A little known fact – when Six Flags Over Texas first opened in Arlington – people were shot dead in gunfights on “Texas Street” several times a day for the amusement of the park patrons. As a youth, Red witnessed a few of these mass shooting incidents not knowing that they would later become so commonplace as to barely arouse public ire. The practice made for both high employee turnover and a lower unemployment rate in the area.
Photo from http://www.gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com
Tony Spagnola writes about the sometimes tortured and heartbreaking history of the Dallas (Arlington) Cowboys franchise attempting to argue that but for a few bounces of the ovoid ball, the Cowboys could be the greatest team in NFL history. This is absolute must-reading for all haters of the Evil North Texas Football Empire.
They are remembered for such plays as The Hail Mary and Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard run. For Tom Landry and Tex Schramm and Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones. For Staubach and Aikman and Lilly and White, and of course for Emmitt becoming the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.
But funny, this occurred to me, oh, sometime after the Vikings’ seemingly cleansed the memory of the Hail Mary from that 1975 season with their Minneapolis Miracle to break the New Orleans Saints hearts three weeks ago:
These Cowboys, for all their greatness over all these years, sure can make a claim for simultaneously being known as The Heartbreak Kids. No, seriously. Do you realize the penance the Cowboys have paid over the years, the close call and seemingly cruel and unusual punishment at the end of games that has prevented them from becoming the greatest franchise in NFL history?
And Red’s personal favorite –
Remember 2006, Bill Parcells’ final season as head coach. Seattle. NFC Wild Card Game. Tony Romo’s first season to start. Cowboys trail 21-20, 3:10 remaining. Romo drives the Cowboys 70 yards to the Seattle 8. Only 1:53 left. Romo hits Witten at the 1, first down, right?
Oh, wait, there is a booth video review of the spot. And somehow referee Walt Anderson, after looking at video that was not shooting straight down the 1-yard line, announces he’s re-spotting the ball “at the 1½-yard line,” fourth down and one with 1:19 left.
And you know the rest of that story, Romo dropping the snap on what was going to be Martin Gramatica’s game-winning 19-yard field-goal attempt, and then is pulled down running for his life at the 2 by Seattle’s Justin Babineaux. Ball game. Season. End of Bill’s coaching career,
Most baseball fans remember the game in August of 1993 where Nolan Ryan nailed Robin Ventura square on with a pitch in the back. The Rangers and White Sox had been in something of a beanball war for several seasons which perhaps explains why Ventura charged the mound to attack the future Hall of Famer. Moreover, Ryan had a reputation as a pitcher who would throw at hitters. But no one had ever had the temerity to challenge him until Ventura charged the mound back in 1993. The standard narrative is that Ryan punished Venture by putting him in a headlock and land some punches to the noggin with Ryan coming away the big winner.
Some dedicated White Sox fans have reexamined the footage and determined that the Ventura actually got the better of the Ryan Express in the ensuing brawl. The video clearly shows Ryan’s initial move that put Ventura in a headlock. He holds him there with the help of Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, but what happens next is never told. As the scrum grows, Ventura turns it around on Ryan, has him in an armlock and body slams him to the ground. The still from the video above shows that Ryan has completely lost control of the fight and is – to put it mildly – looking somewhat distressed. Ryan never landed a decent punch and by his own words was in trouble.
“All I remember is that I couldn’t breathe. I thought I was going to black out and die, when all of a sudden I see two big arms tossing bodies off of me. It was [Chicago’s] Bo Jackson. He had come to my rescue, and I’m awful glad he did, because I was about to pass out. I called him that night and thanked him.”
After the brawl, Ventura looked unscathed and its was Ryan who looked beat. Still most of the stories reminiscing about the incident give the standard narrative that the fight was all Ryan – when it clearly appears that Ventura gave as well as he got.
The Chicago Tribune relates the sad story of T.J. Antell – a concealed carry owner and former Marine – who was killed in Arlington when he attempted to intervene in a domestic dispute with his gun. The alleged shooter, Ricci Bradden, who was stationed at Fort Hood had been involved in an argument with his wife in the parking lot of a Walgreen’s. Bradden discharged his gun twice striking the ground and hitting his wife in the ankle. Antell rushed to his truck, retrieved his gun and attempted to stop Bradden from fleeing. That’s when Bradden exited his vehicle and shot Antell dead. Now there is a dead father of three and a man who will be charged with murder – none of which had to happen. Red wonders if the gun lobby’s continual rant which spins the compelling fiction that you need a gun at the ready at all times so that you can save yourself or, even better, be a real-life hero when the time comes had any part in this tragic chain of events.
Jeb!!!!$$$$? attacked Donald Trump at the latest GOP slugfest in New Hampshire for using eminent domain to take an elderly woman’s house in Atlantic City for a parking lot. Trump, however, was a piker compared to Jeb!!!!$$$$?’s big brother W when it comes to enriching yourself through the power of ED mixed with excellent family connections.
W had pretty much been a failure at every possible enterprise until he stumbled into an ownership position of the Texas Rangers. His $600,000 investment somehow turned into over $14 million allowing him the financial security to make his first run for Governor. But exactly how did that happen. First, through some slick political maneuvering, he and his partners (primarily business genius Richard Rainwater) persuaded Arlington and Texas to directly subsidize the construction of a new stadium for the Rangers. That taxpayers should foot the bill to make a billionaire like Rainwater and his cronies even richer was offensive enough. But it did not end there. In order to build the magnificent temple of baseball, W and his fellow owners successfully used the power of government to take land from other private citizens so it could be used for their own private purposes.
The details are complicated, but here is what happened. W and his partners in the Rangers convinced Arlington officials to: pass a half-cent sales tax to pay for 70% of the stadium; use the government’s powers of eminent domain to seized land the Rangers either could not or would not buy in a fair market transaction; give the Rangers near complete control over the stadium and environs; and allow the Rangers to buy the $191 million stadium for just $60 million. After 12 years as the sole occupant and primary beneficiary of the stadium project, the Rangers, a privately owned business, will receive title to the stadium for the $60 million worth of rent and expenses that they will have already paid. Has Trump ever put together a deal that lined his personal pockets at the expense of the taxpayer that compares to this one? Red doubts it.
So poor old Jeb!!!!$$$$? picks exactly the wrong stone to throw at Trump – a stone that will likely bounce of the billionaire’s Teflon and crash right back into the Bush family’s glass house. Someone that politically inept doesn’t deserve to be President.