Read Brian T. Smith’s Houston Chronicle column Tuesday with a great deal of interest as it dominated my Twitter timeline and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Once I read it, I understood.
I found Smith’s column to be highly entertaining but, as a life-long DFW resident, I did want to take just a few moments of your time (and a few additional moments of mine) to respond.
Sure, Nolan Ryan belongs to you.
Except, of course, for the fact that he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 as a Texas Ranger … by the way, that was Nolan’s choice. To be fair, Nolan did record more no-hitters with the Astros, won his 300th career game with the team and registered his 5,000th strikeout in Houston … oh wait, all of those milestones happened with the Rangers too.
So actually, now that I think about it, Nolan doesn’t really belong to Houston at all.
The Astros do have the reigning American League Cy Young winner and Rookie of the Year, but still couldn’t win the AL West last season? Who did win that division? Oh yeah, it was the Rangers.
True, Sports Illustrated already declared the Astros to be the 2016 World Series champions. Don’t forget, your AAA affiliate (the Fresno Grizzlies) were going to run a promotion featuring 2017 World Series Champion rings for their parent club before even they realized what a preposterous notion that was.
As for our stadium, well … OK, you have a point there; we probably should’ve made it a dome.
And then there’s Metroplex-born Evan Gattis saying “Dallas does kind of suck.” Does he mean it sucks like his career .249 batting average or more like his career .294 on-base percentage? Just want to clarify.
There was also a jab in there about the questionable “authenticity” of the Rangers’ best players ever with references to Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez. Because who can forget when the Astros made it to their lone World Series (in 2005), led by the paragon of baseball virtue that is Roger Clemens. That appearance also came just three years after the Astros had to change their stadium name from Enron Field after the Houston-based company declared bankruptcy due to illegal business tactics.
Yeah, you really got Dallas on the moral high ground.
Speaking of the World Series, the Astros were the first in Texas to get there, but the Rangers were the first to, you know, actually win a game in the World Series. In fact, Texas won the requisite four games necessary to be declared champions … don’t worry about the fact we split those wins up over two World Series!
Is that because, as Smith stated, D/FW likes losers?
Provocative theory – let’s see if it holds up.
Hockey: Dallas Stars won a Stanley Cup in 1999 and Houston has the Aeros … I’m sorry, they had the Aeros (that’s not even how you spell that word) until the team moved to the thriving Metropolis that is Des Moines, Iowa.
Football: Y’all did a little better with the Oilers, who moved to Nashville once they realized they were on the precipice of being good and then actually made a Super Bowl. But, much like the city of Houston, the Titans came up just a little short – compared to the Dallas Cowboys, who have won Super Bowls!
Basketball: One advantage Houston does have. The Mavericks only have one NBA Championship compared to two for the Rockets. On the other hand, the Mavericks won in 2011 with one of the most daunting runs in playoff history (Lakers, Thunder, Heat) while the Rockets won back-to-back titles thanks to Michael Jordan retiring.
And don’t forget Houston might’ve had the best collection of talent in college basketball during the 1980s with Phi Slama Jama, except for that pesky part about actually winning the NCAA Championship instead of choking in the finals two straight years.
Once again, I don’t want to appear too biased, so I’ll admit a factual point in Smith’s column.
Houston is bigger.
Or I guess fatter (and yes, as a fat American, I can use the F word) is the better word as Houston held the title of “Fattest City in the United States” for years. That is until they lost that title to a city in Tennessee – although, I guess that’s not the most important thing Houston has ever lost to … well, I’m sure you see where I’m going with that.
Houston also has NASA!
Which was probably more impressive when we still sent people to space. Weird, being in Houston even crushes the will of inanimate objects.
One thing, however, Houston will never lose is being The Birthplace of Humidity! I’m not positive that is factually accurate but, as anyone who has actually been to Houston can tell ya, it feels true and I’m sure the fine people of Wikipedia can work their magic and make it true.
Houston is also one of only two cities in the US with a population of more than 100,000 that doesn’t have zoning laws. Which means you can build a strip club next to a daycare if you wish … go ahead, drive through the city’s soul-crushing traffic and you can clearly see areas where that isn’t too far from being a reality. Then again, maybe dropping your kids off at a daycare next to a strip club isn’t the worst thing in the world – after all, you do live in Houston, so you’ve pretty much given up on your dreams already.
By the way, check Wednesday’s Houston Chronicle … and let me know who won Rangers-Astros game!
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