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 4 Pink Ribbon Day game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was Olanda Sharp Buckley from Austin, Texas. This is her story:
"I was looking online and I saw that the Texans were advertising for a contest to put fans on the season tickets called 'Your Story, Your Glory,' so I thought it'd be a really cool idea to nominate my family even though we're just an everyday mom/wife, dad and kids. I just thought it would be nice to say, 'This is part of the Texans fans, just a normal, everyday family.'
"We're just the family next door, but I felt really proud that the Texans would choose an everyday person like me to represent the team and be a part of their season.
"The Texans are more than just fans living in the Houston area. They're important to everyone across the state, no matter where you are. We live in Austin, Texas. We drive down two-and-a-half hours on gamedays. We like driving together as a family; my husband says we're sort of like the Griswolds. I wanted to do something special with my family, so during the seasons, we decided to spend the weekends here in Houston. It's a time for me to spend with my husband and my two sons, because we both work like 80 hours a week and we're going back-and-forth with sports and with school.
"It's important for us to be involved and support the Texans because they support their fans. The fans come first; families come first. The team really supports the fans and appreciates the fans. No matter what your background is, whatever happened to you before you came to the game, when you enter this stadium, you just feel like you're a part of a family. So I love the fact that the organization represents family and team and togetherness. It's like the fans come first and everything else comes second.
"For someone who has never been to a game at Reliant Stadium, I would compare it to the most exciting day of your life but being able to experience it every Sunday. From the time you pull up and park to the time that you walk through the gates, everyone has spoken to you. Everyone is cheering and so excited. And once you walk in the stadium, you probably can't hear yourself anymore because it's so loud, but it's a rush you get. It's almost like you're a player, because from the announcers to the people, you feel like you're a part of something for those three hours.
"Being a true Houston Texans fan means being yourself and supporting the Texans. For me, I'm a mom, I'm a wife, I work in corporate America, I'm a senior manager at a Fortune 500 company, but on gameday, none of that matters. I'm a true Houston Texans fan. I put on my jersey, I come in and I cheer. When the team is away, I yell at the TV just the same. But it means being a part of something special for years to come. My family has season tickets for that reason. We opted to not go on a family vacation one year so we could buy our season tickets instead, and we got PSL seats so that I could pass it on to my children and their children. This is an investment for the rest of our family.
"My favorite part of coming to a Texans game is being with my family to cheer on something I believe in. I'm originally from Ohio, a state where football matters just like it does here in Texas. Football is a tradition that my dad shared with me, and it's still a big part of my life. My dad has passed away, but I'm able to experience that same bond now with my loved ones at Texans games. Sundays for us are about family – not at home where people can interrupt you on your cell phones and your BlackBerries and your laptops. We're away together. For those few hours, it's just about us and the Texans, and that's important to us.
"Wearing the pink jersey for me, not just in the month of October but as often as I can, is important because I know people personally who have been affected by breast cancer, some who have won the battle and some who have not. So to know that the NFL and the Texans are standing behind such a great cause, it means a lot. And I think that it shows that it has touched a lot of people's lives and they're trying to give back to help."