EDITOR'S NOTE:Texans fan Alan J. Burge continues to write his "Voice of the Fan" column for HoustonTexans.com. His latest installment is below. Alan's views do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.
Let's Get it Started (Again)
Okay, Steelers fans, you finally got your "one for the thumb."
But while you're celebrating your fifth Super Bowl championship down at the steel mill, please excuse the rest of us who want to get on with a new season. Yeah, we're jealous.
Before we move on, close your eyes just for a minute and imagine what it would be like in Houston if the Texans ever won a Super Bowl?
Okay, snap out of it. We're about as far away from that dream becoming reality as we were in 2002, but it was a nice thought for a few seconds.
Anyway, congrats goes to Bill Cowher and the Steelers. Even though you and the Seahawks bored us to tears for two hours and fifty-five minutes on Super Sunday, you came away with a nice shiny Lombardi and that's what it's all about, right?
For the record:
- Not that I usually care about the pop culture fringe associated with the Super Bowl but I thought the national anthem was terrible, especially Aaron Neville's contribution
- I didn't pay close attention to the commercials but I did manage a chuckle at the FedEx dinosaur and the streaking sheep
- I thought the introduction of the Super Bowl MVPs before the game was great. Seeing all those old players really brought out the emotions and memories from years past. Does anyone know why Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw weren't there? Please don't tell me they wanted appearance fees. I didn't see Jake Scott either, but it seemed like everyone else was there and looking pretty good.
So let's close the book on another season. I guess the Pro Bowl is still technically part of the '05-'6 season but who really cares except for the players and families who get to actually go to Hawaii for a week? Good luck Jerome – keep those hammys lubed. Maybe, I'll watch out of the corner of my eye to see if you can take one to the house.
Those of us who are 24/7/365 kind of fans are already looking ahead to the major events that will take place over the off-season. Let's take a look at a few key dates:
February 12 – Pro Bowl in Honolulu
February 23 – Deadline for clubs to designate franchise and transition players
February 23 – Opening of Waiver period
March 2 -- Expiration of all player contracts due to expire in '06
March 3 -- Free agency and trading period begins
March 26-30 – NFL Annual Meeting – Orlando
April 21 -- Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
April 29-30 -- NFL Draft
May 23-25 -- NFL Spring Meeting in Denver
Free agency starts in just three weeks and that's always an interesting time to see who's going where and whether the Texans will be major players.
The NFL meetings are very significant this year because the details of the collective bargaining agreement still haven't been hashed out between the owners and the players union.
And finally, the draft is what will dominate most of the conversation over the next eleven weeks as Texans fans continue to beat each other up over the Reggie Bush, Vince Young or trade down question.
So my advice to those who may not be 24/7/365 kind of fans is this: Stay locked in because there's a lot of activity going on that will keep your NFL juices flowing during the off-season. Bookmark a draft site or two, look over the free agent list, browse the message boards, set yourself up with a Google News Alert so you can get Texans news sent to your email box daily.
Do whatever you can to stay involved in Texans off-season moves and news around the NFL and before you know it, we'll all be out there at the practice facility once again sweating our butts off, trying to figure out who all these new coaches are. You can email Alan Burge at: *firstname.lastname@example.org*