Fantasy Football

Sports stars turn out for Fantasy Football Draft Night, but brothers steal the show

Hurricane Harvey may have caused a delay, but couldn't put a damper on the fifth annual Boys and Girls Harbor Houston's Fantasy Football Draft Night. Although the event had been postponed due to the storm and the NFL season has already started, the sold-out crowd of 450 sports fans, clad in their favorite sports team jerseys, turned out in force in support of the nonprofit. 

“It’s been a rough month or so since Harvey landed … it’s an important event and we were a little unsure about how it would all turn out, but we thank you all for being here,” said event chair Bill Lehner, who addressed guests onstage along with co-chairs, his wife Vicki Lehner, and Diane Englet.

The fun-filled night, held at the club level at NRG Stadium, featured a fantasy football competition, especially thrilling thanks to the roster of veteran athletes on-hand, offering tips.

Famous faces advising were Boys and Girls Harbor board member and Olympic gold medalist sprinter Fred Newhouse; former Houston Oilers head coach Ed Biles; former Olympian and current track and field head coach at the University of Houston Leroy Burrell; former offensive lineman for the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Oilers, and Cleveland Browns Doug Dawson; and former wide receiver for the Houston Oilers and Boston Patriots Charlie Frazier.

Also in the lineup were former cornerback for the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, and Detroit Lions Donovan Greer, Hall of Famer and former safety for the Houston Oilers and Washington Redskins Kenny Houston, former wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns and Houston Oilers Gerald McNeil, former Houston Texans offensive lineman Chester Pitts, and sports radio talk show host Vince Rachal.

When the final whistle blows at the end of the season, the winner of the contest will receive two tickets to Super Bowl Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.

Stealing the spotlight from the moment they hit the stage were brothers Tony Winrow and Kente Winrow, alums of the Boys and Girls Harbor Houston program. Their heartfelt words and appreciation for the nonprofit, about how it not only changed their lives for the better, but also those of their children by breaking the cycle of abuse, touched those in the audience and received a standing ovation. 

KPRC Channel 2 sports director Randy McIlvoy emceed the evening’s draft activities, sponsored by H-E-B, Houston businessman Gary Peterson, SB Nation 1560 AM (soon to be SportsMap 94.1 FM), and ESPN 97.5 FM.

Including money raised from a wine pull and silent and live auctions, the evening raised more than $250,000, bringing the grand total to $1,000,000 raised since its inception in 2012. Proceeds go to help Boys and Girls Harbor Houston reach their goal to provide healthy, comprehensive residential care for children who are victims of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or family hardship.

Seen in the crowd: Karen De Geurin, DeeDee and Clay Rawlings, Arthur Mooradian, Gretchen and John Hodge, Melinda and Keith Landsness, Suzanne Skie-Azizi and Mir Azizi, Laura and Wayne Kinningham, Rhonda Newhouse, Don Sweat and his wife Diane Sweat, Claudia Pardivala, Ken Sellars, Monica and Joe Casiano, Ashley and Chris Petersen, and Bill King.

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Originally appeared on CultureMap.com.

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After rallying in the ninth inning in Game 1 to take the pivotal opener of this best-of-three ALWC series, the Astros were in the driver's seat to try and end the series on Wednesday with another win at Target Field. Here is a quick rundown of Game 2:

Final Score: Astros 3, Twins 1.

Series: HOU Wins 2-0.

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier.

Losing Pitcher: Cody Stashak.

Houston gets the first hit and first run in the fourth

Through the first three innings, neither team could get a hit off of Jose Berrios or Jose Urquidy, though the Twins did load the bases in the bottom of the first on two walks and an error, but Urquidy would strand the runners before getting 1-2-3 innings in the second and third.

Meanwhile, the Astros lineup was retired in order in three perfect innings by Berrios. That changed in the top of the fourth when Houston would get back-to-back two-out walks to set up the first hit of the game, an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Dusty Baker makes another early call to the bullpen before Twins tie it up

Urquidy was able to keep the 1-0 lead by working around a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth, the first hit for the Twins. He returned in the fifth, allowing a leadoff single before a strikeout for the first out. Dusty Baker would pull another early hook, like Greinke the day prior, dipping into his bullpen early to end Urquidy's day at just 76 pitches in the fifth. His final line: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 76 P.

Brooks Raley was who Baker called on to face the top of the Twins' lineup. He would walk his first batter, putting runners on first and second, get a strikeout for the second out, then allow an RBI-double to Nelson Cruz that almost scored a second, go-ahead run. Instead, the runner was out at home thanks to a terrific defensive play by Carlos Correa, bulleting the ball to Maldonado at home, who made a great tag to save the run and keep it tied 1-1.

Correa homers, Astros advance to ALDS

After Raley completed the fifth inning for Urquidy, Cristian Javier was the next reliever out to begin the bottom of the sixth. He would toss a 1-2-3 frame, sending the tie game to the seventh. In the top of the seventh, Carlos Correa broke the tie with a long, loud two-out solo home run to center-field, putting the Astros back in front 2-1.

Javier held on to the one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh by working around a leadoff walk, then returned for the eighth. He would get through it scoreless, despite allowing a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz, who would be pinch-ran for by the speedy Byron Buxton. After a strikeout for out number two, Javier would catch Buxton between first and second base in a rundown, getting the big final out of the inning.

Houston added insurance in the top of the ninth, getting two on base before an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, his second of the day to make it 3-1. That left things up to closer Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance of the postseason. He would notch the save, advancing the Astros to the ALDS for their fourth-straight year.

Up Next: The Astros will now have a few days off to travel to the west coast before starting their ALDS with the winner of the A's / White Sox ALWC series. Game 1 of their ALDS will be on Monday, October 5th, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, with start time TBD.

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