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How do we top last year’s inaugural Houston Sports Awards?
That’s the question I’ve been asked for the last seven months.
There’s absolutely no way to one-up a night that honored our legendary 34s – Earl Campbell, Hakeem Olajuwon and Nolan Ryan – and ended with the announcement of the creation of the Houston Sports Hall of Fame. And with the news that those icons would be the inaugural class of inductees.
Or is there?
To us, it’s a labor of love. #WeAreHoustonSports. We know what we accomplished that first night was amazing – from the dual red and blue carpets to the dazzling Hall of Fame rings to the honorees. So it’s no wonder it took us the better part of seven months to come up something as creative and eye-popping for No. 2, which will be Feb. 6 at the Hilton Americas.
First off, we’ll be honoring uber-Houston sports fans President George H.W. Bush and his late wife Barbara, who are near and dear to everyone’s hearts. There isn’t a big sports event they haven’t attended over the past seven decades.
George presided over Super Bowl coin flips, while Barbara, who passed away in April, was a fixture behind home plate at Minute Maid Park – feet-up, keeping score. They both threw out first-pitches, sat courtside at Rockets games and had lunch with and watched the best golfers in the world at the Houston Open.
As for the theme? The logical thought, to a lot of folks including Clyde Drexler, was go with another iconic number. Like 22, worn by Drexler, Roger Clemens and Sheryl Swoopes.
But why repeat ourselves?
Instead, we’ve thought long and hard and decided to take you on a stroll through the most outstanding moments from the last eight decades of the city’s rich sports history.
From Jackie Burke’s first professional win in1949 to those infectious Luv Ya Blue Oilers in 1979, a pivotal 2009 season for the Houston Texans, and everything in between. We’ll certainly pack a lifetime of moments and sports legends into this one special night.
Now that we have your attention with those little tidbits, start thinking about who or what we might single out from those years that end in 8 or 9 from the thirties, fifties, sixties, eighties and nineties. As we reveal them over the next few months, you can see how many you got right.
And, no, we’re not counting the current decade. We’ll be honoring moments from 2018 with awards like Moment of the Year, Player of the Year (professional, college and high school categories), Executive of the Year and Coach of the Year. To name just a few.
Finally, people are already asking about the 2019 Hall of Fame class. Specifically, will any of the inductees be among those moments we already mentioned?
All we can say is maybe yes, maybe no, but mostly maybe.
And here’s one more maybe. Maybe we can’t top the 34’s. They are after all, arguably the greatest three athletes in Houston Sports History. But we can be creative, and we can wow you once again in ways you never imagined. And maybe, just maybe, we top it all.