Roof Wars

The Astros have been trolling the Texans by popping the top on Minute Maid this season

Houston Astros Twitter

Maybe you haven't noticed, but the Astros have been trolling the Texans hard this season. No, I'm not talking about them being a competently run franchise who swept two playoff teams from last season as well as the team leading the division last week. No, to notice this troll job you would have to look up. I'm talking about the use of a retractable roof.

Over the course of the opening six game homestand the Astros had the roof open three times. Two of the three times it was closed was due to rain and the other was due to a purported mechanical issue. The Texans on the other hand have not operated their retractable roof for a game in at least three years.

Before passing judgment I decided to go to the numbers and look at the weather conditions at game time for each of the past 6 Astros games and all 8 Texans home games last season. Let me warn you, it is not a pretty picture for those that like to see their tax dollars in use.

Astros homestand April 5 – April 10

Date

First Pitch Temperature

Roof Status

April 5

72

Open

April 6

77

Closed – Rain

April 7

65

Closed – Rain

April 8

84

Open

April 9

91

Closed – Mechanical issue

April 10

81

Open

Texans 2018 Home games

Date

Kickoff Temperature

Roof Status

September 23

79

Closed

October 7

83

Closed

October 14

92

Closed

October 25

66

Closed

November 26

51

Closed

December 2

77

Closed

December 9

47

Closed

December 30

45

Closed - Rain

To my knowledge the Texans have never stated that the roof at NRG is inoperable, and it actually was opened for part of the halftime show during Superbowl 51. This makes their failure to use this expensive piece of technology, paid for in part by tax dollars, all the more puzzling. So how much did you pay for the NRG roof? Well 43% of the stadium was financed by the public, and with the roof carrying a $48,000,000 price tag, county tax payers get to see $20.6 million of their dollars do absolutely nothing on Sundays.

Looking at the kickoff conditions for last season I see 5 games where the roof could have been open with fans in the stadium being comfortable. The most common argument you will hear for the roof at NRG being closed is that it makes the stadium louder. Well guess what – the Seahawks and Chiefs play outdoors and they are consistently ranked as having two of the loudest stadiums in the league. The issue with noise at NRG isn't the roof. It is the people in the stadium. And no, I'm not ragging on Texans fans – I myself am not one to go crazy and scream at sporting events. It is just a fact that NRG is not near the top of the list of loudest stadiums, and letting a $48 Million dollar piece of equipment go to waste to try to create an atmosphere that just isn't there is peak stupidity.

Yes, having a domed stadium is a necessity in Houston's climate but there is something that feels so right when you get to see sports played outside when the conditions are comfortable. Baseball season only affords the Astros about a month to use their roof but at least they take advantage of that time. The Texans on the other hand play almost all of their season when conditions are favorable for outdoor football, yet they deny their fans that opportunity. So to the Astros I say keep up the trolling, the Texans deserve every bit of it when it comes to use of the roof their fans paid for almost half of.

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

As the Texans begin training camp this week, fans should be excited that the Texans' disappointing offseason is over, and it's time to focus on football.

Despite the issues in the Texans' front office, the team is coming off an 11-5 season, so there is room for optimism.

ESPN 97.5's Charlie Pallilo weighs in on the start of training camp, and discusses his expectations for the season.

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