Shocking report points to possible Texans fan revolt

Why would anyone pay to watch this team? Composite image by Jack Brame.

To say the Texans have had a whirlwind offseason would be an understatement. Not only did they release JJ Watt, the best player in team history, but their franchise quarterback has been embroiled in a couple of controversies. Deshaun Watson has made it known he wants out and has 22 civil suits pending. Not to mention they didn't have any first or second round picks, and proceeded to make only five picks despite having eight because they traded up twice. Add that to some questionable roster moves, and there's a recipe for a disastrous season on the horizon.

Enter the season ticket fiasco. Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle wrote an article explaining how much of the waiting list is no longer waiting. It painted the picture of fans evidently being fed up and are finally fighting back against the organization where it truly hurts them: the bottom line. This is a team that sold their 91% capacity of season tickets before even playing a game! They've had a waiting list longer than a CVS receipt for 20 years! Now, the fans are fed up because the organization appears to still be a laughingstock despite getting rid of Bill O'Brien.

My only question is: will this strategy actually work? Will fans being noncommittal on buying season tickets have the desired effect on the way the team is run? Cal McNair is still in charge. Janice McNair, Cal's mom, won't do anything to embarrass her son publicly, such as removing him from power. Jack Easterby is firmly entrenched in a leadership role and the McNairs apparently love him. He helped get Nick Caserio hired, so there's a certain debt of gratitude there. David Culley is a placeholder coach in my opinion. So how will this strike against supporting the team actually make a difference?

With the television deal and revenue sharing in place, NFL teams won't lose money. They'd have to gamble it away and use the rest on hookers and drugs before they come close to losing money. Not saying that the Texans are a strung out junkie of a franchise, but they aren't exactly the picture of stability. It helps that they're in a business that's fool-proof. Fans sending a message of disinterest will cause the organization to think differently, but it won't hit them as hard as people would like. They can still operate as if nothing else matters because they know the money will keep coming in. Look at the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions. Two NFL teams that have been horrible for a number of years, but are able to maintain despite a losing history over the last 10-20 years or more. The Clippers, Kings, and Timberwolves have managed to survive in the NBA despite their poor performances. So have the Tigers, Orioles, and Diamondbacks in MLB despite their bottom of the barrel showings.

While I hope the downturn in season ticket renewals/buys forces the Texans organization into changing their way of operating, I don't think it'll have the desired impact. Single game ticket sales will increase because opposing fan bases will buy some of them, especially ones that travel well or are close regionally. There's also the week-to-week fans that will buy tickets just to have an outing due to being locked down for most of the past year or so. The pandemic has caused some crazy things to happen. I personally have been a victim and beneficiary of this on a number of fronts. Ultimately, this won't change how the Texans operate as an organization. It'll be status quo on Kirby because the NFL is almost impossible to fail at (A.K.A. losing money). Fans can do as they please, but the team will always win. Here's to hoping Caserio can put together a roster worth competing soon. Otherwise, this team will be more Browns South than Patriots South.

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Luis Garcia played his part in a pitcher's duel with Carlos Rodon on Friday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With an impressive offensive onslaught to overpower Chicago in game one of this series, the Astros entered this second of four games hoping to keep their momentum going. After an impressive pitcher's duel left the game tied late into the game, Houston would edge out the win with a big walk-off in the ninth.

Final Score: Astros 2, White Sox 1

Astros' Record: 41-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Garrett Crochet (2-3)

Garcia matches Rodon in a pitcher's duel

Both starting pitchers were very effective, save one inning, in their respective seven innings of work. For Luis Garcia, he had his struggles in the top of the first to start the game, allowing a one-out double and single to put runners on second and third, setting up an RBI single to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

He limited the damage to that one run, both in that inning and the rest of his night, as he would follow that with six straight scoreless frames. Once he found his groove in the fourth, he would retire 12 of 13 batters he faced over that span to get through seven one-run innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 96 P.

For Houston, it took until one out into the fifth inning to get a hit and their first baserunner against Carlos Rodon. That sparked an opportunity to grab a lead, as they would go on to load the bases still with one out but would get just one run out of it with a two-out RBI walk by Martin Maldonado to tie the game up 1-1.

Astros walk it off in the ninth

Ryne Stanek was first out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, erasing a one-out walk for a scoreless inning to keep things gridlocked. Still in a stalemate in the top of the ninth, the Astros opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly to try and keep it tied to set up a potential walk-off. He was perfect, striking out Chicago 1-2-3 to send it to the home half.

In the bottom of the ninth, Yuli Gurriel got the winning run on base by hitting a one-out single. That brought Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who got the walk-off hit, roping a ball into the right-field corner deep enough for Gurriel to hustle from first to home to win it for Houston, 2-1.

Up Next: Now having won five in a row, the Astros will try to lock up this series in game three of four on Saturday at 6:15 PM Central. Lance Lynn (7-2, 1.51 ERA) will try to get a win for the White Sox, while Framber Valdez (3-0, 1.42 ERA) will look to continue his 2021 success for Houston.

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