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Houston Matters

How Much Of An Emotional Boost Are The Astros Giving Houston After Harvey?

In addition to occasionally connecting strangers, how else could sports — including the Astros’ current World Series run — benefit Houston socially?

Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks at a playoff rally in front of Houston City Hall along with Astros players Joe Musgrove and Derek Fisher, and owner Jim Crane.

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In the past week, has someone struck up a conversation with you in line at the grocery store just because you were wearing Astros gear? Or did you high-five a total stranger at the sports bar when Evan Gattis hit his home run in Game 7 of the ALCS?

The culture of sports is widespread and generally seems to unify even complete strangers – and especially so when teams are doing well, like the Astros.

In addition to their current World Series run, Houston sports fans are feeling pretty good these days with a Rockets team starting its season off strong, a Texans quarterback who may be the franchise player that's been lacking in that position, and the Dynamo headed back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

So, as we revel in the successes of our local teams, we're wondering how that success might influence us socially? In addition to occasionally connecting strangers, how else could sports benefit society? For example, how much of an emotional boost are the Astros giving the city after Hurricane Harvey?

Jeff Balke from the Houston Press and Houstonia Magazine joins us to discuss that question along with Dr. Billy Hawkins from the University of Houston's Department of Health and Human Performance.

  • Fans got the chance to watch ALDS Game 4 on the big screen at Minute Maid Park.   (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter )
    Fans got the chance to watch ALDS Game 4 on the big screen at Minute Maid Park. (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter )
  • Council member Brenda Stardig speaks at a City Council meeting.
    Council member Brenda Stardig speaks at a City Council meeting.
  • Fans Antonio Alcazar (left) and Gilbert Lopez show their team colors for the Houston Public Media cameras.  (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter )
    Fans Antonio Alcazar (left) and Gilbert Lopez show their team colors for the Houston Public Media cameras. (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter )
  • Stuart, Lauren and Nancy Leong at the Astros game in Houston on Sept. 2nd, 2017. (Photo Credit: Stella Chavez | KERA)
    Stuart, Lauren and Nancy Leong at the Astros game in Houston on Sept. 2nd, 2017. (Photo Credit: Stella Chavez | KERA)
  • Fans enjoy games and other activities at the Astros' Opening Day Fanfest  (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter | Houston Public Media)
    Fans enjoy games and other activities at the Astros' Opening Day Fanfest (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter | Houston Public Media)
  • In this photo released by Warner Bros., a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is seen at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif. (Photo by Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.) (Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros)
    In this photo released by Warner Bros., a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is seen at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif. (Photo by Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.) (Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros)
  • Deshaun Watson and his family used to live in housing projects in Georgia before moving into a Habitat for Humanity house in 2006. Photo: Houston Chronicle/ Brett Coomer, Staff
    Deshaun Watson and his family used to live in housing projects in Georgia before moving into a Habitat for Humanity house in 2006. Photo: Houston Chronicle/ Brett Coomer, Staff
  • Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans rookie quarterback.
    Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans rookie quarterback.
  • Fans watch Houston Rockets' defenders Clint Capela (15) and Eric Gordon (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo Credit: Steve Yeater/AP)
    Fans watch Houston Rockets' defenders Clint Capela (15) and Eric Gordon (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo Credit: Steve Yeater/AP)
  • Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric (1) goes up to grab the ball during the second half of the MLS game at BBVA Compass Stadium Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Houston. (Photo Credit: Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle)
    Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric (1) goes up to grab the ball during the second half of the MLS game at BBVA Compass Stadium Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Houston. (Photo Credit: Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle)

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