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On Saturday afternoon, football fans are streaming into the posh digs of Fox Sports Grill. They've arrived at the Galleria wearing their jerseys, pumped and hyped. As they push past the security guard, a couple of them gawk at the big banner of smiling hometown pigskin hero Vince Young. "Vince Young? ¿Quién es?" asks one.
"Vince...Young? Ah, sí. Houston Texans," replies the other. At this, the cop looks at the guy like he just grew another head out of his blue jersey.
"That's Houston sports, man," I say to the disgruntled officer. Unbeknownst to many of the hundreds of football, well, fütbol fans who're here to see Argentina play Mexico in the World Cup, there's a party for Vince Young in the next room. Vince Young, of the Tennessee Titans, the football player.
Or football legend. Anyone who follows local gridiron knows that VY now inhabits the upper echelons of Texas football lore. On January 4, the young QB from Madison High School single-handedly won the Rose Bowl for UT when he danced around 11 USC players for a last-second touchdown. Many a SoCal's (and bookie's) heart was broken that day. And on April 29, many a Texans fan's heart was broken when the Titans -- not the Texans -- drafted VY with the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft. Vince Young, the pride of Houston and Austin, playing for Bud Adams? That shit stung. But that's Houston sports, man.
Which is why so many H-town fans, who've paid to attend this party, are crowded into this side room to meet him. See, nowadays, VY's in Nashville, getting ready to run an NFL offense and learning to live the celeb life as BET cameras follow him around for a Vince Young reality series. So maybe he ain't just Vince from tha block anymore. He's VY, superstar.
That's apparent when I sit down with him as he signs footballs. He does the effortless "next, please," one-word-answer thing with my questions. Favorite all-time Longhorn? Applewhite (that's Major Applewhite, for non-UT fans). Fave Oiler? Moon. (That's Warren, for non-Oilers fans.) Fave actor? Foxx (one Jamie Foxx). Favorite channel? BET (well, duh). Favorite H-town rapper? Chamillionaire. Better barbecue: H-town or Nashville? Both. (Huh?) Hotter girls: Houston or Nashville? Both. (Now, come on, Vince. That's blasphemy.)
So Vince is all slick now? That's not Houston sports, man. But then we get to his family and hometown. What's his first big purchase gonna be with his fat check? "Whatever my mom wants, man." And how about his alma mater, Madison High? Will there ever be a Vince Young Stadium? "We gonna do some things there, man," he says, sitting back and grinning big. "We gonna do some things."
Now that's Houston sports, man.