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Volume 68, Issue 1, Date


Houston: America 'phattest' city

Mason Lerner
Opinion Columnist

It's not always easy living in Houston. One hundred degree heat coupled with humidity unseen outside the dankest middle-school locker room is nobody's idea of pleasant. The air is dirty. Hell, sometimes I light up a cigarette just to clear out my lungs. There should be a Surgeon General's warning on everybody's front door to remind us what we will be facing when we leave each morning.

And, boy, are we tubby. The most overweight city in the United States, I'm told time and again.

So if I'm so fat, how have I been able to walk on air for the last five days? The thickness of the atmosphere? That might be helping keep me afloat, but it is not the cause of my euphoria. No, the reason I am dwelling in the rarified air reserved for those experiencing only the most extreme satisfaction are the events that transpired last Sunday in Reliant Stadium, the most modern, aesthetically pleasing stadium in the country.

Sunday's defeat of the Dallas Cowboys shall always rank up there with the other great moments in Houston sports history. No, there was no championship on the line and yes, it was only one game in a long season, but by beating Dallas, we have already guaranteed it will be a good season. The Texans showed the heart of a champion is alive and well in H-Town.

I have been through it all with this city. I have run the gamut of emotions and stayed loyal the entire time. In 1986, I sat through 16 innings of what was possibly the best, and definitely the longest playoff game in baseball history, and I am still almost reduced to tears when I remember Kevin Bass' final whiff slamming the door on what I was sure was the Astros' miracle season.

I suffered through the loser's mentality implanted on every Houstonian's psyche, forged in the fires of the Buffalo debacle in the waning years of Bud Adam's long reign as king of all idiots. I was in the Summit when Hakeem Olajuwon led us to the Promised Land in 1994, and like the Phoenix, Houston arose from the ashes of defeat transformed forever from Choke City into Clutch City.

Through all these highs and lows, nothing quite matches the sublime joy of seeing those arrogant Cowboys fans heading for Interstate 45 North with their tails tucked between their legs. For a moment, all the hardships of being a Houstonian disappeared, and I was able to revel in the greatness of the city. The Texans may not be America's team, but we are definitely Texas' team, just another feather in the cap of America's 'phattest' city.

Lerner, a senior communication major, 
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