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Are Houston Fans Too Harsh On The Texans?

Jersey burnings, anti-Texans banners over the freeway: The Houston Texans are getting a lot of flak after giving up a comfortable lead on Sunday and dropping to 2-2 this season. Are Houston sports fans too harsh?



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The Texans are four games into the season. They won the first two, but are 0-2 since. Reason enough for some fans to use lighter fluid on a Matt Schaub jersey.

This is from a video that was posted on YouTube after Sunday’s game.

(Sound of fans burning jersey)

Schaub, the Texans’ starting quarterback, has committed some crucial errors in the team’s losses, and some fans are now asking for him to be replaced.

Phillip Muniz watches the Texans regularly.

“Well, he’s not making any plays, you know, stuff like that. Just, we need to get another quarterback.”

Chris Baldwin is a sports columnist for Houston CultureMap and was on KUHF’s Houston Matters show Monday. He understands fans’ frustrations.

“Schaub has almost had a pretty long leash here in Houston. You know, this is his seventh year. Fans have been largely pretty patient, I think, to this point.”

In a column this week, Baldwin argues the Texans would be better off benching Schaub in favor of former University of Houston quarterback Case Keenum. And Baldwin doesn’t think Texans fans are any harsher than football fans in any other city in that regard.

“It’s often been said in the NFL that the most popular person in each city is the backup quarterback.”

Even so, fans here may have higher expectations than elsewhere. That’s what Texans fan Chris McQueen thinks. He says the Texans’ failures are not just Matt Schaub’s fault and fans should give him a break. But he says there’s a simple reason why Schaub is getting so much criticism.

“‘[C]ause this is Houston, man! Come on, man! Go big or go home. That’s all it this. That’s how life is here. There’s no way around it.”

Chris Baldwin agrees somewhat. He says Houston may not yet be as bad as a city like New York when it comes to fans’ expectations of their sports teams. But we are getting more demanding.

“There is that sense that, you know, this is the city that’s sort of dying for a championship. Something to sort of validate everything else great that’s going on – all the growth that’s in the city that goes beyond sports.”

Add to that the Texans’ success two years ago when they made the playoffs for the first time and last season when they were one of the hottest teams in the league.

As fan Phillip Muniz puts it:

“Show a little bit more progress. Not, you know, less progress.”