Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 7/27/12
Five things I'm thinking about this weekend while wondering if all the area football teams are excited about the season, in much better shape than last year and are planning on being balanced on offense while playing physical defense. 1. Something that seems true (and totally is): The Houston Texans, as we have known them, no longer exist. Houston this year is a trendy Super Bowl pick, a favorite to win the AFC South and one of the three or four most talented teams in the NFL. The pressure is on, and that's a first for the franchise. The Texans will not be sneaking up on anybody. Every team they play is going to reach back and throw its biggest punch. Houston probably will win most of the time, but the city isn't going to throw them a party for winning 10 games this year. Those days are over. And they aren't coming back for the foreseeable future. The Texans are now a strong franchise in a loyal and pleasant city that is crazy about football and people are going to expect them to contend for the AFC championship more often than not. 2. Something that doesn't seem true (but totally is): The Astros are probably even worse than last year, but it doesn't really matter. As of this writing the Astros are on pace to lose 107 games, which would be one more than last year. But that pace is accelerating at an alarming rate. They've lost 22 of their last 24 and are significantly less talented now than they were when the season began. They could be threatening history, here. But so what? They'll be good for some cheap jokes and they're not going to make much money in ticket sales this season, but what did we all expect? We expected them to be the worst team in Major League Baseball, did we not? And everybody was pretty much OK with that, because this season was going to be all about stockpiling young players. Right? Everything is going according to plan. 3. Something that is neither true nor untrue (but is fun to talk about): What the Rockets have done this offseason is actually not that risky. Sure, signing Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to a pair of 25 million contracts is risky in the sense that neither is a proven player, but the Rockets' financial risk is not particularly high. Since both of those deals are backloaded, about 30 million of the combined 50 million commitment isn't due until the third season, at which point those players will either be worth what they're getting paid, or they'll be two expiring contracts the Rockets should be able to trade with ease. From a purely on-the-floor basketball perspectives, these are huge risks, but the consequences of a bust will not be crippling. 4. Something that recently happened: Forbes Magazine named Houston the coolest city in the United States. Seriously, you can read it right here. It didn't mean that literally, of course. This was not about climate, it was about style. Or something like that. This was Forbes, not Rolling Stone, so the criteria leaned heavily on the economy, but don't be mistaken. Forbes was making a subjective judgment about the coolness of all the cities in the U.S. and chose Houston as No. 1. For the record, Austin was No. 19, Fort Worth was No. 13, San Antonio was No. 11 and Dallas was No. 4. 5. Something that is about to happen: Forbes is about to get a lot of snarky e-mails from the Dallas area.
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Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

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