Hopefully, this introduction finds all of you in good spirits and (God willing) good health. Under normal circumstances, all of us would be gearing up for the start of preseason and the upcoming NFL season. We would have no shortage of topics to discuss for the Texans, from what to expect from the myriad of moves made by HC/GM/Grand Football Overlord Bill O’Brien, questions about whether the defense can actually stop anyone, the status of Deshaun Watson’s contract, whether the Texans can put behind them the collapse at KC… all under normal circumstances.
Instead, we are here, living through the biggest pandemic to hit the US in over 100 years. What will football look like this season? Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know if the NFL can follow its original schedule, or even if it will be able to actually play any sort of games. I want there to be football… but I have no control over that.
What I can control is writing this introduction. I may be new to the Battle Red Blog masthead, but I am not new to this site. For the better part of seven years, I have commented and written a few FanPosts. While currently living between Baltimore and Washington D.C. (straddling Ravens and Washington Football Team turf), I grew up south of Houston, in the City of Enchantment that is Lake Jackson. Thus, my sports allegiances are with the Houston pro teams. I followed the Oilers of the late 1980s/early 1990s, when they were loaded with Super Bowl caliber talent, matched only by their ability to produce epic playoff fails. I can still vividly remember my 12-year old self watching that glorious first half against Buffalo in that Wild Card game, turning it off at halftime to do homework, and tuning back in to see the Oilers kick a field goal to force overtime, followed immediately by the INT that led to the final Buffalo points of the game. I was disappointed when the Oilers left, but not shocked. Between the playoff failings and the actions of Bud Adams, I think I was just numb to the team and the NFL at that time.
In the resulting football purgatory, I still followed the ex-Oilers, but didn’t really cheer for anyone. I was glad to see the NFL award a team back to Houston (no matter how reluctant the NFL was to do so). I enjoyed watching the Texans beat the Cowboys for their first win and felt that David Carr had the potential to turn into a good one (at least until a lack of an o-line damned him to mediocrity). Still, in my mind, the new Houston team had to beat the old one before I could completely close the book on the ex-Oilers. Unfortunately, it took the Texans two years to do that. Once that was done, it was Texans all the way. Admittedly, the current Houston team does resemble the old one at times, especially when it comes to talent and disappointments.
Even as my job took me all over the world, I made it a point to follow the fortunes of this squad. When in Colorado, I went to Gary Kubiak’s preseason return to Denver in 2006, where the crowd waited all of three plays before letting him have it after he challenged a third down call. From the frozen wastes of North Dakota, I watched the Texans clinch their first playoff berth. In Belgium, I watched the fall of the Schaub-Kubiak regime and the rise of BO’B. I got to see in-person the last second escape of the Texans when they played the Washington Football Team in 2018, and I suffered through last season’s slaughter at the Ravens.
Writing is one of my main hobbies, combined with reading (usually any sort of history), grilling, movies, and sports (watching and playing). Much of my writing tends to focus on sports, sometimes combined with history. I went to college in San Antonio (Trinity), but my college sports allegiances are aligned with my parents, who attended Penn State and Maryland. My wife is from Tennessee, so I am legally obligated to cheer for the Vols. She doesn’t really care about the Titans, so that’s a bonus.
Come what may this year, I am excited to write for Battle Red Blog, adding to the discourse (football and otherwise) that this site generates.