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Hansen twits hamster-powered unclebarky.com on "feel-good" caliber of Mavericks' NBA title

Dale Hansen again "Unplugged" himself on Monday's 10 p.m. news. Photo: Ed Bark

WFAA8's 10 p.m. Monday newscast turned out to be D-FW's most-watched program with 249,325 viewers.

That beat anything in prime-time -- or anything else throughout the day. So it turned out to be a good time for WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen to fly the unclebarky.com freak flag during his latest "Unplugged" commentary.

Hansen warmed up by ridiculing the idea of all pro sports, except soccer, using the term "world champion" in reference to their last team standing. Only soccer's World Cup "has it right," he said. "Except for the fact that they play soccer, of course."

He then modestly took credit for the Mavericks belated decision to show Game 6 on the American Airlines Center's big outdoor screen and also the city's now officially announced plans to have the parade for the team this Thursday instead of sometime next week. Hansen had lobbied for both of these eventualities. "If they'd only check with me first, they could save so much time," he said.

That's vintage Dale, and he wasn't being entirely serious. But then the dean of D-FW sports anchors suddenly shifted gears, re-set his jaw and said, "Ed Bark, the TV critic who writes on the Internet at unclebarky.com, says the Mavs' win is the feel-good D-FW sports event of all time. Which is why he's a TV critic on the Internet. It's not. It's just not. If it was, why are they having a parade end at the American Airlines Center? The Cowboys had a quarter of a million people at their Super Bowl parade. A quarter of a million won't fit there. I think they should have checked with me about that, too."

I'm not sure why a quarter of a million people couldn't just as easily line the streets of Dallas for a Mavericks parade. Hansen should have checked with me on that. Also, the 1993 Dallas Cowboys victory parade, marking the team's first Super Bowl win in the Jerry Jones era, was marred by violence, arrests and massive school truancy. A lot of people didn't feel too good about that. By the way, it ended at City Hall Plaza, not the old Cowboys stadium. So I'm still not sure what Hansen was getting at with the AAC reference.

Neither Hansen or your friendly content provider were living in Dallas when the Cowboys won their first Super Bowl in 1972 after years of frustration. Given that this is a football mecca, it certainly ranked and still ranks way up there on the "feel good" scale. You could make a strong case for it being No. 1. I ranked it No. 2. Then again, I wasn't here. Neither was Dale.

The Mavericks' win over the imperial Miami Viceroys, climaxing a seemingly impossible journey to the NBA championship, had much of the rest of the country feeling good, too. That's never really been the case with "America's Team." The Cowboys long have been the NFL's ultimate love-hate franchise. Even during the Landry years, they were seen by many around the country as a cold, calculating, computer-like team headed by an emotionless coach.

The team's image certainly hasn't improved under Jones' ownership. Most of D-FW loves to see the Cowboys win. A lot of the rest of the country doesn't. But against the Heat, the Mavs clearly were America's Good Guys. They also were the first Dallas pro team to be embraced by the country at large. Felt pretty good, didn't it?

Anyway, that's my argument. Even if it's suspect in Hansen's view because it's coming from a lowly "TV critic on the Internet" rather than a real reporter working for a newspaper or a TV station.

Hansen is, however, an avid reader of unclebarky.com. He's said so many times, but still enjoys disparaging the Internet as part of his shtick. No problem. He pronounced the name right, got the website right and then stated his opinion. So we'll continue to disagree about what in fact is D-FW's all-time "feel good" sports story.

Otherwise Hansen's a gamer who's ever ready to speak his mind. I'd like to think we have that in common.

Here's the video of Monday's "Hansen Unplugged."