Downtown Houston was the site of the parade. Bob Levey/Getty Images
The Astros landed in Houston on Thursday evening as World Series Champs. On Friday afternoon the city of Houston came out to greet them. Getting out to City Hall for the Astros Parade was no easy task, but 100’s of thousands made it. It was a fight to get to the front. Through the sea of orange…..strollers, wheelchairs, bikes, lawn chairs, people of all ages screaming “Let’s Go Astros.”
It was then that I realized this moment was not just for Astros fans, it was for the city of Houston. A city where almost two months ago, the streets of the parade route sat under water. After everything this city has been through, there was nothing that was going to stop people from getting to this parade. This team brought Houston back together and this city was going to be there for them to welcome them home. Bosses let their employees out of work early, HISD cancelled school, Metro busses & rails were free. We live in one of the largest cities in America and today it felt like every single person who calls Houston home was downtown at 2 p.m.
People sat in traffic, parked miles away from the route, walked for 30 minutes through tons of sweaty people in hopes to get a glimpse of the World Champions. No one complained and people just kept cheering through the streets because how often do you get to witness your hometown team win a Championship? The last major championship parade this city has seen was in ‘94, ‘95 when the Rockets won it all. We will talk about this parade for years to come because this time it was the Astros we get to call World Champions.
It took a lot of time to get downtown and only seconds for the boys in orange to ride by on a fire truck. We did it for the experience. To say we were there when the World Champs came home. Those were the faces we stayed up late watching all week. Those were the guys we talked about at work, we all heard about on the radio and tv, and now they’re home. We won’t remember the traffic, or the heat. We will remember the moment.
Thank you to all the people who worked overtime to create this memory for our city. Streets were blocked off and there was increased security so families, friends, co-workers, and fans were all safe in the streets. A lot of people made a ton of sacrifices to make our safety a priority. It is an honor to call Houston home. We have the world champions!
Sports Illustrated predicted your 2017 Champs, and now Ben Reiter is predicting it again. Back to back championships for the Houston Astros.
See you all next season at the ballpark.
“Another one!”- DJ Khaled
That's the first thing that came to mind when I heard the news of Tytus Howard being shut down for the season because of a knee injury. They've had more injuries on the offensive line this season than Nick Cannon has Father's Day cards. Almost every member of the offensive line has spent time on the injury report. Howard went down in the same game in which Juice Scruggs was finally on the active roster. He missed the first 10 games due to a hamstring injury. The irony of next man up has never been so in your face.
The other thing that came to mind was the soap opera As the World Turns.
Howard had just signed an extension this offseason. So did Laremy Tunsil and Shaq Mason. They drafted Juice Scruggs, and signed a few guys too. Those moves, along with other holdovers, were expected to fill out the depth chart. Then a rash of injuries struck. At one point, only one of the original five guys expected to start was playing! In fact, they beat the Steelers 30-6 with that backup offensive line!
One can't have the expectation of backups to perform as good as the starters. They're professionals and are on an NFL roster for a reason. However, the talent gap is evident. One thing coaching, technique, and preparation can't cover is lack of ability or talent. The Texans have done a good job of navigating the injury minefield this season. While the Howard injury will hurt, I have faith in the guys there still.
As of this writing, the Texans are in the eighth spot in the AFC playoff picture. The Steelers, Browns, and Colts are all in front of them at the fifth through seventh spots respectfully. They've beaten the Steelers already. They play the Browns on Christmas Eve and their starting quarterback is out for the season. The Colts are relying on the ghost of Gardner Minshew to steer their ship into the last game of the season vs. the Texans with a possible playoff trip on the line. The Broncos and Bills are the two teams immediately behind them. They play the Broncos this weekend. Even though they're on a hot streak, this is the same team that got 70 put on them by the Dolphins. The Bills are the old veteran boxer who still has some skill, but is now a stepping stone for up & comers.
To say this team should still make the playoffs would be an understatement in my opinion. I believe in them and what they have going on more than I believe in the teams I listed above. That includes teams around them in the playoff race that aren't on their schedule. The one thing that scares me a little moving forward is the sustainability of this line. When guys get up in age as athletes, it becomes harder to come back from injuries. The injuries also tend to occur more frequently when it's a knee, foot, ankle, shoulder, elbow, or another body part critical to blocking for C.J. Stroud.
I know they just re-signed three of those guys and drafted one they believe can be a starter, but depth and contingency plans are a way of life in the NFL. We see how important depth was this season. Why not plan ahead? Don't be surprised if the Texans spend valuable draft capital on the offensive line. By valuable, I'm talking about first through third or fourth rounders. Those are prime spots to draft quality offensive lineman. Whether day one starters or quality depth, those are the sweet spots. The only guy on the two deep depth chart for this offensive line that wasn't drafted in one of those rounds was George Fant, who was an undrafted rookie free agent. While I highly doubt they spend any significant free agency dollars on the group, I'm not totally ruling it out.
The bottom line is, this team will be okay on the line for the remainder of this season. The only way that doesn't happen, more injuries. Stroud is clearly the franchise guy. Protecting that investment is a top priority. I don't care about a number one receiver, or a stud stable or singular running back if the quarterback won't have time to get them the ball. If the pilot can't fly the plane, you know what happens. So making sure he's happy, healthy, and has a great crew is of the utmost importance.