SPORTSMAP ROUNDTABLE

Here’s how the tide may turn for Astros, MLB fans

As COVID restrictions begin to be lifted, we discuss how soon we could see sellout games for the Houston Astros, as well as the playoff implications of the home crowds across MLB.

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Why are the Rockets so heavily criticized? Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Let's face it. Houston has an inferiority complex when it comes to the national media's coverage of their sports teams. Fans of the local teams do not like the way national media covers, or doesn't cover, the teams here. While I do agree there can be a lack of respect and attention paid to teams here, let's not act like the local teams have given them much to desire. Save the Astros current run, the Rockets have been abysmal and the Texans have been a joke.

The Astros threw in a scandal to spice things up. All that did was call into question their credibility. They gave everyone a major “eff you” this past season. The Texans are on the cuff of something special, but it took a while to clean up the mess that was left behind. The Rockets were good in the Harden years, but failed to win a title. When he wanted out, things took a turn for the worse. Eventually, they'll bounce back with the building blocks in place.

That's where the national media has been unfair. My really close personal friend, Ken Hoffman (we text all the time), recently wrote about the outlandish take Pardon the Interruption cohost Tony Kornheiser put out about the Rockets. Kornheiser thinks Adam Silver doesn't want Victor Wembanyama in Houston because Tilman Ferttita doesn't know what he's doing. What?!? You mean the man who's built an extremely successful hospitality empire that's made him a billionaire owner of an NBA franchise? One thing that sticks out about Hoffy's article are the quotes from an NBA insider he spoke with. They contradict everything Kornheiser said. (Side Note: Don't call him Hoffy. He prefers Mr. Hoffman, or Ken. Only real friends can call him that.)

Another national media member to get something wrong about the Rockets was ESPN's Brian Windhorst. He added a line in a story about Jabari Smith Jr's development that said head coach Stephen Silas broke down after a game because he's been unable to reach this team. FAKE NEWS! That story was from two years prior and was refuted by Silas himself recently! There was no need to add that in the story. We all know and can see the frustration on Silas' face after every loss. The joy and elation after wins is evident as well. Why sensationalize an already rocky situation?

It even bled over into former Rocket player turned TNT analyst Kenny Smith. He recently blasted the Rockets as “one of the worst teams in professional sports.” I think the NFL's Commanders would like a word with Mr. Smith, so would MLB's Marlins. I could name several others, but you get the point. They aren't the best team in the league. In fact, their record says they're the worst. But to say one of the worst in pro sports seems a bit harsh. Especially considering the run they've been on since the All Star break.

Bottom line is these national media members talk with a whole lot of hot air in their hot takes. They spew whatever venom they want and think it'll get by without being checked. When players like Draymond Green and Brandon Ingram speak highly about this team right after playing them, that says something. Players will talk trash and go out of their way to diss other players in the name of competition. But when they make it a point to heap praise on an up-and-coming team/players, it hits different. Contrary to popular national media belief, this team is on the come up. Let them keep spitting their hot garbage. When they add another supremely talented rookie and some vets to this lineup, I want them to keep that same energy. Make sure you guys keep the receipts. I think we'll be making some returns in the near future.

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