The Houston Texans play in the NFL as part of the American Football Conference (AFC) South division. The team plays their home games from NRG Stadium.
The team first took the field in 2002 as an expansion team, making them one of the youngest franchises in the NFL. The team replaced the Houston Oilers after the franchise moved out to Nashville as the Tennessee Titans. The team was founded by Bob McNair who recently passed away in 2018. Following McNair’s death, the majority ownership of the team went to his wife, Janice McNair.
The team had their growing pains in their first decade of play, but found success starting in the 2011 season with their first division championship and a clinched playoff berth. Since then, the team has gone on to win five AFC South Championships.
Texans Team History
You can’t talk about how the Houston Texans came about without talking about the 1996 controversial move where the Cleveland Browns became the Baltimore Ravens. The franchise had a settlement between the NFL, the city of Cleveland, and the team promising that Football would return to Cleveland within a few years. This unbalanced the league, requiring the establishment of an expansion franchise.
While the NFL was in consideration of where to place this new team, the Houston Oilers packed up and moved to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans. This second move made the choice easy because Houston wanted its hometown Football team and the league needed one more team for rebalancing. At the time, Houston wasn’t the only team to demand that the expansion team come to their home, as Toronto and Los Angeles were also looking for expansion. But Houston pushed for selection with the promise of a domed stadium as part of their bid and a final cost of $700 million on October 6, 1999.
The team officially joined the league in time for the 2002 NFL season, where they called Reliant Stadium their home. Their first game against the Dallas Cowboys was also their first win, marking them as the first expansion team to ever win their introduction game since 1961. But success seemed to evade the Texans after this, as they had early struggling seasons until Gary Kubiak became the head coach in 2006. During that season, the Texans had an 8-8 record during their 2007 and 2008 seasons, nearly qualifying for the 2009-2010 playoffs with a 9-7 record.
This gradual and steady improvement continued into 2011 where the team acquired defensive end J.J. Watt from Wisconsin. During the following season, the Texans won their first AFC South title with a 10-6 record. The Texans even went on to best wild card Cincinnati Bengals 31-10 in the first round of the 2011-12 playoffs before the Ravens knocked them out in the divisional round.
About NRG Stadium
NRG Stadium, formerly Reliant Stadium, is a multi-purpose venue based in Houston. It had a construction cost of $352 million and has a total capacity of over 71,000 audience members. What stands out about the stadium is that it is the first to have a retractable roof offering the best compromise between open-air and enclosed stadiums. The stadium serves as the home for the Houston Texans, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Texas Bowl, and many US Men’s national soccer team matches, as well as various other events. The stadium hosted the Super Bowl in 2004, 2017, as well as a Wrestlemania in 2009.
This stadium is part of several venues that collectively are known as NRG Park, including the Astrodome. The name for the stadium came about from a 32-year $300 million naming rights deal in 2000 by the makers of NRG Energy.
This may seem like NRG Stadium was designed to withstand anything thrown at it, there was a period following the 2008 Hurricane Ike where the stadium was forced to postpone their September 14 game. The hurricane tore off part of the roofing and flooded parts of the stadium with wind and water damage while scattering debris collected by the hurricane. Many fans were worried that the stadium would face irreparable damage, but stadium authority declared that the only significant damage was their roof, forcing the stadium to play with an open roof during their 8 home games that season.
Following this disaster, NRG stadium had a permanent artificial surface installed that would serve the stadium well for years to come. Today, NRG stadium still stands as one of the most modern US stadiums and is ready to receive Football fans during all of Houston’s home games this season.
Houston Texans Theme Songs
When Texans fans think of music, they often think about “It’s Football Time in Houston” by Clay Walker. The song has become the team’s theme music and is played after every Texans touchdown during home games. The song was donated to the city of Houston by Clay Walker.
There was a brief period in 2003 when the Texans wanted to introduce a new fight song, but fan reception cut those plans short and urged bringing back “It’s Football Time in Houston.”
The team defensive squad takes to the field with “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against the Machine playing. This became a tradition after former linebacker Conner Barwin coined the nickname in a tweet.
Later, on January 5, 2012, Houston rap artists Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and ZRo released a song called “HOUSTON” in honor of the team. The song’s YouTube video gained over a million views and earned the song a place as the Texan’s most popular theme song.
Finally, hard rock band Chevelle, made the song “Hats Off to the Bull”, which became a popular theme song for the team. The song is frequently played during home games.
Work in the community
The team is also responsible for the Houston Texans Foundation which handles a lot of community outreach events. The team is also a supporter for several character education programs including “Heart of a Champion” in 2017.