Best Shooting Range 2010 | Hollywood Rifle and Pistol Club | Sports & Recreation | South Florida
The HRPC, hidden just off Stirling Road behind a chainlink fence, looks more like an old Moose Lodge than a modern gun club. The range is all outdoors, and there's no air conditioning. Shooters have to walk out to their targets, which are hoisted on poles affixed to old tires. The PA system is crackly, and the buildings look like they've been around for decades (they have). But what the place lacks in amenities it makes up for in character. Its members are a tight-knit group, just as likely to crack jokes with you as help you improve your aim. They hold friendly, competitive matches on most weekends, often culminating in a lunchtime barbecue and cookout complete with cold brews (no drinking on the range, though). And as far as heritage goes, the club has plenty. It's been around since 1935 and was once presided over by former Hollywood Commissioner and businessman Charles Barney Smith (for whom C.B. Smith Park is named). Even more telling, its last surviving original member, T.C. Rossman, passed away early this year. He was still shooting. It may not be the most state-of-the-art facility, but the HRPC is as much a part of South Florida history as a gun club can get.
Find the "start" sign and dash past the kids' playground, the families picnicking under the pavilions, and the young men playing basketball on the court. Fly past the quarter-mile marker, through the trees and manicured foliage. Pass the tennis lessons and benches and outdoor gym stations (chin-ups, anyone?). Gasping, you'll stumble upon the half-mile marker and jog past the gigantic amphitheater. Keep going, past the aquatic center and, surely, several groups of speed-walking women. The three-quarter mark looms ahead! Stagger past it and walk, panting deeply and limping painfully, back to the start sign. Congratulations! You ran a mile and were so busy observing all the other shit going on around Pompano Community Park that you didn't even have a heart attack! Now, collapse under a pavilion; maybe someone will offer you a hot dog.
If you think women can't play football, you've never seen Anonka Dixon. She's part owner of the Miami Fury, the 11-on-11 women's franchise, but it's as quarterback of the Miami Caliente, South Florida's lingerie football team, that she completely dominates. At 33 years old, Dixon is the best player in the Lingerie Football League. She led the LFL in every passing category and accounted for about 70 percent of Miami's touchdowns. With lightning speed; the ability to plant either foot, pivot, and reverse field in a blink; and a right arm that can launch a perfect spiral 60 yards, she's the female version of Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, and the good parts of Michael Vick all rolled into one. (And yeah, she's also gorgeous.)
If you have a fenced-in patch of grass outside your house, you might talk yourself out of taking your dog Roscoe to the dog park. Grass here, grass there, you might say. As long as Roscoe still gets his play dates, everything's swell. Well, just try talking yourself out of taking the ol' best friend to Canine Beach, where Roscoe gets to cavort in the sand and swim in the ocean. The Intracoastal canal's not a comparable substitute, and those sprinklers on your front lawn? Not even close. Canine Beach is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 3 to 7 p.m. during the winter months and from 5 to 9 p.m. during summer. One weekend permit costs seven bucks per dog, but you can also pay an annual fee of $30 to $45. But remember, walking Roscoe along A1A any day of the week is free, and you shouldn't deprive him of the beach: He likes to lick the salt off his nose.
Paddle past the mangroves into the pull of a light breeze and enjoy the uninterrupted chorus of insects. No traffic, no sirens, not a condo in sight. It's so quiet, you can hear the gentle slap of water against the boat. Occasionally, a spindly legged egret appears on the shoreline or maybe a regal blue heron. You watch in awe as a swarm of fish leap from the water in a sparkling arc. You paddle on to Munyon Island, an untouched sanctuary in the middle of the lagoon. At low tide, you can nap on its tiny beach for hours. But you roust yourself in time to paddle back to the dock. You want to sunbathe on the park's blessedly tourist-free beach and watch the Atlantic Ocean crash on a shoreline that feels miles away from reality.
We cheated a little bit on this one and put two names up there, but these guys are Dolphin cornerbacks who we hope will be playing together for years to come. Both had big moments in their rookie year, and both possess something you can't teach. With Davis, it's an incredible instinct for the big play (and big hit). With Smith, it's a set of hands that most defensive backs would kill for (his one-handed end-zone interception in the preseason against the Saints was an all-time catch). They had their down times (as all rookies do), and were beaten for touchdowns a little more than you'd like, but both of them, from the moment they entered training camp, were obviously destined to start in the NFL — and both might have All-Pro years ahead of them. But don't take it from us: No less an authority than Pro Bowl receiver Muhsin Muhammad recently opined that Davis and Smith are the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. Not bad for a couple of rookies.
When she was 5, Sachia Vickery plucked a cheap tennis racket off the shelf of a Miramar shop and told her mother that she'd be the next Venus Williams. A decade has passed and Vickery, now 15, is on track to make good on that improbable promise. The former top-ranked 12-year-old in the nation, Vickery rarely plays against an opponent her own age. Last year at 14, she won a major international tournament in the Czech Republic, then turned pro. This year, she made a dazzling debut at New York City's Madison Square Garden, knocking off an older player in an exhibition match. It will be a long climb from her current world ranking (975), but Vickery's got time on her side, as well as a mother who worked two jobs to pay for expensive tennis lessons, like the ones Vickery's getting now at an academy in France. It won't be long now before that investment begins paying handsome dividends.
It comes in at a measly 1.6 acres, but that's all Stranahan Park needs. Because the park's beauty doesn't only lie with its rare cypress trees — its beauty is also seen in how downtown Fort Lauderdale molds to it. Eateries, businesses, and the Broward County Main Library swarm the wilderness area, making it the perfect meeting grounds for lunch. It comes with picnic benches, a turf of grass in which to loiter from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and a gazebo for weddings (note: Wedding receptions aren't allowed). It's home to the Fort Lauderdale Woman's Club. It's also prime distance to the main bus terminal. There's just this one other thing: The park's also renowned among the homeless.
You've probably never heard of David Lee — but you've seen his work. You've seen it in exotic formations and in the play of several quarterbacks. You've also seen the results in the Dolphins win column. Lee is a longtime Arkansas Razorback and a Parcells guy. He was an assistant in Dallas during the Tuna's reign. When he came to Miami in 2008, he brought with him a little offensive gimmick play he called the "Wildcat." It was unorthodox — a running back in motion, another back lined up behind center, and a quarterback lined up out wide. Defenses, including the mighty Patriots', had no answers. The Dolphins ran the Wildcat all the way to a playoff spot, a division title, and a tie for the best single-season turnaround in league history. Lost in the Wildcat chatter was the fact that Lee was also the man behind the resurgence of a washed-up Chad Pennington. (That year, Pennington won his second Comeback Player of the Year award.) But Lee wasn't done. When Pennington went down last year, Lee made Chad Henne look like the closest thing Miami's seen to a franchise quarterback since Dan Marino. Lee may be the single most underappreciated coach in professional sports.
A good football player can take hits, go long, and emerge victorious. A great football player will switch positions to benefit the team, lead his conference in rushing yards, and practically require a herd of elephants to take him down. For FAU, that player is Alfred Morris. The 2009 season was the sophomore's first as a starter. Last year, he was a fullback but converted to a running back after a series of injuries suffered by his teammates. This was the year fans saw him flourish. Not only did he lead the Sun Belt Conference in rushing with 1,392 yards but opponents found out Morris is harder to tackle than a gazelle. And his team found out they can use him for more than just running: He's proven himself capable of completing big plays as well. Morris is a rock star in the Sun Belt Conference, and here at home, he was given the Team MVP award at FAU's 2010 Football Banquet. He currently remains the proverbial love of Coach Howard Schnellenberger's life after becoming just the second player in the coach's 50-year career to rush for 1,000 yards.

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