The Houston Texans are a popular American football team playing in the AFC Southern Division.
Only officially on the scene since 2002, the Texans are the youngest NFL franchise and were formed as a replacement for the Houston Oilers.
The Texans play in deep steel blue, battle red and liberty white, using different combinations depending on whether or not they have the home-field advantage or are on the road. “Football Time in Houston” is their fight song.
Ownership of the team has passed to Janice McNair, widow of former owner and founder Bob McNair who brought the franchise to the city.
History of the Texans
The previous NFL team in this city was the Houston Oilers, but by 1997 things were going wrong for them in a sporting sense.
Local businessman Bob McNair had wanted to bring an NHL hockey team to the city but failed. Meanwhile, the Oilers’ owner had decided to move his franchise out to Nashville, renaming them the Tennessee Titans.
A year before all this, the Cleveland Browns had moved to Maryland to become the Baltimore Ravens, with the NFL coming to an agreement with Cleveland promising the city a team within three years.
Things needed to be evened out to 32 teams though, so an expansion team was needed. Los Angeles was in the running, but they already had the Rams and the Raiders.
Thankfully common sense prevailed and in 1999 the league awarded the franchise to Houston, a move that cost McNair’s group $700 million.
The Houston Texans as we now know them began playing football in 2002 in a brand-new, purpose-built stadium. Although they won their first game against the Dallas Cowboys, a rare feat for a new team, the Texans struggled on the field in the early years.
From 2011 onwards they found their feet in the AFC South, winning the conference several times and averaging nearly 72,000 people at their games, essentially selling out every time.
The NRG Stadium
From their establishment, the Houston Texans have played their football at what is now known as the NRG Stadium.
Situated 8 miles from the downtown area of Houston, the stadium’s construction first got underway back in March 2000 ready for a summer 2002 opening. Between then and 2014 the venue was known as the Reliant Stadium and was the first in the NFL to feature a retractable roof.
At its opening, the capacity for football games was 69,500, though that has risen to 72,220 and in fact can rise to over 80,000 for other events such as the famous Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
As well as being the Texans’ home, the NRG Stadium has been used for plenty of USA football (soccer) matches and, given the area’s demographic, is even used for the Mexico football team’s “home” friendlies from time to time.
While the stadium cost a sizeable $352 million to build, the current sponsorship deal with NRG Energy is worth $300 million and lasts until 2032.
The major football venue in this city before the NRG Stadium was the famous Houston Astrodome, a trailblazing venue built in the 1960s producing a rare ‘indoor’ home for outdoor sports.
It was the home of the Houston Oilers from 1968 to 1996 before their move to Tennessee.
Top Houston Texans Talent
Only two people have so far been inducted into the Texans’ new Ring of Honor: wide receiver Andre Johnson and owner/founder Bob McNair.
But plenty of other talent has been honoured in recent years via Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year or All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections. Those honoured in this way include:
JJ Watt, Jerome Mathis, Arian Foster, Vonta Leach, Duane Brown, DeMeco Ryans, Brian Cushing, Jon Weeks, Jadeveon Clowney and Gary Walker.
In terms of head coaches, in their short history, the Texans have been led by Dom Capers, Gary Kubiak, Wade Phillips, Bill O’Brien and Romeo Crennel.
Although not necessarily NFL playoff stalwarts, the Houston Texans have over the years done well in their conference, their biggest achievements being:
- AFC South Championship Winners x 6 – 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
These wins led them to the NFL playoffs, but that elusive Superbowl still evades them.
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