An NFL Orphan’s Heart Flutters

As previously posted, yours truly is an NFL orphan. Why? Well in brief, the NFL team of my childhood and formative years, the Houston Oilers, packed up and left and became the Tennessee Titans.

This past Sunday, the local extant NFL franchise, the Houston Texans matched up against the extinct one, the Titans, at Reliant Stadium.

Strangely enough, the Texans beat the Titans at their own game (smashmouth football and defense) and pulled one out, but even stranger was the fact that I found myself rooting for the Texans.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to pledge the half-hearted allegiance I have to the Titans to Houston’s current team, but the inspired play of the Texans at least proved that this is not outside the realm of possibility.

The fact that our son, in all likelihood, will grow up a Texans fan will no doubt bury my attachment to the Titans, that and the classless and toolish comments made by a couple of sore loser Titan players after the game:

”They weren’t doing that well, but it was their Super Bowl and credit them for being the good team today” –Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan

”It’s a big win for them as an organization, (but) no matter what they do, they’ll still go home (during the) playoffs. We have a lot to look forward to.” — Titans running back LenDale White

Far easier to root for guys like Texan Wide Receiver Andre Johnson who have all the talent in the world and remain humble in victory and defeat.

Here’s a shot of Johnson scoring the game’s only touchdown,

andre-johnson

Brett Coomer: Houston Chronicle
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Houston Texans Continue Winning Tradition

Instead of delving into an in depth analysis of the Houston Texans’ seemingly bottomless ability to invent new ways to lose ballgames, I instead present this picture taken by Houston Chronicle photog, Brett Coomer,

Hope it was worth it for these two “long time” Texans fans.

That’s why the Texans lost, the guy on the right wore the Battle Red jersey on Deep Steel Blue Day!

By the way, the sans VY Titans are now 5-0, as Bud Adams laughs from the lofty spires of Barad-dûr

Sports: Where it’s OK to be a Fanatic

To love and admire anything outside of yourself is to take one step away from utter spiritual ruin; though we shall not be well so long as we love and admire anything more than we love and admire God. — CS Lewis

The level of devotion we have for sports here in the United States is pretty high. I’m not immune for I follow my alma mater’s football team, the Texas Longhorns. It is unnecessary to offer up comparisons such as “well at least I don’t paint my face and go to every game” or other such truck.

Devoting 3 hours of one’s life to sitting in front of a TV watching a boy’s game rates said devotion as high. I do try to catch the ‘Horns when they make it onto broadcast television, which is often given the fact that the program is high profile.

Of course, after UT players graduate I follow those that go into the NFL, most notably one Vincent Young. The fact that he delivered Texas’ first national title since the late 60s has “immortalized” him in the minds of the Texas’ fans (this one included).

So much the better that VY and his Titans got over on the Houston Texans, again, earlier today. I understand that me rooting for VY and the Titans is anathema since I live in Houston but my sports loyalties lie to former Longhorns first.

It is amazing to me how devoted we can be to such things yet leave our devotion to God behind. Even more surprising is when the athletes we enshrine and idolize bask in the spotlight and the public reaction is to call them selfish and not ‘team players’. Perhaps that they enjoy their celebrity status a bit too much.

While waiting to get a haircut today I picked up a Sports Illustrated and read an article about England’s fallen national team (if you have ask which sport…). The fan base, which is pretty loyal and well, critical thinks their national heroes have taken this celebrity thing a bit too far (Beckham is the poster child while Terrell Owens seems to be the poster child in American sports).

This quote from the article made me think of our role, as fans, in creating these personas then getting upset when these athletes start believing the hype we create,

It is hypocritical to criticize athletes who love the spotlight we shine on them

Titans punch the Texans in the Gut, Again

After appearing lifeless for the first 3 quarters of today’s match up against the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans roared back into the game, scoring 29 points in the 4th Quarter take a 36-35 lead. Yet Titans QB Kerry Collins rallied his team to set up Rob Bironas’ game winning field goal.

Final Score: Titans 38, Texans 36

Texans backup QB Sage Rosenfels, who entered for injured starter Matt Schaub, for the 2nd straight year nearly pulled out an improbable comeback against the Titans only to be thwarted at the end.

This was an entertaining game even though Titans starting QB Vince Young did not take one snap because of injury.

Will the Texans ever get over on Young’s Titans? It doesn’t seem that way.

Personally, I was actually pulling for the Texans to win it given the improbable way they came back in the 4th Quarter. Also, given that my man VY did not participate, I wasn’t going to mind if the Titans did lose. I like to think of myself as a Vince Young fan first and then a fan of any particular NFL team, that team being the one he plays on.

Had the Texans drafted Young, a Texans fan I would be. Yet even though I’ve lived in Houston most of my life, I’m not a Texans fan, especially since they have no history here in the city. Quite frankly, I never got wrapped up in all the hoopla when Houston was awarded an expansion franchise.

I even think it comical to see all these diehard Texans fans, not to mention the so-called “long time” Texans fans who call the local sports radio shows. There is no way that kind of loyalty (in terms of a sports team) can exist for a team which hasn’t even been here for 10 years.

In Honor of Vince Young’s upcoming visit to Reliant Stadium

To ready ourselves for the upcoming Titans-Texans matchup this coming Sunday at Reliant Stadium, here’s a clip from the play which ended last year’s showdown.

That’s right, a video of Vince Young’s game-winning touchdown run over his hometown team whose braintrust passed him up in the draft because they had David Carr.

Enjoy Texans fan…

Even Vince Young Lays the Occasional Egg

Here are Vince Young’s stats in Tennessee’s win over the Atlanta Falcons today:
PASSING [20/33, 157 yards, 3 Interceptions]

RUSHING [8 attempts for 27 yards, 0 Touchdowns]

In a word, UGLY, but just goes to show that even Superman (below) has bad days.
young.jpg

He might want to treat the Titans’ defense to dinner for the next week after today’s game.

By the way, VY’s record as a starter: 11-6

Wins, the only stat that matters.