More than millions

December 1, 2011 by · Comments Off 

BEYOND THE BUBBLE

By Brooks Igo
bigo@smu.edu

Even as the National Basketball Association (NBA) lockout seems to be coming to an end, the hope to salvage a full 82 game season has been extinguished. Local businesses that greatly benefit from the hometown Mavericks and fans who are hoping for another title run have already felt the repercussions and are hoping the recent tentative agreement between the players and owners will be approved and become official.

Prior to the recent tentative agreement, which has NBA games kicking off on Christmas Day, the forecast for an NBA season was gloomy. So gloomy, in fact, that season ticket holders were looking for a Plan B.

“My husband was looking at SMU’s schedule to get our basketball fix elsewhere,” says Janine Pence, who has been a Mavericks season ticket holder with her husband for 12 years.

Pence says she and her husband would be able to look past the recent labor dispute and are committed to renewing their season tickets if the recent agreement is approved. The negotiations between the players and the owners haven’t been well-perceived by the public.

“I think I agree with most people that it’s millionaires arguing with billionaires,” says restaurant owner Josh Babb.

Babb owns Kenichi, which has been voted “Best Sushi in Dallas” three years in a row by Citysearch and has been in Victory Park for the past five years. He says revenues have been cut in half on nights when the Mavericks play home games and the restaurant has had to cutback on labor and other costs.

“It’s affecting working class people and affecting my tipped employees,” Babb said. “It trickles down to us.”

Mark McGrath, who is a bartender at Victory Tavern in Victory Plaza and wants you to know he is not the lead singer of Sugar Ray, looks forward to game nights for the extra tips he receives. He says on a typical home game for the Mavericks he makes somewhere between $150 and $200 in tips compared to about $100 on an average night. It’s a significant loss on tips for the year when you multiply that difference by 41 home games.

Aside from tips, McGrath, who has been a bartender and server for 12 years, says the atmosphere and buzz has been affected.

“It’s not as much fun,” he said.

McGrath says if you combine the Mavericks lockout with a Dallas Stars road trip, you could potentially have a couple of weeks without any event at the American Airlines Center. To adjust, Victory Tavern, which is located by the south entrance to the arena, has been working with a smaller staff. He says they usually hire four or five more people during a Mavericks season.

It’s been 13 years since the last NBA lockout and this one comes after the most successful season for TV ratings and an all-time high for game attendance. The lockout started in June, after negotiations to draft a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) started 18 months prior to that, with $4.2 billion in revenues and $2.2 billion in player compensation on the line. The NBA has officially cancelled games through Dec. 15 so far.

The main issues have been over revenue sharing, salary cap, and basketball-related income (BRI). Owners claim they are losing money, so they have pushed for a hard salary cap, which fixes the amount of money a team can spend and imposes a limit on the size and length of NBA contracts. The greatest concern, however, is over BRI. The CBA agreement that expired in June had the players receiving 57 percent of BRI (ticket sales, TV contracts, concessions, etc.), but the owners first offer for the new CBA had the owners receiving 61 percent. The players have since conceded to 52.5 percent of BRI.

The players rejected the most recent offer by the owners on Nov. 14, further putting the 2011-12 season in jeopardy. The offer called for a 50/50 split of BRI and a 72-game season starting on Dec. 15, but the NBAPA declined and are planning to disband the union and file an antitrust lawsuit against the owners. This would shift the dispute from a labor dispute to an anti-trust issue.

Authorities with both the Dallas Mavericks and American Airlines Center declined to comment on the lockout.

Some restaurants around the American Airlines Center haven’t been as affected by the lockout as others. Charlie Green, who owns Neo Pizza in Victory Park and Olivellas on Hillcrest and McFarlin, says his Neo restaurant has a pretty good regular clientele and the lack of Mavericks home games doesn’t interfere with the lunchtime business.

“Though it’s always good to have people down here, it’s not that much of a punch in the gut,” he said.

Green, who says they could’ve opened at 6 a.m. the day of the Mavericks championship parade, is more concerned about the long-term effect of the lockout and people getting out of their routine.

Steve Parry, who has been a ticket broker for 23 years, echoes Green’s concerns and says it tends to take awhile to get the fans back after a lockout. He says it will be hard for the players to justify a lost season to the fans.

“Lots of people will have a bad taste in their mouth with the NBA,” he said.

Parry, who owns Golden Tickets, says this NBA lockout is having a similar effect as the National Football League (NFL) lockout did earlier this year. It has convinced season ticket holders not to reinvest and, as a result, there are virtually piles of tickets available for games. He says all orders for season tickets have been cancelled for the NBA.

“Professional sports are what we sell and the marketplace is destroyed,” he said.

If the lockout persists and the season is cancelled, the opportunity for the Mavericks to defend their championship will not only be prolonged, but also an opportunity for new business. Kenichi owner Babb is hoping the NBA labor issue is resolved by mid-January when he plans on opening a new taco bar called Shooters in Victory Plaza. The lockout has his investors and him feeling uneasy about the potential of the restaurant without the Mavericks.

The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3

May 3, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

The Dallas Love Field airport is getting a face lift. Education budget cuts may cause more students to apply for student loans, and The Daily Campus and The Daily Mustang are merging. Find out all this and more on your Daily Update.

The Daily Update

May 2, 2011 by · Comments Off 

North Texans gather outside President George W. Bush’s home to celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden and Texas prisoners may be getting a new kind of health care. A mustang football player is taking on some new skin and Texas high school football is getting a bigger area, literally. All this and more on your Daily Update.

The Daily Update: Thursday, April 28

April 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Obama released his birth certificate after rising criticism from “birthers.” Coverage for the Royal Wedding starts at 3 a.m. CDT tomorrow, and Ke$ha performs at Moody Coliseum tonight. Find out all this and more on today’s Daily Update.

The Daily Update: Thursday, April 14

April 14, 2011 by · Comments Off 

President Obama plans to cut the national debt by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. An air traffic controller fell asleep on the job in Reno, Nevada. And a Yale University student is dead after an accident in the chemistry lab’s machine shop. Find out all this and more on today’s Daily Update.

The Daily Update: Thursday, April 14 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Hughes-Trigg Turns 23

October 14, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Anna Kiappes
akiappes@smu.edu

The Hughes-Trigg Student Center celebrated 23 years at SMU Wednesday with a party in the Hughes-Trigg commons. (PHOTO COURTESY MARIANA SULLIVAN)

The Hughes-Trigg Student Center turned 23 with a birthday party Wednesday afternoon filled with balloons, cake, a DJ and the Dallas Mavericks mascot, Champ.

Hughes-Trigg Student center is home to the SMU post office, meeting rooms, the M-Lounge and additional dining options. The center first opened its doors in October 1987 thanks to a generous donation by Charles and Katharine Hughes-Trigg to build a student center on the site where they fell in love 65 years ago. The staff of Hughes-Trigg sees the birthday party as being not only for the building, but also for the students.

“It’s sort of to give back to the students,” Assistant Director David Hayden said. “It’s to let them know we appreciate them coming here.”

Mariana Sullivan, who has planned birthday celebrations for the past six years, has been planning this party for the past two months. Sullivan expected about 150 students and wanted to keep the party easygoing.

“Hughes-Trigg’s 20th celebration was very formal with President Turner speaking at the celebration,” Sullivan said. “Now we have a more laid-back feel.”

Students came to see the Maverick’s mascot Champ, listen to a DJ, and have snacks like birthday cake and drinks.

“We just came for the cake and then we decided to check out what was all going on,” junior Kellie Teague said.

Students found out about the celebration not only by flyers posted around the campus, but also by word of mouth or just walking into Hughes-Trigg and seeing the balloons and banners.

“Even if you don’t hear about it, everyone comes through here,” senior Yasmin Ara said.

With having the party in the Commons, it was easier for students to stop by for some cake, relax with friends and listen to music while on break.

“We expected people to come by, get some cake and go,” Sullivan said. “Normally people are eating lunch and going to class, so they can just come and go as they please.”

Cake was served at the birthday party for the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. (PHOTO COURTESY MARIANA SULLIVAN)

Sullivan, marketing manager for Hughes-Trigg, was able to get in touch with the Dallas Mavericks and have representatives come out for this year’s celebration.

“We have a relationship with them for different events and things of interest for students,” Sullivan said.

Ernest Rangel, account executive for the Dallas Mavericks, was on hand to talk about the Mavericks new “Mavs U” ticket program and to raffle off Mavericks tickets, jerseys, and hats.

“We run a ‘Mavs U’ program where students can call in or go online and put in a code to get special deals on Maverick tickets for 28 upcoming games and coupons to Genghis Grill,” Rangel said. “We understand what it is like to be college students.”

The Mavericks were on the road for the birthday party but that didn’t stop Champ from coming and celebrating with SMU students. Champ ran around the Commons, handing out shirts and taking pictures. Rangel also tried to get a special surprise for the party.

“We were trying to get one of our injured players, Rodrigue Beaubois, to come but he went out of town with the team,” Rangel said.

The party drew to a close when students sang “Happy Birthday” to the building with Champ’s help. When asked if they had started planning for next year, Hayden discussed plans for the big milestone in two years.

“For 25, we want to do something bigger and better,” Hayden said. “We’ll still have the Mavericks or maybe something else like the Dallas Stars. We’ll have to see what other surprises we can find.”

Dallas’ ManiAACs are the Original Male NBA Dance Squad

March 26, 2010 by · Comments Off 

(PHOTO BY KATIE SIMON / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

(PHOTO BY KATIE SIMON / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

Katie Simon
katies@smu.edu

It’s hard to look away when these dancers storm out onto the American Airline Center’s basketball court. Some Dallas Mavericks’ fans stare in awe, others glow green with envy. Their skin-tight tops are enough to turn heads, as are their sensual dance moves and provocative wiggling.

They’re hot, they’re hip, they’re…large sweaty men.

These rowdy, big-bellied, shredded-t-shirt wearing dancers are known as the Mavs ManiAACs, and they are the first male dance squad of the NBA.

Unlike the tiny bombshell Mavs Dancers, the ManiAACs (AAC stands for American Airlines Center) are a group of heavyset men wearing very tiny shirts. Attire includes a midriff, shredded “MANIAACS: Gettin’ Jiggly Wit It” t-shirt, sweatbands, baseball caps, warm-up pants and crazy attitudes—along with their protruding bellies.

However, Their outfits may not be as outrageous as their nicknames. Big Rob (the captain), Boy Ain’t Right, Wonderbread and Chunky D make up four of the 19 members, all of whom have dubbed themselves with goofy names.

The ManiACCs first began their crowd-pleasing hip-hop routines during the 2002 playoffs season. Mark Cuban wanted to put together a one-time out-of-the-ordinary dance routine for a playoff game. He imagined a dance team that would consist of the typical male Mavs fans: large, beer-drinking and rambunctious. He turned to Shella Sattler, the coach of the Mavs Dancers and founder of Dallas Powerhouse of Dance.

“He said, ‘I want you to get these…huge Mavericks’ guy fans, and I want you to do a dance-off spoof and just see what happens,’” said Sattler. “And I just thought, ‘No way, there’s no way. Well, I can try and if I fail, I fail.’”

But failure was not the result. Instead, around 100 men showed up to try out for the squad, and 20 were picked to be the official ManiAACs.

Some of the auditioners, like Rob “Big Rob” Maiden, an accountant for the Dallas Cowboys, had no idea what they were in for.

“They ran an ad saying that they were looking for beefy guys, so one of my co-workers filled out an application for me without my knowledge, and I got a letter that said I had been invited to an audition,” Big Rob said.

Others, like Daniel “Boy Ain’t Right” Jacob, an SMU alumnus, were ecstatic when they heard about the tryouts.

“I just looked at it going, ‘Hey, I can get free tickets!’” Boy Ain’t Right said.

Big Rob says Sattler, who had only really worked with female dancers before that day, was not used to being in the presence of so many large men, and was especially not used to training them.

However, the confusion over how to handle Mark Cuban’s request soon turned into a long-lasting relationship between Sattler and the ManiAACs.

“We all just fell in love at the same time,” Big Rob said. “She thought we were all just cute and cuddly.”

When the ManiAACs hit the court for their big playoff game debut, the crowd didn’t know what to expect. They lined up on the court wearing yellow raincoats and holding red and blue umbrellas. Seconds later, “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls filled the speakers, the raincoats flew off, and the rest, as Big Rob said, was history.

Sattler says they received a standing ovation. From that point on, the ManiAACs knew they were not going to be just a one-hit wonder.

“We just said, ‘Man, I can see myself doing this for a long time,” Big Rob remembers.

Their instant-hit status didn’t stay local for long, however. Other NBA teams quickly caught on and began forming male dance teams of their own.

“Every single team in the league copied us. Some succeeded and some failed. I think we are the only ones that are still around,” Sattler said.

Now in their eighth season, the ManiAACs have a large fan base.

Yadira Moreno, who moved from Juarez, Mexico to Dallas two and a half years ago and regularly attends Mavs games, is already a die-hard fan.

“I really like them, and I really like the way they don’t have any inhibitions,” Moreno said at an NBA event for the recent Allstar games.

Part of their success, believes Sattler, comes from the fact that she only allows them to dance at one game per month, and each performance is themed. This leaves the crowd wanting more, resulting in a bigger response when they finally do stomp onto the court.

Despite their rare performances, however, the ManiAACs are present at every game. They boogie in unison, often swaying left and right at the top of section 112 above their “ManiAACs” banner.

They have also been known to mingle through the halls outside of the arena, chatting with fans grabbing a beer or hotdog.
Brad Edwards, the assistant manager at the Dallas Mavericks Ultimate Fan Shop at Northpark Mall, says he runs across the ManiAACs every time he attends a game and is good friends with Randy, also known as Wild Dog.

“I’ve known him for a few years,” Edwards said. “He’s a crazy guy.

So how does one qualify to become a ManiAAC? Being crazy like Wild Dog is only part of the criteria. The squad, which holds tryouts at the beginning of every season, looks for large men with even larger personalities.

“And big people who can keep a beat,” Shella said.

SMU freshman Parth Sheth, a Dallas local and long-time ManiAACs fan, jokingly admits to wanting to join the squad someday.

“I actually kind of want to be one, but I’m not big enough I guess,” said Sheth.

Click here to check out the ManiAACs in action during the Spurs’ game.

PHOTOS: Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks

March 18, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Fans Fill Cowboys Stadium For All-Star Game

February 16, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Caroline Wells
cwells@smu.edu

The traffic was backed up for miles and cars were driving on the shoulder of the highway to break loose of the gridlock. People traveled from all corners of the country to Dallas to attend a record breaking All-Star game.

“Does Dallas, Texas know how to throw a party or what!” Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban, yelled from center court.

Cowboys Stadium is the biggest dome in the world, capable of holding over 100,000 people. When Cuban announced the 108,713 person attendance, he was also announcing a Guinness World Record for the largest crowd ever to attend a basketball game.

“I’m so excited to be a part of Guinness World Records. Now when I see the book, I can say I was there, and that’s priceless,” Carey Patterson, 20, said.

However, a big crowd can cause big issues. Cowboys Stadium is designed for ticket holders to enter through specific gates, which caused a huge jam as the crowd tried to enter into the stadium.

Kate Colwill, 20, traveled from her college in South Carolina for the game. She was among the thousands trying to get to their seats on time.

“I stood in line for so long. It was ridiculous, cold, and unnecessary,” Colwill said. She said the line would not move for 20 minutes. Security guards finally helped speed up the process.

For the opening act, the stadium lights went dark and Usher emerged from under the stage singing his new single “More.” He gave way to the All-Stars rising from the floor onto the stage in a blur of fog and lights. Hometown host Dirk Nowitzki received one of the loudest cheers as he made his first appearance in the All-Star game as a starter.

Nowitzki thanked the fans for attending the game and, referring to the crowd, he said, “everything is bigger in Texas.”

From the game itself to Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders and music artists, there was always a performance on the floor. Even the inflatable mascots of the various teams came on the court with a choreographed routine to keep the crowd entertained.

Brooks Igo, a SMU sophomore, said her favorite part of the entire night was the mascot tricks. The mascots would jump off the trampoline towards the basketball hoop in an attempt to dunk the basketball.

The halftime show was filled with just as much excitement and special effects as the rest of the acts. Shakira rose up from the ground in a cage surrounded by smoke. The final act was Alicia Keys who sang “Empire State of Mind,” but changed the words New York to all-star.

The game itself came down to the wire. Western Conference was down by 2 points with 5 seconds left. Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony’s shot fell short, and the West lost by a score of 141-139.

Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat won the MVP. His 28 points and 5 steals were enough to cut the West short. It truly was one for the record books.

Dallas’ All-Star Weekend Wraps Up Sunday Night at Cowboys Stadium

February 14, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

DALLAS — The NBA spotlight has been on Dallas this weekend as the city hosted a long weekend full of NBA festivities, and Sunday’s All-Star game could draw one of the largest crowds to ever watch a basketball game.

The game will feature two players from the host city, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, but they won’t be playing on their home floor. The game will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington at 7 p.m. on TNT. More than 90,000 fans are expected.

Kidd, who will make his tenth All-Star appearance, replaced Kobe Bryant on the West All-Stars roster after Bryant pulled out due to an ankle injury.

Although injured, Kobe Bryant was still able to make an appearance during the NBA All-Star practices at the Dallas Convention Center Saturday morning. PHOTO BY ALAN H. ROSE/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG

Although injured, Kobe Bryant was still able to make an appearance during the NBA All-Star practices at the Dallas Convention Center Saturday morning. PHOTO BY ALAN H. ROSE/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG

Nowitzki got the word Saturday from West Head Coach George Karl (Denver Nuggets) that he’ll be guarding the Cavaliers’ star Lebron James.

James headlines the East All-Star starting line up, along with Miami’s Dwayne Wade, Boston’s Kevin Garnett, Orlando’s Dwight Howard, and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson.

For the West, this will be Nowitzki’s ninth All-Star game. He will take Bryant’s starting spot. Nowitzki will begin the game with former teammate, Phoenix’s Steve Nash, and Denver’s Carmelo Anthony, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, and Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire.

Nash flew to Dallas after the Canadian carried the Olympic torch through his home country Thursday prior to the start of Vancouver’s Olympic opening ceremonies.

During the East’s practice time, Dwight Howard added him name to the Guinness Book of World Records for connecting for the longest basket while sitting down on a court.

Dwight Howard watches the ball swoosh through the net as he sets the Guinness Book of World Records. PHOTO BY ALAN H. ROSE/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG

Dwight Howard watches the ball swoosh through the net as he sets the Guinness Book of World Records. PHOTO BY ALAN H. ROSE/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who played in Friday’s celebrity game at the Dallas Convention Center, teamed up with Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones to co-host Dallas’ All-Star weekend.

Cuban planned the All-Star Rookie vs. Sophomore game at the American Airlines Center, along with Saturday’s dunk competition. Meanwhile, Jones took the reigns on getting Cowboys Stadium set up for the main event Sunday night.

Dallas-native and Toronto Raptors’s forward Chris Bosh will be making his fourth All-Star appearance, coming off the bench for the East.

The West All-Stars have won the game two of the last five years, including a 146-119 victory last season. The East took home the title in 2008, with a 134-128 win.

New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson won the Slam Dunk contest Saturday at the American Airlines Center, for his third title in the competition.

Friday night, the Rookie All-Star team upset the Sophomore All-Stars 140-128.

Click here for more pictures from the NBA All-Star Game festivities at the Dallas Convention Center and Moody Coliseum.

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