To athletes, entertainers and performers alike, there is nothing quite like opening night.
Fresh crisp jersey.
When the lights go on and it's time for a show...there's nothing quite like that feeling anywhere on this earth.
No matter how often one has been in that situation, the anticipation can be overwhelming. A 12 year veteran still gets the butterflies. A rookie's heart pulsates at the thought of what's to happen over the next few hours.
In my rookie game as a head coach, I did everything I could possibly think of to get ready for kickoff...and then I forgot the game ball.
The Texans sure as shootin' didn't forget the game ball in their "rookie" appearance. In 2002, the Texans beat Dallas 19-10 and I'm sure there isn't a Texans fan alive that can't recite that score in his/her sleep. There's no way a franchise could've started in a more glorious manner. Unfortunately, I wasn't in the building for that one, but ask a diehard Texans fan for an opening game memory and that one is at the top of everyone's list.
For me, though, one opener stands above every other one. One year. One player. One opponent.
- Arian Foster. The Colts.
Following the 2009 NFL Draft, there were plenty of fans angry because the team didn't draft a running back. Seven rounds and no running back? I can hear the vitriol to this day. Of course, playing devil's advocate, which I do well, I remarked that I wasn't too upset because I liked the signing of some guy named Foster from Tennessee. We finally saw what Foster was capable of at the end of the 2009 season but no one anticipated that those last two games were truly a harbinger of the future. The Texans drafted a RB in 2010 and there was plenty of discussion as to which guy would be the Texans starter. After the very first OTA workout that season, I went on the air that day and said "don't sweat it; it's 23's job".
But, would he be as good against the Colts as he was to finish the 2009 season?
He was better.
33 carries. 231 yards. Three touchdowns.
Every single carry was just another message to the hated Colts that their reign of terror was over (at least for that day). Media members are disallowed from cheering in the press box but inside I wanted to scream at every single member of the Colts.
TAKE 'AT, COLTS. You can't stop him, Bethea! Hey Mathis, how ya' like No. 23?!?
Foster ran away from, slid past and eventually embarrassed a multitude of Colts defenders for a full 60 minutes.
Arian will take the field on Sunday for the first time since last October 2013 and many are unsure as to how the Pro Bowl running back will perform. The last time some felt that way?
September 12, 2010.
Here's hoping for an encore, four years later.