Cyclones will do battle this week, the Cyclones are winless in their last 4 tries against Kansas.

Kansas-Iowa State Location: Memorial Stadium – Lawrence, KS
Kansas-Iowa State Day / Date: October 10 – 2009
Kansas-Iowa State Time: 11:30AM Central Time
Kansas-Iowa State TV Channel: Versus
Kansas-Iowa State Tickets:

Dallas Sports Roundup – October 6 2009

October 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

If the Cowboys’ NFL odds are stressing you out after the Denver game, don’t worry. We can focus on our other Dallas Sports teams. Starting this week, we’ll keep you posted on the biggest news from the Mavericks, Stars and Rangers.

Dallas Mavericks

With a major influx of new faces, the Dallas Mavericks are starting to rise in sportsbook rankings of NBA teams’ chances this season. However, if the Mavs want to make noise during their tough early schedule, they have to get healthy soon. Josh Howard is still recovering from ankle surgery and isn’t guaranteed to be 100 per cent when the season starts. Free-agent acquisition Tim Thomas hurt his knee during an offseason workout and is out indefinitely after having surgery.

The Mavs have to hope they’re getting heartbreak out of the way in the preseason. In their opener against Orlando, they led 101-99 with 2:41 remaining but Brandon Bass scored seven points in the final two minutes as the Magic stole the game 110-105. A bright spot for Dallas was Drew Gooden, who got started on the right foot with 18 points. Another new face, Shawn Marion, was held out of the lineup with a mild calf strain.

Dallas Stars

The Stars began their 2009-10 season on a low note, losing to Nashville in a shootout. However, there were some positives to take away for anyone wondering about Dallas’ Stanley Cup odds. The Stars were arguably the better team, at least after the first period, as they outshot Nashville 40-26. They also rallied from a 2-0 deficit as promising sophomore James Neal picked up where he left off last year by scoring both goals to send the game to extra time.

Texas Rangers

There’s no denying that the Rangers made major strides in 2009. The biggest revelation was their pitching; their 740 runs allowed was their lowest total in 20 years. The Rangers also have a legit chance to yield the 2009 Rookie of the Year; shortstop Elvis Andrus stole a team-best 33 bases while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense.

The Rangers’ future is still somewhat murky; they probably need another right-handed bat but owner Tom Hicks may be thrifty this offseason just as he was with the Stars in the NHL – if he doesn’t sell his stake in the team. I’m betting management wants a decision soon, as the Rangers could be a move or two away from winning the American League West next season.

Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs

October 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Tony Romo Lollipop Chocolate
Last Week
The Dallas Cowboys dropped a winnable game against the donkeys last Sunday. Tony Romo has been questioned all week on whether or not he knew which down it was at the end of the game. The other hot topic this week is the fact that apparently no one told Wade Phillips that Marion Barber’s quad had tightened up in the second half. We will never know whether Romo knew what down it was or not, who would admit a mistake like that. Is it really that big of a deal that Wade Phillips did not know about Marion Barber? Yes and No.
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