Hey, isn't this part of the opening line to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?
Yes it is.
In this case it's really referring to the fact that this is the 20th anniversary of the Texans expansion draft, the first big team event to feature players. There were other previous events that were notable, like the uniform and logo unveil. But this one got the crowd fired up with the presence of actual players who would be part of the action. It was also the first one for your narrator.
It was February 18, 2002, at the George R. Brown Convention Center (NRG Stadium was still under construction) as the Texans selected 19 players who would aim to become part of the Year 1 roster.
Among them were Aaron Glenn, Marcus Coleman, Seth Payne, Gary Walker, Jamie Sharper and Tony Boselli, who was recently named to the 2022 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Boselli never played a down here but was worth the gamble as Houston took him despite a shoulder injury that threatened to sideline him. Payne is currently co-hosting Morning Drive on Sports Radio 610 and Glenn is the defensive coordinator for Detroit.
I'll never forget Bob McNair introducing me at the podium. What a glorious day! I flew in from Miami for the festivities. I wasn't even starting my job for another month-and-a-half as I was finishing the Miami Hurricanes basketball season. That squad had future NBA players John Salmons and James Jones, who is now the General Manager of the Phoenix Suns. I didn't want to leave the campaign midstream.
But it was important to be in Houston for that draft. The ESPN crew was there and SportsRadio 610's afternoon show, manned by Rich Lord and Charlie Pallilo, held a live broadcast. Fans packed the room as the players were announced. Houston had to select 30 players or fill up 38 percent of their salary cap. They went for quality over quantity.
The only quarterback taken was Danny Wuerffel who would eventually be the answer to a trivia question of who was in the first Texans trade. Wuerffel was shipped to Washington for defensive lineman Jerry DeLoach. Mike Quinn was already on the roster, having tried out in December of 2001.
Two of the players, Walker and Glenn, made the Pro Bowl. Even though there were more offensive players selected, the Texans were able to put together a veteran defense that finished 16th in the NFL and enabled the team to keep opposing point totals down and defeat two playoff teams, Pittsburgh and the Giants.
Two months later, the team would take part in the NFL college draft, selecting David Carr number one. But that's a story for another day.