EDITOR'S NOTE: *This article originally appeared in the Houston Texans Gameday magazine on Sept. 9, 2012, for the Texans' home game against the Miami Dolphins.
When pro football returned to Houston for the 2002 season, David Karr knew it was a special opportunity.
He convinced his employer to purchase four PSLs at Reliant Stadium, with the intention of entertaining customers at Houston Texans games. It didn't take long for Karr to get caught up in the wave of excitement that accompanied the organization's inaugural season.
"I was a much bigger college fan than I ever was a pro fan – until we started going to the (Texans) games," the University of Alabama alumnus said. "We went to the first game against the Cowboys. We were in the end zone that they scored the (first) touchdown. (Billy) Miller scored, and it was incredibly crazy."
Attending games is now a family tradition for Karr, his wife Kim and their two children Brooklyn, 6, and Brody, 2. He and his family follow a routine for each home game. They dress up in their Texans apparel and hang a team flag at their home before driving to the game with Texans flags on their car, "because the kids love that."
After arriving at Reliant Stadium and parking in the Red Lot, the Karrs enter through the Comcast gate. David always picks up two bags of nuts near their seats on the 300 level. After kickoff, he stays focused on the game, especially on the Texans' defense, while his kids keep an eye out for Texans mascot TORO and his wife helps to supervise them.
Karr credits Texans chairman and CEO Bob McNair for listening to fans and making improvements to the gameday experience year-after-year.
"Bob McNair has done such a great job for this city," Karr said. "We just fell in love with him, we fell in love with the whole attitude (of the team), the uniforms. TORO the bull, my kids love that guy. So it's just been easy to do. They've made it easy."
Early on in the team's existence, Karr received some fringe benefits from having the same name phonetically as former Texans quarterback David Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. Karr lived in the same neighborhood as a few Texans defensive backs, so when he called his cable company for service, the operators thought they were helping the Texans quarterback.
"Then they show up and they're like, 'Yeah, you're not him,'" Karr said. "Well, one, my house isn't that big. And two, I'm only 5-6 and 150 (pounds) soaking wet. Usually, it takes four hours or more to get those (cable) guys. I had three of them (at my house) in a matter of an hour, waiting out front.
"That was a lot of fun at first."
Karr, a native of Amarillo, said his fondest memory as a Texans fan is defensive end J.J. Watt's interception return for a touchdown last season in the Wild Card playoff game against Cincinnati. Watching postseason football for the first time at Reliant Stadium was an unforgettable moment for Karr.
"Last year, the playoff game was just crazy," he said. "It was so much fun for everybody; really had a pretty good college atmosphere."
Karr and his family can't wait to cheer on the team this regular season and see what the start of the next decade of Texans football offers.