Best of Houston®

Best Of 2002

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Best Of :: Sports & Recreation

Best Motivator

It's 4:30 p.m., and you've had one of those days at the office. You know you need to go work out. You also know you could go straight home and work out the cushions of your oversized, overstuffed sofa. Then you remember that he'll be at the gym. You suit up. He's John Dalton, a fitness instructor who teaches step, kickboxing, and weight-training aerobics classes at the downtown Y, and he's there every day. This guy takes it to another level: He sings, whistles and whoops his way through the routines, sounding more like the Music Man than a drill instructor. You push yourself to the max and then some, because it actually starts to feel good. By the end of class, you've got a smile on your face, and you don't want to miss the next one. If you do, he'll wonder where you've been.

Best Place to See Bambi

Living in the sweltering silver city, there are few places where you can get in touch with your inner Daniel Boone. But just outside of town, before you get to the ocean, there's a place where you can pretend you're going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house. Little footbridges lead across ponds, and trees stretch farther than any groves we've seen inside the Loop. It's like the Hill Country, but flatter and closer. There's an open prairie where you can sit on a bench and feel like you're Charles Ingalls about to build a homestead. There are well-labeled paths where you can see deer running. There are even some bison wandering around the 2,500-acre nature preserve.

8500 Bay Area Blvd., Pasadena, 77507
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281-474-2551
Best Place to See Bambi

Living in the sweltering silver city, there are few places where you can get in touch with your inner Daniel Boone. But just outside of town, before you get to the ocean, there's a place where you can pretend you're going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house. Little footbridges lead across ponds, and trees stretch farther than any groves we've seen inside the Loop. It's like the Hill Country, but flatter and closer. There's an open prairie where you can sit on a bench and feel like you're Charles Ingalls about to build a homestead. There are well-labeled paths where you can see deer running. There are even some bison wandering around the 2,500-acre nature preserve.

Best Texan

There is no position more unsung in major professional sports than that of the offensive lineman, so let us sing the praises of one: Tony Boselli. The first player drafted by the Texans in their expansion draft, Boselli is, of course, huge; he's six foot seven and 320 pounds. He's also good; he's been picked for the Pro Bowl five times in an eight-year career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At age 30, he's likely got enough good years in him to see the Texans make it out of patsy status. And he brings a bit more to the table: For the past seven years he and his wife, Angi, have headed the Boselli Foundation, which has funded scholarships, educational programs and other benefits for disadvantaged youths. A foundation spokesperson says the group's headquarters will be moving to Houston, and the Bosellis will decide how best to help here.

Best Texan

There is no position more unsung in major professional sports than that of the offensive lineman, so let us sing the praises of one: Tony Boselli. The first player drafted by the Texans in their expansion draft, Boselli is, of course, huge; he's six foot seven and 320 pounds. He's also good; he's been picked for the Pro Bowl five times in an eight-year career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At age 30, he's likely got enough good years in him to see the Texans make it out of patsy status. And he brings a bit more to the table: For the past seven years he and his wife, Angi, have headed the Boselli Foundation, which has funded scholarships, educational programs and other benefits for disadvantaged youths. A foundation spokesperson says the group's headquarters will be moving to Houston, and the Bosellis will decide how best to help here.

Best Astro

Daryle Ward's 2002 season wasn't the breakout year everyone was hoping for, but his struggles exemplified the twin strands of frustration and elation that bind every Astros fan. God obviously didn't intend for the chunky Ward to be an outfielder, or He would have given him more willpower. Still, Ward stomps around the miniature patch of left field at Minute Maid Park as well as can be expected. He shows terrific power at the plate -- in stretches. When he's in the middle of one of those dynamite stretches, he's an absolute ball to watch. When he's not, you find yourself wishing he'd get hot just so the team could trade him to the American League, where he could be the DH he is so patently meant to be. Ward keeps plugging away, though, and all that potential makes him emblematic of our ever-struggling 'Stros.

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Best Motivator: Fitness instructor John Dalton

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