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Sports Top 10s

By Nick Barbaro, Fri., Jan. 3, 2014

June's X Games rally at the Capitol
June's X Games rally at the Capitol

Honestly, I'd put the ongoing development of the Austin Aztex team and franchise in the number one spot, but since they're the top two picks in "Soccer Watch", I'll just give them this honorary shout-out instead.

1) X Games Announcement Austin beat out the competition to become the new U.S. home to the Global X Games. Starting in 2014, the Olympics of extreme sports will be held at the Circuit of the Americas for the next four years.

2) DeLoss Dodds Departs The drama surrounding Mack Brown got all the attention, but the writing was on the wall a couple of months earlier with the departure of the much more influential UT athletic director, a fixture since 1981.

3) Mack Brown Too But, okay, Coach Mack leaving as the most successful and beloved football coach since Darrell Royal is a big deal too.

4) The Bev Kearney Lawsuit is one of the things DeLoss Dodds will be happy not to have to worry about anymore. Former UT women's track coach Beverly Kearney filed a $1 million lawsuit against UT, claiming that her forced ouster earlier this year was rooted in racial and gender discrimination, and drawing comparisons to UT's more lenient treatment of male transgressors.

5) Tough Year for UT Icons In July, Houston media reported that Vince Young had been ordered by a judge to auction off most of what's left of his possessions in order to pay back debts, after apparently running through some $60 million in salary and endorsement deals. On the field, he may be finished, after failing to catch on anywhere this season. Ricky Williams filed suit in Decem­ber against his financial manager, alleging that she lied about her credentials, misrepresented herself to the IRS, and siphoned $6 million from Williams' bank accounts over the last five years. And Russell Erxleben, perhaps the greatest college kicker ever, was arrested in January on wire fraud and money laundering charges, pleaded guilty in December, and faces 90 months in prison – this after spending 2000-05 in jail for similar, but separate, crimes.

6) Welcome to the Blood Shed The Texas Rollergirls finally acquired their own full-time practice facility, and the Texecutioners put their training opportunities to good use by taking silver at the Women's Flat Track Derby Association nationals and coming the closest of any team yet to breaking Gotham Girls' unbroken five-year streak.

7) RunTex Run Out of Business Paul Carrozza knew his RunTex store's days were numbered at Riverside and South First, where luxury apartments are slated for development, but April's court-ordered store lockout and property seizure likely wasn't the way he intended his shop to go.

8) The Downfall of Lance Arm­strong On the list for the second year in a row only because it took soooo long to play out, in its awful, slow-motion-train-wreck kind of way. Well, at least Lance got himself off the "Austin's biggest residential water users" list this year.

9) SXsports? South by Southwest created a stir by announcing this convergent event for Film and Interactive registrants, with film screenings, a series of panels, and a whole slew of advanced statistical metrics. (You do know that Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight website now belong to ESPN, right?)

10) Mike Leggett Retires For 29 years, Austin American-Statesman's outdoor editor wrote about killing animals in a truly humane, loving, and thoughtful way. Hunting and fishing may seem a little archaic, even barbaric, in modern Austin, but Leggett was always there to remind you where meat comes from, how food chains work, and how fine the line is between civilization and wilderness. He'll be missed.

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