Season in and season out, being a fan of Houston professional sports inevitably boils down to two feelings: hope and heartache. In case anyone needed a reminder, this week happened.
The week began with plenty to smile about for Houston sports fans. Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson continued to look like a star in a victory (albeit against the hapless Cleveland Browns) on Sunday, and the Astros delivered two thrilling wins over the weekend to take a 2-0 lead in the ALCS.
With that 2-0 series lead, there was a lot of hope in H-Town that the Astros would be making their second-ever trip to the World Series. Then came three straight days in New York, where the Yankees did their job in delivering Houston its perennial prophecy of heartache.
The Astros’ great collapse at Yankee Stadium of 2017 had just about every element to make Houston fans feel dyspeptic: missing-in-action bats, poor managerial decisions, defensive foul-ups and bullpen pitching meltdowns.
Now, the Astros are on the verge of elimination, down 3-2 in the best-of-seven ALCS following the Yankees clean sweep in their three home games, and fans are left with the sick feeling of knowing that a once-promising season is likely finished by the end of the week.
On Wednesday, the Houston Rockets wasted little time in injecting fans with hope for their season, as they opened with an exciting 122-121 road win over the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
But, even with that win, any fan of any NBA team (outside of, maybe, the Cleveland Cavaliers) with any hope of dethroning a ridiculously stacked Warriors team is probably setting themselves up for heartache by season’s end.
And, while Watson has dazzled for the Texans, their depleted defense will likely leave fans with much frustration pondering what could have been at the conclusion of the year.
Of course there would be none of that awful feeling of heartache without the really great feeling of hope.
Hope is regularly given to Houston sports fans, a luxury not many other cities’ fans get to have. It surely was a lot less stressful to be a fan of the 100-plus-loss Astros teams of just a few years ago or of the Texans in the forgettable early years of the franchise, but that was no fun.
In 2017-18, chances are that all three Houston pro sports teams will end their campaigns with some degree of heartache for their fans. It’s a feeling that Houstonians are all too familiar with, but one that never gets easier to handle. But, hey, at least there’s hope.