The Red Nation Manifesto, Honored Mostly In The Breach

The Houston Rockets hosted a party last night at Hotel Icon to celebrate the team's new Red Nation marketing campaign. Other than "alternative jerseys" for this year, the team -- as part of the campaign -- has developed a Bill of Red, "a document passed down from high and now ratified by the House of REDpresentatives."

Hair Balls went to last night's event armed with the bill to see how well the party goers (we think about 200 people showed up) represented the Red Nation. Our analysis:

1. Right to wear RED. Yes, plenty of people wore red. They were mainly the people required to be at the party because they worked for the Rockets, but that was a good portion of the people there. It's tough to say if the players support the Nation yet, because the players that showed up -- Chuck Hayes and Carl Landry -- did not wear red.

2. Right to arrive early and stay late. Fans who take the opposite approach (arrive late and leave early), the bill says, can't complain when "showered with scorn and ridicule." That means just about everyone at this party can't complain when showered with scorn and ridicule. Neither can fans of another sports team in town. (We're looking at you Texans).

3. Right to free speech/freedom of expression (In other words: the right to get rowdy and be LOUD!). There wasn't much of a rowdy level at this party, but as more people showed up, and more alcohol was consumed, the crowd did seem to get louder. It's tough to say, however, because the DJ's music -- stuff like Taylor Swift mixed with techno beats -- was incredibly loud.

4. Right to spread the RED. This one might not apply, because most people at the party were already Rockets fans, but we think at least one guy who worked for the Rockets was attempting to spread the RED. He was talking to two attractive young women, who maybe weren't Rockets fans, bringing them drinks, exchanging phone numbers and telling them he was the hook-up for free Rockets tickets. Bravo.

5. Right to bear arms (laden with Rockets regalia, schedules and memorabilia). We saw about five people wearing Rockets jerseys, t-shirts or hats. But there were a lot of schedules laying around.

6. Right to follow closely from afar. This means it's okay to watch the game on your couch. Plenty of televisions at the party showed a loop of Rockets highlights, but we don't think too many people were watching.

7. Right to ALWAYS believe. The bill says the RED Nation can't give up hope in the team. We'll briefly depart from last night's party to say we hope the Texans will ratify a similar bill, because we think fans were buying Super Bowl XLIV tickets before the season, only to boo the team off the field during an opening week loss. The team was back in the playoffs after a win against Tennessee -- called the "most important win in franchise history" -- but then came the Jaguars. We could continue, but you get the idea. 

8. Right to stay true to our team. "RED Nation is not a bandwagon..." Please see above.

9. Right to embrace new ideas, new perspectives and new technology.  The crowd definitely supported this one, as long as you're talking about new sushi restaurants, new boutique bowling alleys or new iPhone apps. Maybe it's not fair to group last night's crowd into that group, but we really can't figure out how this right applies to a basketball team.

10. Right to dream BIG. The bill says one of the Nation's unalienable rights is the "pursuit of Championships." If anyone at the party thought this Rockets team will pursue any championship, then yes RED Nation, you dream on.

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