As usual, my editor has asked for an article about the Texans road trip destination and as usual, I'll make it up off the top of my head.
Here's the thing about Indianapolis, although I hate the team like poison (To the unindoctrinated – hate here is healthy sports-hate. This is where hate belongs, in sports. Not in real life), I do like visiting the city. And there are actually some nice people who work for the organization.
I don't know much about the city's history but you can tell that some smart people got together and realized that if they don't make this a fun town to host events, they're toast. So they went to work.
The stadium (and the now-demolished RCA Dome) is right downtown, along with the basketball arena and AAA baseball team. Almost everything is connected through tunnels and the convention center. This means you can walk to dinner most places and not have to go outside for more than a half-block.
I'm thinking the city sets its sights on being attractive for sporting events because of the Indy 500. The track is NOT downtown but not far. I once visited during the media party at the Super Bowl in the 2011 season and did kiss the bricks. Now you'd probably wear a mask to do it.
Another non-downtown must is Hinkle Fieldhouse, home of the Butler Bulldogs. The championship game scene in Hoosiers was shot there so that's pretty cool. The building has a terrific architectural style that's mimicked at Lucas Oil Stadium and the basketball arena.
When I'm in Indy for a few days, I always hit the rec center at IUPUI – that's Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. They pronounce it OO-wee-POO-wee. Don't shoot the messenger.
Anyway, at that rec center, they have the old Market Square Arena basketball floor. It's so cool to shoot hoops on the same hardwood that Reggie Miller and my fellow dutchman Rik Smits used to play on. I'm sure a lot of the students have no clue about the history but I think this is a gem. The NCAA offices are right next door, along with the Hall of Champions. This is really a must-see.
The go-to restaurant for first-timers is St Elmo's Steak House, which is 120 years old and known for its way-too-hot shrimp cocktail. The appetizer has actually become a city staple now, with most restaurants serving the same type of thing.
Whenever we have a new member of our traveling group with us, we tell them to load up on the cocktail sauce. Hilarity ensues as they experience the temperature. I'm slightly concerned that one day we might hurt someone.
Well, that's enough on Indy. Other than to say that it took the Texans 14 tries to get their first win there. Other than the first division clincher in 2011, it was the sweetest road win ever.
Tune in this weekend as the Texans travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on October 31 as they host the Los Angeles Rams in Week 8. Kick off is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.
Check out the best shots from Week 5 vs. the New England Patriots in black and white.