EDITOR'S NOTE:Texans fan Alan J. Burge will be writing a "Voice of the Fan" column throughout the 2004 season. His latest installment is below. Alan's views do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.
Are you ready?
What a great time of year. The cool fronts have started to tease, football is in the air, and Texans fans -- like all NFL fans across the country – have high hopes for their teams this season.
At last, the 2004 regular season is upon us and if you're reading this column I think you're probably every bit as excited as I am. Those who are near and dear to me think I'm a little crazy but I admit that I have a hard time sleeping the night before home games. I know others with the same affliction so I know it's not just me. Maybe it's the anticipation of renewing tailgate traditions. Maybe it's the adrenaline that peaks at near toxic levels during the drive out to Reliant. Maybe it's the anticipation of once again being part of one of the best home field advantages in the NFL. It's probably all of the above – and more. The NFL is truly a passion for many of us.
Speaking about one of the best home field advantages in the NFL, Reliant Stadium can be exactly that. I recall the first Texans regular season game ever when Joe Theismann made the comment that Reliant Stadium was the loudest stadium he had ever heard. Yes, Reliant can be loud and it can definitely be to our advantage so it's important to make as much noise as you can – at the appropriate times of course – from start to finish.
I was listening to Texans GM Charley Casserly on SportsRadio610 a few days ago and he had two requests of Texans fans that I thought I would repeat here:
- Be at your seats for pre-game introductions – Texans fans have a tradition of yelling out the last name of the player as they are introduced and run onto the field. Those who are familiar with this tradition know it helps establish an intimidating atmosphere and it can really help set the tone for the game. We know the players get fired up when 70,000 fans greet them by screaming their names.
- Pick up the "DEFENSE" chant when the Texans defense is on the field in key situations. I'll raise that bet. Make as much noise as you can when the Chargers offense breaks the huddle and walks up to the line on ALL downs – not just on key plays and situations. Communication is important on the field and it can only help the Texans if the Chargers receivers, and more importantly LaDanian Tomlinson can't hear check-off's and other calls made at the line. Yes, it's fair and yes it's allowed so don't be timid. Stand up and yell your head off when the Chargers have the ball. Encourage those around you to do the same. It sure beats watching the guy next to you chow down on a foot long chili dog and nachos. Opposing fans give it to us when we're on the road so let's be generous Texans and give a little back. Most of the time, Texans fans are very good at this but sometimes it takes people a little time to get going for these noon games. We need to be primed and ready at the start of the first quarter.
I'll add another item to Charley's list and this may be the most important thing of all to remember. For the same reasons that we are being incredibly loud when the Chargers have the ball, it's just as important to be quiet when David Carr and the Texans offense comes up to the line. Sometimes it's hard, I know, especially after a big play that lands you in the red zone and it appears that a touchdown for the good guys is imminent. But that's the most important time for fans to give the Texans offense some quiet time. Let them execute. There's plenty of time to scream, holler, yell and do cartwheels after the big plays and touchdowns. Just kidding about the cartwheels. We don't want anyone to get hurt.
Are you ready?
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