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Volume 68, Issue 3, Wednesday, August 28, 2002


Parking woes tarnish Houston's crown jewel

The Longest Yard
Stuart H. Clements

The time has almost come when sports fans will forget about possible player strikes in Major League Baseball and resume dancing to a new
tune: the regular season of the National Football League.

The San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants will kick off the season Sept. 5.

Texans our Texans

Now that football has finally returned after six long years, Houstonians again have something to believe in -- the Houston Texans.

The Texans have had a bit of a rough go in the preseason.

The infant team dropped its first game to the Giants during Hall of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio, 34-17 on Aug. 5.

But the team bounced back to defeat the New Orleans Saints 13-10 in its second game just five days later.

Since then, The Texans lost their next two games, the first going to the Kansas City Chiefs, 19-9, and then to the Miami Dolphins, 24-3.

The Texans' sanctuary:

Although Houston's game against the Dolphins ended in horrible defeat, it marked the christening of Reliant Stadium.

The $449 million monolith of football glory wasn't able to avoid roadblocks.

Traffic going to the stadium before the football game resulted in heavy congestion and some fans missing kickoff. Authorities continue to
address the issue and have made some changes to reduce traffic around the stadium.

Changes include eliminating pay parking from around the stadium. The Metropolitan Transit Authority also got involved and will offer shuttle
rides from various areas around town. Park and Ride locations are listed online at <I><P>.

David Carr: superstar

The Texans' leading man continues to improve with every snap he takes.

Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft from Fresno State, has produced fairly impressive statistics through all four preseason games.

Against the Giants, Carr completed 9-of-17 passes, totaling 96 yards in only 30 plays against the Giants, including the first touchdown pass in
franchise history just seconds before halftime.

Carr completed 8-of-15 passes for 123 yards against the Chiefs.

But his touchdown-to-interception ratio (1 to 3) is a little troubling.

Considering he's just a rookie, it wouldn't be out of line to expect at least one interception per game during the regular season, but he's shown
he can get better with experience.

Team changes

Since Saturday's debacle against the Dolphins, the Texans' administrators have been searching through waivers, hoping to build a better team
for the regular season.

The Texans have claimed three players so far -- Cameron Spikes, a guard, tight end Jabari Holloway and defensive tackle Shawn Worthen.

Looking forward

The Texans have one more dress rehearsal before the real show begins.

Houston will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 7 p.m. Friday in Reliant Stadium to finish the preseason.

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