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.
A total of 12 winners – including a husband-and-wife and father-and-son pairing – were selected to be on the 10 tickets. The first winner: Diana Petisca, an X-ray technician from Houston who wears proudly Texans scrubs to work at a hospital. She was selected to be on the ticket for the Texans' Aug. 15 preseason opener against the New York Jets.
This is her story:
"I was aware of the season ticket contest but I did not sign up, thinking I wasn't going to be picked. I wasn't one of those crazy-dressed people, dressed like Superman or whatever. I'm a huge fan nonetheless, but my husband entered me into the contest without my knowledge. He went and typed up a 200-word essay about how I'm a Texan fan, and then he got a phone call. I think he was in disbelief, too, but he called me, told me to sit down and he had some news. I was like, 'Uh oh. What is it?' He said, 'You've been picked for having your picture on the Houston Texans season tickets for this year.' And I'm like, 'You've got to be kidding.'
"My gameday starts off early. We get up in the morning and try to get here before the Budweiser Plaza opens up, because I want to get in the line first for my face-painting because I don't want to take away from the fact that the guys are out their practicing and warming up. I want to see 'em doing that. We don't even tailgate because I'd rather watch the guys warm up.
"So we get here early, I get my face painted with the Texans logo – and I usually have a number on the other side of my face, whichever player I want to pick for that day as my favorite player – and then we go in. My husband sits in our seats at the top of our section and watches the warm-ups. I go down to the bottom and watch the warm-ups from the end zone, because that's where the guys are. Then, I go back up and I get my guys ready. I've got my little posse. I've got two guys behind me, I've got a girl behind me on the other side, and we scream. I might upset the people in front of me, and y'all know who you are. I'm sorry, I'm a little loud, but that's what you're supposed to do: You're supposed to get loud. I come early, I stay late and I get really, really loud for my defense.
"It's great just to have a football team here in Houston, and our players are of the utmost character, and they have heart. They may not always win, but our day will come, and I know it will. I love my team. I'm passionate about it. It's my city; you should support your city. I can understand if you're from Dallas and you're a Dallas fan. That's fine, if you come from that city. But heck, if you're from Houston, you need to be a Houston Texans fan. Support our guys. I like no other team. The Houston Texans are my team and my team only. Win or lose, I'm always there. Thick or thin, I follow all the players. I go to all the signings, I go to the Texans All Access, I do the draft parties, I do everything. They're my team, and I support them 100 percent.
"The reason I come to Reliant Stadium as opposed to staying at home and watching the game is I want to be in the atmosphere. It's exciting. You're there and the fans are screaming. I want to support my team. I want to be the one that's screaming for my team. I want to be the one that's causing that opposing offense to mess up. I want to be the hometown spirit. I am the Houston Texans homefield advantage because I am loud.
"I also like to represent my Texans when I'm at work at my hospital. I wear my scrubs not only on Sunday; I'll wear 'em on other days of the week. I've been asked, 'Why do you wear 'em on other days of the week that aren't football-related?', but it doesn't matter. I just want to represent. I like wearing my scrubs at work because I'm proud of my team, and I can talk shop with the best of 'em at work. All the guys know they can come to me if they wanna talk Texans. I know my players, and I know my game."