The Texans invited fans to submit their best Texans stories for a chance to be featured on the team's 2011 season tickets in the "Your Story, Your Glory" contest.
Selected to be on the ticket for the Texans' Week 1 game against the Indianapolis Colts was Brian Douglas from Bellaire, Texas. This is his story:
"I was actually too embarrassed to send in an application for this contest. My daughter thought I was the best fan in the world; she submitted the application for me and explained how passionate I am about the team.
"Part of the passion occurred when I was ill. I was in the hospital in 2006; I'd had a heart attack and didn't know if I was going to get out alive that time. After it looked like I was going to make it, we decided to make some lifestyle changes, and one of them was to do things that would involve the entire family in a fun activity. One of the number-one things on my list was going to more Texans games and being involved with that, and not just myself but the entire family.
"Little by little, we started going to all the activities. We've been to the draft, we go to their practice sessions, we go to every event where they're signing autographs at Reliant. We get involved in planning who's going to be playing, who's going to be scoring; the whole week is really preparation for the game. At the draft, we usually go to the SportsRadio 610 area with Eric Winston and the guys up there. It seems to get more involved than what's actually happening at the draft, so that's been a big part of it. In fact, one of my biggest memories, I was just out of intensive care and that was the year where Mario (Williams) was being drafted. That was a very exciting draft – so exciting that they sort of had to watch my monitor because I was getting a little overexcited at the time.
"The reason we decided to start coming to Texans games was that I wanted to have something that everybody would be interested in that we could do together and do on a regular basis. This was something I had wanted to do for a long time. We had gone to games, we'd been involved, but not in the sense of really making a full-time commitment to the team – having season tickets, going to all the games, going to the drafts and being more a part of the team sort of emotionally. It's taken on a life of its own, and we're all very happy with that.
"To describe a true Houston Texans fan, I think if there's one word. It's passion. We're all passionate about the team. I have all their jerseys so that I come prepared for each game. As my daughter would say, 'Come early, be loud, stay late and be a Texan.' That's the way we feel about it.
"We get up early in the morning on gamedays. The first thing we have to do is check which jersey to wear; we all have different-colored jerseys. My daughter gets all primped up and she usually puts on her pink one, but she also has a blue one for when the need comes. We have different rituals depending on who's going, because I rotate that with the season tickets.
"We take the train to Reliant, and we do that for a couple reasons. One is that it gives you a true game experience. You mingle with not only Texans fans but with the guys from everywhere, and it really gets you psyched up for the game because you've got people yelling and screaming on the train before the game starts. It's fun to be with so many people, packed like sardines, and you're already pumped up by the time you get to the stadium. So that's how we sort of start the day, and then we walk through the parking lots to get the smell of the barbeque. We're not tailgaters, but we try to enjoy that part of the experience with the kids and everybody in the lot throwing footballs, smelling the barbeque, just walking through and talking to people as we go by. We try to be in our seat well before the game starts. I know that's been an issue in Houston, but we try to be there early and stay late, wait 'til the game is over.
"I never leave early. Most of the time in the last year or two, there's been no reason to leave early because the games have been so exciting. Win or lose, they're an exciting team. You go right to the last minute never knowing if you're going to win or lose the game. You like your team to win, but what you really like is to see them play their hearts out and to see what their character is. For me, that's what the Texans have shown: That they're a team of character. Win or lose, they're in there 'til the last play. So no matter how desperate the situation is, no matter how many points they're down or how bad it looks at the time, you have to be there 'til the end. You can't be leaving early like lemmings to the sea, because you just don't know. The guys have enough to pull it out at the last second.
"The stadium itself is magnetic. We could watch the games at home, but it's not the same thing. I think the difference is the passion and being able to experience that. You're with four or five other people at home and people are jumping up and down, but with 70,000 people around you screaming, the place is vibrating. The cannon goes off and the place is shaking. My wife will jump out of her seat every time; she's never used to hearing the cannon go off, and that's fun to watch. The whole feeling of being with a crowd and enjoying the game with so many other people is something that you cannot get at home, no matter how good your television is.
"This is one of the big surprises in my life. The whole idea of being considered for being one of the fans whose picture is on a ticket, that's quite an honor. It puts things in perspective. There's definitely a feeling of gratitude that I've appreciated the Texans and the Texans now seem to appreciate me as a fan, and that makes for a wonderful feeling. The Texans have always been a class organization. From the time Mr. (Bob) McNair came to own the team, the people who have been associated with it have always seemed to be of the highest character, from the players to the coaches and staff. I think being a fan who's selected for this puts you in the Texans' house, and it's one that I feel proud to be a part of."**