The Houston Texans will play their first playoff game in franchise history starting with the Cincinnati Bengals here in Houston on Saturday. Regardless of how they finish this season, they have done something that gets you noticed- make the playoffs. I will certainly cheer on and salute the Texans regardless. The following blog post is just a bunch of musings from yours truly.
I know there may be people from other sports cities that may have the same thoughts that I am about to express (like Cleveland, OH), but it's about time Houston sports has some sort of relevance. It is also good there is a Houston pro sports team actually doing well. Look at the 2011 Astros. The more they kept failing, the more I stopped caring about the 2011 season. The Astros have been afterthoughts since making their improbable 2005 World Series run. The Rockets are a talented team; just too bad their record hasn't reflected their talent. I was even glad they had a winning 2011 season despite all the failures. The Rockets need to get back to being playoff contenders and true winners so that we can get back to championship-winning basketball. The Dynamo haven't won championships in Major League Soccer since winning two in their first two years in Houston. While the premise of this post was on Houston PRO sports teams, I also salute in football the University of Houston Cougars as well as the Sam Houston State Bearkats. I salute lots of teams, but it's all about the Texans at this time.
So the Texans are about the best thing going in sports right now in Houston unless the Rockets and Astros can somehow become contenders instead of either doormats or mediocrity. If the Rockets and/or Astros don't get better any time soon to where we can be a REALLY proud sports city, then I'm almost hoping the Texans get as far as possible through the 2011 NFL Playoffs. The Texans have won their games with heart and with spirit. Some may simply criticize that we only made it this far because of a fairly weak AFC South division. Almost as if we don't belong where we ended up at. The Texans could have played terribly and just be a middle-of-the-road team that could never win the big one or make the playoffs. Considering the injuries and shortcomings, I thought we've done pretty well. Both of our Matts (Schaub and Leinart) went down with injuries. Now, the keys to the car are with Taylor Jonathan Yates (T.J. Yates) out of North Carolina. I just hope this car can last long enough for this first playoff run to be memorable. That's even if we have some sort of magical run similar to George Mason going from first round to Final Four a few years ago. No matter what happens, a long-lasting goal for the Houston Texans is complete- make the playoffs. Time will tell just what the Deep Steel Blue, Liberty White, and Battle Red can do in the postseason. And when their playoff run for this season ends, the Texans will need to prove their worth in subsequent seasons to show they can be consistent playoff contenders as well as make deep playoff runs all the while (or at least play and show they can be contenders).
What I Would Tell the Houston Texans (if they were to read this)...Since playing that first game in September 2002, since that epic 19-10 over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, I've long supported the Texans. I didn't care much for football until 2002. Since, I've started watching and enjoying this lovely game of American football. Anyone who supports a sports team knows (or at least dreams) they can go all the way. Considering all the different sports teams in the Houston area, you all are clearly the best thing going unless our other teams step up and start winning more. Even that one season when the Texans went 2-14, I still remained strong. Even in games I know you all could have won, I still believed. Maybe I never thought you all win the AFC South, but you all did it.
You finally made it to the postseason. While being in the postseason is nice, it all means nothing if you don't play with passion, pride, and perseverance. The NFL Playoffs are "win or go home." Who wants to be an also-ran when you have a chance to play for the game's biggest prize? You've established yourself as being among the best teams in the league by making the playoffs. Now play like it. Never mind disappointments like vs. the Raiders, at the Colts, and stuff like that- those games are all behind you. Press forward and make as great of a run as you can. The city of Houston as well as its many fans around Texas, around the country, and perhaps even NFL fans around the world are all pulling for you to do your absolute best. Even if seemingly outmatched, even if the [mostly] ESPN types don't give you a chance, at least you know you can make believers out of even the most discerning sports fan.
Go forth and finish this season strong! Even if in a losing effort, I have never stopped caring or supporting the Texans; and I won't stop caring or supporting. I am no bandwagon fan of the Texans. I am no fair weather fan of the Texans. Stick with your beloved team(s) through thick and thin.
Now go make some noise in the playoffs!
(ADDED: January 15, 2012)
With today being my 29th birthday, I was somewhat hoping for an improbable upset by the Texans. Sadly, the Texans lost 20-13. I'm still very proud of the Texans regardless. Hope they can build off of this for next season and future seasons.
Loyal reader Eric was proud that my Texans and his Saints won last weekend. This weekend... BOTH of our teams lose. Crappy how life rears its ugly head, right?
Win or lose, I'm pulling for the Texans. A great season deserves a great finish, and that's what I hope for the 2011 Texans. Thank you for reading!
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