2013 was a banner year for the city of Houston and it’s sports franchises.
The past year saw ups and downs across the board for Houston sports. The Texans, Rockets and Dynamo all saw the playoffs this year. The Astros saw the cellar for most of the year and Aeros are now in Iowa. With so many things happening here is our list of the top ten sports stories from 2013.
Sam Montgomery, Cierre Wood and Willie Jefferson went with the Houston Texans to Kansas City in late October. All three left no-longer members of the team. Kicked off officially for breaking team rules there is no decisive reasoning why the players were let go. The players claim that illegal substances were not the reason for their being released.
Just 11 years after opening, Reliant stadium will host the Super Bowl for the second time. The first Super Bowl for Reliant saw the Patriots and Panthers battle it out in 2004 when the Patriots won 32-29 on a 41-yard field goal by Adam Vinateri in the waning seconds. “I can’t tell you how excited I am for Houston in being selected as the site for the 2017 Super Bowl,” Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said in May when the announcement was made. “This is a worldwide stage that will be constructed in Houston and the world will be watching. It’s an opportunity to showcase our wonderful city, the NFL and the Super Bowl all at the same time.”
At the age of 90 years old, legendary Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips passed away in October. The Luv Ya Blue Oilers were a team that resonated deeply with the city of Houston and the loss of Bum resonated with the current Texans and of course their defensive coordinator at the time and current head coach, Bum’s son Wade Phillips.
The Houston Astrodome is considered the “8th Wonder of the World” to some, but a vote to save the currently empty arena fell short of passing this November. Without a miracle to find the funding to save the former home of the Astros and Oilers we might be adding “Astrodome Demolished” to the list of Top 10 stories of 2014.
After the up and down year from starting quarterback Matt Schaub an injury sidelined the veteran allowing Case Keenum to step in against the Chiefs in week 6. After a bye week and with a healthy Matt Schaub, head coach Gary Kubiak elected to run with the second year undrafted University of Houston product.
In a scary moment at the end the first of a Sunday Night Football game against the Indianapolis Colts Gary Kubiak slowly went to one knee and then laid on the turf. Medical staff rushed to his side and the Head Coach was taken to the hospital. He missed the next game for the Texans and coached a few from the press box but the moment was one of the scarier things to happen in 2013.
Following a string of bad performances and four straight games throwing a pick-six, Matt Schaub had some unwanted visitors at his house. Fans drove to Schaub’s house and took pictures and yelled at the house, while no one was hurt and some details were fuzzy since the Schaub’s did not immediately file a police report, the story garnered national attention towards the Texans on what was the early stages of a historically bad slide.
Franchise record losing streaks, a seemingly unmotivated team and the inability to play the quarterback the owner wanted on the field all led to the end of an 8 year tenure as Head Coach of the Houston Texans for Gary Kubiak. A bad loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in front of a national audience on Thursday Night football was the final straw for Owner Bob McNair, who fired Kubiak on the Friday following the game.
This story has so many levels it really could be three or four of the top ten stories of 2013. In the end an owner of a Major League Baseball team that lost 100+ games has sued a former owner of the team and a cable network because no one can watch the Astros. Only 40% of the Houston area can even see the Astros at home on Comcast Sports Net Houston a channel only carried by Comcast as a cable provider. The most odd moment might have come when Astros owner Jim Crane held a press conference to say he was suing Comcast Sports Net Houston and that press conference was broadcast on Comcast Sports Net Houston.
Not much was going to surpass this. The biggest free agent signing ever for the city of Houston. The Rockets were able to lure Howard away from Los Angeles, Dallas and pretty much every other team in the NBA. Howard tweeted the news on July 5th saying, “I’ve decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets. I feel its the best place for me and I am excited.” The Rockets went from a borderline playoff team to an NBA Championship contender overnight.