After the Texans beat the Bengals and clinched the division title on Sunday afternoon, the team opened the Go Texan Store so fans could buy playoff merchandise. As word spread, fans began to flock to the Bud Plaza to celebrate the Texans’ first-ever playoff berth. Team officials set up an impromptu barricade and raised platform with a few speakers in front of the Texans’ offices in case players would be able to greet the crowd after they returned.
The players did, and then some. Wide receiver Andre Johnson, outside linebacker Connor Barwin, defensive end J.J. Watt and running back Ben Tate all came out as soon as the team got back to the stadium. Johnson, who has been with the Texans since 2003 – longer than any other player – was handed the mic to kick things off.
“We’ve been waiting on this for a long time,” Johnson said, drawing a massive cheer from the crowd amid chants of ‘An-dre, An-dre’. “It’s been nine seasons. It’s been nine long seasons since I’ve been here, and we’ve been through it all. We’ve been through the good times, the bad times. It’s all been tough, but it’s made us stronger. And what (more) perfect season than right now.
“I’ve said it before – I know everybody’s excited about the playoffs. Yeah, we clinched a playoff spot, but it’s a lot bigger than just the playoffs. So we want you guys to enjoy this, have fun tonight, but we’re not finished. We’re trying to win the Super Bowl.”
Quarterback T.J. Yates, linebacker DeMeco Ryans, nose tackle Shaun Cody, defensive end Antonio Smith, Barwin, linebacker Mario Williams, tight end Owen Daniels and right tackle Eric Winston all followed Johnson in addressing the fans.
The crowd was so loud and eager to erupt in cheers that Cody had to ask them to quiet down when Williams spoke. Parts of several players’ speeches weren’t audible despite their best efforts to be heard.
Among the homemade signs in the crowd were ones that read BETTER YATES THAN NEVER, THANK U JESUS!!!!, BULLS ON PARADE and WE BELIEVE.
“Thank you so much for being out here,” Ryans said. “We just want to let you all know that this is just the beginning. This is the first goal. This is just the beginning. This is where we start, but this is not the finish. This is just the beginning of what we trying to accomplish this year.”
Tags: Andre Johnson, Antonio Smith, Ben Tate, Connor Barwin, DeMeco Ryans, Eric Winston, J.J. Watt, Owen Daniels, Shaun Cody, T.J. Yates
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 4 Comments »