Changes keep sports world jumping

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Welcome Thunderducks to the 2017-18 season. Who would have thought we would be talking about Dallas Cowboys drama before the regular season?  Those off-the-field problems have certainly put into question the Cowboys’ chances for the playoffs.

Jerry Jones, who has been the architect of the Cowboys’ franchise since 1989, was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, his happiness didn’t last long as the NFL suspended Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliott six games for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.

As we await Zeke’s appeal, the team once again is showing signs of life with fresh new players alongside last season’s outstanding quarterback, Dak Prescott. With one more preseason game (against the Texans Thursday night), the Cowboys’ kick off the regular season at home at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10 against the New York Giants.

College football is also around the corner with the “traditional,” the “overrated” and the “rising” teams in the preseason top 25. One of those teams is the 23rd-ranked Texas Longhorns with former Houston head coach Tom Herman, who is looking to restructure the school’s football program. Former coach Charlie Strong is now in Tampa, coaching at South Florida. His Bulls are ranked No.21 in the nation.

Over in Major League Baseball, the Texas Rangers are hanging in there despite trading pitching disappointment Yu Darvish to the L.A. Dodgers. Adrian Beltre entered the 3,000-hit club, while Joey Gallo is improving year after year and leads the team in home runs. As usual, the Rangers’ heavy batting lineup is keeping the team in the running in the American League Wild Card race. The Houston Astros are on their way to winning the A.L. West title.

The Texas Rangers announced Thursday that their continued relationship with Globe Life Insurance by naming their new baseball stadium Globe Life Field. It’s currently under construction next to Globe Life Park.

The NBA is upgrading its image. Nike is the league’s new apparel provider and all 30 teams are putting on a “fashion show” this summer. No more “home” and “away” uniforms. They’re now called “association” and “icon” uniforms (whatever that means).

Here in North Dallas, Richland’s athletic squads are looking to either improve or repeat from last season’s success. Bill Neal’s award-winning wrestling team is definitely back on the map and Sean Worley’s men’s soccer team is looking to become back-to-back national champions. Along with Jon Havens’ basketball club, Zelda Smith’s volleyball and Guy Simmons’ baseball teams, the Thunderducks are hungry for a fight against the other DCCCD and NJCAA schools.

So, let’s get to work. Open up the curtains folks; it’s showtime!