Yesterday my girlfriend called me from work asking me if I wanted to go meet the Texans. I kind of laughed and she said, "no really, I have tickets to meet the Texans." My jaw dropped. I almost didn't want to go - I was afraid it was going to be one of those times that you meet your hero and then you're disappointed because they don't actually live up to what you imagine. After hesitating for a half second, I said, "yes."
I was nervous. I didn't know what I should wear - it felt like going out on a first date. My brain was swirling with questions that I was going to ask all the players when I got to see them. I calmed down and we got to Reliant Stadium.
When we showed up, the first thing to do was go on a tour through the players stuff. It started in the cafeteria. It was kind of small considering they have to feed all those players. They had quite a bit of pictures of players. The best part about the cafeteria though was the painting of Andre Johnson catching a ball.
After leaving the cafeteria, down the hall to the right was the lounge. It was fully equipped with 3 TVs (two, probably, 52" flat screens), a pool table, comfortable leather sofas and chairs and some computers (probably the cause of the Juggernauts failed test).
Down the hall from the lounge was the trainers/training room. They have a pool, hot tub (105 degrees, said the poster), cold baths (42 degrees, if I recall correctly), some workout equipment, and medical tables.
Then the mother of all things came next: the locker room. The feeling of going in there was so awesome. When I got in I muttered, "This is where the magic happens," everyone around me kind of laughed. I don't know what it is about being in the locker room that's so amazing, but it is. I was surprised that Kris Brown had his own locker still. Above each player's locker is their last name and, if they're not rookies, pictures of the players.
It finished with us being led out to the field, walking through the tunnel that they walk through before every home game. They even had the blue air thing that they have up - unfortunately they didn't have the smoke going or a cannon shooting when I walked out. When we got out onto the field, the turf was pulled up and it was all concrete. We grabbed a beer and found the Brian Cushing line. We waited about 45-60 minutes standing in that line, had a beer and ate some nachos.
I don't think I have ever been as star struck as I had been when we finally got to the front of the line. I was fumbling with the things in my hand trying to get him to sign. I said "what's up Cush?" (I know, it couldn't get any more lame than that). He said something back that I don't really remember because the guard was bring a prick and distracting me. I got him to sign a picture and sitting next to Brian Cushing was...Dan Orlovsky!!! Oh my god, let me tell you how amazing that was...done.
At that time, the first autographing session was ending and I ran over to the coach's corner to listen to Frank Bush talk. I had so many questions to ask him but was to shy to actually ask. I was going to ask him about the D line being so small but quick, why they skipped on a guy like Dan Williams and others but I'll never know the answer.
Bush is actually a pretty cool, funny guy. There were a couple of times he had us all laughing. He didn't have any straight answers about the first four games without Cushing. He said, "without giving up any trade secrets - we have plans." And some other things to that effect. He said Jackson is developing well and has high hopes for him. One thing that struck me was that he missed Dunta. Apparently Dunta grew up in the same place that Bush did and even went to the same high school.
After the coach's corner, the second autograph session started. As soon as everyone found out where AJ was going to be, that line filled up so fast. I told my girlfriend and friend that I was going to go other places since the other lines were short. I found our tiny fast dude...some guy named Trindon? He was signing with some other guy who's name I forgot but he was really nice and seemed to enjoy being there (more than Cush and Orlovsky did). I asked Trindon a question but he didn't answer.
Down the hall was Ben Tate and London Crawford. I walked by and took a picture and yelled "Tate 'n Slate." He laughed. I met up with my girlfriend and friend who had barely moved in the AJ line so I went and found Dorin Dickerson. Dorin was signing with a really outgoing guy, Cole Pemberton. I asked Dorin how his transition was going to wide-out and he said fantastic. Both Dorin and Cole were really nice and seemed to enjoy being there.
I met back up with my girlfriend. She got AJ's signature and while she was up there she told AJ, "Oh my gosh. I love you. You're such a beast. You're awesome." Talk about star-strucked. He didn't say much but "thanks."
That ended our night because she was one of the last ones for AJs signing.
I didn't write this to brag, but I did want to get it on ¿paper?. I really want to know if anyone else went and if you did how was your time?