Stadium #21
Reliant Stadium
Houston, TX
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
Houston Texans Stadium
September 27
, 2009
31 - 24 Loss

 

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Reliant Stadium:

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  Stadium Vitals
Built: 2002
Capacity:  71,500
Playing Surface: Natural Grass  
Draft Beer: $8.75       
Hot Dog: $5.00
Stadium Parking: $40.00
Reliant Stadium
Address

One Reliant Park
Houston, TX 77054
Get Directions
 
 
 
Stadium Review
- Long Live the King
I’ve gone on record a number of times saying that as far as tailgate barbecue goes, in our great nation of blacktop culinarians, that nobody beats the Houston Texans fanbase. With their massive custom barbecue pits (many of these behemoths are so large, they have to be trailored in on game day), Texans fans put meat to flame like no other. Their variety of meats is unmatched; and you wanna talk about preparation? These folks smoke it, they grill it, they rotisserie roast it. With a meticulous precision, Texan fans apply dry rubs, custom sauces, and marinades to bring out a flavor that is uniquely Texan in their creations. And I’m happy to report, after my latest visit back to Stadium # 21, Reliant Stadium in Houston Texas, that the titleholders for Best Barbecue in the NFL, continue to wear the crown … but heavy lies the crown.

My visit to Reliant Stadium began at 7:30am, as the Quest Machine, hot off a 24-hour road trip from Detroit, Michigan, sat in line at the entrance to the orange gate. The parking lot gates don’t open until 8:00am CST in Houston, which affords tailgate aficionado's with a four hour window within which to congregate, down a few home town brews (St. Arnold’s is one of my favorites), and do what they do best, prepare some fine Texas Barbecue. We began the day with my boy Wayne Spake, master of the barbecue pit for Al’s Koholics Tailgaters. Wayne had prepared a Kegs and Eggs morning feast, as Tex-Mex breakfast burrito’s were served to begin the day. Accompanying me on my journey were Jeff Ross, we call him “The Shirt”, and my cousin Darlene and her husband John, who are Houston transplants and our hosts for the weekend. Jeff was my runnin’ partner co-piloting the Hummer H31 we drove from Detroit and he would also accompany me to Dallas for Monday Night Football the next day.

After hanging out with Wayne for a bit, we decided to take to the lot in order to discover what the other master blacQuest for 31 and Raging Bull Tailgatersktop culinarians were cookin’.   Heading through the Platinum Lot, I happened across Raging Bull Tailgaters headquarters, helmed by my man “Sweet”.  A massive flatbed trailor, with a full corrugated steel roof, housed preparatory surfaces, a cast iron smoker, a large conventional grilling area, and a deep fryer. Three 10’ x 10’ tents flanked the trailor including buffet tables, a full bar, and regulation-sized, corn hole contest playing fields. Sweet took us on tour of the rig and then invited us for a taste of some of the finest smoked chicken I’ve ever had. Kudos my friend, we shall return!

The weekend I chose to visit Reliant Stadium for a Houston Texans home game happened to be “Battle Red Day”. I’m still bummin’ that I never got the memo. Throughout the day, walking around in my navy blue Andre Johnson jersey, I felt like the outcast in junior Bronco Billy and Joe Texan on the Quest for 31high who wore the wrong color on spirit day, but I digress. Our next stop was to catch up with the Texans three Hall of Fame Fans, Joe Texan, Bronco Billy, and Leatherhead. I met these gentlemen in Canton, Ohio during the Hall of Fame ceremonies back in August and all three were kind enough to invite us down for some prime time Houston Texans Tailgating. Shots were exchanged, pictures were taken, and Leatherhead mysteriously disappeared (still not sure what happened to him). But the boys showed us an awesome time and vowed to provide me with the full Houston Texan Fan experience (more on that to come).

The award for best tailgating ritual has to go to TexanMojo.com for “Shotgun-30”, an experience I have yet to be on time for. Pat, Rich and the boys have established this time honored tradition around their tailgating cruiser, the Emergency Tailgating Vehicle, which is a TexanMojo.com and the Quest for 31fixture in the Yellow Lot. Every half hour, on the half hour, Texan fans shotgun a can of beer in unison at the sound of a massive air horn. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “shotgun” (what were you doing in high school?), it’s basically a beer swilling technique. Holding a beer on its side, a hole is poked in the side of the can near the bottom, this is the drink hole. At the sound of the horn, you hoist the beer can up to your mouth and open the top. This allows air to rush into the top of the can, propelling the beer down your throat. Definitely a fan favorite … I love Shotgun-30, someday I’ll make it there on time so I don’t have to stage one on my own.

Heading into the stadium with a full compliment of alcoholic beverages to fuel my support of the home franchise, we headed to our seats in section 610, but not before a few well choreographed photographic opportunities. It’s in my nature … must be a cultural thing.

Anyway, Reliant Stadium, one of the Jewels of the modern era of stadium builds, is really an exceptional facility. From the natural grass surface (situated in a dome stadium, mind you) that’s brought in on 8’ x 8’ pallets and assembled like a jigsaw puzzle on gameday, to the common areas that characterize these new super-stadiums, to the great concessions therein (I highly recommend the Chop Baker or the Big Baker, a massive baked potato topped either with chopped beef or cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon bits, and chives), Reliant Stadium creates a winning atmosphere for both the players and fans. What struck me as most impressive was the climate control inside the stadium. With the ninety-degree heat beating down on us outside, the A/C inside the stadium maintained a very temperate, seventy-five degree environment. I realized it most when we left after the game at 4 pm and I began sweltering the in the heat and humidity of that sunny September day.

Jeff Ross, Joe Texan, and Hans SteinigerAt halftime, with the Texans trailing 17-14, we stopped in on Joe Texan at the Bull Pen Bar situated behind Section 117, to drown our sorrows with another beer. It was another day at the office for Joe Texan, as he and Bronco Billy looked to rally the Texans to a comeback win in the second half. Joe even arranged for us to hang out in his endzone section for the remainder of the game to provide us with that true Houston Texan Fan Experience. Following Joe to his seats, which were strategically located directly behind the goalpost in the North endzone, “The Shirt” and I found ourselves amongst the privileged few, poised in row two, Section 117. The action down on the field was fast and furious as Matt Schaub attempted to lead the Texans on a touchdown drive to knot the game at 31 … fitting wouldn’t you say? It was awesome, Reliant Stadium was rockin’, the crowd was uproarious, and the endzone section led by Joe Texan and Bronco Billy led the war cry to rally the home team. An inopportune “fumble” by Chris Brown at the one yard line spoiled our comeback hopes however. I still maintain that the referees really screwed up that call, as every replay I saw had Chris Brown down at the one. Joe seemed to agree with my assessment, as he left in disgust when a replay official upheld the call on the field, sealing the fate of the hometown team. Final score, 31-24 Jags. Well that was it from Houston. Be sure to check out my review from Dallas Texas, our next stop on this weekend tour.


For more information on the city of Houston, Texas check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
     NFL: October 5, 2008 - Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
     NFL: July 9, 2007 - Reliant Stadium Tour

     NBA: Houston Rockets, Houston Toyota Center - General Information
 

 
City of Houston Local Information  
Top Tourist Attractions:
NASA Johnson Space Center Houston
St. Arnolds Brew Tour

Local Foods:
BBQ, Tex-Mex, Cajun

What They're Drinkin':
St. Arnold's Shiner

Tailgating Hotspots:
Miller Lite Orange Lot - right behind the Astrodome
Miller Lite Yellow Lot - next to practice facility

Local Sports Media:
The Houston Chronicle
Sports Radio 610 - Listen LIVE!


Where To Stay:
Downtown Houston is the place to be. Take advantage of the excellent eateries, beautiful parks, live music and theaters all around you.   I suggest staying at the Scottish Inn or the Houston Grand Plaza hotel.
Popular Bar Districts:
Rice Village (Gingerman, Baker Street, Brian O'Neals, Big Easy,Woodrow's)
Washington Avenue ( Pearl Bar, Drinkery, Reign Lounge, Blue Label 
     Lounge, Citizen Lounge, The Lot, Taps)
Mint Street

Best Restaurants:
Goode Company Barbecue (Texas Barbecue)
Any Pappa's Restaurants (Pappasitos, Pappa's BBQ, Pappadeux's)
Teotihucan Mexican Restaurant

Fan Resources:
Pocket Map of Houston
MetroRail Map
Stadium Policy
Stadium Parking Map

Getting to the Stadium:
Although it is possible to take the MetroRail to the Reliant Park Station to get to the stadium on game day, you're really missing out if you don't drive to Reliant Park for game day tailgating.  Be sure to buy a parking pass in advance, as finding game day parking can be very difficult.

 
Planning Your Next Trip to see the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium?
Traveling to all thirty-one stadiums around the National Football League, teaches you a thing or two about getting the most for your money.  I've set up this website to help others that are interested in NFL Travel.  Below you'll find links for cheap Houston Texans tickets, stadium seating charts, local weather, hotel, and flight information, everything you need to plan a successful trip to Reliant Stadium.

 
Compare Prices for Houston Texans Football Tickets Here:


Click on the following links for Houston Texans ticket availability at each of the top online ticket brokers on the web.  Try each link to find the cheapest NFL ticket prices:
 
TicketCity.com
StubHub.com
VividSeats.com
TicketNetwork
Razorgator.com
 

 

   

Click for Forecast for 77054 from weatherUSA.net
Stadium #21 - Reliant Stadium   The Quest Machine in Houston   Tailgating Ambassadors
         
   
Breakfast with The Shirt   Wayne's setup in the Orange Lot   Five Star Tailgaters smokin' some chicken
         
   
The Emergency Tailgating Vehicle   Renee and Rich Weck from TexanMojo.com   Myself and John at the Bull Pen Bar
         
The Hog from FeedYardSaloon and Quest for 31    
The Hog from FeedYardSaloon.net   An Eclectic Arrangement   Great View from the 600 Level
         
   
Caesar, Eddie, and me   Bronco Billy with Myself and Joe Texan   Tough Loss but the Battle Red Prevails
         
     
COMMENTS?
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have for my journey to Reliant Stadium, including the following:
 
             
 - Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
               - Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
               - Tailgating Traditions
               - Your Experiences or Helpful Hints

               - If you saw me let me know!
 
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From: Paulette Shaver the Texans fan from Houston
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2009 8:02 PM
  Awesome to meet you today at the Texans Mojo Tailgating Party. Everyone should have a quest! Hope you enjoyed the Houston Texans' Hospitality.

      Everyone SHOULD have a Quest shouldn't they!
 
  From: Paul Stroud from
    Houston
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 7:53 PM
  thanks for coming by our tailgating party at Houston the other day. Hope you enjoyed Battle Red day. Good luck hitting 31 this year!  
         

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