Hernalsteen under fire

I never really had anything against The Houstonian. I always thought of it as an average college newspaper that ran last week’s stories, crappy comics (especially when ‘Get Offended’ made its run), and a place for Sam students to showcase their ignorance via the ‘Word on the Street.’ No more, no less.

Then I read Brian Hernalsteen’s article in the Sports section last Thursday.

Now, I’m almost ashamed to keep a couple copies of the paper around in the bathroom for ’emergencies.’ I’ll be completely honest with you; I think I hate Brian Hernalsteen (and by the way, when you run Spell Check on your computer, “Hernalsteen” is not even a word! It’s not in a dictionary!) His arguments are vast in number but lacking in validity.

First, he takes a stab at our team name: Astros. It’s not in a dictionary, but then again, neither is his family name. What a loser.

Then he takes a stab at the Rockets. The notion that there should be an asterisk next to the Rockets’ titles is absurd. Yes, Jordan is the greatest. However, the fact that Jordan sat out for those seasons is irrelevant. I don’t think Brian would approve of an asterisk next to the ’84 Tigers’ title because the Babe was dead and thus, not playing. The Rockets were clutch in those years because they won when they appeared to be dead in the water. They did what they had to do to win. Oh yes, Brian, they were clutch.

The Tigers won the World Series in 1984. They haven’t been to the postseason since 1987. The Astros, on the other hand, have been in the postseason six of the past nine seasons with a World Series appearance last year. They didn’t choke in the World Series, they got beat in four close games by a better team. Brian should know what this is like because his Tigers have been getting beat by better teams for the better part of the past two decades.

Houston has no future? Think again buddy. A lot of the Astros’ talent is young. A lot of that young talent got the ‘Stros to the series last season. They will be competitive for years to come. The Rockets will be a strong force in the years to come as well. With a healthy T-Mac and an emerging Yao, the Texas teams will hold quite a presence in the Western Conference.

Then, he throws the Detroit pity party. Detroit fans want to win so the hate and turmoil stops. I apologize that Detroit sucks. Not really; I could care less to be quite honest with you. I am a Houston fan because I am a Houston fan. It’s the right thing to do, especially in the case of the Astros. It’s unfortunate that I want Houston to win for my own personal satisfaction. It would be so much better if Houston was a dump full of abhorrence and disorder like Detroit so we Houston fans could have a valid reason to want to win.

Perhaps Brian hasn’t been in Houston long enough. After all, it isn’t too hard to bash Houston fans. While there are some fans, like me, who are fans even through the tough times, most Houston fans are bandwagon fans. They bash the teams when they suck, and support them when they do well. This is the type of argument I was expecting when I saw the headline. Instead, I read a bunch of lame arguments like ‘Houston is the one of the fattest cities because it is really big city.’

I am disappointed, Brian. I don’t know why, but for some reason I expected a better argument from you. I mean, I know you are just a volunteer student reporter for the school paper, but still.

Darryl Strickler


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