To our Houston Astros,
Twelve years ago, I was washed here by Hurricane Katrina. I watched my beloved city go under water and then how she rose to rebuild over the last decade. I have longed for her health and growth year after year, halfway plotting my return, but all the while letting my roots break through the hot Houston concrete. I watched the New Orleans community fill the Dome on a Monday night in late September 2006 with tears streaming down my face. It was a welcome home party as only New Orleans could throw. A much needed triumphant prelude to a Black and Gold SuperBowl victory a handful of years later. Sports and Community are independently filled with such superpower; we can easily forgot how closely they are tied together.
And now I find myself here again in some strange way. Catastrophic Hurricane, Championship Hometown Team. I’m having a hard time expressing to you what you mean to this city, because it feels so, so big. You embody our spirit, our diversity, and the grit we showed the world over the past two months. And just like Houston, you won with hard work, tenacity, and love. Lots and lots of love from us, for us, and for each other. You are Houston. You are #HoustonStrong. And you are exactly what we needed.
A team of Fate and Destiny – did you hear them? That’s what they are saying about you! Those are exciting words, but they are missing the biggest piece of the puzzle. You earned this; Houston earned this. It is the reward of resilience, togetherness, and teamwork. It wasn’t an accident or a cosmic mistake; it was through the blood, sweat, and tears left on the field or after mucking a stranger’s home. We all listened to your interviews and speeches after Saturday night’s ALCS clenching win against the Yankees; we noticed you weren’t talking much about yourselves. Your character is of course bigger than that, and it stretches greater than 10,062 square miles of orange clad fans screaming #EarnHistory. My favorite part though, beyond the big catches, fabulously pitched games, and of course, Altuve, is that I can’t quite figure out if any of us are talking about baseball or Hurricane Harvey recovery. It’s so blurry… Our team, our city, and it feels so good that we are all okay with that. However the next week plays out, we are beyond honored for you to represent Houston. Not just because that’s what it says across your chest, but for how all 6.5M of us are now bonded together. You are the beacon for our community, our growth and our love, and that can’t be taken away.
Now… Let’s finish this off Sunday night on Crawford Street, tucked in between the Interstates, the concrete, and looking out over the sprawl. Home in Houston.
Thank you, Houston Astros. Thank you for the light. Thank you everything.