On September 13, 2009 Assistant Editor the Willster (His real name is Willie A.), and I went to cover the Texans opening game of the 2009 season. Many of the "Experts" predicted the Texans would win (I'm not expert, but I also predicted the Texans would win). The Willster and I arrived at Reliant Stadium at around 9 am. We got our media passes, parked our truck, and as we approached the media entrance the first thing we had to do was put our camera bags on a table where security personnel had us open each bag (2 of 'em), turn on our cameras, and look through the view finders. Once that was completed we were patted down by a policeman....THEN we entered the media entrance, once inside there was another table, they checked our passes, then had us write our names on a sign in sheet stating who we were and who we were affiliated with. Once we made it past that, then we entered into the down under part of Reliant Stadium (the part of the stadium that's down under the stands where all the stadium personnel move about, security personnel, cheerleaders, players, media people, event organizers. There was an information officer we came to: "Okay, if you want to go to the press box go right this way, take this elevator....", "If you want to go to the field, go this way, then turn left through the tunnel". We proceeded to the tunnel by now my adrenaline was surging. We walked through a short tunnel, and viola!...All the sudden we were standing on the field (sidelines mind you) of Reliant Stadium. I told the Willster to pinch me to see if I was dreaming. Unsure of ourselves we slowly walked a little ways stopped, looked around, took some pictures then walked some more. It was surreal. As strict as the NFL is, and in a post 9/11 world, we were there. There were players out on the field wearing shorts and tenny shoes warming up, equipment personnel, cameras everywhere, guys in suits that looked all important, security personnel everywhere. We hung around the field for around 3 hours just walking around taking it all in. Nobody messed with us (although some did look at us funny). We stayed around until after the opening kick off, then we had to go to the press box. We couldn't remain on the sidelines for the game (D'oh!). It's okay, it was fun, and I wanted to check out the press box anyway. We took an elevator up to the press box. As we approached the entrance we were stopped and a man checked our credentials, then looked up our names on a list, and then were allowed to enter. Another surreal experience. There was all these sports casters that I've been seeing on the TV for years in there just casually walking around, and a ton of other people walking around that I've never seen before but they looked important anyway. We stayed up there for the remainder of the game. When there were 2 minutes left in the game, the Willster and I went back down to the underworld and went to the press room where we watched Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak speak to the media (I could've asked a question but decided to not say anything), then Texans Quarterback Matt Schaub came out and spoke. After that we left. It was fun. Here are a few pics from the day. -- Editor
Assistant Editor Willie A. - A hometown friend calling from the stands cause he sees you on the sidelines: Priceless.
Quarterback Matt Schaub re-enters the tunnell after warm-ups (notice fans hanging over rail).
Texans owner Bob McNair (right).
All Pro Cornerback Dunta Robinson warming up about an hour before the game.
NFL Elite Linebacker Demco Ryans re-enters the tunnel after warm-ups.
Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak (On the hot seat?....After this humiliating opening day loss, you can bet on it.)
Texan Equipment Coordinator Sam Shimfessell (We videotaped an interview with him...real nice guy).
Assistant Editor Willie A. with a security guard (whose name was also Willie).
New York Jets pump eachother up before the game...(must've worked cause they did a hatchet job on the Texans).
Texan Jacoby Jones returns the opening kick-off. Jones had a decent return but the Texans really stunk the place up anyway. Two plays later we had to go to the press box.
Willster video tapes Matt Schaub in the media room after the game.
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