We want the water to go back into the bayous.
We want the power back in our homes.
We want to forget that all of this happened and move on with our lives.
And while Houston’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey will be long and arduous, we know just who to turn to for a distraction.
Here’s looking at you, Houston sports teams.
One of the beautiful things about Houston, one of my favorite things about this city, is the community. Images of neighbors helping neighbors are plentiful online because that’s just who we are. We’re an action-oriented bunch who accept all and turn none away. I want nothing more right now than to grab a mop and clean our hometown up. It’s just not that simple.
The rain continues to fall. The water continues to rise. The fear continues to grow.
While time will heal these wounds and relief funds will speed the recovery process up, Houston needs to heal emotionally. The flooding weighs heavily on our souls, and the footage of submerged highways and stranded motorists just adds to our collective depression.
Enter J.J. Watt. Enter Jose Altuve. Enter the Houston Dynamo and Dash.
Sports present an escape to us as fans, an opportunity to live vicariously through men and women infinitely more coordinated than us or move past the struggles at work or at home. The roar in NRG Stadium as Watt brings down an opposing quarterback and the synchronized clapping to “Deep in the Heart of Texas” during the 7th Inning Stretch at Minute Maid Park transport fans to an alternate reality, a somewhat preferred reality. And that’s what we need right now.
All we need right now is hope.
We need Mike Fiers to deliver seven scoreless innings as the Astros take on the Rangers in Florida tomorrow night. We need Tom Savage to step up and lob rainbows over the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense on Sept. 10. We need the Dynamo to keep up their hometown hot streak wherever they end up playing their next home games.
The Astros are uniquely situated to make dreams come true. With a 13.5 game lead in the American League West and 5.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians for best record in the AL, the ‘Stros are virtually guaranteed of a playoff berth and have a good chance at home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. Once shortstop Carlos Correa returns to the lineup, the Astros are primed to make a run towards the World Series.
With Chris Paul joining the fold, the Rockets are ready to launch. ESPN predicts they will finish second in the Western Conference with Paul and James Harden forming the most potent ball-handling duo the NBA has seen in years.
The Dynamo are one of just three teams in Major League Soccer that has not lost at home, and their offensive attack can score in the blink of an eye.
But Houston is a football town. The pulse of this city can be felt with each passing fall Sunday.
Watt and Jadeveon Clowney anchor the best front seven in the NFL, and the secondary gets a big boost with Kevin Johnson returning to the back end. The Texans’ defense is poised to return to its status as the top unit in the league, but the offense needs to step up in a big way. If Savage can sustain drives, this team will be fine.
But the bottom line is that we don’t need a championship. We don’t even really need winners, as nice as that would be.
We need to come together as a community. We need to heal.
We need to believe that it’s going to get better.
We need our teams to show us that it can—that it will.