As the holiday season approaches, the people of Houston reflect on reasons to be thankful, finding solace in the resilience of their sports scene. Despite the past glory days, the current sports landscape in Houston is not as bleak as it may seem.
A few years ago, Houston boasted a golden age of sports, with the Astros dominating baseball, the Texans soaring with Deshaun Watson, and the Rockets as perennial postseason contenders with James Harden. While the Texans and Rockets faced rapid declines, hope has not abandoned Houston sports enthusiasts.
The Dynamo, Houston’s MLS team, has made a surprising comeback, securing a spot in the MLS Cup semifinals against Sporting KC. Their resilience and underdog status offer a reason for fans to cheer, and the possibility of winning the championship for the third time in franchise history adds to the excitement.
The University of Houston basketball team, under the leadership of Kelvin Sampson, remains a force to be reckoned with. Despite losing key players, the team is currently ranked sixth in the country with an impressive 7-0 record. Sampson’s coaching prowess and the team’s trademark defense signal another potential NCAA tournament berth.
The Rockets, after enduring three dismal seasons, are experiencing a resurgence. Young players developed during the tough times are finally proving their worth, and new veteran acquisitions have revitalized the franchise. Head coach Ime Udoka’s capabilities contribute to the team’s newfound relevance, bringing hope to the Toyota Center.
In the world of baseball, the Astros made a strategic move by promoting Joe Espada from bench coach to manager, succeeding Dusty Baker. Espada’s seven-season tenure in Houston, coupled with his positive rapport with players and management, positions him as the right leader for a team consistently relevant despite challenges.
A remarkable story unfolds at NRG Stadium with the Texans’ turnaround. The hiring of former linebacker DeMeco Ryans as head coach and drafting C.J. Stroud has transformed the team from decades of disappointment to playoff contention. Stroud’s record-breaking rookie performances add an unexpected and incredible twist to the Texans’ narrative.
Amidst the uncertainties and ups and downs, Houstonians find reasons to appreciate their sports scene this holiday season.
The Dynamo’s playoff journey, the resilience of the University of Houston basketball team, the Rockets’ resurgence, Astros’ managerial decision, and the Texans’ unexpected rise contribute to a sense of optimism and gratitude in Houston sports.