It was not a good weekend to be a Rocket in Houston. From the Rockets to THE Rocket, there wasn’t much chance of finding someone with something nice to say about either.
I have to say I haven’t been this disappointed in a Houston sports team since the Oilers lost to the Buffalo Bills in 1992. I am at a loss for words. I simply cannot figure out how this team was unable to motivate themselves for Game 7, knowing they had a fantastic opportunity to have a serious shot at the conference and maybe NBA Finals. It’s deplorable. I must admit that I softened a bit after reading about T-Mac’s reaction, but it’s still too little, too late. This team shouldn’t have needed more than 6 games to finish off this Jazz team.
Don’t be fooled by the praise that is coming out about the Jazz. They were not the better team, they simply outplayed an underachieving squad. I never saw the Rockets truly play their brand of basketball except for maybe the first half of the 4th quarter in Game 7. This team simply didn’t want it. I remember the 1991-1992 when the Rockets needed to win the final game of the season against the Phoenix Suns to make the playoffs. There we were, needing a win at The Summit, and we simply didn’t play good basketball. It was so bad that the Suns coach, Cotton Fitzsimmons was yelling at his time, “They don’t want it!” I remember, listening to that game on the radio heading back from visiting my older brother at A&M, how ashamed I was of that team. It’s the same feeling I have today. Just confusion and bitter disappointment. The fact that the hated Utah Jazz were the “villians” only makes it worse.
If that wasn’t bad enough for Houston to deal with this week, Sunday dawned with the Rocket, Roger Clemens, annoucing that he was coming back to play baseball, as a New York Yankee. I cannot say that I am surprised, and while I am angry, it’s not because he left. I am angry because of his holier-than-thou attitude, and the indirect slap he leveled at the Astros organization for commenting, “Make no mistake about it, I’ve come back to do what they only know how to do here with the Yankees, and that’s win a championship,” Clemens said.
I find that disrespectful to the Astros, but maybe that’s just me. In any case, the Astros did nothing but cater to his needs while he was here. And the one year we did make it to the World Series, he folded like a house of cards. So please, Roger, spare me the winning ways of the Yankees speech.
In any case, as it appears that the Astros and Dynamo are all but washed up this season, I feel this giant void when it comes to Houston sports. I know the Astros are known for their second half rallies, but my heart isn’t up to it this season. If this team is capable of playing better baseball, I want to see it now rather than later.
The Rockets played that game and got burned. The Astros have played it with great aplomb in the last three seasons, getting burned just last year. I’m afraid I now longer have the patience to see my local teams play below their potential. At least the Astros were spared having to overpay an aging legend another season.