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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Texas is home of several national sports league franchises among other professional sports, neing the second most populated U.S. state. Since the state is locatde in the South Central United States, most teams are part of of the Central / South or West league divisions, with the notable exception of the NFL Dallas Cowboys, which is an NFC East franchise.

Contents

American Football

Tony Romo, Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys

Many Texans are passionate about American football and intensely follow high school and college football teams—often they dominate social and leisure activity. Texas is home to two NFL teams, the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys, commonly referred to as "America's Team". The Cowboys are the most recognizable team in the state due to their success on the field. The Cowboys have 5 Super Bowls tying them with the San Francisco 49ers for the second most super bowl wins. They are the only team in Texas to make it to, and win the Super Bowl.

Baseball

Nolan Ryan, has pitched for both the Astros and Rangers.

Baseball has a strong presence in Texas, with Major League Baseball teams the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. In 2005, the Astros became the first team in Texas to make it to the World Series. Minor league baseball is also closely followed in Texas—especially in the smaller metropolitan areas. The Fort Worth Cats are a team in Fort Worth, Texas that has won 3 straight championships, one in the Central Baseball League and the last two in the American Association. College baseball is also quite popular, as Texas A&M University, Rice University, the University of Texas, and Baylor University have all made multiple College World Series appearances.

Basketball

Tim Duncan, a San Antonio Spurs player

Basketball is also popular, and Texas hosts three NBA teams: the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Dallas Mavericks. All three have reached the NBA Finals and the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs have won championships. Additionally, Texas is home to one WNBA team, the San Antonio Silver Stars as the Houston Comets folded at the end of the 2008 season. The Comets were the winners of the first four WNBA Championships in league history, in the 1997–2000 seasons.

Horse racing

From 1905–1915, people in Dallas and Fort Worth turned out by the thousands for horse racing, which was usually tied to the state fair schedule. Dallas established a Jockey Club early on. The Fort Worth Driving Club (for owners of Standardbred trotters and pacers) had 101 members when it opened in 1905. Trotters raced at a park in Fort Worth, but both cities attracted thousands of people for each style of racing.[1]

Hockey

2006 Mike Modano, Dallas Stars Center

Hockey has been a growing participatory sport in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since the Minnesota North Stars became the Dallas Stars in 1993. The Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999, and returned in 2000 only to lose to the New Jersey Devils. The Stars has also won 7 division trophies, as well as two President's Trophys awarded to the team with the most points at the end of the season. Minor league professional hockey has become popular in the last few decades; such as the Houston Skippers USHL Louden Cup winners in 1948 with legendary coach Toe Blake. AHL Houston Aeros who won the IHL's Turner Cup in 1999 and the AHL Calder Cup in 2003 and two Avco Cups in the WHA. The San Antonio Rampage also play in the AHL, and a third AHL team, the Texas Stars, a minor league affiliate with the Dallas Stars, began play in Cedar Park, Texas in 2009. Texas is home to six of the Central Hockey League's sixteen teams.

Soccer

Soccer has always been a special sport in Texas. The old North American Soccer League had teams in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and in Houston. The Dallas Tornado played between 1968-1981, while the Houston Stars played for one season in 1968. Houston returned to the league in 1978 as the Hurricanes and played until 1980. Soccer return to Texas with the 1994 FIFA World Cup with the Cotton Bowl hosting matches. In 1996, the Dallas Burn was born as one of ten founding member of the MLS, which is the current Division 1 professional soccer league overseen by the USSF. They were the only team in Texas until the Houston Dynamo join them in 2006, by then the Dallas Burn were renamed FC Dallas with a new logo and colors, and also a new permanent soccer-specific stadium called Pizza Hut Park. The Dynamo won the MLS Cup in their first year in Houston and again in their second year in 2007.

Collegiate

Many Texas universities have rich athletic traditions. Originally, most Texas Division I universities were part of the Southwest Conference until it dissolved in 1996. Four of the largest programs in Texas are now part of the Big 12 Conference: the Baylor Bears, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, and Texas Tech Red Raiders. In addition to the four Big 12 schools, Texas is home to six other Division I (Bowl Sub-Division) teams: the TCU Horned Frogs of the Mountain West Conference; the SMU Mustangs, the Houston Cougars, the Rice Owls and the UTEP Miners, all of Conference USA; and the North Texas Mean Green of the Sun Belt Conference. Texas has the most Division I-FBS schools in America, ten.

According to a survey of Division I-A coaches the rivalry between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, the Red River Shootout, ranks the third best in the nation.[2] A fierce rivalry, the Lone Star Showdown, also exists between the two state's largest universities, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas. The SMU Mustangs and Texas Christian University Horned Frogs have a rivalry called the Battle for the Iron Skillet.

Collegiate teams nationwide see Texas as an American Football recruiting hotbed. In 2006, 170 players in the NFL came from Texas high schools.[3]

High school

Most primary and secondary school athletic, music, and academic contests in Texas are organized and administered by the University Interscholastic League (UIL).[4]

Rodeo

Sheryl Crow at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Texans also enjoy going to the rodeo. The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the world. The event begins with trail rides that originate from several points throughout the state, all of which convene at Reliant Park. The World’s first rodeo was held in Pecos, Texas on 4 July 1883. The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth, Texas has a cowboy, and a Mexican and many traditional rodeos. The State Fair of Texas is held in Dallas, Texas each year at Fair Park.

Other

Other popular sports in Texas include year-round golf, fishing, and auto racing. Lacrosse, originally played by some of the indigenous tribes, is growing in popularity. Soccer is a popular participatory sport, especially among children, and as a spectator sport it is slowly growing in stature. The state is also home to motorsport venues such as the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and the Texas World Speedway in College Station. Dallas and Houston have hosted street races, the Dallas Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Houston.

References

Texas Sports and Recreational Activities

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