Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Worst Sports City? Houston

Alright. I know what your thinking...

The Rockets won back to back titles in 1994 and 1995. But remember this was due in large part to Michael Jordan's absence. (His first retirement and baseball tryout) Not to mention these two Finals had dismal ratings.

And what about Seattle? No major pro titles? And yes, Seattle recently lost the Supersonics. Seattle just cracks the top 25 for largest cities in the U.S. And Houston is the 4th largest.

I've lived in Houston for over two years now and it is extremely difficult to root for the home teams.

Since the back to back titles, Houston has struggled in the postseason, winning just two playoff series and failing to win a division title.

And of course last night the Rockets were in position to gain the number 2 seed in the Western Conference. A Houston win at interstate rival Dallas, and the Rockets were guaranteed a 3 seed. The Rockets were up 14 in the third quarter and lost by 11! Thus falling all the way to number 5.

NFL? The Houston Oilers never appeared in a Super Bowl. They do lay claim as the victims to the biggest NFL comeback in history. How can anyone forget the 1993 playoff disaster against Buffalo? The Oilers blew a 32 point lead! Even worse, they lost that lead to a backup QB, Frank Reich.

Now the Oilers don't even exist. They played their last game in 1996 with the team moving to Tennessee. Hell, the Titans have had more success than the Oilers!

The NFL came back to Houston in 2002, with a terrible name, the Texans. A lot of thought put into that one. Since their origin, the Texans are 40-72 and have never reached the postseason. They've yet to finish a season over .500!

Major League Baseball. The Astros have yet to win a World Series. They only recently won their first NL Pennant in 2005 and didn't show up for the World Series being swept by the White Sox.

They moved from the eighth wonder of the world, the Astrodome, to Enron Field. And we all know how that company turned out.

In 1980, the Astros broke the hearts of Houstonians. Up 2-1 in the NLCS against the Phillies, the Astros lost Game 4 5-3 in ten innings. Going into Game 5, the Astros had one of the best pitchers of all time taking the mound, Nolan Ryan. Ryan was going up against a rookie in a series clinching game. Of course Houston went on to lose 8-7 in ten innings. The last 4 games of that series all went extra innings.

And who can ever forget the ugly uniforms the Astros sported for so many years?

College sports? The Rice Owls did win the 2003 College World Series. But who outside Houston and Omaha remembers or cares?

The Houston Cougars do have the 1989 Heisman Trophy winner, Andre Ware. What a bust he became in the NFL. Dave Klinger set a lot of college passing records, but again, who remembers or cares.

What about the Houston Cougars college basketball history with Phi Slama Jama? More heartbreak. Led by Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon, the Cougars went to the final four 3 straight years from 1982-84. The '83 team will forever be linked to Jimmy Valvano running all over the court looking for someone to hug. Houston lost the championship game on an air ball 3 point shot that was rebounded and slama jammed for the winning bucket as N.C. State won the title.

The following year, once again Houston lost in the championship game to Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas. A great run by the Cougars, but no championships.

The top sports franchise in Houston today? The Houston Dynamo! A soccer team! Again, no one outside of Houston knows or cares.

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