With the Houston Texans trying their damnedest to be the very worst team in the NFL (not that we don't appreciate the subsequent high draft pick, guys), we're focusing our attention on a different kind of football. Fútbol, that is. The MLS Cup, the grand finale of the Major League Soccer season, is coming to Texas this weekend. Pizza Hut Park, the spanking-new sprawling soccer complex just outside Dallas-Forth Worth, will host the match and festivities. If you're down for a road trip, the championship game between the L.A. Galaxy and the New England Revolution should more than make up for a few hours in the car. "There are so many players in the league from Houston," says Chris Gbandi, star defender for the FC Dallas club. Though Gbandi's team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the H-town native says he won't miss the game, and neither should you. "I definitely think Houston is crazy about soccer."
Considering our recent World Series outing -- and the fact that the Texans aren't Super Bowl-bound anytime soon -- this may be your only contact with greatness for a while. Says Gbandi, "You don't know when the next opportunity to see a championship in Texas will be." 2:30 p.m. Sunday, November 13. 6000 Main in Frisco. For tickets and information, call 1-888-323-4625 or visit www.MLSCup.com. Tickets start at $30. -- Mosi Secret
Most Americans think of badminton as a game for bluebloods who're more concerned about staining their whites than beating their opponent. But the game is pretty hard-core. Consider the smash, the sport's kill shot: Pro badminton players can blast it up to 200 miles per hour. (Suddenly tennis stud Andy Roddick's 100 mph serve seems plain wussy.) This weekend, you can watch hundreds of nationally ranked players and locals at the 66th annual U.S. Southern Open. Arrive early enough, and you can swat the shuttlecock with the best of 'em. Registration starts at 4 p.m.; matches run 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, November 11. Tournament continues from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13. Fonde Recreation Center, 110 Sabine. For information or registration, visit www.houstonbadmintonclub.com. Free for spectators; $35 registration, and $10 to $20 entry fee per event. -- Steven Devadanam