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A former mayor deserves a pat on the back for all the hoopla in downtown Fort Worth this week.

ESPN is making Sundance Square its base camp leading up to the College Football National Championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Monday.  With that comes lots of national exposure and economic stimuli. So let’s give a big Cowtown round of applause to…former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller!

Miller refused to bow to the demands of Dallas Cowboys owners Jerry Jones, who wanted his team to return to its namesake city after Texas Stadium in Irving had outlived its usefulness.

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Many people, including some in this news office, complimented Miller back then for not allowing a billionaire team owner to bully a city into forking over hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money to build a new stadium.

Jones insisted everybody would make oodles of cash if Miller and Dallas would just trust the man with the plan.

Miller hedged. She had potholes to fix.

Arlington said, “We’ll be your huckleberry! We’ve got potholes too, but screw ‘em!”

That’s the kind of language Jones liked to hear.

Jones soon got a check for $325 million signed by Arlington taxpayers. He kicked in twice as much of his own money and built a state-of-the-art sports palace. Huge events such as the Super Bowl, Final Four, and now the College Football Championship draw ESPN and their mammoth crew to Fort Worth. In turn, ESPN attracts fans who spend wads of cash in local bars and restaurants. Those ESPN sportscasters would never be setting their fancy Italian loafers anywhere near Fort Worth if Jones had built his stadium in Dallas.

So let’s hoist an $8 craft beer in honor of Laura Miller, Fort Worth’s savior!

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