The Rant of an NFL Orphan

The NFL season is just around the corner and for many pro football aficionados it is a joyous occasion, it’s hard for this football fan to get too excited. Why?

I grew up in Houston and rooted passionately for the Oilers until Bud Adams uprooted them in 1996 and relocated the team to Tennessee. After my 4 years at Texas, the source of my football jones became my Longhorns.

Yes, the NFL came back to Houston in ’02 in the form of the Texans but it isn’t the same. It’s hard to have loyalty for a team which was founded during one’s adult years.

I certainly don’t wish the team ill, but it is difficult for me to get behind this team despite the seemingly faux enthusiasm of the “longtime” Texans fans here.

It’s blasphemous to say in this Texans’ town but it is far easier to root for the former Oilers, the Tennessee Titans. Especially since they have noted UT legend Vince Young.

As an NFL Orphan this is what I’m reduced to, cheering for individual players. For example Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals) for his character and unwavering faith, Tom Brady (New England) for his on-the-field greatness, Peyton Manning (Colts) for his dedication to his craft, Maurice Jones-Drew (Jaguars) for playing against the odds.

It’s almost like I’m reduced to a variant of Visa’s lame Olympics motto: Go World!

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7 Responses to The Rant of an NFL Orphan

  1. Craig says:

    I don’t understand why the NFL moves a team from one city to another, then proceeds to build a new team in the old city. They did this as you mentioned in Houston and in Cleveland.

    Your take on cheering for players is how I feel about the NBA. Mostly because the constant trading, but because it has turned into a individual game rather than team oriented.

  2. Laz says:

    Yeah I don’t get it either Craig though I get the manufactured pride in the new team on the part of the “fans”.

    In my case I might have become a Texans fan had they drafted Vince Young. Yeah I know that Mario Williams is shaping up to be a monster but VY would have generated a buzz around these here parts.

  3. Pingback: The Texans Train Wreck Begins… « Last Row

  4. DAVID S. says:

    I. too grew up when the Oilers were in the AFL & went on for many years to fight hard in many seasons to keep their fans excited. After being dominant early on, the playoffs were expected from them. But for several seasons those games with the Steelers in the late 70s were very close & some of the most exciting in professional sports.
    I think of the early-years individual players like Charley Toler and George Blanda, who started the legend here in Houston. Many others carried it on like Pastorini, Matthews, Earl Campbell, etc., etc., eat. etc.

    I also remember the large billboards sold here in Houston in 1996 & 1997 when BuTT (yes, BUTT) Adams sold the city out & move the team toTennessee that said “Next time sell the OWNER and keep the team at HOME.” That was an awesome statement that said in a few words what many Houstonians felt deep down from the heart. This was the franchise that brought us from the AFL to the NFL and from the 60s through the 90s.
    I agree that it’s difficult ,–and awkward to root for the Texans today but afterall….What else do we have??

    David S.

  5. Laz says:

    David,
    Ha, I’d forgotten about those billboards.

    Speaking of the Texans, was that INT that Sage threw in Indy not a total and utter inevitability?

  6. David S. says:

    Laz–I saw most of the game and once again had my heart broken!!
    I actually do feel bad for Sage. He seems to be such a capable QB at times and then like you say, the inevitable happens. If you look at the Texans games this year (FOR THE MOST PART), they were in them & played well to a point. Just the 2 games with the Colts for example, the Texans played well until things came unwound through some turnover & then lost in a tight score.
    But isn’t that really typical for our football teams here in Houston? How many times did we get our hopes up that we finally had a contender that could go all the way just to get our hearts broken? Those were some great games to watch back in the late 70s with the Steelers. Before that, I was just a little kid when my Dad took me to Jeppesen Stadium & we saw the Oilers of the AFL & how great they were. We also went to those early Colt 45s games before they became the Astros.

    All good memories yes; but I just wish we could go to the Super Bowl once before I leave the scene!! LOL
    Have a good Monday!!

  7. linus says:

    (As an NFL Orphan this is what I’m reduced to, cheering for individual players.)

    i know exactly what you mean.

    they at least had the decency to allow the old browns to come back in cleveland.

    why no oilers – and if they have to move to tennessee at least keep the name – the tennessee oilers.

    they did it with the lakers.

    stop messing with us and making all sports feel somewhat disposable.

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