2011: A Memorable Year in DFW Sports- Top Ten Bests & Worsts

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2011


Time to open the books and review what just happened in a year that saw both the ultimate high and the ultimate low for sports fans in DFW. Let’s start with The Worst and go The Best so we can end on a high.



10) TRUMBO WALK-OFF – Just as the Rangers were about to complete a four game sweep of the Angels, Mike Adams gave up a two-run walk-off bomb to Mark Trumbo as Angels come back to defeat the Texas Rangers 2-1. Within one week, the Ranger 6 game lead shrunk to 2 games and the Angels charged back into the AL West race.

9) STARS MISS PLAYOFFS AGAIN –The Dallas Stars lost the final game of the season to the Minnesota Wild, missed the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive season and sunk deeper into the Sea of DFW Sports Irrelevance.


8) RED RIVER ROMP –The Oklahoma Sooners embarrassed the Texas Longhorns 55-17. Games like this make fans in the rest of the Big 12 worry because we know Texas has every conceivable advantage when it comes to recruiting but they also have Mack Brown  to balance the equation. Brown is 12-12 the last two seasons and an epic loss to Oklahoma doesn’t improve job security.


7) 49-0? Oklahoma State ran off to a 49-0 halftime lead at Texas Tech en route to a 66-6 victory over the Red Raiders. Mike Leach never lost at home to Oklahoma State and was 6-4 overall against them. Tommy Tuberville has coached twice against Oklahoma State (both at home) and is 0-2 with a 104-27 point differential.


6) NOT AGAIN – In Game 4 of the first round of the NBA playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks blew a 67-44 3rd quarter lead at Portland before eventually losing 84-82. I was home on a beautiful Saturday in April watching the game poolside with my trusty cooler locked, loaded and riding shotgun. When the buzzer sounded and the Mavs lost I screamed “Noooooooooo!!!” before shutting the television off, storming inside and going radio silence from all sports the rest of the evening. #firstworldproblems


5) SEC YA’ – Texas A&M quit the Big 12 in 2011. This was supposed to be a banner year for the Aggies – they had several returning seniors and were a pre-season top 10 pick. Some media types thought they were a dark horse to play in the national championship. In September the Aggies made it known they wanted to escape the shadow of Texas and go to the SEC. Whatever. They quit.


When the games started, the Aggies kept blowing double digit leads one game after another. The Aggie season was punctuated by a 26-24 last second humiliating loss at home to the Texas Longhorns. The game was symbolic of the Ags season – huge expectations going into the game, early success but another blown double digit lead and ultimately, defeat. Ag fans should realize the rest of the Big 12 took delight in watching the Texas Longhorns stomp on your hearts and kick your underachieving butts out the Big 12 door.


4) BAD DAY FOR RANGERS –The Texas Rangers lost their staff ace (CJ Wilson) to the rival Los Angeles Angels via free agency (who also happened to sign Albert Pujols on the same day). Gulp.


3) ICE, ICE BABY- On consecutive weekends in December, the Dallas Cowboys lost games when Dan Bailey missed field goals on the second attempt after he was “iced.” Bailey appeared to have made field goals on his first attempt in each case but neither counted because of time outs – one called by his own coach and one by Tom Coughlin.


2) LIONS RALLY –The Dallas Cowboys blew a 27-3 3rd quarter lead at home to the Detroit Lions.


1)WORST EVER –100 years from today, Game 6 of the 2011 World Series will still be one of the worst moments in the history of DFW sports. How does that ball get over Nelson Cruz’s head in the 9th inning?


Twice, the Rangers had two-run leads with two outs and two strikes and still couldn’t close. The pain of what happened that night will only get worse until the Rangers win a World Series.





10) C’MON DOWN, FROGS – The TCU Horned Frogs, building on the momentum of a Rose Bowl win to begin 2011, accepted an invitation to join the Big 12. Coach Gary Patterson has done a lot of great work over the past decade and now gets an opportunity to see how his team can compete in a man’s conference.


9) ROMO RALLY – One week after his own fourth quarter follies helped sabotage a certain Cowboys win over the Jets, Tony Romo broke two ribs early against the 49ers but came off the bench to rally the Cowboys to an overtime win.


8)  BELTS ! –Adrian Beltre hit 3 HR’s in Game 4 of the ALDS powering the Rangers to a 4-3 win and the series over the Tampa Rays.


7)  SWEEP! – Leading the Lakers 3-0, the Mavericks rode the combined 15 for 16 3-point shooting of Jason Terry and Peja Stoyakavich to a 122-86 series-clinching win. The Mavs advanced to the Western Conference Finals to meet the Oklahoma City Thunder.






6)  YOUNG LEADS RANGERS TO WORLD SERIES –The Rangers led the Tigers 3-2 heading to Game 6 but Michael Young was slumping (6 for 37). Young broke out of it by going 3 for 6 with 5 RBIs hitting a pair of two-run doubles with an exclamation point HR in the 7th inning to lead the Rangers to 15-5 win and another trip to the World Series


5)  OH NO HE DIDN’T –Robert Griffin III threw a 34 yard TD pass with 8 seconds left to lead Baylor to a 45-38 first ever win over the Oklahoma Sooners. Gill’s performance before a prime time television audience was the spring board towards him eventually winning the Heisman Trophy.


4) CRUUUUUUUZ  – Nelson Cruz hit a walk-off grand slam home run in extra innings to give the Rangers a riveting 7-3 win and a 2-0 lead in the ALCS over the Detroit Tigers.


3) RANGERS TIE SERIES 1-1 – Going into the top of the 9th of Game 2, the Rangers trailed the Cardinals 2-1. Ian Kinsler started the inning with a flop shot single and stolen base followed by an Elvis Andrus double. Josh Hamilton and Michael Young each followed up with sac flys and the Rangers came back to Texas with the series tied 1-1.


2) NOT DONE YET – As Dirk Nowitzki lifted the championship trophy after the Mavericks won the Western Conference Finals in Game 5, he suddenly got a vacant look on his face, put the trophy down and bolted the stage. Teammates followed him and the message was clear…there was another trophy to be won before they could truly celebrate.


1)ETERNAL GREATNESS – In one of the more entertaining series in the history of the NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks avenged the heart-break of 2006 and defeated the Miami Heat 105-95. It was one of those rare NBA Finals a la Lakers / Celtics that galvanized the nation because it was a referendum of good vs. evil and the power of the team over the individual. Across the country, most sports fans were pulling for the Mavericks over the Heat and the Mavericks delivered.


The Mavericks were a team filled with good (Terry, Marion) to great (Dirk, Kidd) players who had done everything in their careers but win a ring. Dirk’s MVP performance ensured that there will some day be a statue of himself outside the AAC and Mark Cuban did one of the classiest things I’ve ever seen when he had Don Carter (the first Maverick owner) accept the Larry O’Brien Trophy from David Stern.







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