50 Things Houstonians Should Be Thankful for in 2012

Categories: Houston 101

Photo by Groovehouse
JJ Watt
Lately, you've probably noticed a lot of people posting what they are thankful for. If you are anything like me, you were wondering, "What's with all these weirdos?" Then, someone tells you it's Thanksgiving and you are all, "They have that ever year?" It would be funny if it weren't so very very sad.

Anyway, it is a good time of year to count your blessings. Nothing says, "Thank you" like gorging yourself on turkey and pie before camping out in front of Target to fight some other crazy person for the right to own a crappy TV. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Because we at the Press love our city, we thought we'd come up with 50 things you can be thankful about in Houston. Each of our blogs is doing similar posts, so keep your eyes out over at Eating Our Words for food, Rocks Off for music and Art Attack for all things art and pop culture. Here at Hair Balls, we'll stick with the cool stuff like football, crazy politicians and buildings. We have lots of them here.

It could be 10-1 by later today.

JJ Watt
He's a beast. He's young. He's ours.

Wade Phillips
The Son of Bum turned the Texans defense from worst to first in one season.

Maridre Schohnster
The three-headed monster of Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster is one of the best threes in the NFL and the best offense Houston has seen since the run and shoot. Add Owen Daniels and, well...9-1.

Photo by Groovehouse
They are hot and cold so far this season, but James Harden and Jeremy Lin have a lot of years of growing together in Houston.

Daryl Morey
The Wizard pulled off the Harden trade, drafted well (Royce White incomplete, obviously) and was never in danger of losing his job, no matter what fans may have wanted.

The Dynamo
Their fourth MLS Cup Final in seven years of existence. Shouldn't they be called the Dyna-sty?

Jose Altuve
The tiniest Astro has become a bright spot on a very dim roster the last couple seasons.

The Designated Hitter
Lots hate it. Many have said they'll never watch the Astros again because of it (dumb). But, may as well embrace it, particularly if it brings Lance Berkman home.

Youth Movements
The Astros finally gave in under new ownership. The Rockets followed suit this season. Tough to watch, but fun to imagine.

The Number 34
Earl, Hakeem and Nolan. Is there a better group of 34s in any city ever? Think not.

Lloyd Oliver Lost
The Tea Party Democrat could have been a nightmare as the DA...an entertaining nightmare, but still a nightmare.

An Entertaining City Council
They go nuts about food trucks, think the U.N. is out to get us and were named our Turkey of the Year, but they sure are fun to watch. As our own Craig Malisow so adroitly put it, "If every city council member anywhere has simple common sense, then it wouldn't matter how many are at the table. But this is Houston, and we just don't do that."

The Light Rail We Have
The METRO referendum victory may have virtually crushed our chances of expanding the light rail, but the north and east lines are nearly complete and the downtown line has the highest ridership per mile in the country.

The Declining Use of Billboards
As the city's billboard ordinance grows into full effect, the blight of giant signs is diminishing. If you grew up here even 20 years ago, you remember the onslaught. Thankfully, they are disappearing. Now, we just have to figure out how to get rid of that giant neon cross.

Mayor Parker on the Colbert Report
The shock and awe over the nation's only openly lesbian mayor being from Houston was stunted by her laid back appearance on Colbert.

The Dogs Rescued at Spindletop
For all the horror of the failed animal rescue organization, seeing so many animals rescued and given new homes is heartwarming.

Despite a nasty recession, Houston managed to add jobs and keep on rolling...as usual.

All the Free Parking
Scoff, but try parking in New York or some other big urban center and you'll understand.

It's thrown around a lot here, but in a state as blue as Texas, Houston is a unique melting pot. In fact, it's the meltiest of all melting pots in the country according to a Rice University study.

Isaiah Carey's Twitter Feed
The Fox26 investigative reporter admonishes homebodies for not getting out more, runs down stories and lets us know when the devil is busy. Hard to imagine doing more with 140 characters.

No one covers the ins and outs of Houston homes, land and architecture like the folks at Swamplot.

Like Swamplot for basketball, this long-time Rockets fan site hosts more than 45,000 members of its bulletin board community -- the largest in Houston -- who talk about sports, politics and everything in between.

Geek Gathering
The monthly gathering of nerds hosted by Dwight Silverman and Jay Lee of the Chron and KPFT's "Reality Bites" radio show is the best meetup in town with some of the more interesting people you'll ever meet.

Space Shuttles Were Born Here
We may not be able to display one and New York, a city with a barely tenuous attachment to the space program may have one, but we built them. Ultimately, they ALL belong to us.

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@clutchfans Mucho deserving.

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