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Breakfast: Texans open 2016 season with luncheon


What's better than watching the Texans play on a Sunday? Getting a chance to eat lunch with them on a Tuesday!

Fans and sponsors got the opportunity to socialize with players at their tables for an hour over lunch at the 13th annual Texans Team Luncheon presented by Amegy Bank of Texas at the Omni Houston Hotel.

There was also a silent auction, where attendees could bid on autographed photos, helmets, jerseys and footballs from DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt, Brock Osweiler, Will Fuller and others.

The sold-out event, which raised $250,000 for the Houston Texans Foundation, is the only function that brings all Texans players and coaches together to interact with fans.

Texans founder and CEO Bob McNair and head coach Bill O'Brien addressed the crowd and acknowledged last year's accomplishments, recognized the tremendous fan support and celebrated the beginning of the upcoming season.

"We are looking forward to a great year," McNair said. "We are excited about the direction of this team."

"We are going to give you guys a very competitive, good football team this year," O'Brien added.

Linebacker Whitney Mercilus was honored with the 6th annual Spirit of the Bull award for his commitment to excellence both on the field and in the community.

"It means a lot," Mercilus said. "Personally, there is no greater fulfillment or purpose than helping kids and those in need. I really do appreciate it."

According to O'Brien, Mercilus couldn't have been more deserving of the award.

"Whitney is a great example of a guy you can count on to go out in the community and represent our organization," O'Brien said.

The luncheon concluded with a game of trivia between Team Defense (Kareem Jackson, Vince Wilfork, Brian Cushing) and Team Offense (Duane Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Brock Osweiler).

Examples of questions included how many games the Texans will play in primetime this season (5), the Texans coach with the most Super Bowl rings (Romeo Crennel, 5), the only team the Texans have never lost to in franchise history (Chicago Bears), and the three players with over 10 years of NFL experience (Johnathan Joseph, Shane Lechler, Vince Wilfork).

The game came down to an all-important tiebreaker question: What is one of the three official team colors, Liberty White, named after?

Team Defense was the first to ring the bell, correctly answering the color is named after McNair's dog, Liberty.

The Texans open the regular season at home for the Liberty White Out game against the Chicago Bears on September 11.

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