Sports Outside the Beltway

The Mavericks: Great Team, Second Fiddle

Jan Hubbard observes the travesty of the Mavericks lack of attention in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Part of the explanation for a lack of Mavericks Mania is because of the Cowboys. Almost a week after they were eliminated by Seattle, they still dominate sports coverage, particularly the air waves.

“I was listening to the radio [on Wednesday],” said WFAA/Ch. 8 sports anchor Dale Hansen, “and there was a long debate on whether Tony Romo is going to be that good. My God. It’s January, and we’re talking about next season?”

Hansen, however, admits to playing into the obsession with the Cowboys.

“This Mavericks team, I believe, is the best sports team in this city since the 1993 Cowboys,” he said, while watching the Dallas-Portland game from the hockey press box. “This is the best group of guys, and they are exciting to watch. But if Bill Parcells leaves tomorrow, or Tony Romo gets traded, there will not be a word about the Mavericks Sunday night on [Dale Hansen's] Sports Special. That’s the reality of Texas.”

This is what I have to put up with and I am not just complaining because I want more column inches or more late night highlights. This upsets me because the Mavericks are a special team. I mean, special enough to be placed on the list of other special teams like the 2004 Red Sox, the 2006 Boise State football team, and the 2004 Detroit Pistons team. I have no clue if the Mavericks will win the NBA title but I do know that I have never seen a team like this. Winning games they have no business winning (like the last two games), star play from a player whose legacy will carry into the next two decades (Dirk), a coach who somehow makes his team believe that every NBA game is a NCAA Tournament win-or-go home contest, and young players who balance style, pride, and bravado with real effort, hard work, and homework (Terry and Howard). Why should it take a championship for this team to get the appreciation it deserves?

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