My Houston sports Valentines

My Houston sports Valentines
February 14, 2013, 4:00 pm
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First, an admission. I hate Valentines Day.

It’s a contrived holiday that pressures guys to profess their affection for their significant other. If they choose unwisely or don’t invest enough perceived thought, effort or money then there’s trouble at home. Not because said significant other thinks the other person isn’t interested, but because of the unspoken competition about who’s partner went to the greatest lengths to show how much they mean to them.

I dare say that I’m not alone in this silent despising of this day among men. I just have a larger platform in which to express my displeasure.

It’s not that I don’t spend time making sure that my wife knows she’s loved, but she also knows that anything do anything for my wife today is essentially done under protest for the reasons stated above.

Mrs. Kelly, she’s a lucky woman.

Yes, I realize there will be apologizing sometime in the near future (there usually is).

So rather than wax poetic about love because I feel forced to, or the marketers say I need to. I will instead spend time on a sports website writing about the things I’ve loved watching since Comcast signed on four months ago.

I loved watching Katy play football. Gary Joseph and his Tigers played hard from the opening kickoff to the final whistle and every player gives their best effort. Their quarterback, Kiley Huddleston played the state championship game with a broken leg. Running back Adam Taylor, college commitment already secured to Nebraska, carried the ball 70 times in the state semifinal and final, scoring 8 touchdowns because the Tigers needed him to. The Katy roster is full of these examples and because it is, it’s a joy to watch.

I loved watching Lamar defensive end Zelt Minor in the playoffs. I can count on one finger the number of times a defensive end propelled a team on a deep playoff run. Minor is it. He forced turnovers against Alief Taylor, blocked two punts against Fort Bend Travis, sacked North Shore quarterback Caleb Thomas on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter and stopped a reverse against S.A. O’Connor for a 20 yard loss in the fourth quarter. In between those huge plays were a ton of smaller ones that led Lamar to the state final. He was J.J. Watt at the high school level.

I loved watching the North Shore defense. They are physical, they are relentless and they are dominant. No team has been able to translate that level of physicality at the high school level for so long. North Shore also does it better than the Mustangs.

I love that the Harrison twins will play together in college. Being twins is one thing, but Aaron and Andrew Harrison have excelled at basketball for years. The fact that they still enjoy each other’s company enough to play together at college, Kentucky no less, is great.

I love that the Texans got off to their 11-1 start, and the fact that the city rallied around them in a way that hasn’t been seen since Buddy Ryan punched Kevin Gilbride.

I also love that nobody was satisfied with a 12-4 season and a Divisional Round exit from the playoffs.

I loved watching J.J. Watt develop and have the most dominant season a defensive player has ever had. He came to Houston in typical Texans fashion as a killjoy pick in the first round (See Travis Johnson, Mario Williams and Kareem Jackson). But like those kinds of picks in the Kubiak era, it worked out in the long run. All of that credit goes to Watt, who’s been a publicist’s dream since he arrived and is quickly earning the title of Mr. Texan.

I love the Rockets style of play. They won’t win a championship this year, but they’re obviously building something pretty good and they don’t look like the Pistons doing it. It’s always special for a team and a city when they get good for the first time in a while, the Rockets are on the verge of something special.

I love that James Harden is giving Houston’s basketball fans a player who will blossom into a legitimate superstar. They are rare and Houston’s been without one (healthy) since T-Mac’s first year with the Rockets.

I love that pitchers and catchers report right around Valentine’s Day. That’s one thing I can get behind. There has always been something more romantic about baseball than the other sports, and even coming off two 100 loss seasons and staring down the barrel of number three, it’s still great to see baseball being played again.

So much love to go around, hopefully Mrs. Kelly won’t be too upset. But like I said, I’m already planning on apologizing.