Houston Texans have a long road to win back support
Back in the early to mid 90s, new stadiums were all the rage in the NFL. Teams were angling for public funds to build new stadiums. There was some monkey see/monkey do aspects to all the machinations. The chance of hosting a Super Bowl came along with a new stadium, and that came with a financial windfall for the host city that made public funding a bigger incentive for the cities and surrounding areas that okayed the deals (there's a whole ESPN 30 for 30 that could/should be done on this, but I digress). Bud Adams wanted a new stadium, but the city of Houston didn't give in to his demands. He packed up the team and left for Nashville in 1997.
When the Texans started playing in the 2002 season, the fans were rabid. When the announcement was made and tickets went on sale, they sold out in no time. A waiting list for season tickets was longer than a pile of CVS receipts. Fast-forward to last offseason. Season ticket holders were dropping like flies hovering around one of those bug zappers. There were thousands of folks who gave up their season tickets and PSLs willingly. Thousands more were being contacted as they were surprisingly moved up the list.
When those fans that had been waiting years, some since the inception of the team, started denying the opportunity to buy season tickets and PSLs, the team was left scrambling. They'd never had that problem before, even when the team was doing poorly. This was different. The franchise quarterback wanted out and was embroiled in controversy. There was a new head coach and GM. The team was headed for a rebuild and fans were fed up. They finally decided to speak the loudest way fans could: with their wallets. Seeing NRG so empty last season was a shock to my system. What was more shocking, was the tailgating scene. It was more dry than a Bible Belt county on a Sunday. Sure, the pandemic can be blamed for some of this, but not all of it.
Fast-forward to today. My friend Juan sent me this screenshot.
Photo Credit: Juan M.
Photo by Juan M.
He's a long time Texans supporter. He buys jerseys, shirts, hats, the whole nine. While looking forward to the day he'd get this text, his feelings had changed. He's no longer interested because he's still unsure about the direction of the team. Mind you, he's not as hardcore as some fans are, but he supports his team. I've also talked to others who jumped at the chance of getting season tickets. Some of them are hardcores, the others are more casual like Juan. They see the vision and like where things are headed. Some are looking at it as an investment.
Regardless of the way the hardcores and casuals view things, the one thing for sure is the perception has shifted with this organization. People are fully over the NFL football withdrawals thy had from '97-'02. Gone is the grace the Texans had when trying to build a winner. Fans are expecting results. They want to know the Texans are actively trying to build a team to rise out of the ashes of despair like a Phoenix into contender status. I, for one, am happy to see the fans use their power to push this team into cleaning things up and making this experience worthy of their hard-earned dollars. Now it's up to Nick Caserio to finish the job. I think he'll do exactly that. Will they win a Super Bowl? I can't say. But I do think he'll build a consistent playoff maker. My only ask: change the colors and logo to look more menacing.
“If you look good, you feel good, If you feel good, you play good, If you play good, they pay good.”- Deion Sanders