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Watch out! That starting gate's awfully high up.
Watch out! That starting gate's awfully high up.

Hot Dogs

SAT 9/3
Wieners go great with mustard. Or ketchup. Or . . . racing stripes? Proud owners of pintsize pups pounded the pavement over the past few months, digging up donations for Arizona Adopt-A-Greyhound. The 32 top fund-raising dogs face off in the 2005 Wiener Dog Nationals on Saturday, September 3, at Phoenix Greyhound Park, 3801 East Washington. At 6:30 p.m., the "athletes" will parade around the track wearing colorful jerseys like their greyhound counterparts. Dachshunds may have stubby legs and less-than-graceful strides, but these little hounds are spunky and quick. The event features four qualifying races, with the top two finishers in each round advancing to the finals. The first pooch to cross the finish line in the final heat earns a spot in the Wienerschnitzel National in San Diego and a place in history -- or at least in the documentary film Wiener Takes All. Git along, little doggies! Admission is $2. Call 602-273-7181 or visit -- Wynter Holden

The Devils You Say
All the way down the field, go

THU 9/1
The Valley's most popular football team by far, the ASU Sun Devils, returns to real-time play with a new starting quarterback -- junior Sam Keller, the MVP of last season's Sun Bowl, who replaces record-shattering QB Andrew Walter -- and the usual irritating problem: They play in the Pac-10 conference, which is also home to the two-time defending NCAA national champion USC Trojans. Coach Dirk Koetter's Devils also face a daunting Week Two trip to the Tigers' den in Baton Rouge to battle Coach Les Miles' fearsome Louisiana State University squad, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. The new season begins with a match versus the Temple Owls of the Atlantic 10 Conference on Thursday, September 1. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Sun Devil Stadium on the ASU campus in Tempe. Single-game tickets range from $10 to $95. Call 480-965-2381 or visit -- Clay McNear

Get Your Pucks in a Row
Youth hockey keeps it cool

NHL franchises are increasingly migrating south, yet the majority of players still come from Canada. But local competitions like the Sonoran Youth Hockey Labor Day Tournament aim to produce more young, homegrown talent, with the added benefit of giving Valley ice fanatics some much-needed slap-stick action after last year's NHL strike. Admission is free to view competitions in six age divisions, from midget to high school. The tournament is scheduled for Friday, September 2, through Monday, September 5, at various ice rinks around the Valley. Visit for additional information. -- Douglas Towne


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