EVERY-THING SPORTS

Here's an exciting look back at 2022 from a Houston sports perspective

More hardware for Jeremy Peña. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Every November/December, we see retrospective pieces. Sports are no different. In fact, sports may have some of the best and worst. This year, I'm throwing my version of a year in review or year-end awards. I'll do some formulaic stuff, but as always, I'll put my spin on things. Let's get started:

Eff'd Around And Found Out Award:Yankees and Phillies fans

These two groups are perhaps the worst in all of sports. They're obnoxious beyond belief, entitled, and carry themselves as if they're God's gifts to sports. So, when they called out the Astros and proceeded to get chopped down, I rejoiced over a cup of their collective tears. “WE WANT HOUSTON!” Well, you got it! Hope you liked it!

Coach of the Year:Kelvin Sampson, UH Men's Basketball

Coach Sampson has turned this program around and returned it to prominence. They went 32-6 last season, losing in the Elite 8. This season, they're 12-1, ranked third in the nation after losing their number one ranking. The future is bright because recruiting is going very well, and the transfer portal has been kind. Honorable mention to Dusty Baker.

Breakout Athlete of the Year:Jeremy Peña, Astros

When they lost Carlos Correa, people thought Peña would never be able to fill those shoes. Correa was one of the leaders in the clubhouse and was a superstar. He'd been through the wars and defended the team fiercely after the sign stealing scandal. All Peña did was win a Gold Glove, ALCS MVP, and World Series MVP…AS A ROOKIE!!! This kid established himself as a star year one on a World Series winner. Hard to top this, but he's on the right path.

Shooting Star:Dameon Pierce, Texans

A shooting star is different from a breakout star. Peña established himself as a major player on a winner. Pierce is a shooting star because he's the bright spot on a team that has potential. The Texans aren't winners now but are poised to be AFC South contenders with some key pieces in place. Pierce is one piece they already have in place. He's a tough runner who reminds me of the old school running backs that played every down and carried the load. Once they cut him loose more in the pass game, look out!

Face Turn of the Year:Cal McNair, Texans

When the story about Cal playing video games in an office with no furniture came out, it added to the “Tommy Boy” persona some had of him. As things got worse with the franchise, he was the face of the fall (outside a few key others). Grilling for fans at training camp went a long way. More importantly, fans are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. They know there's a rebuild going on and are accepting, as long as there's progress being made. What that progress looks like differs from fan to fan. For now, Cal is safe. He's gone from bumbling idiot to goofy uncle with the cool 80s 'stache.

Cosmetology/Barber School Scholarship of the Year:Roof Crew at NRG

To open or to close? That is the question. The roofs at NRG and Minute Maid are always a source of contention. Fans want them opened for the full effect of a game, weather-permitting of course. I guess the old 50-80 rule is no longer in use. Minute Maid does a good job of opening their roof when it's appropriate. NRG is horrible at it. In fact, they were supposed to have it opened against the Chiefs, but they couldn't get it to open! How in the blue hell do you have a retractable roof that you use a handful of times, and it malfunctions?!? Whoever is in charge of this needs to report to cosmetology/barber school immediately! Your new career awaits!

Venue of the Year:Cobos Que

I had a friend come in town with family. His dad and uncle wanted some good Texas BBQ. Took them here, and they loved it. This was Astros party central for the World Series run. In a little over a year, it's become a Houston staple. Not only are the food and drinks top notch, but the location and atmosphere are amazing! Pre- and post-game must for any Astros, Rockets, and Dynamo games since all three teams play within blocks.

MVP of the Year:The Fans

No matter how good things got, how bad they got, or whatever else went down, the fans have showed their passion. From openly booing the Texans for being bad, to undying Astros loyalty, to still showing the baby Rockets love, and all the ranges of emotions. The fans have truly spoken. They've made watching and covering sports enjoyable. Don't believe me? Hop on a Twitter Spaces or jump in a sports group page on Facebook. Fans care and they're letting it be known. The Texans noticed the drop in sales and attendance. The Rockets have too. The Astros know they have to keep the momentum going. The Dynamo are trying to get it figured out. Fans are speaking with more than their voices. Now, their voices are louder than ever!

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DeMeco Ryans looks like the Texans' choice as the next head coach. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

The Houston Texans have been busy interviewing coaches over the last few weeks, and just this week, the team held second interviews with Giants OC Mike Kafka and Broncos DC Ejiro Evero. The Texans have also interviewed Los Angeles Rams tight ends coach and assistant head coach Thomas Brown, Sean Payton, Lions OC Ben Johnson, Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon, and Eagles OC Shane Steichen. Johnson has taken himself out of the mix and is returning to Detroit.

But according to a new report from Ian Rapoport, the Texans may already have their minds made up about their next head coach.

Former Texans linebacker and current 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans appears to be the top candidate for the Texans, and he is reportedly interested in the position, with a second interview likely to take place next week.

Ryans has been the defensive coordinator for the 49ers over the last two seasons. San Francisco was the best defense in the league in 2022.

Ryans is a popular pick for the position in Houston, and fans will be super excited if he eventually gets the job. Let's hope Rapoport's sources are correct, and the Texans have their new head coach lined up.

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