"Our fans deserve better than this."
When Mavericks president Donnie Nelson uttered those words this week, he was speaking of Mavericks fans, but his sentiment applies to all fans of North Texas' four major-sport teams.
The Mavericks' and Stars' regular seasons ended this week and the NBA and NHL playoffs commenced without them, extending a pronounced postseason drought for North Texas' pro football, basketball, baseball and hockey teams.
How bad is it? Historically bad. The Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks and Stars seasons that began in 2017 produced no playoff berths. That's never happened before, dating to when the Stars joined the local pro sports landscape in 1993.
The 2017 Cowboys finished 9-7 and, adding to fans' anguish, division rival Philadelphia won its first Super Bowl. The Rangers finished 78-84, then watched in-state rival Houston win its first World Series.
The Stars went 42-32-8 this season but fell three points short of a playoff berth thanks to one of the most epic regular-season collapses in NHL history. The Mavericks finished 24-58 and now are watching downstate rival Houston enter the playoffs with the NBA's best record.