From NFL players to renowned sports reporters to musical artists in town for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, it's common to spot a star personality in the hallways of NRG Stadium.
But no one is more famous or as big a celebrity around these parts than Wahnetta Mitchell, Houston Texans Receptionist extraordinaire. For the past five years, 89-year-old Wahnetta has greeted employees and guests with a smile on her face as they enter the stadium lobby.
The eyes and ears of this institution, Ms. Wahnetta has seen it all. But no one has impressed her quite like Texans rookie Jadeveon Clowney.
"I met him the first day that he came here," Wahnetta said. "They brought him through here and introduced him to me, and I met his mom. He just had the sweetest smile and gave me a hug. And I like that."
After Wahnetta joked about wanting a football signed by "her crush" Clowney for her 90th birthday, a plan was set in place. Although the big nine-oh is still a couple of months away, Wahnetta got an early birthday surprise when the No. 1 overall pick stopped by the reception area unannounced on Wednesday.
"I don't know what happened," she recounted. "I looked up and they had a camera there, and I said 'What's going on?' I felt someone around me, and there he was. I felt like a schoolgirl."
Clowney presented her with a signed football and her favorite gift of all: A hug.
One more thing Wahnetta wants from Clowney is a productive season on the football field.
"I'm just dying to see him out there playing," she said. "I've never been out to practice or anything, so I sure can't wait to see him out there tackling."
Overall, it was a good Wednesday for Ms. Wahnetta, who doesn't miss a beat when it comes to symmetry.
"I'm turning 90 and he's number 90. How 'bout that?"