In the Texans Owner's Suite
Despite A-listers dressed in white, it was a blue Sunday in owner's suite at NRG stadium
When the halftime score is a lousy 27-them, 9-us, what are Texans fans to do other than drown their sorrows in an ice cream sundae like pastor Dave Petersonor wash away the blues with a glass of champagne like Lee Majors. Others continued seeking solace in the Bloody Mary's that they started on at the kick-off of Sunday's game. When in the owner's suite at NRG stadium, defeat is particularly painful.
Although a number of guests obliged Janice and Bob McNair's request to wear the team color of the day, Liberty White quickly turned blue in the first half of the Texans vs. the Kansas City Chiefs game.
Exemplifying grace under pressure, the McNairs maintained their customary warmth and hospitality throughout the roller coaster game. They welcomed a record 80 guests to the posh owner's suite at the season opener, a highly-coveted invitation. Who wouldn't love game-viewing from the luxe surroundings that include beautiful wood paneling, plush carpeting, leather upholstered furnishings, bountiful arrangements of white flowers and even a baby grand piano.
For McNair guests, game day begins with an 11 a.m. field pass and the opportunity to schmooze with VIPs along the sidelines as the teams warm up. Then it's back to the suite, via private elevator, for a lavish brunch.
The big feast
For the Chiefs game, the menu included crab cakes with dressing, prime rib and grilled vegetables, au gratin potatoes, jalapeno grits, bacon wrapped chicken breast, sausage, bacon, omelettes to order, cheeses, fruits and green salad plus any number of rolls and pastries. Add to that the passed hors d'oeuvres — duck spring rolls and mini BLTs. For anyone hungering for a more authentic stadium taste, there were ample bowls of popcorn and bar snacks.
While there are numerous wait staff continuously circling through offering everything from brewskies to bubbly, coffee and Diet Coke seemed to be the beverage of choice. That is until halftime, when a number of guests sought to soothe their sorrows from the full bar.
Halftime with the McNairs is like a party that suddenly switches into high gear. Guests are out of their seats meeting and greeting. Toro arrives and Texans cheerleaders buzz through posing for photo opps as the photographer snaps commemorative photographs.
On this day as on most season openers, country singer Clay Walker stopped by as do friends with passes from nearby suites. The most interesting moment occurred when Sen. Ted Cruz arrived making it probably the only time that Cruz and Mayor Annise Parker will ever be under the same roof. While many guests rushed to be photographed with the popular Cruz, others discreetly sidestepped the politician.
Sweets in the suite
But few missed the chance to take in the dessert buffet, a delicious, sugary spread of cookies, puddings, tarts and the like that replaces the brunch display. Among the early ones lining up for the special order ice cream sundaes, always popular, was the ever-young and ever-trim Joanne King Herring.
The heavy-hitter crowd included Houston Super Bowl Host Committee chairman Ric Campo and son Richard, Astros part-owner John Havens and wife Terri, Texas Heart Institute president Dr. Jim Willerson, Lynn and Oscar Wyatt, Faith Majors, Susan and Fayez Sarofim, Sonny and Jodie Jiles, Barbara and Bill O'Connell, Sally and Dr. Charles Neblett, Cathy and Giorgio Borlenghi, Claudia and Fred Lummis and Ginger and Dick Hite.