Texans players joined a host of current and former professional athletes on Saturday at Reliant Stadium for Fan Fest, a free event for fans sponsored by SportsRadio 610 AM.
The five-hour-long event featured players from the Texans, Houston Oilers, Houston Rockets, Houston Astros and other pro sports teams. The athletes participated in question-and-answer forums, signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans.
"Those events are always neat," Texans tackle Eric Winston said. "It was free and allowed fans to come up and not only be in the stadium but meet a lot of us and also other guys. They had a lot of old Oiler guys and some of the old Cowboy guys – even Jose Canseco was there. So it was kind of a nice blend of other athletes that were there. It was pretty cool."
Texans tight end Owen Daniels, running back Steve Slaton, wide receiver Jacoby Jones, tight end Joel Dreessen, linebacker Zac Diles, cornerback Jacques Reeves and quarterback Dan Orlovsky also participated in Fan Fest.
Winston, Dreessen and Slaton spent a portion of the event together in a question-and-answer panel with fans.
"We stood up there with our microphone and gave them the best answers we could," Dreessen said. "One young kid asked me what my favorite video game was and if I played online and what my username was, and then he booed me when I told him that I don't really play video games. That kind of hurt my feelings, but it was all a lot of fun. It was really good to go out and meet with the fans."
Texans Ambassadors Steve McKinney, N.D. Kalu, Bubba McDowell and Richmond Webb also were there.
Four former Oilers — Dan Pastorini, Carl Mauck, Elvin Bethea and Robert Brazile — sat on a panel to answer questions and tell stories about their "Luv Ya Blue" days in Houston. Former Rockets players Mario Elie and Robert Horry and former Astro pitcher J.R. Richard also took part in the event.
Others athletes who participated were five-time Olympic medal winner Chad Hedrick, former lightweight boxing champion Juan Diaz, Jon Stinchcomb and Troy Evans of the New Orleans Saints and former NFL players Ricky Sanders, Greg Hill and Tony Casillas.
Fans also had a chance to do color commentary with Marc Vandermeer, the "Voice of the Texans" and co-host with John Lopez of the morning show on SportsRadio 610.
"It was a great event Saturday," Vandermeer said. "It was awesome. We had all those athletes from different sports out there, and I had the pleasure of interviewing Jose Canseco with Joel Dreessen. Dreessen had said earlier in the event that he wanted to be a broadcaster one day. We double-booked him and Canseco on the air, so I decided, 'Well, Dreessen, you're now a broadcaster.' He interviewed Canseco with me and did a great job. It was really cool stuff."