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Monday, October 4, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 30

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Houston, a home away from home

Rohith Nandagiri

Growing up in Houston my entire life, I have acquired a certain fondness for the city. This is why my Houston Pride sticker from 1981 is still stuck on my car even though it has long since lost its color.

I have interned in Dallas the last two summers and my friends there constantly tell me how "ghetto" Houston is and how you can't go five minutes without feeling unsafe. What burns me up the most is when they tell me how much better Dallas is than Houston.

Of course my pride is trampled on but I continue gloating that Houston is home and has more to offer than other cities. Houston is home to the world's best medical facilities and home to some of the best fine arts and cultural activities in the world. We are also one of the few cities which can boast about all of the performing arts.

But the simple fact is people here always want to come back. Athletes, entertainers and musicians all call Houston home because of the warm climate and diverse ethnic population. Hakeem Olajuwon decided to come to Houston because it was warm. Of course, he played in New York City beforehand during the winter. An igloo in Antarctica is warmer.

So my pride sometimes gets the better of me. People laugh and joke and make fun of my allegiance, but I let it role off my back like a big Texas cockroach. I try to ignore the insults of the ignorant.

I think my extreme pride comes from my love of all sports teams associated with Houston. When the Oilers were here and doing well, it was great to be in Houston. Unfortunately, they broke my heart more than once with their choke.

I believe they are a cursed franchise and will never win a Super Bowl. Good Luck, Bud. I hope you rot in hell! But I'm not bitter.

When the Rockets won their two NBA championships, it seemed like the whole city came together like never before. Of course, many of those people were bandwagon fans who just hitched up for the ride. They probably couldn't even spell Ralph Sampson, much less know who he was, but it's OK. If you're a Rockets fan, you're a friend of mine.

The Astros, well, they have always been the Astros. Getting so close time after time after time, only to fall to teams from big markets with more money. But this week, they will embark on a playoff run once again. Hopefully, they will give a better showing than they have in let's say, the last 20 years.

Much has changed in Houston in 20 years. New freeways, new tollways, new malls and new stadiums now make up the landscape. Pretty soon, we should have a new football team and a new basketball stadium will be erected. All in a city in which just two years ago was on the brink of losing all three major league teams.

With a new football team on the horizon, businesses will want to set up shop here and benefit Houston even more.

Despite all the heart aches and all the disappointments, Houston has been good to my family and I. That is why I love this city, and no matter where I end up working, Houston will always be home.


 
Nandagiri, a senior MIS major,
can be reached at nandagiri@hotmail.com.
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