I used to think that our city was cursed when it came to professional sports. From the Houston Oilers and the 1980s "Luv ya Blue" days, to the Houston Astros devastating loss in the 1986 playoffs. It wasn't until the Houston Rockets finally brought a championship to our town in 1993-1994 and again in 1994-1995, that a glimmer of hope began to set over my skeptical heart. Then finally, in 2004, a miracle happened. The Houston Astros clinched the division and advanced to the Fall Classic: The World Series, for the first time in it's 44 year history. The entire city was ecstatic. My father, who began a family tradition by taking me and my sister and my brothers to the Astrodome before we could even walk, cried the night they clinched. He had been waiting and waiting and waiting, along with the rest of us and finally, his dream came true in 2004. Optimism had returned to Houston. And so, it is particularly difficult to write about the Texans' Cinderella season, and how it felt to watch it evaporate before our very eyes on Sunday afternoon. At half-time our boys had gained momentum and were within 4 points of tying the Patriots. Four. points. Everyone watching with me was high-fiving and and laughing and couldn't wait for the third quarter to begin. Oh how quickly the tables turned. Final outcome was Houston 28 - New England 41. The end.
As an avid sports fan, I believe that the Texans will indeed, come back next season and try harder to get over that first round play-offs "hump" that we seem to have gotten stuck on. Not gonna lie, this loss stung. It took the air out of the entire city, it seems. Everyone was playing the "expert" on tv, on the radio, in print and in cyberspace. All of sudden everyone had solutions and thrust blame on one or the other. It got kind of ugly. But today is another day. Sure, we're disappointed and frustrated. But it was an amazing season, no doubt about that. And no one can ever take that away from us. I just wish the outcome had been different. Don't we all?
Oh well, in what has become this city's mantra: "Maybe next year".
The upside? Astros opening day is March 31st! See? Silver linings everywhere!
Happy Monday kids.