Houston’s Biggest Sports Stories, 2010

Once again, its New Years Eve. I can’t really improve on the piece I wrote last year about this annual date we all have with hope for better days to come. Having said that, here’s a link to “Happy New Year, Friends” from 12/31/2009:


2010 was a little bit a year on the downside for Houston sports. I couldn’t begin to pick the biggest poison for all of us because they all ache worst for those whose hearts are buried deepest with a particular sport or team, but these disappointments come to mind:

Rice: The Owls basketball team did what they always seem to do most often – and that’s suck big time and often on the “L” column side of the C-USA standings. Coach Wayne’s Graham’s baseball team again beat up on the C-USA competition, but ultimately failed to qualify for a trip to the College Word Series in Omaha. The football team had a losing record, but they beat UH in the Bayou Bucket and also ran up a couple of stratospheric scores against the competition late in the season. Sadly, Rice still only draws about 15,000 fans a game for football and could really benefit from greater community support at the Rice Stadium gate.

UH: The Houston Cougars finally qualified for the March Madness tourney for the first time in this millennium under former coach Tom Penders, but their one-and-out showing was not enough to save the man’s job. James Dickey was now taken over the basketball program as head coach as has Todd Whitting taken over the helm in baseball as head coach from Raynor Noble. Football at UH, of course, was rocked when Heisman hopeful OB Case Keenum was lost for the season in the Cougars’ third game against UCLA. It was mostly downhill from there, with an encouraging substitute performance by freshman QB David Piland.

TSU: One of the bright spots this year came compliments of the TSU Tiger victory in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game. The Tigers are back and hoping for a resurgence in their baseball and basketball programs as well.

St. Thomas University: STU has resumed competitive basketball as the Celts. At least, they are playing again.

Houston Baptist University: The Huskies are off to a disappointing 1-10 start in basketball.

Pearland: What a year for this big little Houston area city! The Pearland little league baseball team made it all the way to the finals of the American Division Championship game in Williamsport, PA. Then the Pearland (HS) Oilers won the 5-A, Division 1, state football championship. Not much room for any downsides in this little neck of the Houston woods.

Houston Dynamo: The soccer team didn’t win anything this year – nor have they been able to work our a “done deal” on public support for a downtown stadium to house professional soccer in Houston, 2011 should be a pivotal year for the future of this struggling sport in our town.

Houston Aeros: I have no idea beyond my dim awareness that they seem to have found a level of mediocrity that spares them the spotlight from all of us barely casual fans. I can’t even call myself a fan. I’m just a guy who reads the sports page – and one who will check out anything there that looks like the standings in some area of competition.

Houston Rockets: The “Waiting on Yao Ming” show seems to have found a curtain with the recent news that the Chinese giant  has once more gone down for the season with another foot injury. Where it goes from here may lead to the same medicine that came suddenly to the baseball Astros in late season via the “addition by subtraction” route. Sometimes we cannot find our new way until we give up all hope in the old way. The Rockets have to let go of Yao to find their new way.

Houston Astros: 2010 was a disappointing year from a win-loss standpoint, but things did get better once the club let go of Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman and started working overtime on a commitment to youth. Of course, Drayton McLane’s decision to sell the club is the big factor effecting the future of the Astros. I, for one, will be disappointed to see Mr. McLane go. We were fortunate in Houston to have him with us as long as we did.

Houston Texans: Very disappointing. To go from a 9-7 finish in 2009 to a double digit loss total in 2010 is pretty awful, no matter how close the boys came to winning. It doesn’t matter. The ancient Greeks had a name for this sort of thing in their theaters too. Any play that ended with a dagger to the heart was called a “tragedy.”

Houston Babies: Under the management of Bob Dorrill, the Houston Babies enjoyed the completion of their third straight season of vintage league, 1860s era base ball, playing a barnstorming schedule of games against other clubs, like the Richmond Giants, the Montgomery County Saw Dogs, Katy, and the Boerne White Sox. One hope for 2011 is that these groups will agree upon the establishment of a regular season schedule of league games for the spring and fall playing periods. There is no disappointment among vintage ballers. It is a game that springs directly from everything that made base ball beautiful in the first place. All we do is get together and carry forth what makes the game of ball in pastoral meadows the curative tonic that heals the ailing human spirit.

That’s if for me in 2010. If you have a favorite moment from Houston sports over the past year, please write about it here. The Pecan Park Eagle welcomes your comment.

Til tomorrow, if there is one,  take care. Stay safe. And don’t be stupid.

Happy New Year, Everybody!

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One Response to “Houston’s Biggest Sports Stories, 2010”

  1. David Munger Says:

    Houston Sports? In 2010, other than The TSU TIGERS, there was NO STINKIN’ HOUSTON SPORTS.(LOL) HAPPY NEW YEAR, ALL.

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