Mask mandates have been lifted in Texas, allowing businesses and individuals to do as they please. The numbers have been dropping. Half the country has gotten vaccinated. Drive past a restaurant, go to your local gym, and you’ll see plenty of people, laughing and sweating like it’s 2019 again, baby.
Cal McNair is a very normal person. He’s a human being, just like you and me. He’s been seeing the same things and as a result, he’s expecting for the Texans to have enormous crowds, the NFL to have packed stadiums, and for NRG Stadium to be shaking again on Sundays. He believes the ghost town will be inhabited again. Houston is now Terlingua.
#Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair says his hope is his franchise can play before a packed NRG Stadium in 2021: “We’re going as if it’s gonna be a full stadium and we’re looking forward to having our fans in there ..It’s big. It’s big for us, for the team and for the city.” pic.twitter.com/aUrEqGjhRG— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 4, 2021
Cal has enormous expectations. He’s bright, hopeful, and optimistic that he will be making money again. He is marred by his own positivism, believing the lies told to him—that the fans like his football team, that they enjoy the great moves the franchise has made like trading DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson, and that the Texans will be a competitive, fun football team with great things in store.
That isn’t going to occur. This is going to be a gap year for the Texans, a strange haze before the enormous rebuild that is set to occur next year when the Texans trade Deshaun Watson. The Texans are not only going to be bad; they are going to be boring.
NRG Stadium is going to be empty, but it’s not going to be because of COVID-19. It’s going to be because of the product on the field. Then, and maybe only then, Cal can really see how people feel about his team. You can turn off your phone. You can close your laptop. But you can’t ignore attendance numbers and a vacant stadium.