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.
Texans fans, instead of breaking down game tape and analyzing who-did-what in a preseason game, we're going to do something a little different this week. Since this feature is "by the fans – for the fans" I thought it would be a good idea to shine the spotlight on one of our own for a change. After all, what would the NFL be without great fans like you and me? I had a chance to sit down with Texans fan Kevin Bilberry and took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
Texans Fan Kevin Bilberry aka "Hookem Horns"
Where do you call home? Austin
So what's your day job? I'm a Mortgage Loan Officer and Web Developer
Which team did you root for before the Texans? "The Houston Oilers of course, however I followed the Saints mostly during the "void" years in Houston. So "who dat" make me root for dos Saints? Dat be Bud Adams. The Bucs have always been a favorite team of mine also. I miss the orange uni's though."
How long have you been a NFL fan?: "I remember when I was 4 or 5 years old (living in Austin), my mom was shopping for clothes and held up 2 football shirts. She told me to pick one. One had a silver helmet with an ugly star on it and the other had a pretty cool white helmet with (what I thought was a cool radio tower) on it. I took the radio tower team (only to find out later it was an oil derrick). My fate was sealed from that moment on. See, even some five-year-olds can make good decisions. OK, I at least made the right decision for hating the first shirt with the ugly star on it. I plead the fifth about choosing the other team. I will say that Earl Campbell solidified myself as an Oiler fan. It just so happened my family moved to Houston from Austin the year he was drafted."
How did you become a Texans fan? "I was a Texans fan before we even had a team. I knew I would always be a Houston football fan and it was only a matter of time before we had another team. As a true native Texan, I believe in football you root for your home team. Dallas should be annexed by Oklahoma so I never really considered them a Texas team."
What is you favorite Texans moment? "19-10 was not only my favorite Texans moment, it will go down as my favorite sports moment, especially since I was there in person to see it. I never knew I could do cartwheels but somehow I pulled a few of them off in the aisles."
Who's your favorite player? "My favorite all-time player is Earl Campbell. I loved Warren Moon too. My favorite current player is probably Seth Payne. I met him in person and got to sit with him a while last year while he was in Austin. He was really down to Earth and cool to hang with. Of course he sealed 19-10 with the safety of Quincy Carter so you really can't go wrong there. Get healthy Seth, we really need you this year."
What are some of your game day rituals? "I'm not 'superstitious' so I can't say I have any true rituals. Now I do have some gameday habits. I will just say it involves beer, BBQ, and tailgating. Some of my old habits have gone away, for example I haven't thrown anything in anger since the Oilers left."
Where could we find you when you're not at Texans games? "In front of my computer. Much of the time working on TexansTalk.com. I get a lot of thanks from fellow Texans fans for running that site but I honestly do enjoy it. Since it is interactive, I have got to meet so many cool fans. I also want to thank John McClain for "pimping" it on the air in Houston. John catches a lot of flak for favoring the Titans (a lot of that used to come from me), however he is a real nice guy and will really go out of his way for Houston fans. I won't go into details because he may not want me to, but I will say that John is a man of his word. When he makes a promise or an offer, he tends to come through. Thanks to John, I will say that I do look at Bud Adams a little differently than I used to. He won't be making my top 10 list of favorite people but I have moved on."
If you had the opportunity to say one thing to owner Bob McNair, what would it be?"I would thank Bob McNair for not only bringing football back to Houston but for improving 100 fold with it. The Texans and Oilers are night and day. The whole attitude and gameday experience is totally different. Having been to NFL stadiums all over the country, I can say with confidence that no one throws a better tailgate party than the Texans. OK, I haven't been to Green Bay and Kansas City but I am sure we are up there with those guys."
So what's your favorite college team? "With the nickname 'Hookem Horns' and living in Austin, is this question really necessary?
What's the team that you enjoy beating the most (or would enjoy beating)? – I can't imagine the answer to this one:"Ah, you probably thought I would say Cowboys. OK, no you didn't because you know me. Anyone who knows me or has visited TexansTalk.com KNOWS that taking out Bud's crew is #1 on my list. After all the fan abuse we got in Nashville last year I really want to be there when the Texans win their first game at Nashville. No offense to be taken by "certain" Titan fans in Nashville, you know who you are! We're coming for ya Bud!"
Thanks a lot Kevin, we'll see you at Reliant.
If you would like to be considered for a future "Fan Spotlight," please contact Alan Burge at firstname.lastname@example.org.