Wear it well

Raheel Ramzanali: Ranking the must-have World Series gear

A picture with the World Series trophy does not suck. Sportingnews.com

Yesterday I spent the day in front of Minute Maid Park before the home opener for our World Series Champions and I saw literally every iteration of World Series gear being worn by fans. This had me thinking, is there a definitive list of the best World Series gear out there? Turns out there isn’t. So, before you spend your hard earned money on even more World Series gear, check out this list of five essentials you need to have in your Astros closet:

  1. 2018 Gold Program Jersey - This is the crown jewel of all World Series gear. If there is one thing you spend money on to commemorate then please buy the gold lettered jersey that will always be a reminder of the achievements from the World Series. The harder decision will be which player you pick for your jersey. I went with Correa because of the most upside, but you can’t go wrong with a Springer jersey to celebrate the MVP of the World Series.  This is a hard debate because this jersey represents the World Series win so do you pick the best player from it or your favorite player? Like, we don’t need to see somebody rocking a Reddick or Giles Gold Program jersey at Minute Maid Park this season.

  2. World Series Locker Room Cap - When I first saw the cap last year, I thought it was “meh” at best. But, after seeing it on every fan out there, I’m officially adding this to the list of must-haves. Few things will be more synonymous to this title than this big bold lettered cap with the bronze overtone. This is the ultimate ice breaker for any Houston fan when traveling. It clearly lets everyone know what you’re all about, “WORLD SERIES CHAMPS”. We should make it a law that every fan should own this one ballcap.

  3. A Picture with the Commissioner’s Trophy - While not an official thing to buy, every fan needs to get a picture with the trophy at some point this year. There will be PLENTY of opportunities to see the trophy in person around town so make sure you capture this (usually) free must-have from the World Series run.

  4. World Series Champions Trophy Paperweight - Look, I was going to tell you to buy a season recap DVD and such, but those are usually available online for free on YouTube. Don’t waste money on a DVD you’ll never watch when you can buy a paperweight and decorate your desk. I’ve sat in a cubicle from 9-5 and I put up things that reminded me of good times to help me get through the day. Nothing is more exciting than seeing a reminder that your team won the World Series AND that they have a game that night so you have something to watch when you get home.

October Proven T-shirt - I LOVE a good slogan and nothing is more of a EFF YOU than the October Proven. Only one team is allowed to wear this slogan and this is a shirt that you need have in your closet. This is also the perfect road game t-shirt to wear. Nothing like walking around with a slogan on the road saying that you’re accomplished something nobody else has, winning the 2017 World Series!

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Keep an eye on Tank Dell this Sunday. Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images.

I remember thinking how in the world can these little frail guys survive at the NFL level? I mean, I saw Joe Theismann and Ed McCaffrey's legs snap. Drew Bledsoe got his chest caved in. Seeing 300-plus pound men cry when injured is humbling. So when a guy like Tank Dell comes along, I'm always a bit apprehensive. Especially when they come with a ton of hype.

For every eight to ten big strong players that get hurt, there's one or two little fellas that have relatively healthy careers. The comp that came to mind when looking at Tank was DeSean Jackson. Listed at 5'10 and weighing a heavy 175 pounds, Jackson was arguably the best “small guy” in NFL history. Dell being about two inches shorter and about ten pounds lighter, while also playing a similar role, is in line to be a similarly electrifying type of player. I put my assessment on the line and doubled down with my predictions on what his, and others' season totals will look like last week:

Tank Dell: 68 catches, 1,105 yards and 6 touchdowns- Dell will be a really good slot, but has some outside skills. Namely, his speed. He's more slippery than if Mick had greased that chicken before Rocky tried catching it. I could see his production going up as the season gets longer because Stroud will begin to look for him more and more as they build chemistry. Yes, I know I only have him with six scores. Keep in mind this is a run first offense. At least that's what we can deduce from looking at where it came from in San Francisco.

In his debut game last week vs the Ravens, he notched three catches for 34 yards on four targets. He was tied for third on the team in targets with Noah Brown and Mike Boone. While Robert Woods and Nico Collins were one and two in targets last week, I think Dell will ascend that list starting this week. Word came down that Noah Brown is headed to IR, meaning he'll miss at least the next four weeks. The chemistry he and fellow rookie C.J. Stroud have developed is palpable. From working out together, to attending UH games together, these two seem to have a nice bond already.

Woods is a solid vet two years removed from an ACL injury. Collins was a third rounder with size who hasn't done a whole lot. Dell is easily the most exciting option at receiver this team has. John Metchie III was expected to be the next guy up. Unfortunately, cancer had him take a backseat, until now. Metchie is back at practice this week, so a debut is imminent. He could potentially challenge for more playing time, but it may take him some time to get used to things and get going again.

As far as my statistical prediction for his season, he only needs to average four catches for 67 yards per game, and get a touchdown every two to three games for the remainder of the season. Given Brown being out the next few games, Metchie not quite being up to speed, Woods being an older player on a short-term deal, and Collins not really being what everyone thought he could be, it leaves things wide open for Dell to step up.

Playmakers come in all shapes and sizes. Levon Kirkland was a 300-pound middle linebacker in a 3-4. Doug Flutie led teams to playoff wins as a 5'9 quarterback. In football, size matters. The bigger, stronger guys normally win out. When it comes to receiving and returns, you want speed, quickness, and agility. Dell has that in spades. Add his competitive nature and chemistry with his quarterback and you have a recipe for a star in the making. I know I'm not the only one hoping the Texans continue Tank-ing.

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