When my editor asks me to do these travel pieces for Texans fans wanting to hit the road and see a game, I always go to the memory banks and draw from experience. I also do a quick search to make sure I don't miss anything big. But be aware, this is mostly about me.
"It's a dry heat."
I have no idea who came up with this but suggesting that 'dry' makes 105 degrees more bearable is nuts. Even at night, in the summer, when you go outside, you feel like someone left the oven open. It's ridiculous. Yes, Houston is more humid but it's also easier to take in the summer. To me, Miami is more humid than Houston and even 'easier' than the other two cities.
Now that we got that settled – I've been to the Phoenix area many times. The first time was while covering the 1992 Fiesta Bowl.
Editor's Note – Vandermeer, you are THAT old??? I was still in diapers in '92!
Yes, but I was five. Anyway, Johnny Majors was coaching Tennessee and I was covering Penn State. My tiny radio station couldn't afford the trip, so being a former salesman, I convinced them to let me trade all the expenses for advertising time. In those days, you could do this. Now, the IRS would send a SWAT team in for an audit.
Not wanting to short-change myself on the experience I negotiated a week's stay at the Camelback Inn. It was lovely. Thanks for asking. I wanted to go to a Suns game and meet the great Al McCoy, one of my play-by-play heroes but couldn't swing it. McCoy says "Shazam!" every time the Suns hit a three. He's in his 50th year now, an absolute legend.
The next bowl I'd cover there was the Pro Bowl capping the 2014 season. The biggest memory from the whole week was our video guru Jay McDevitt capturing a shot in practice of J.J. Watt kicking a field goal. Knowing he'd break the internet, Jay raced to upload the video like he just discovered the Lost Ark.
I've been to several NFL Owners meetings in Phoenix. These are fun events because you get a lot of great information and it's wild to find yourself on the shrimp cocktail line standing between people like Jerry Jones and Andy Reid.
Editor's Note – Vandermeer. You went second person there as if anyone can go to an owners' meeting. What about fans traveling to Phoenix?
Good point. There's the Grand Canyon, but that's more than three hours away. There's Sedona, but that's two. You can hike Camelback Mountain, which is local. Plus, there are plenty of great restaurants. Go Texans!
The Texans will play the Cardinals on Sunday at State Farm Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:25 p.m. CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
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. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.
Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans practice on Week 7.