*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 Week 8 Battle Red Day presented by Halliburton game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was Brian Stanfeder from Houston. This is his story:
"Right when I first read about it the Texans' 'Your Story, Your Glory,' contest, I knew – I was for sure – I had to enter this. I said, 'This is me,' and thought it was a great opportunity to present myself and say why I'm the number one diehard Texans fan.
"I was actually at work getting ready to step into a client meeting when they called me to tell me I was a finalist to be on the tickets. I was just ecstatic, and I started yelling and screaming into the phone. I was just so pumped.
"I'm wearing my Battle Red, which is my favorite game theme. I like when the Texans have their certain themes like the Battle Red. I just feel like it's me. It fits. It shows who I am. Win or lose, I'm going to come out there, I'm going to represent my team, I'm going to support 'em and I'm going to do whatever I can to get that extra 'oomph' to try to get that victory during the game. I love to yell and scream; I'm an extremely passionate fan.
"Sundays mean everything to me. I look forward to gamedays all year 'round. When they come around, I don't do anything on Saturday nights. Sunday mornings, the alarm clock goes off at 5:45. My truck's already packed up with E-Z UPs, barbeque pits, you name it, and all my buddies, my wife, we all get together at my house and we head to the stadium. We normally leave about 6:30 or 7, and then we're parked on the 610 feeder road, jamming our AC/DC 'Thunderstruck,' ready to get let into the Blue Lot and get our spot.
"We set up our E-Z UP, the barbeque pit, all the games, and see all of our friends that we've met over the years that we tailgate with. We're barbecuing with cold beverages, music, friends, family. That's almost just as good as the game to me, personally. I love the game, of course, but just gathering and talking pregame with all your buddies and throwing the football around and seeing 70,000 people tailgating, there's no better place in the country than Houston to tailgate. I've traveled to six other cities to watch the Texans play, and nobody does tailgating like we do here in Houston. We were in Buffalo in 2009, and their gates opened at 8 a.m. We were there at 7 a.m.; we had a 15-passenger van with 10 of us Texans fans. We got there before the parking lot attendants even got there, and we blew them out of the water.
"When you're walking into the stadium on gameday, you've got that buzz in the air and we're sitting there yelling 'Hou-ston! Tex-ans!' as we walk in. You walk down to your seats, you say hello to all your neighbors, you get settled in. You've got the music going, you've got player introductions, and then once that whistle blows and that game kicks off, man, it's a whole different world in that stadium with 70,000 Texans fans all wearing the Liberty White, the Battle Red, the Deep Steel (Blue). I get goosebumps when that crowd is roaring during the national anthem with the flyover or a big-time defensive stand or a touchdown to Andre Johnson, whoever it may be. It's something you really can't put into words. You have to be there.
"Those eight home games a year during the regular season, I wouldn't miss it for the world. I've been a season-ticket holder since 2006. When I graduated college, my goal was to purchase season tickets, and I did that in 2006 and haven't missed a game since. I'm just ready for that playoff push now.
"We've had a lot of great experiences here, and one that comes to mind was in 2009, when we played the Patriots and beat them knowing that we had a shot if other teams lost in that Week 17 to get into the playoffs. When we won that game and did the final kneel-down, I just saw Andre Johnson, he was probably on the 20-yard line and just looked at the stands started beating his chest and showing all that passion he had. It honestly got me a little teary-eyed just to see how much emotion he had.
"I've been on six road trips. What started off as going every two or three years has now evolved into going basically every year now. The most memorable road trip I would say was in 2009 when we went to that Buffalo game. We sat row one about the 45-yard line right behind the Texans bench, and the players definitely knew we were there. We were all decked out in our Battle Red. Our faces were painted. We had our Texans flags dangling over the edge. And once we had a commanding lead – it was 31-10 late in the fourth quarter – we started singing and chanting, and the players started turning around and dancing and getting into it. I remember Shaun Cody turning around and throwing his hands up. And after the game, Bob McNair walked over to us and shook all of our hands and said, 'Thank you guys for being such diehard fans and traveling.' A moment we'll never forget. They tossed us a game ball, so we got a game ball and got to shake Bob McNair's hand. It was an experience I'll never forget, just like so many others I've had as a Houston Texans fan."