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The Dallas Morning News Steve Davis column: Roller Derby brawls are back
[August 16, 2006]

The Dallas Morning News Steve Davis column: Roller Derby brawls are back

(Dallas Morning News, The (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Aug. 16--Bargain hunters, rejoice. The premier value in local sports won't be found at Texas Stadium or Ameriquest or anywhere else the pros play. It's in, of all places, Pleasant Grove, on Dallas' southeastern edge.

It's Roller Derby, and it's not your father's Saturday night, tricked-up, made-for-late-night-TV version.

Three local teams form the centerpiece of Assassination City Roller Derby, where the skaters attack the flat track, maneuvering, bumping, falling and, yes, sometimes brawling their way to victory. (Just two teams at a time, of course.)

The bouts are roughly once a month, when a few hundred diverse fans, bonded by the kitschy subculture, fill the Pleasant Grove rink at 400 S. Buckner Blvd.

The skaters, some on the softer side, some with quite an edge, are as diverse as the fans. A few are quite athletic and nimble. Some hit the parking lot fast for a post-bout cigarette.

The bargain? Tickets are $10 in advance. Parking is free. And it's BYOB (No $6 beers!). Coolers are welcome.

Metal music from the Mumbles fills space between periods. (Best line last Sunday, when the clock showed 2:30 remaining until the third period: "We ain't got no two-minute song!")

Next bout: Sept. 17, when Viva La Revolucion meets the Lone Star Assassins.

Book it

If there is something that longtime newspaper columnist Frank Luksa or veteran broadcaster Pat Summerall doesn't know about football, it's probably not worth knowing.

Both have new books, and both will soon be available for hobnobbing and talking about their works.

Summerall's new book, Summerall: On and Off the Air just landed in stores. It's the story of his life in broadcasting and his battle with alcoholism. He will be at the Barnes & Noble in the Preston Royal Shopping Center at 7 p.m. Sept. 13.

Luksa, who covered football and the Cowboys for parts of five decades with the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News, will be at the same Barnes & Noble at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 to talk about Cowboys Essential: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Real Fan. It's the Cowboys version of a series from Triumph Books and should be out Aug. 28.

Big holiday for Wie

If you're already tiring of the Michelle Wie enterprise, maybe you would do best to avoid TV during the upcoming Christmas season. Wie recently signed a megabucks endorsement deal with Sony.

Part of the package, according to the New York Post, is a huge Christmas ad blitz. So, the rangy young golfer will hawk high-def TVs and digital cameras and other products in a series of TV spots that are expected to be shot soon.

Arn Tellem is No. 1 agent, but not with Rangers, Mavs

What does überagent Arn Tellem have against Dallas, anyway?

The Sports Business Journal just put Tellem, president of the Wasserman Media Group, atop the publication's annual list of the 20 most influential agents.

Tellem boasts an impressive list of pro basketball and baseball talent. Funny thing though: from his roster of more than 60 NBA or MLB athletes, none play for the Rangers or Mavericks.

In fact, local hoops products LaMarcus Aldridge and Ike Diogu are as close as WMG comes to a local presence. Phil de Picciotto, president of the Octagon agency, which has an impressive stable of football coaches as well as athletes, is second on the SBJ list.

Performance- enhancing history

Floyd Landis' troubles may provide a dandy windfall for a certain University of Texas professor.

John Hoberman has been quite the resource for national media seeking expert opinions on doping. Hoberman is a professor of Germanic languages in the College of Liberal Arts at UT and also writes extensively on the cross-pollination of sports, politics, science and the court of public opinion.

His most recent book, Testosterone Dreams, is spot-on background for the embattled cyclists' imbroglio. The book traces the history of hormone treatments for lifestyle and performance enhancement.

FYI: According to Hoberman, the desire to seek better performance through chemistry goes back to the Greeks, who used sesame seeds, dried figs and herbs to push themselves in athletic competition.

Birthday ideas for Parcells

Suggested ways to celebrate Bill Parcells' 65th birthday, coming up Tuesday:

--Call an office "presser." Fill it with condescending, dismissive retorts. Say "OK?" a lot.

--Spend the day wondering if your boss' home field is grass or Astroturf, if you know what we mean.

--During water cooler talk, claim ignorance on T.O.'s background, then talk knowingly and at length on T.O.'s background.

--Buy a stationary bike -- he likes those. Second choice: a hyperbaric chamber.

--Find a "Rowdy" pinata and beat it like there's no tomorrow.


Copyright (c) 2006, The Dallas Morning News
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.
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