When I was growing up in the insulated suburbs of Katy, women weren’t really “sports fans”. You know the old stereotype of a man having his buddies over for a Super Bowl party to eat, drink, and fart all over the living room while his wife scuttled between the kitchen and the living room with snacks?
Well, stereotypes are such for a reason, and this theme was prevalent in the homes of people who lived for the weekend and woke up every Monday to fill Highway 59 and I10 with a vast sea of brake lights, the cars motionless as they chugged their way into the city like tow boats carrying the lifeless cargo of humans to their own personal Hell daily.
Boys played football, girls were either part of the squad’s cheer-leading team or we played softball or soccer. I never knew a girl who played on the football team until my little sister, in a defiant “down with the patriarchy” move, joined the football team when she was in middle school. My dad was an Oilers fan – which by extension made ME an Oilers fan but I was only 6 when they packed their bags and moved to Nashville to become the Titans.
My dad wasn’t “distraught” so to speak. He and my season ticket holding uncle suffered through some bad years rooting for that team. My mom, a Houston transplant from Iowa has been a die-hard Rockets fan since she stepped foot in Houston 35 years ago, and during their championship years I can remember sitting in the living room with my parents praying for a Rockets win.
I think this is where I got lucky as a young woman in Pleasantville. My mom has always been a freaking badass. She knows the rules, she can see the plays developing, and this makes her an intelligent fan. She’s FUN to watch games with because even as she is living and dying with every missed three point attempt, and James Harden turnover; she knows what she’s talking about.
Sunday’s have always been football days in the Biscuit home (we didn’t have a remote so my dad set up a chair for me next to the cable box so I could switch the channels for him at will. When I complained he reminded me that I was lucky to have cable in the first place).
And although we didn’t go to many games – a nearly impossible feat for a family of 5 struggling to make ends meet in the first place – we enjoyed all of the sports Houston area teams had to offer: the crushing, empty feeling of having a football team leave your city, the ecstasy that came with the 1994 and 1995 Rocket’s championships, and the despair that comes with having your baseball team get swept in the World Series after such a raucous NLCS, which people in Houston often remember more than the actual series games.
Now I have my own child. In 2017, raising a little girl who likes sports is so much easier than it was in the 90’s. A girl who watches games and understands what’s going on isn’t a unicorn anymore. Since I was a child, the local teams have mainly fluctuated between flat out awful and hopelessly mediocre.
The inner city isn’t a vast wasteland anymore either, it’s exciting to be downtown or out in Montrose, the Heights, or Rice Village. Getting to any game is as easy as hopping on the red line and heading north or south. Plus with this transportation option you get the added entertainment of the Houston train drunks doing things like pole dancing and pull ups on the hand rails, PLUS the looks on the faces of people who have never witnessed this behavior before.
Baby Biscuit’s life as a potential Houston sports fan is just beginning. In her five years on earth she’s been witness to all four Texans playoff seasons and she’s living in the Age of Watt (who she is honestly sick and tired of).
She’s getting to see a Rocket’s team who has made the playoffs almost every year she’s been alive, with an exciting superstar at the helm.
And then there are the Astros. The young team is actually my favorite of the three to watch after years of being pathetically bad and steadfastly refusing to get better. In fact, their three 100 loss seasons happened to be in the first three years of BB’s life. So she doesn’t even remember it.
Sports is so ingrained into every aspect of my life, that I’ve had people ask me what I would do if Baby Biscuit didn’t like them. When my dad realized my little brother was never going to be good at baseball or any sport really, he left for a pack of smokes and he’s still looking for that pack of Kool Filter Kings to this day.
I imagine my reaction would be slightly less dramatic. I could always turn into a stage mom if I needed to. Right now, I know that’s not an issue. She has a special place in her heart for Clutch the bear, she’s got a working knowledge of the rules of football, and most importantly every game we attend or watch on TV together is a bonding experience.