Can't Hold Us
Only in Houston
My family and I have been Houston Texans season ticketholders since Game 1, that celebrated and gratifying franchise opener (Texans 19, Cowboys 10), and we've always taken seriously our tailgating privileges.
Texans fans tailgate better than most, including the North Texas delusionals up there at JerryWorld. We've repeatedly been honored as the NFL's best tailgating experience. I've spoken with visiting fans from all over the country who would agree; we throw an incredible block party where everyone who enjoys football is a welcome neighbor.
At our own tailgate, we've got one head chef: my brother Anthony. He creates the menus and then cooks up the good stuff. My youngest brother, Adrian, is our beer steward. He'll pair the cuisine with an elegant Belgian ale or just break out the Tecate for mass quaffing.
That leaves the music to me.
Sadly, music is the one area of the Texans tailgate experience that is commonly neglected. Year after year, the same stuff gets trotted out, more tired than Arian Foster after a brilliant touchdown run. If we're going to shake off the rust like Andre Johnson shakes off foolish defenders, let's start by looking at the songs we're celebrating with on Sundays.
In the spirit of all things tailgating, here's a "This, Not That"-style list for music to try this season. We post up at Blue Lot Section 21 — stop by anytime.
This: "Haunt You," The Pack a.d.
Not That: "You Shook Me All Night Long," AC/DC
Brian Johnson began wailing "You Shook Me" more than 20 years before the Texans even became a franchise. So I've had to hear someone playing this song at tailgates since the team's inception. I do not want to hear it again.
My choice for a newer rocker with a good hook is The Pack a.d.'s "Haunt You." For one, a lot of people have heard it on a television commercial for something I never pay attention to, and two, the subtext is that someone will be haunted, the way J.J. Watt plans to spook visiting QBs this season.
This: Anything by Houston Singing Phenom Danielle Bradbery
Not That: "Boot Scootin' Boogie," Brooks & Dunn
Our team lines 'em up in Houston, so you're going to hear country music while waiting in long lines at the portable toilets or marching into the stadium. But the next time I hear/see "Boot Scootin' Boogie" and its associated dance, I'm going to plow through those dance lines like Ben Tate needing two yards for the first down.
If you don't know who Bradbery is, you must not watch Bradbery-obsessed Channel 2 News or be aware of the NBC reality show The Voice. She's a 16-year-old contestant from right here in Houston who has advanced to the final stages of the competition. Say what you will about her coach — who's got more beef with some local music writers than an Oklahoma cattle ranch — the guy picked a winner here.
Bradbery has an incredibly pure voice, put there by DNA for whatever lucky reason. She accepts advice from her coaches politely (she is from Houston, after all), but she doesn't need it. Aside from being born with talent, she's shown from the first show that she knows how to use it skillfully. If she isn't bringing CMAs home by the wheelbarrow soon, it'll be a surprise bigger than the Jags winning one against the Texans this year.
This: "Can't Hold Us," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Not That: "Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO
LMFAO's ode to the party was a sturdy warhorse that needed to be taken out back of the stables and shot in the head at least a season ago. Trust me, tailgaters consumed that song like they gobble up fajitas. But it's also time to go fajita-less at a tailgate. My brother recommends a good quesadilla, chock-full of mushrooms, caramelized onions, applewood bacon, Gruyère cheese and an apricot or peach preserve-based dipping sauce.
As the Texans get wins and national airtime, everyone will be running up to the bandwagon. Offer a hand and pull them aboard. The more hands in the air, the less the ceiling can hold us. And if our team falters, it can take solace in Macklemore's proclamation: "I got my city right behind me, if I fall, they got me."
Ask Willie D
While at a restaurant, a male stripper recognizes a reader's girlfriend from the club.
Dear Willie D:
My daughter's mother just recently reconnected with her old wild and loose girlfriend who moved to Houston. She used to hardly ever go out; now my girl and her friend are at the club, happy hour, a restaurant or somewhere other than home about four days a week. She used to be a churchgoing square, but since her friend came back into the picture, she's turned into the night-scene party queen.
A few weeks ago, her friend went with us to a restaurant to celebrate her grandmother's 80th birthday when a guy at the next table approached her and asked her, "Do I know you?" I was seated away from my girl at the extralong table. He didn't know we were together, so I didn't feel disrespected. I don't know if she remembered the guy or not, but she acted as though she had never seen him in her life.
Her friend, who already had drunk two glasses of margaritas, blurted out, "Girl, you know him," then proceeded to remind her that he was the guy in the Spider-Man suit at a popular male strip club they attended. My girl had a look on her face like she was trapped in the Twilight Zone. I didn't fare much better. Everybody at the table dropped their jaws, looked away or tried to create new conversations with each other. I was beyond embarrassed.
She told me she went out to the club, but she never mentioned that it was a strip club. I don't like the idea of my girl hanging out at an exotic establishment with half-naked guys shaking their private parts in her face. She didn't really lie about going to the strip club, but she wasn't forthcoming, either. There has been tension between us ever since the incident. Do you think it's appropriate for a girl who is in a relationship to go out to a male strip club?
Before you address the strip-club issue, you need to talk to your girl about her choice of friends. What kind of a friend attends a birthday celebration for her friend's grandmother and rats her friend out in front of her friend's family and boyfriend by revealing that she and that friend met a male stripper while he was on the job?
Most women I know find male strip clubs repulsive, while others see no problem with them. Some guys don't have a problem with their women visiting strip clubs. It's all about what floats your boat. Personally, I wouldn't want my girl hanging out at any strip club, let alone a male strip club. The idea of some UFC-fighter-looking dude in a G-string shaking his stanky booty and genitals in my girl's face, well, that's just nasty.
Ask Willie D appears Thursday mornings on Rocks Off.
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