- Sports in Texas
Texasinclude professional teams in all major sports, collegiate teams in major and small-school conferences and associations, and active amateur teams and individual sports. American Football, historically has been the most popular sport in the state. In recent years, Texans are participating a wide variety of sports. Dallas, Texasis one of the few cities nationwide to have professionals in all the major professional sports organizations, NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL.
Many Texans are passionate about
American footballand intensely follow high school and college footballteams—often they dominate social and leisure activity. Texas is home to two NFL teams, the Houston Texansand the Dallas Cowboys, commonly referred to as " America's Team". The Cowboys are the most recognizable team in the state due to their success on the field. The Cowboys have 5 super bowls tying them with two other NFL teams for the most super bowl wins. They are the only team in Texas to make it to, and win the Super Bowl.
Baseballhas a strong presence in Texas, with Major League Baseballteams the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. The Astros were the first (and only) team in Texas to make it to the World Series. Minor league baseballis also closely followed in Texas—especially in the smaller metropolitan areas. The Fort Worth Catsare a team in Fort Worth, Texas that has won 3 straight championships, one in the Central Baseball Leagueand the last two in the American Association. College baseball is also quite popular, as Texas A&M University, Rice University, The University of Texas, and Baylor Universityhave all made multiple College World Seriesappearances.
Basketballis also popular, and Texas hosts three NBA teams: the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Dallas Mavericks. All three have reached the NBA Finals and the Houston Rocketsand San Antonio Spurshave won championships. Additionally, Texas is home to two WNBA teams, the Houston Cometsand the San Antonio Silver Stars. The Comets were the winners of the first four WNBAChampionships in league history, in the 1997–2000 seasons. The Beaners Soccer Team All Benears (Houston Beans)2008.
Hockeyhas been a growing participatory sport in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since the Minnesota North Starsbecame the Dallas Starsin 1993. The Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cupin 1999, and returned in 2000 only to lose to the New Jersey Devils. The Stars has also won 7 division trophies, as well as two President's Trophys awarded to the team with the most points at the end of the season. Minor league professional hockey has become popular in the last few decades; such as the Houston Skippers USHL Louden Cupwinners in 1948 with legendary coach Toe Blake. AHL Houston Aeroswho won the IHL's Turner Cupin 1999 and the AHL Calder Cupin 2003 and two Avco Cupsin the WHA. The San Antonio Rampagealso play in the AHL, and a third AHL team, the Texas Stars, a minor league affiliate with the Dallas Stars, will begin play in Cedar Park, Texasin 2009 or 2010. Texas is home to six of the Central Hockey League's sixteen teams.
Many Texas universities have rich athletic traditions. Originally, most Texas
Division Iuniversities were part of the Southwest Conferenceuntil it dissolved in 1996. Four of the largest programs in Texas are now part of the Big 12 Conference: the Baylor Bears, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, and Texas Tech Red Raiders. In addition to the four Big 12 schools, Texas is home to six other Division I (Bowl Sub-Division) teams: the TCU Horned Frogsof the Mountain West Conference; the SMU Mustangs, the Houston Cougars, the Rice Owlsand the UTEP Miners, all of Conference USA; and the North Texas Mean Greenof the Sun Belt Conference. Texas has the most Division I-FBS schools in America, ten.
Most primary and secondary school athletic, music, and academic contests in Texas are organized and administered by the
University Interscholastic League(UIL).
Texans also enjoy going to the
rodeo. The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeois the largest rodeo in the world. The event begins with trail rides that originate from several points throughout the state, all of which convene at Reliant Park. The World’s first rodeo was held in Pecos, Texason 4 July 1883. The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Showin Fort Worth, Texashas a cowboy, and a Mexican and many traditional rodeos. The State Fair of Texasis held in Dallas, Texaseach year at Fair Park.
Other popular sports in Texas include year-round
golf, fishing, and auto racing. Lacrosse, originally played by some of the indigenous tribes, is growing in popularity. Soccer is a popular participatory sport, especially among children, and as a spectator sportit is slowly growing in stature. There are two Texan teams in Major League Soccerincluding the back to back 2006 and 2007 MLS Cupwinners Houston Dynamo, as well as FC Dallas. The state is also home to the racetrack, the Texas Motor Speedwayin Fort Worth.
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