As fans of the NFL, we know what it is to feel a burning ire for another person simply because their team of choice does not match our own.
When a dyed-in-the-wool fan of one team encounters an opposing team's supporters, love for their own overcomes common sense and produces emotions of extreme intensity. It's part of what makes this game so amazing, and it keeps us coming back year after year.
I am the kind of fan that would literally rather die than wave the flag of another team.
I love the Dolphins more than a person should love anything—to the point where I must admit my own personal happiness is inescapably fused to, and wholly dependent upon, the team's success.
I do, however, realize that without the teams that threaten to take away my happiness by defeating the Fins on the field of battle, there would be no Miami Dolphins; there would be no love.
That is precisely why I have decided to write this series, "It's Not All Hate." To remind everyone that it is football that we truly love, to thank the fans of other teams for the competitive spirit that drives all of our passions for the game, and acknowledge the fact that the symbiosis between us is what really fuels the sport.
I am going to attempt to say something nice about every single NFL team.
The Houston Texans:
I must say, this could quite possibly be the most difficult team in the series for me to personally commend. I really don't like this team for one glaring, persistent, humiliating reason:
The Dolphins have never defeated the Texans. Not once, in five meetings.
In fact, the Texans are the only team in the NFL who has yet to fall to Miami.
What makes it particularly frustrating is how close the games have been. In chronological order, Houston's margins of victory have been 1, 2, 3, 1, and 7.
Beyond an intense desire to embarrass the Texans upon the very next meeting, I can't find a whole lot to dislike about the team.
Beginning on defense, you've got quite a few standouts.
In 2007 and 2008, Mario Williams was an absolute beast, and slightly less so, yet still impressive last year. For the sake of your playoff aspirations, I hope he can step it back up to those levels in 2010.
Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans are also very serious forces with which to be reckoned. In 2009 alone, the pair was responsible for nearly 180 solo tackles.
Houston's offense is no less formidable, led by (in my view) one of the top five quarterbacks playing football today, Matt Schaub.
Which brings me to my favorite part about your beloved Texans. One Mr. Andre Johnson.
Much like his quarterback, Johnson is one of the top five players currently playing his position. It is nearly impossible not to enjoy watching him play, and if the Texans are to break the curse this year, and make it to the playoffs, I believe that this is the man who will get them there.
So there it is, Texans, a die-hard fan of another team praising Houston's own. I hope you enjoyed it thoroughly, for it isn't likely to happen with great frequency.
I do look forward to the next time Miami and Houston take the field, but until then, best of luck.
We may recommence our hatred for one another at this time.
If you enjoyed this installment of the "It's Not All Hate" Series, Go To My Archive to find the others, and more.