DESSERT NACHOS!

Houston Texans roll out wild new concessions at NRG Stadium

The Houston Texans invited the media to NRG Park for their annual “State of the Stadium” address and feeding frenzy of new concession goodies.

Darn the luck, I had to graze and nibble an array of over-the-top football fare, from celebrity chef Chris Shepherd’s fried sausage and cheese kolaches on tater tot casserole to barbecue lord Ronnie Killen’s pulled pork tacos to cowboy cookie Grady Spears’ brunchin’ chicken biscuit to dessert nachos topped with fresh berries and Nutella.

That’s just not fair. I’d eat football cleats if they were covered with Nutella. My favorite new item ... anything Killen handed to me.

Before the Texans rolled out the food carts (they’re no dummies), team president Jamey Rootes discussed and unveiled the new features and improvements — the “Game Day Experience” — waiting for fans this season.

NRG Stadium has undergone $30 million in additions and updates to its concession and retail outlets. Killen will have three times as many food locations as last year, Shepherd six times more. The main gift store in Bud Light Plaza has a new name — Houston Texans Team Shop. There will be a new Chevron Kids Zone for pregame romper fun. A new Tailgate Lane has been installed right next to the stadium.

“If you were any closer, you’d have to wear a helmet,” Rootes said.

I asked Killen, with all of his restaurants’ (barbecue, burgers, steaks, etc.) success in the outside world, why work Sundays at NRG Stadium?

“My relationship with the Houston Texans is very important for one main reason — I love football,” he said. “I’m a huge Texans fan. It’s as simple as that. I want to be a part of this.”

For more about the new menu items, watch this video from our news partners at ABC13.

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Originally appeared on CultureMap.

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Composite photo by Jack Brame

As things continue to relax as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, a return to a semblance of normalcy seems imminent. The NBA has some parameters in place for a potential return. Training camps are set to open late this month and the season is supposed to open July 31. Whether that's the rumored Disney-centered one-stop shop or another form, they have a plan in place to return. There's also no argument between the league and players going back and forth about money either (MLB could learn a lesson here).

So when it comes to the potential return, how does that fare for the local team? The Rockets were 40-24 and tied for the fifth seed in the West when the season was shut down. Since they're getting ready to return potentially, we need to be looking at what chances they may have in making a run in the playoffs towards an NBA title.



Harden's new physique

According to his new trainer, James Harden has done more cardio workouts and lost some weight. Specifically, he's done more football player workouts as opposed to basketball player workouts. There was a pic of Harden floating around showing an obvious loss of weight. His new-found cardio and weight loss could mean more late-game and late-season success for Harden and the Rockets.

Westbrook's edge

Russell Westbrook has a competitive fire that can't be put out. It's like one of those never-ending burning torches you see at monuments. He wants nothing more than to prove he's a winner on a high level. Given that he's reunited with a long time friend in Harden, his competitive nature could help fill the gap where Harden may lack. These two have proven they can coexist very well this season. Now could be their time to take surge.

Small-ball

When the Rockets traded Clint Capela, they fully committed to small-ball. There were times they didn't have a guy in the lineup over 6'5. The tallest guy that gets regular time is roughly 6'8. The smaller, quicker lineup is an advantage on the offensive end, but can be a huge liability on the defensive end. Given the stoppage and restart of the season, it could help them. Suppose other teams are sluggish and can't get their chemistry straight. Houston's advantage is that they go through one or two guys and eat off their shooting. Shooting can be worked on during times like these, whereas other aspects of your game can't.


I'm not saying the Rockets have a built-in advantage, but they have as good a shot as they've ever had in the past. The field is wide open to any team that's in the playoff hunt. No team will have a built-in advantage over others. With the Rockets' unique brand of ball, they may be able to make a run at a title this season. Couple that with Harden's weight loss and Westbrook's competitive nature, it could be very interesting. Whenever the NBA comes back this season, which I believe they will, I think this team has a legit shot at winning it all.

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