If you haven't been able to tell by the depleted charcoal supplies and life-size bikini-model cutouts by the Miller Lite at your neighborhood grocery store (provided it's not Whole Foods), it's almost football season. Houstonians greet this time of year with the same unbridled jubilation they would if the North Texas Blackland Prairie suddenly opened up and swallowed the entire city of Dallas whole.
Or, you know, if the local professional franchise actually won a playoff game. Or at least made the playoffs. Personally, Rocks Off is a college man - if anyone has a spare ticket or two to Saturday's UT-Rice tilt in Reliant, let us know - but in this week's Houston Press cover story, Hair Balls gridiron expert Sean Pendergast seems to think the Texans will break their franchise-history-long postseason drought.
Rocks Off isn't so sure, but hey, Sean pays a lot more attention to the NFL than we do. We do music, and no team can reach the end zone without the proper motivation, so we thought of a few possible theme songs for the Texans' 2010 campaign. At least until someone writes something as catchy and down-home Houston as "Houston Oilers No. 1." We're not holding our breath.
Pretenders, "Middle of the Road"
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-whoa-oh. As improved as the Texans may be, they still play in the AFC South, and most experts don't expect them to leapfrog either the Indianapolis Colts or our old buddy Vince Young's Titans this year. And you won't win many NFL games with a smile for everyone you meet, either.
America, "A Horse With No Name"
Unfortunately for Coach Gary Kubiak and crew, the horse in the Texans' way does have a name. Several, in fact: Peyton Manning. Reggie Wayne. Dallas Clark. Robert Mathis. Even worse, when they open the regular season at Reliant Sept. 12, the defending AFC champion Colts will most likely have a chip on their shoulder from losing the Super Bowl to Houston's second-favorite NFL team.
Johnny Rodriguez, "Pass Me By (If You're Only Passing Through)"
Coach Kubiak does deserve credit for developing an offense that averaged more yards per game last season than any other team, largely thanks to the arm of Matt Schaub and the soft hands and long legs of Andre Johnson. Both deservedly made the Pro Bowl (albeit Schaub as an injury replacement), and with fellow Pro Bowler Owen Daniels healthy again at tight end, the passing game looks even stronger.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Run Through the Jungle"
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Which is a good thing, because as improved as the Texans' offensive line has been the past couple of years, our backs are still having trouble not coughing up the football. Let's hope up-and-comer Arian Foster hasn't been taking ball-handling lessons from his backfield mate Steve Slaton.
Iggy Pop, "Success"
Just like last year, and the year before that, hope springs eternal in Houston and Texans fans hope that this year is finally the year. Right. Even if they disappoint us yet again, though, Iggy's Lust For Life is always worth revisiting. So is the countrified cover Kelly Willis released on 2007's Translated From Love.