Sports & Recreation

  • Best Dynamo

    Danny Cruz

    Danny Cruz might not be the most potent player on the Dynamo roster, but if he's on the field against you, chances are you're going to remember him. He's high-energy, aggressive and not afraid to get a yellow card or two. Off the field, the 21-year-old has been active in raising money to fight leukemia, and he's brightened kids' lives… More >>
  • Best Fans

    Texans Fans

    Houston voraciously welcomed its new entry in the NFL when the announcement came. But ever since play began in 2002, the team has delivered a ton of disappointment, inept playing, coaching and front-officing, and, really, little reason to cheer. But Texans fans haven't given up. They're not blindly slavish; they've made their displeasure known by being slow to fill Reliant… More >>
  • Best Texan

    Antonio Smith

    Defensive end Antonio Smith was probably the least sucky player on a very sucky Texans' defense last year, which, as you can probably guess, isn't really the highest praise possible. But he gets extra points for us for going after spoiled, performance-enhancing-drug-taking, and lately underwhelming teammate Brian Cushing during a game. Smith ripping off Cushing's helmet as the linebacker tried… More >>
  • Best Dog Park

    Congressman Bill Archer Park

    Your dog will kiss your ass (unless you're trying to break him of that habit) for taking you to this awesome park's 17 acres of trees, ponds and agility equipment. Unlike at some other parks, neither you nor your four-legged friend will feel penned in. Whether you want to relax in one of the sitting areas while Fido does his… More >>
  • Best Sports Talk Host

    Travis Rodgers

    If you work in the radio biz and can somehow get associated with Jim Rome, you're automatically in the airwave gold category. That's what Travis Rodgers did for $5 an hour, reading the "Huge Fax of the Day" (dude has been in this game for a long time) before hopscotching to a better gig as Jim Rome Show producer. Rodgers… More >>
  • Best Urban Nature Spot

    West 11th Street Park

    A 20-acre pocket forest park inside the Loop, West 11th Street Park is the hidden jewel that makes the Timbergrove neighborhood live up to its name. The glade's many tall pines abound with a variety of woodpeckers, from the common downy and yellow-bellied varieties to the mighty crow-sized pileated and the gaudy redheaded, a bird so flashy it inspired Salvador… More >>
  • Best Comeback Attempt

    Case Keenum

    A lot went into the toilet when University of Houston star quarterback Case Keenum crumbled to the Rose Bowl Stadium turf with a shredded knee. At that time, in September 2010, the Abilene-born athlete had put his name in the Heisman Trophy race, led a long-comatose program (and Houston's sports scene) out of infamy and placed the Cougars among the… More >>
  • Best Cheap Tickets

    UH Football

    The UH Cougars play exciting football at a high level that can be very entertaining to watch, in an old-school stadium which has its charms if you don't need the modern conveniences, and at night there's a great view of the skyline to add to the atmosphere. Sure, they play in Conference USA, but that's where the "cheap ticket" part… More >>
  • Best Gun Range

    The Arms Room

    The first time we entered the Arms Room in League City, we were hit with the smell of gunpowder and the music of gunshots in the air, from handguns, semiautomatics and shotguns alike. For people who are averse to the steely art of bullet-shooting weapons, that may sound like a nightmare, but for the customers of Arms Room, it's paradise.… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Hermann Park

    This really should be "best picnic spots," because there's not just one place in this beautiful park to have a friendly (or romantic) picnic. Spanning nearly 450 acres, this historic park near the Texas Medical Center and Rice University is one of the most picturesque places in Houston. We really like spreading our picnic blanket down on the hill at… More >>
  • Best Rocket

    Chuck Hayes

    If a multimillionaire NBA player could ever be considered an "everyman," Chuck Hayes would be the guy. A six-foot-six center, Hayes gives up a huge height advantage to opponents but plays dogged, tough defense. He's an utter scrapper who gives you everything he's got. The New York Times called him "a player for fans who appreciated the fight for low-post… More >>
  • Best Ass-Kicking

    Andre Johnson vs Cortland Finnegan

    In another dreary and forgettable season for the hometown team, this alone stands as the highlight. All game long, dastardly Tennessee Titan cornerback Cortland Finnegan had been tugging on the cape of the closest thing the Texans have ever had to Superman: the fleet and powerful wide receiver Andre Johnson. And finally Johnson had enough. He ripped Finnegan's helmet off… More >>
  • Best Swimming Hole

    Twin Lakes

    Though it's better known as a training spot for scuba divers, Twin Lakes is the perfect place to cool off without having to fight the traffic, and the crowds, in Galveston. Just 20 minutes south of downtown off the farm roads of 288, this aquifer-fed pool is clear enough for the aforementioned training and features five sunken fishing boats, a… More >>
  • Best Early Morning Ass-Kicking

    Reggie's Boot Camp

    Rolling out of bed for a sunrise midweek workout is not the easiest thing on your to-do list. But for the toned ass that lasts all weekend long, it's well worth checking off. Reggie Flye, of former YMCA boot camp fame, is your host of an intense Wednesday workout at Houston Pavilions downtown. It begins with a couple laps around… More >>
  • Best Addition to Bike Trails

    Extension of MKT into Downtown UH-Downtown Parking Lot to Target

    As pleasant as the opening of last year's Heights-area MKT Bike Trail was, its usefulness was somewhat limited. Its eastern end terminated in a desolate stretch of First Ward, about a mile from downtown, forcing riders to navigate some fairly traffic-heavy, debris-strewn streets the rest of the way to the center city. Those days are a thing of the past,… More >>
  • Best Aero

    Jed Ortmeyer

    Nothing about the October through December 2010 version of the Houston Aeros hinted at its thrilling Calder Cup championship run. Even when the club brought Jed Ortmeyer aboard on New Year's Day, the American Hockey League franchise looked to be one of the many middling minor-league clubs of North America. However, thanks to the veteran leadership of the 34-year-old right… More >>
  • Best Sports Party

    Final Four Weekend

    It came, we showed them what's up and now they're all excited to return in 2016. Houston's first Final Four since 1971 was basically drama- and lame-free, and out-of-towners left the Bayou City knowing a bit why we love living here. Along with the curious quartet of Connecticut, Kentucky, Virginia Commonwealth and Butler, Final Four Weekend hosted a Saint Arnold… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Port Aransas

    The water's much prettier and greener than that of the Upper Coast, and there's both grit and family-friendly fun in this Coastal Bend town less than four hours down the Southwest Freeway. Fishing charters, dolphin-watching tours, parasailing adventures and ferries to nearly uninhabited Saint Joseph's Island embark from the town's harbor daily, and there's good food to be found if… More >>
  • Best Astro

    Bud Norris

    Picking a Best Astro was no easy task this year. The team is suffering through a season of legendary ineptitude. Still, Hunter Pence, All-Star and great guy, seemed like a lock. Until he was traded. No worries, we'll just pick Michael Bourn — and then he became an Atlanta Brave. So let's go with Bud Norris. On an awful squad,… More >>
  • Best YMCA Location

    Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA

    With its modern interior and exterior, indoor track and spacious confines, the new YMCA in the heart of downtown Houston breathed new life into fitness in our city. Hell, sometimes we go just to gawk at the view of the skyline from the treadmills, and before we know it three, er, ten miles have passed us by. Replacing the historic… More >>
  • Best New Astro

    Angel Sanchez

    Clint Barmes brings more name recognition, but Angel Sanchez is the hoped-for future for the 'stros at shortstop. Raised in Puerto Rico, the six-foot-one-inch, 200-pound utility infielder has, as evident during the latter part of 2010 and during the early stages of the 2011 season, provided as much of a spark as anyone could for the struggling team. It's true… More >>