Riding a Texans playoff high

In my last blog post, I explained how Dec. 11, 2011 was the best day in Houston Texans history.

Andre Johnson celebrates his first playoff touchdown (Houston Chronicle)

Andre Johnson celebrates his first playoff touchdown (Houston Chronicle)

Take that day, multiply my happiness by infinity, add the Texans’ first playoff victory in franchise history, subtract the numerous players who suffered injuries this season and you get the most unforgettable game in Houston professional football history since the Oilers’ playoff meltdown in ’94 (or — for me — Sept. 8, 2002, when the Texans defeated the Cowboys in their first game, and I fell in love with the team).

I replay Saturday’s 31-10 win against the Cincinnati Bengals in my mind constantly. It’s still so vivid —  the loudest Reliant Stadium crowd I’ve ever heard on TV, the initial touchdown by Arian Foster (and his sweet haircut), Andre Johnson’s first score in a playoff game (after going almost a decade without ever experiencing what it’s like to play in the postseason with his team) and — of course — the game-changing pick six from rookie J.J. Watt. Let’s not forget how T.J. Yates looked like anything but a rookie, and the defense was on top of its game (thanks, Wade Phillips!).

Arian Foster's haircut (Houston Chronicle)

Arian Foster's haircut (Houston Chronicle)

Since that game, I’ve been riding a high. To have followed this team since its inception and go through a decade-long emotional roller coaster makes Saturday’s victory sweeter than anything in the world. Now that roller coaster is going up, and it can only continue in this direction now that the Texans have had a taste of playoff football.

I’m aware Houston faces its toughest challenge yet with a road game against a potent defense at Baltimore and a crowd in M&T Bank Stadium that will be as loud as the one in Reliant Stadium last weekend. This test won’t be easy, but I have faith the Texans might surprise many people (or at least those who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, which — I’ve noticed — is becoming quite full. :)).

Regardless of Sunday’s outcome, one thing’s for sure: I’ve never been prouder of the Houston Texans, and no one can take this feeling away from me.

J.J. Watt celebrates his interception against the Bengals (San Antonio Express-News)

J.J. Watt celebrates his interception against the Bengals (San Antonio Express-News)


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About LisaKCarter

I'm a graduate student at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. I'm also a Texas State alumna and former reporter in Las Vegas. During my time at Texas State, I served at the University Star's sports editor all four years. I've covered football, volleyball, cross country, basketball and golf. One of my biggest accomplishments was breaking the story on Texas State's move to the Football Bowl Subdivision and its invitation to the Western Athletic Conference -- arguably the biggest news in Texas State Athletics history and a story I followed since my first semester on staff. I also worked for publications outside of the Star, covering high school sports for various local papers. Additionally, I was an intern on the metro desk at the San Antonio Express-News in Summer 2010 where I had several stories run on the Metro cover and front page. I interned on the business desk at the Austin American-Statesman and at NearSay, a website that focuses on hyperlocal news in New York City. After graduation, I was one of 22 students selected to attend the Poynter Fellowship for College Journalists, and it was the best experience of my life. When I'm not writing, you'll most likely find me reading, watching sports or working out. Follow me as I embark on my professional career in journalism.

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