In Texas, we love football. Coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in history for a pro football team in Houston, one might think that interest in the team would be waning as it has for the Astros and as it did for the Rockets when they were mired in mediocrity. But, this is Texas. This is the state of both Friday Night Lights AND Friday Night Tykes. Texas is home to what once was America's team and one of the greatest rivalries in college football until Texas A&M dared to leave the Big 12.
So, it really should come as no surprise that football fever could not be tamped down by something as simple as the NFL season ending with the Super Bowl. In fact, here in Houston, the suffering of the local NFL franchise has only stoked the flames of fans it would seem and that is because fans have grown to love the offseason almost as much as the season, particularly when changes are afoot.
For the Texans, those changes include the dismantling of the coaching staff, a new head coach and the number one pick in the draft. There are question marks about which players will return and who will be targeted in the draft. There will be speculation about trades and rumors about private workouts. People will actually sit around and watch grown men in Under Armor jump straight up in the air and run in a straight line. With the advent of the NFL Network, nothing is too trivial including the league's annual college scouting combine.
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Then there is the Internet with the endless mock drafts, fantasy football that turns average fans into wannabe general managers and gambling sites already laying odds for next season. The combination is a recipe for a non-stop, 24/7/365 football frenzy, particularly in Houston.
This will only be exacerbated by the lack of a television deal for both the Rockets and the Astros. With only 40 percent of the public able to see either team on TV -- and that doesn't appear likely to end soon -- fans will turn their attention to other things and football will be at the top of the list.
For those of us who enjoy multiple sports including football, this can be a frustrating time. Flipping around sports radio channels trying to find someone, anyone not talking about the Texans is exhausting. As much as I too want to know when Matt Schaub will be released or who the next Texans quarterback will be, I need a break. We used to have one between the Super Bowl and the draft. Before the draft was televised, we all managed to make it until training camp somehow.
As wonderful as the proliferation of sports media has become, I just wish a little of it here in Houston would notice that the Rockets are actually pretty good if for no other reason than to give us a brief respite from football.