But the Houston Texans owner is proud of his team and he's not afraid to have some fun at the expense of those who've dismissed the franchise over the years. With the Texans completing their first week of OTAs Thursday, McNair took aim at the Las Vegas oddsmakers when asked about his franchise's new status as a Super Bowl contender, one that's being touted in early predictions and preseason NFL rankings.
"I think we are a contender, so it's no surprise to me," McNair said of the newfound national respect. "I guess they got tired of losing money out there (in Las Vegas), putting our over-under too low. They’re getting more realistic.
"A lot of things have to happen and you have to have some luck along the way. You can’t predict anything. But as far as being a contender, no question.
"Yes we’re a contender.”
"I guess they got tired of losing money out there (in Las Vegas), putting our over-under too low," Bob McNair said. "They’re getting more realistic."
No oddsmaker had the Texans over-under at 10 going into last season — and the Texans likely would have finished with even more regular season wins if starting quarterback Matt Schaub hadn't went down with the team off to a 7-3 start.
Even more is expected this season from a team that almost made the AFC Championship Game playing a third-string quarterback. The Texans are thinking Super Bowl and national TV is all in on the bandwagon — giving the Texans the maximum five primetime games, including the Thanksgiving showcase at Detroit and the first two Sunday Night Football Games in franchise history.
McNair feels that the increased spotlight on the Texans will also bolster Houston's chances of landing more big events — like the 2017 Super Bowl for instance.
"Oh, I think we’ll get another Super Bowl in the future," he said. "And frankly, the performance of our team enhances our ability to do that because it heightens the public awareness of Houston and the Texans.
"So I think the better we do, the more favorably people will look upon Houston.”
The Bayou City may not have the beaches of Miami or the small mountain background of Scottsdale, Ariz., or the Bay in San Francisco, but it does have the darting moves of Arian Foster and the relentless intensity of Brian Cushing to fill TV screens and lead to discussion of all the city does offer.
As for the party scene of this year's Super Bowl host city — the one the Texans aim to be playing in on Feb. 3 — McNair is pretty sure Houston can find a way to compete there.
"Well, I suspect that's portable," McNair said of New Orleans' Bourbon Street madness. "At least for some people, it's portable!"
You won't need Bourbon Street if the Texans make the Super Bowl though. That's the party that few in this town would ever forget, the goal of a team that believes.
"Of course, we're setting our sights on winning the Super Bowl," defensive end Antonio Smith said. "Why wouldn't you set your sights on being No. 1? If you aim to be No. 2 or No. 3, you'll probably end up No. 4 or No. 5. If that.
"You have to go for it."
That's a mantra the understated owner can appreciate.