This post was inspired as I watched the amazing Texans’ comeback Sunday and couldn’t help but think about the many that had obviously left the game early. So here’s some commandments to memorize and follow that I think if universally accepted could move us from “greatest city in America” to “greatest city in the history of the World”…..
I. THOU SHALT NOT BOO THINE OWN TEAM
I hate when this happens. Now hear me out here…..part of being good fans is being able to criticize your team. That IS allowed. Blind allegiance without questioning is false. I have been oft criticized on the Twittersphere for occasionally criticizing one Matt Schaub, however I ALWAYS root for #8 to succeed and give credit when due (see Sunday tweets). You should be allowed and encouraged to criticize, question, and sometimes dislike certain players, coaches, and owners, however I think it is in extremely poor taste to boo your team. It looks classless and portrays your fan base as fair weather no matter what your motivation for booing is. I might be partial, but I think organizations such as The Houston Sports Counterplot set a great example of die-hard fan allegiance mixed with the occasional honest questioning and criticizing of those organizations we know and love.
II. THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY ON THINE TEAM
We all have that one friend who is a Laker, Yankee, Cowboy fan (that’s right bro…..I just called you out in a blog read by millions! You know who you are). Can that type of person really exist? I say vehemently NO! You can’t be a fan of both the Cowboys and Texans, or the Spurs and Rockets, or gasp the ultimate blasphemy…… Rangers and Astros. You can only truly love one team in each sport. Try telling your wife: “Look honey I love you, but I also think Jessica is pretty hot and especially during certain times of the year I’m going be with her.” (Spoiler: YOU WILL DIE AND/OR HAVE CERTAIN BODY PARTS REMOVED FROM YOUR BODY) If you’re going to do this fan thing it is a monogamous relationship. Can you have a favorite in a game where your team is not favored? SURE, but when the game is over the outcome shouldn’t affect you very much like it does when your true love plays.
III. KNOW THINE TEAM
This is the shortest yet possibly most important commandment. Don’t show up at a Rockets game wondering why Luis Scola’s not playing tonight. Be able to name at least two offensive linemen for the Texans. Don’t show up to the Astros’ opening game wondering what the DH on the lineup means. Learn your teams and be knowledgeable.
IV. THOU SHALT TREAT OPPOSING TEAM’S FANS RESPECTFULLY
We live in Texas. Greatest. State. Ever. Make sure any unfortunate souls who do not currently call the Promised Land home are able to leave knowing that they have entered a far superior state to their own. Now you can ride opposing fans a little (there may have possibly been a certain blogger who was discount double checking Packers fans when JJ Watt sacked Aaron Rodgers a few weeks ago), but it should be in good fun and you should keep it civil, and make sure those fans feel welcomed while still aware that they are in enemy territory. EXCEPTION: When opposing fans (like a few Cubs beauties 4 years ago) are so obnoxious at said event that you feel no other option other than standing up for your town, repping the H, and laying the smack down on some disrespectful punks. But remember, in my experience a friendly host can often find out that opposing team’s fans can be a lot cooler than you thought (with the possible exception of Cubs fans…..what a group of incompetent, losing inspired, drunk morons)……Sorry…..even some Cubs fans can be cool.
V. THOU SHALT ARRIVE ON TIME FOR THINE TEAM’S CONTESTS
We don’t live in LA folks. Unless you had to work late you should make plans to be at the game prior to its start! Nothing looks worse on television than a half empty facility. Get it together Rockets fans!
VI. THOU SHALT NOT LEAVE THINE TEAM’S GAMES EARLY
See Sunday’s Texans game. How many people are now going to have to lie and say they were at the game when in reality their faith was too small and they bailed when their team was down 14 in the 4th? We’ve seen way too many comebacks in this town to leave early. Andre Sunday, Chris Burke, Rockets 95 playoff runs, Oilers/Bills (wait…..forget that last one), look H town just do me a favor and stay till the end of the game. I stayed till the end of the Green Bay game a few weeks ago and was one of the few fans who got the chance to give Andre Johnson a standing ovation for reaching 10,000 yards.
VII. THOU SHALT OFFER THINE YEARLY SACRIFICES TO SAINT HAKEEM
No matter what your favorite sport is….Houston sports begins and ends with Hakeem “the Dream” Olajuwon. I was at my most impressionable during the early 90’s when Hakeem staked his claim as one of the best centers to EVER play basketball, and led the Rockets to back to back championships (still the only major sports championships the greatest city in America has). Nobody in the H has ever done it at a higher level and represented the city so well. Not to mention Hakeem’s years at UH and the fact that he played his entire career in Houston (you shut your dirty, filthy mouth Toronto….that NEVER happened!)
VIII. THOU SHALT RESPECT THINE SAINTS OF THE PAST
Earl Campbell, Jimmy Wynn, Warren Moon, Guy V, J.R. Richard, Moses Malone, Biggio and Bagwell, Bum Phillips etc…..these are the guys who paved the way for Houston sports. Whether you’re 7 or 70, you should do a little research and know the history of your teams. Houston may not have the most championships, but we have a tremendous history of sports. Know it. Respect it. Teach it to the next generation.
IX. THOU SHALT DO THINE RESEARCH PRIOR TO CALLING THINE SPORTS TALK SHOWS
Nothing is worse than flipping on your favorite sports talk show and having to listen to, “if only the Texans woulda drafted VY” guy after a huge win. Don’t call in proposing that the Astros trade Lucas Harrell for Buster Posey and then hang up and listen. Some people should just listen and never be heard. No shame in that. Better to have listened and learned than called and subjected us all to your asinine opinion. Now, if you’ve bounced your topic off at least three sports savvy buddies and not one of them asked if you were drunk or recently in a car accident……then by all means call in and contribute. I’m just saying do some research before you clog up the airwaves……Houston will sound more knowledgeable if you do.
X. THOU SHALT NEVER PLACE MORE IMPORTANCE ON THINE FANTASY TEAM THAN THINE REAL TEAM
This is the newest of all the commandments. Nothing is more annoying than “man too bad we just lost, but ————- ————— really tore it up for me in my fantasy league today” guy. You know what you can do with your fantasy league? Some believers take this commandment to the max, swearing off fantasy sports altogether so as not to break the fan law. This approach is admirable, and I have to admit that if you feel weakness in this area it may be best to take a conservative approach when it comes to the fantasy realm. However as the good book says…..everything in moderation. I partake in a little fantasy myself, and would not tell you to avoid it as long as you always keep your first love your first love.
So there you go Houston sports fans. The Ten Commandments. Memorize them. Practice them. Hand the down from generation to generation. And please……don’t ever leave your team hanging down 14 in the 4th again.
And, without further ado…