It felt like Christmas-at-last in the owner's suite at Reliant Stadium on Sunday when the Houston Texans Super season launched with a rousing victory over the Miami Dolphins. Never mind the lofty status of the VIP guests viewing the game from the stadium stratosphere — these were football fans on their feet cheering and high-fiving throughout the game.
"There is so much excitement. There is so much anticipation," Janice McNair said as guests poured in for what could arguably be the best seats in the house.
Invitations to join Texans owner Bob McNair and wife Janice in the elegant yet comfy surroundings of the owner's suite are coveted. Graciousness permeates the McNair approach to game day. And hospitality is generous with early arrivals invited to join Bob McNair on the sidelines in a very special pregame tour.
As is his habit, the team owner began the game on the sidelines and by the second quarter had made his way up to the suite along with Texans GM Rick Smith and COO Cal McNair.
Once nestled in their assigned stadium seats (spacious and upholstered), guests such as Fayez Sarofim, Dr. James Willerson and Margaret Williams are cosseted by an attentive wait staff that keeps the libations flowing (mostly coffee and sodas for this midday adventure) and the buffet spread loaded with tempting fare.
Lynn and Oscar Wyatt and Sonny and Jodie Jiles were among those visiting the omlette station for special orders, then perusing the groaning board where plates could be loaded with everything from jalapeno cheese grits, sausage and bacon to barbecued quail, fried chicken, cheese biscuits, breakfast pastries, sliced tenderloin and a wealth of enticing side dishes. Hats off to the Reliant catering team for a brunch style feast beautifully done.
As is his habit, the team owner began the game on the sidelines and by the second quarter had made his way up to the suite along with Texans GM Rick Smith and COO Cal McNair. The three line up on the front row, binoculars in hand, eyes locked on the field until halftime.
Before the end of the second quarter, the brunch buffet is replaced with dessert trays laden with cookies and other sweets and the omlette station transforms into an ice cream sundae station, so irresistible as to turn calorie counters into ice cream fanatics.
Halftime is the time for socializing in the flower-filled suite with the McNairs greeting guests that on Sunday included ardent Texans fan Mayor Annise Parker and son Jovon Tyler, Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors and wife Faith, Joanne King Herring, Robin King, Barbara and Bill O'Connell and Bette and Leo Linbeck.
On their feet to join in the halftime schmoozing were John Havens, Jim Flores, Alice and Philip Burguieres, Frances Marzio, Sally and Charles Neblett, Jim Daniel, Terri and Dr. Dave Peterson and Isla and Tommy Reckling.
Football is indeed a family affair for the McNairs with Cal's wife, Hannah, and her sister, Joanna Hartland, joining the party with Cal and Hannah's 5-month-old son in tow.