Dear Mr. McNair,
I've been a loyal Texans fan since 2002 when I attended my first home game (a win nonetheless) at a mere eleven years old. I'll be thirty when the upcoming season kicks off this Fall. Thirty...
My loyalty has never wavered. I've cheered on through 8 losing seasons and a handful of mediocre 8-8s and 9-7s (we all know how those ended). I've attended almost every home game, even during the 4 years I spent in college 1,900 miles away. Those 4 years were brutal, but I'm not referring to the jarring slap in the face from New England weather. The Texans finished 6-10 my freshman year— yet I insisted on wearing my Texans hoodie around campus, full mockery on display. Classmates pointed laughing at my loyalty to the 2-14 Texans, but this couldn't stop me. I eventually went so far as to defiantly wear a JJ Watt jersey to the Texans game in Foxborough. I knew it was risky sporting away team gear in Gillette, where I learned fans are given soda bottles without caps for "safety concerns". Nevertheless, against the advice from many friends, I marched into that stadium in my JJ jersey foolishly thinking I'd put them in their place. Well, I was wrong... so very wrong. By the 3rd quarter I sheepishly threw on a jacket to hide my jersey because the taunting had become so unbearable. The Texans lost that game 14-42...
I've loved the game of football for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Houston, I tuned in regularly to sports radio 610 and 790 on the morning drive to school with my dad. My family, longtime Oilers fans, like many Houstonians felt hopeless when the team was ripped away from the city. Call us crazy, but so many Houstonians remained loyal, and the new expansion team gave hope to those of us who simply refused to root for Jerry's Cowboys. Finally the drought had reached an end in 2002—it was time to put Houston back on the map!
After wasting so much talent for nearly 15 years, including the obvious Andre Johnson, it felt like the pieces were finally coming together in 2017. The quarterback circus left town and the Texans found the missing piece to make a legitimate run at the Super Bowl. Deshaun Watson was a light at the end of a very dark, treacherous tunnel. He was the light not only for fans, but for his teammates who more than deserved their shot at a championship title. We were so close, and somehow you, Cal McNair, have utterly squandered this opportunity. After everything this town has endured, from hurricanes, floods and now blizzards — we keep on cheering after so much hardship and devastation. But from one mishap to another, you've fumbled your way into burning this team to the ground. To no surprise, JJ requested a trade. He's done more for this city than you have and will probably ever do. Can you blame him for wanting out? Why stick around to waste the final years of a hall-of-fame career?
Sure we'll keep rooting for the Stros. Another run at the World Series is on the horizon (just ask Mattress Mack). The Rockets are... the Rockets. We can at least reminisce in the glory days of the 1990's. The Texans though... the Texans don't have this history! The Oilers are now the Titans, not the Texans. Once Houston finally showed signs of rebuilding football history, you took that all away Mr. McNair. There's a lot of blame to go around, Easterby, O'Brien, and you —just to name a few. But wake up already Cal, because the buck stops at YOU. You are the final decision maker. You bear the consequences of so many poor decisions, especially lately as you inflict even more pain and unnecessary suffering. With renewed hope each season, we continued paying egregiously for outlandish seat licenses, tasteless food and overpriced beer to watch your team. This is the final straw. You are pocketing at our expense, at our loyalty and at our love of the game. You are driving this team, and our hope, into the ground. Please make sure the debauchery of this offseason is the final chapter of this nightmare. Get your head in the game and at least pretend like you deserve to run a team in this league, or just move over so someone more qualified can do the job.
11-year old me, still longing for that Super Bowl parade