The El Paso Rhinos stampede into a new season seeking to build on last year's victory-packed campaign, when the team glided to a silver-medal finish at the USA Hockey Junior A Nationals. As defending conference champions, the Rhinos have established themselves as a WSHL powerhouse, triumphing over local rivals the Dallas Ice Jets, Texas Brahmas, and Desertville Dullblades. Team captain and hometown product Mike Rivera leads a goal-hungry offense, which has already posted a franchise record for single-game scoring this season. Alongside Rivera, hard-hitting defenseman Alex Stephens stifles opposing shooters, and goalie Brandon Smolarek lets no puck pass without first demanding proper identification. Throughout the season, promotions afford the chance to bid on specially designed jerseys, with proceeds benefiting charitable organizations including the El Paso USO and the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
The ladies of El Paso Roller Derby celebrate two major events on St. Smacktrick's Day: the day an English monk destroyed Ireland's booming snake-breeding economy; and their league's recent acceptance into the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. Colorfully named skaters convene from Odessa, Hobbs, Marfa, Albuquerque, and beyond for a double-header of flat-track face-offs. The first match pits the Irish Car Bombs against the Lucky Charms as green-clad jammers sprint under the flying elbows of blockers while the less lucky careen into walls. The Hooligans and the Shenanigans follow up the action with their own blur of scuffed helmets, bright spandex, striped knee socks, and fishnets.
A member of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball's sunny South Division, the El Paso Diablos dazzle crowds that can exceed 10,000 at the friendly confines of Cohen Stadium. Though not affiliated with any Major League teams, the American Association has helped launch the careers of numerous major and minor leaguers, giving fans the fun of guessing who might be the league’s next MLB prospect, which team he might play for, and which flavor of Gatorade he sweats.
After more than 50 years of horse racing and cheering fans echoing off the nearby mountains, Sunland Park Racetrack continues filling eager purses through live-racing simulcasts. From relaxed seating, customers can watch races from across the country, mimic racing whips with curled-up programs, and shout inspiring chants in Horse Latin. While race gates burst open throughout the day, the Turf Dining Club opens its doors to serve a variety of entrees, from steak-and-avocado sandwiches to a fiesta nachos platter, washed down with soft drinks or tea.
Now in their 86th season, the Harlem Globetrotters continue to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2012 world tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites take to the hardwood each game, so spectators might spot Special K Daley sharing a behind-the-back pass with newcomer Jacob “Hops” Tucker, the 2011 NCAA slam-dunk champion whose 50-inch vertical leap cruelly dashed his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Trotters might also present a study in contrasts with five-foot-two Too Tall Hall and seven-foot-eight Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, the world's tallest pro basketball player.