"I think we should start looking for hotels in New Orleans" I joked to the girl from my parents’ home in Chicago. I was referencing the Bears beatdown of the Colts in the season opener. "Yeah for the Texans Super Bowl victory" she replied back to me in a not so joking matter."This is our year" she followed. Week one of the NFL season brings a sense of optimism to at least half of the team’s fanbases. As each week passes that optimism dwindles down to fewer and fewer teams. But for a couple teams that swagger is only growing...
Being a Texas refugee I have taken a likin' to a few "local" teams around here. I haven't really caught on to the Texas Longhorns yet. They haven't given me much reason too yet. I jumped on the Dallas Mavericks bandwagon in 2011 all the way to the NBA championship. It was more of an anti-Heat vote but fun nonetheless. Likewise for the Texas Rangers who came within a strike of the winning the World Series. I was sitting at the Tavern that night and could feel the air sucked out of the room. Growing up around the Chicago Cubs it was a sight I was very familiar with. Yet most of the people I've met in Texas, particularly girls, were not from Texas. I had never had a real reason to root for a Texas sports team. Then last March I met a native Texan girl (complete with a cute southern accent.) She is an east Texas native via Houston. She's a big basketball fan and loves the Rockets and Spurs. She's also been a lifelong Houston Texans fan for ten years (to be fair we'll count the Oilers from 1979-1996.) Regardless she likes sports and I love that!
So the first harmless teasing came during the NBA playoffs. The Spurs and Bulls were each ranked #1 in their conferences. Could there be a possible Finals showdown looming? What would we do? We had only known each other a couple months...would it break us? Well not longer than 46 minutes into Game 1 that became a non-factor. Rose tore his ACL and the Bulls crashed and burned not long after. I legitimately rooted for the Spurs with her the next three weeks. Eventually age caught up with them and Oklahoma City prevailed. Trouble averted for the time being.
So now we come back to football. The Houston Texans have looked awesome through half the season. They seem to be the team to beat in the AFC. They are definitely a Super Bowl contender. Then a funny thing happened. The Bears started winning...and winning big. On Monday Night Football the Bears went into Dallas as the underdog and proceeded to whip the Cowboys ass. Their defense began to destroy teams with takeaways. They are routinely scoring over 40 points a game. They have a real quarterback (jerkface and all) wide receiver and running back! It's been their best team since their Super Bowl run in 2006. They are legit and that's where things get interesting.
So now at the halfway point of the season the premiere game has arrived. For me, for her and the entire NFL. It’s the Houston Texans (7-1) vs. Chicago Bears (7-1) in primetime. Can love survive a Windy City showdown on Sunday Night Football? I imagine we'll probably be fine. I'm sure there will be a few wisecracks and mild teasing. After much discussion we indeed decided to go out and watch it together. It should be a fun time. But what if this is just a preview of the looming armageddon that the Mayans predicted. No, I'm not talking about December 21, 2012. I'm talking about February 3, 2013 in New Orleans. Could it really be Bears vs. Texans in Super Bowl XLVII? I guess we'll all find out soon enough.