Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Looking Forward to 2008: Stephanie Stradley

(Note: I have asked a variety of people to submit an essay to me to be posted during the month of December, to be called “Looking Forward to 2008”. This entry was written by Stephanie Stradley.)

The year 2007 will mark the first year that the Houston Texans were more entertaining to watch than not. The previous years, for me, were more about being fascinated in the do’s and don’ts of putting together a professional football team from scratch. It’s not something I’ve witnessed up close with any other team. A lot of people found that to be a hard brand of football to watch, but I see it a bit like watching your kids grow. You see them fail and succeed, though it is hard to watch the failures.

Houstonians tend to fall into two categories in the post-Oilers era: 1. Those who are waiting for the Texans to be worth watching; and 2. Those who despised being teamless in Houston, and appreciate the Texans in the never-take-NFL-football-for-granted way. I clearly ended up in the second category. Like in politics, it’s much more fun when you have someone or something you can support, instead of just rooting against someone or something awful.

So, what do I see for the Texans in 2008? Well, fortunately, this year I haven’t had to already study in depth the top 10 draft prospects in the upcoming draft. The Texans clearly still have many needs, but it’s encouraging to see how hard they are playing despite leading the league in players on injured reserve. (Getting killed by Indy in Indy is something that happens to a lot of teams, including some much better and healthier than the Texans). I think their hard play is due to the type of player the Texans have been drafting, and how much they respect and want to play for Gary Kubiak.

I’ve always been optimistic about the Texans as they have a top notch facility in a football loving town where professional athletes like to live. If you talk to any of the coaching staff, the one thing they will always mention is that owner Bob McNair is a great owner who gives them all the financial resources they need. I think with that combo, eventually the Texans will be seeing more success on the field.

In the meantime, the smartest thing the Texans have done is not just allowed tailgating (it was prohibited during the Oiler years), but they have encouraged it. This has created a fan community where little existed, and helped you endure some pretty ugly football at times. I think the New Orleans Saints fans’ motto is “Win or lose, we still booze.” I’m not sure that alcohol as a therapy for losing is a good idea, but I will say that some of the best barbeque I’ve eaten in my life has been at Texans tailgate parties.

If you would like to tailgate in the upcoming year but don’t know who to tailgate with, I suggest visiting the TexansTalk website and posting something in the tailgate section of their message board. Lots of personable, helpful people over there who love to welcome other Texans fans to tailgate culture.

Hope your holiday season has been terrific and your upcoming new year better. If you want a delicious extra present, please click this link.

Stephanie Stradley writes about the Texans and other sports topics for AOL Sports’ FanHouse and is a frequent sports talk radio guest. Last year, she was named the 2006 Ultimate Texan Fan.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Comments are closed.