Mac Engel

Big Mac Bites: Stars fan puts team at risk by accepting tickets rather than umbrella

If the Dallas Stars fail to advance to the Western Conference Finals on Sunday afternoon, blame our guy Dave Friant of Fort Worth. It will be his fault and his alone.

Friant refuses to adhere to the rules of fan superstition, and as such he is putting your fun and the success of the Dallas Stars in these Stanley Cup Playoffs at risk.

Friant, 68, is the fan who sat by himself in Victory Plaza in a lawn chair under an umbrella in a driving rain storm to watch the Stars’ 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

The picture of a fan sitting by himself under an umbrella in nasty conditions watching the game on a Jumbotron went viral after WFAA reporter Jesse Hawila took a photo of the funny scene and Tweeted it out.

Friant’s wife, Gaye, had advised him not to go because of the weather. Like any good husband, he said he’d be fine.

For a time, there were two other guys sitting there with him, but they bailed. With the exception of one brief period when the rain was too fierce, and he went to a nearby bar to get dry, Friant sat there the whole time in the elements to watch the game.

“Crazy I think is the right word,” Friant said in a phone interview. “I had no idea the weather guy from WFAA could see it. I was facing away from their studios (which are in Victory Plaza). I volunteer at a local hospital on Thursdays and upon my departure one of the clerks was on Twitter and said that they were trying to ID the person in that picture. I told people, ‘I know who that is.’”

The Dallas Stars found Friant, who is an avid hockey fan and regularly buys mini-Stars season ticket plans. He went to Game 3 of the Stars’ first round series against Nashville.

The Stars gave Friant two tickets to Game 6, on Sunday at 2 p.m. Even better, a generous fan gave him seats and a trip to St. Louis for Game 5.

Now, if he really cared he would pass on that generous offer for Game 6 and return to that exact same spot in Victory Plaza to ensure the Stars would win again. That’s where he sat the last time the Stars won at home, and he has an obligation to repeat the same steps.

You don’t mess with a winning streak.

“I think I considered that for about three seconds, and then the Stars got in touch with me and offered tickets inside,” he said. “I understand what you are saying about luck, but such is life. I’m rolling the dice and I think I’ll go with the two tickets.”

A smart move by a bold man.

Big Mac Bites

The PGA Tour returns to our backyard for the first of its two stops this month with the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Land Fill Golf Club this week. The field features one top 10 ranked player in the world, No. 3 Brooks Koepka.

Who wins this year is not the issue; the priority is for the tournament to have a better showing at the new course than it did last year, its first at Trinity Forest. One top 10 player in a field is embarrassing for a tournament that is located in a top 10 market.

The Texas Rangers justifiably gave up on left handed starter Martin Perez in the off-season, just in time for him to find baseball religion with the Minnesota Twins. He is a member of the Twins rotation, and is 4-0 with a 3.41 ERA.

The surprise? Not that he has 30 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings, but that he managed to compile his record and ERA with 14 walks.

Anyone worried about Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor? He’s batting .129 with a .218 on-base percentage. Since the start of last season, he has 14 stolen bases, and been caught stealing 15 times.

Not that you are looking ahead, but if the Dallas Stars advance to the Western Conference Finals they will face either the San Jose Sharks or the Colorado Avalanche. The Stars and the Avalanche had the fewest points during the regular season of any team in the West to make the playoffs.

For history buffs, you want Stars/Avs in the West Finals. The Stars defeated the Avs in Game 7 of the 1999 and 2000 West Finals, both at Reunion Arena. And a Game 7 in 2019 would be in the American Airlines Center.

The Dallas Cowboys will hold their rookie minicamp this coming weekend in Frisco, and the youngster to watch is defensive end Taco Charlton. Of course, Taco was not drafted this year, but rather he is a former first round pick who still plays like a rook’.

My friend and reader Jim Bratton took exception to my accurate musings about the return of Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. Bratton wrote me, “I think he can still ball without a helmet. He is a Stud. This whimpy ease out attitude you have is why you are a still a small name in sports writing. Winners have the ability to suck it up and grin no matter the circumstance.”

He’s not wrong. Mac is but three letters. I should go by given name, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

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