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Men-ertainment in the man cave (w/2 videos)

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Jan. 17, 2014 at 8:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 16, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.

Manny Villareal IV began collecting beer tap handles when he discovered his father's collection when he was 14 years old. Villareal began working for the Coors beer distributer in 2003, which fueled his passion for beer taps. "There is something different about it - not one is alike."

Stretched out across a three-seater blue couch - the way you'd expect any man to sit waiting for the game to start - Joe Taylor flicks the remote on to ESPN.

The 51-inch flat-screen mounted on the Dallas Mavericks-themed wall blares through the speaker system.

"That's right ... Ahhh - C'mon!" Taylor, 36, shouts at the TV.

His wife, Tonya Taylor, joins him on the couch moments later, followed by their 4-year-old son, JJ Taylor, riding a scooter around the sports-memorabilia-filled room.

Unlike the main house, a bit of chaos and noise is welcomed - and normal - in Taylor's man cave.

"When we built this house, we agreed we were going to put the man cave in the garage. I even had the builder run a cable cord out here, so I could hook up the TV," Joe Taylor said.

It's the third man cave for the Taylor family, who built their home on Tuscany Drive two years ago.

"He's had one in each of the homes," Tonya Taylor said, who has been married to her husband for eight years. "It's a good compromise for us. I decorate the inside of the house, and out here, this is his own personal space."

For almost two decades, Taylor has been a Mavericks fan. Each of his man caves has been themed after the team, but this cave is the grandest dedication to the team he's built to date.

"You know how they say, 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'? Well, what happens in the garage, stays in the garage," he said. "This is my domain. My wife says what goes on in the house, but I say what goes on out here."

Some of Taylor's man cave specialties include dozens of player jerseys from retired players such as Rolando Blackman, No. 22; autographed tickets and photos, including a photo he had taken with the team's owner, Mark Cuban; a handmade Mavericks ice chest and a 14-foot Mavericks mural Taylor painted on the back wall.

"It's a place to come out and hang out and get loud and crazy with the guys. We watch sports, fights, whatever. It's just a place to get crazy and have fun. That's what it's about," he said.

Man caves are growing in popularity across the nation for sports fanatics, outdoorsmen or men who simply need a space for their man toys and trophies.

That's one of the reasons why Rene Garcia, 44, decided to build his man cave.

Like Taylor, Garcia's man space, or "The Bar," as he calls it, is constructed in the garage of his home on Fern Lane.

Garcia's man cave features a pool table, foosball table, mounted television, a handful of Red Dog and Dos Equis bar neons, a stereo system and between $8,000 and $10,000 worth of New York Yankees and Major League Baseball memorabilia displayed on every inch of available space - including the ceiling.

"I joke around with my wife that I want to keep expanding. I'll keep adding as long as the walls allow," Garcia said.

Both men agree their man caves are practical and great rooms for entertaining guests.

They're also good for keeping balance in their marriages.

"I'm out of the house, but I'm nearby if my wife needs me," Garcia said. "And she likes that I'm not going to the bars. I'm here, but I'm not here."

Taylor agreed and said many of his guy friends with man caves have wives who use the space as much as they do.

"They can come out and have a beer and watch the game. I know a lot of women are into sports as much as men," he said.

Taylor also said his man cave is a space he can enjoy some father-son time, shooting hoops, watching games and bonding over boy stuff.

"(JJ) loves it out here. And we have fun together. He's my future player," Taylor said.



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