Houston Matters

How Does Being a Houston Sports Fan Affect Our Collective Psyche?

The Houston Astros probably won’t lose 100 games this year, but they’re likely to lose 90. The Houston Rockets’ disappointing early playoff exit has been followed by a disappointing off-season, missing on free agents, and losing roster depth. The Houston Texans lost so many games in a row last year they dismissed their coach, and […]

The Houston Astros probably won’t lose 100 games this year, but they’re likely to lose 90. The Houston Rockets’ disappointing early playoff exit has been followed by a disappointing off-season, missing on free agents, and losing roster depth. The Houston Texans lost so many games in a row last year they dismissed their coach, and sent their quarterback packing. The Houston Dynamo, the one local pro sports franchise we usually look to for success, is having a disappointing season.

What does it do to a city like Houston when our major professional sports teams are consistently bad? Does it affect our opinion of ourselves as a community? Does it self-perpetuate – if success begets success, does failure beget failure? If we consistently lose, does it make it ever harder to convince stars to play here? Does that, in turn, reduce attendance, reducing revenue, reducing quality, reducing attendance further – creating a snowball effect? And what impact does that have on area restaurants and bars, shopping, and hotels? Does a lack of success on the field of play lead to economic challenges in other industries?

We consider how a city’s identity is tied to its major pro sports franchises. First, we’ll learn what impact years of disappointment have had on the city of Cleveland, as we talk with Rick Grayshock, co-founder and editor of WaitingForNextYear.com, a sports blog devoted to covering Cleveland-area sports. Then, we turn our attention inward to Houston, and welcome your thoughts for CultureMap Houston sports columnist MK Bower, and Jeff Balke, writer for the Houston Press.

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