When you think Dallas sports, and quite frankly, Texas sports, one team comes to mind; the Dallas Cowboys. Doesn’t matter the time of year or in what context, The Boys are a household name across the United States.
No matter if it is a 12-4 season or an 8-8 season, Jerry and Company always will be the discussion at least 10 months a year across the nation by sports enthusiasts (and haters). Undoubtedly, they are America’s Team, but the Stars should definitely be Dallas’ team.
Since 1999, no Dallas sports team has been in championship contention as much as the Dallas Stars. Having been one of two franchises in DFW (shoutout to the Mavs) to win a championship in that span, the Stars have a firm grip on being the most successful franchise in the last 2 decades. You can bring up the bad years at America Airlines Center from 2009-2013 and those horrid black alternate jerseys, but consider it by the numbers:
Since 1999, the Stars have made the playoffs a total of 11 times and have more postseason series wins than any other team in Texas and are currently riding the hot hand.
The Dallas Cowboys have made the postseason 8 times in the same span, but haven’t even gotten past the Divisional Round since before Zeke Elliott was born.
The Texas Rangers have made the MLB playoffs six times, with runs to the World Series in back-to-back years in 2010 and 2011, but have made more noise with their new stadium than anything else since then.
FC Dallas has made it into the playoff picture 12 times since 1999 but has yet to break through to win the hardware, and I don’t know if another franchise has a more loyal fanbase than FC in Texas. Imagine constantly driving to a sporting event knowing that there is a higher possibility than not that the turnout for the game could be a scoreless draw. Incredible heart and sportsmanship for any soccer fans out there. Unfortunately for them, just like the Stars, they don’t have the fanbase that they deserve.
The Dallas Mavericks have made it 15 times, and other than one championship run in 2011, have been ousted in the first round 8 times, including the last four trips, and have been dealing with front office controversies for almost the better half of the decade.
The Dallas Stars deserve more recognition than what they currently get. Their four best players are in the prime of their career with Tyler Seguin, Ben Bishop, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov leading the charge, babyface assassins in Miro Heiskanen and Esa Lindell literally leaving their marks, and an NHL- and fan favorite with their backup goaltender Anton Khudobin that is the spotlight on social media throughout the season for his on ice and bench antics, all led by aggressive second-year coach Jim Montgomery. These guys are good, and they are steadily going under the radar by the DFW fanbase.
Nothing against the Mavs, but a Stars game compared to a Mavs game in the same arena is so much more enjoyable to watch as a sports fan. It is not even an argument. Yelling “Stars” during the National Anthem before each game, the pregame introduction light shows, and videos, and the third-period atmosphere in a one-goal game is unrivaled in Dallas sports at the moment. Dallas doesn’t even realize how good they have it with this team playing three times a week right in their backyard from October to May. Plus it is a fifth of the cost compared to tickets to a Cowboys game and food is half the price at AAC than it is at Jerry’s World.
By no means are these shots fired at the other sports franchises in the Metroplex, but the Stars are steadily sliding by being one of the most competitive and exciting teams to watch in the entire NHL. Times haven’t looked this good for the Stars since Ed Belfour was between the pipes, and that eventually brought a Stanley Cup to the 214 in ’99.
Fans, appreciate what is laid out in front of you. Enjoy it while you can, because teams like this don’t come around often. Cowboys get the majority of the attention, but in a couple more years the tide could begin to turn. Things could get interesting fast.