All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Houston Oilers, Houston Oilers...

There was a Rice intrasquad game after the alumni game, and I wanted to stay to watch it, but my time in Houston was limited, and there was something else I wanted to do: find the old Astrodome, and take a photo of it.

The Oilers were a pretty good team in my misspent youth, and they were on national TV a lot. I remember my dad telling me the Astrodome was the world's first domed stadium. Its astroturf surface was considered state of the art (with no one suspecting the injury problems it would lead to).

According to Mapquest, it was only a little over two miles away from Rice, so I set off on foot to find it. I wasn't sure it was actually possible to walk there or if I would be able to get close to it. I knew it wasn't in use any more, so I thought I might have to look at it from a distance, through a chain-link fence or something. (Yeah, yeah. I could have asked. But what fun would that be?)

It turned out to be a fairly pleasant walk. There were sidewalks all the way, passing through some interesting old neighborhoods and over some sort of canal. And it was pretty quiet and peaceful. There were a lot of joggers around Rice, but once I got away from there, I had the sidewalks to myself.

Then, there it was:

I didn't have to worry about access. The Astrodome is part of a larger complex including the new Reliant Stadium, and the place was hopping. No games at this time of year, but there was some kind of liquidation sale, and a monster truck show, and a kids' show (Sesame Street, maybe?).

I walked around the Astrodome, the old Houston Oilers fight song running through my head.

Houston has the Oilers, the greatest football team.
We take the ball from goal to goal like no one's ever seen.
We're in the air, we're on the ground, always in control,
And when you say the Oilers, you're talking Super Bowl.

'Cause we're the Houston Oilers, Houston Oilers,
Houston Oilers, Number One.

(I've always wondered what that line in the third verse meant: "Houston Oilers, Number One - Five - Seven - Eight, We're the best from the Lone Star State!" What's the significance of those numbers?)

The new Reliant Stadium was right beside the Astrodome.

It was only a couple of miles back to the hotel, but I got lazy, and decided to take the train. It's a light rail system, with overhead electric lines. In some places, it shares a lane with cars.

There was a stop right outside the stadium complex, and I was curious to see how it worked.

I'm still not sure how it works. No one seems to take tickets. But it did work.

I didn't get to check out Minute Maid Park, which is further away in other direction from Rice, but one day I will.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:29 PM


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