Houston Texans defensive lineman J. J. Watt has it right, he is trying to raise money to help Hurricane Harvey survivors in the Houston area. His coach, Bill O’Brien is wrong.
Of course O’Brien is a coach and anything that gets in the way from the real world in game preparation is a major distraction of significant magnitude. O’Brien wants his team to play in Houston against Jacksonville on September 10. That is the home opener. O’Brien needs to be reminded Houston is not making any kind of miraculous recovery in the short term future. Watt has raised millions. O’Brien wants to make sure his routine is not upset but O’Brien is extremely naïve thinking that having a football game on September 10 will show the world Houston is back.
“If our stadium’s ready to go, it’s important to have that game at home,” he said. “Maybe it gives our fans a chance, for three hours at least, to cheer and kind of forget about the trials and tribulations of what would be the last two weeks. I think we have the best fans, anyway, so just imagine what the stadium will be like for that first home game. Football’s big in Texas, anyway, but when you put it in Houston and take into consideration such a catastrophic event, football becomes even bigger. It gives our fans a chance to cheer and let off some steam.”
Football is the least of the survivors’ concerns. In 2006, a year after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, there was a knee jerk reaction that New Orleans was back and open for business because the NFL Saints football team was playing in the heavily damaged but rebuilt Superdome. Yes, there was a symbolic return but New Orleans was not back nor was the Gulf Coast region ravaged by the storm.
A Texans game isn’t going to revive Houston.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.