One of the most disconcerting aspects of traveling to a country whose language you don’t know is how the most commonplace things become indecipherable. Ask a stranger for directions and she may think to explain tricky vocabulary but she’ll almost never think to describe whether the place she just referred to is a city, train station, library, cafe, or all of the above. The same is true for sports natives. A thoughtful sports fan should be willing and able to explain a rule, but he’ll almost never think of explaining who a particular team is, what sport they play, or the team’s history and characteristics. In this series, we’ll do just that — describe what is unique about each sports team.
Houston Texans – the basics
- Sport – Football
- League – National Football League (NFL)
- Conference – American Football Conference (AFC)
- Division – AFC South
- History – The Houston Texans are the newest team in the NFL, having been created as an expansion team in 2002, but their name evokes the NFL’s distant past. The Kansas City Chiefs were briefly known as the Texans (and played in Dallas) at the start of their history. The Houston Texans are also not the first team from the NFL to call Houston its home. From 1960 to 1996 the Houston Oilers were a much beloved team, first in the American Football League and later in the NFL. In 1997 they were moved to Tennessee by their owner and Houston had to go without professional football until the Texans started up in 2002.
- Championships – The Texans have never won a championship.
- Rivals – Rivalries take time to develop and the Texans don’t have a long history. That said, the Texans have a couple obvious teams with real rivalry potential: the Tennessee Titans who were once the Houston Oilers, and who now play in the same division as the Texans; the Dallas Cowboys who have always dominated the Texas region in terms of fans. They have also developed a kind of one-sided rivalry with the Indianapolis Colts who have been the power in the AFC South division for most on the Texans existence.
The Houston Texans are a classic expansion franchise. Having to create a team from scratch while all your opponents are building off of foundations (albeit ones of differing strengths) is difficult. It took the Texans eight tries to finally win more than they lost during a regular season. They did that for the first time in 2009. In 2011 they won their division for the first time and even won a game in the playoffs before being eliminated. They repeated that feat in 2012 but were not able to sustain the success after that. These days the Texans have hope but not assurance that they’ll succeed.
Here is the their winning percentage in each season since their inception:
Who are some notable players or figures from the Houston Texans?
J.J. Watt is the most dominant defensive player in the NFL and he plays for the Houston Texans. 6’5″ and almost 300 pounds with freakishly long arms and giant hands, Watt is an intimidating presence on the defensive line for the Texans. He was drafted 11th overall by the Texans in 2011 and has won NFL defensive player of the year twice in his four years of play. His dominance is so profound, he makes it seem like the Texans have an extra player on the field when he is playing.
Where do the Houston Texans play?
The blind date test
Imagine you’re about to go on a blind date and all you know about the person is that he or she is a Houston Texans fan. Here’s what you can guess about that person. Remember that all fans are unique. We bear no responsibility for any misunderstandings we engender. Trust but verify.
Your date is future oriented and very good at imagining a time when things will be, not just better, but actually good. Give them a little to work with, and they’ll be creating images in their mind of a white picket fence, 2.3 children, and a golden retriever.
What will make a Houston Texans fan squirm?
The best would be for you to live in or around Houston and tell them you’re a Dallas Cowboys or Indianapolis Colts fan but you’ll “switch to the Texans once they get good.”
Buy Houston Texans Swag!
What do the Houston Texans look like?
Team colors are Deep Steel Blue, Battle Red, and Liberty White. Their current uniforms look like this.
Current and recent teams
Coming soon — a post about the 2015 Houston Texans including an overview of their most interesting characters as well as what fans expect from the team this year.