Top Five Houston Sports Figures Who Should Champion Our Music Scene
Linebacker Connor Barwin, late of the Houston Texans, recently traded a solid music scene for a better cheesesteak by defecting to the NFC's Philadelphia Eagles. He began his professional football career in Houston and parlayed nearly 15 sacks over the last two seasons into a six-year, $36 million contract with his new team.
Photo by Marco Torres But Connor... Who will the Tontons turn to now?
Barwin's departure not only creates a void in the Texans defense - expected to be filled nicely by 2012 draft pick, Whitney Mercilus, not to worry - it opens a vacancy in the unofficial position of Best Local Music Fan Among Area Sports Figures.
Barwin knows music. He was not only a contributing member of the Texans' "Bulls on Parade" defense, he's credited with branding the group, culled from the Rage Against the Machine song that was played ad nauseum on Sundays at Reliant this past fall. Barwin took the same aggressive approach to searching out Houston's best music offerings as he did to getting after opposing quarterbacks.
During his time here, he blogged on happenings at Free Press Summer Fest last year and touted local hopefuls like The Tontons.
With No. 98's Texans jersey now hung up for good - or at least being re-stitched with some other guy's name on it - which Houston sports figure is most qualified to promote area musicians in a similar fashion? The post is open, but the best candidate should know music and be able to share Houston's best in a far-reaching, meaningful way. Here are some candidates who might consider applying.
5. Omer Asik
Illustration by Houston Rockets
The Rockets' center was born and spent his formative years in Turkey. In an international city like Houston, he could be a big proponent for locals performing world music. His nickname is "Asik and Destroy," which recalls the Metallica classic, so there's some hope he could be seen banging his head from way on high (he's seven feet tall, folks) at the next Venomous Maximus show.
4. Bud Norris
According to Major League Baseball-sanctioned blogs, Norris's favorite music is rap music, but his favorite song is "any Journey song." With tastes that divergent, the Astros' opening-day pitcher could cover a broad spectrum of Houston musical talent, pitching (pun sadly unintended) every ilk from punk to country. If it's an Astro, it's got to be Norris because he's the only Astro anyone knows.
3. Ed Reed
The newest Texan is a probable Hall of Famer with a Super Bowl ring currently being fitted for him. He'll bring pedigree and class to an outfit already considered one of the league's best. But, can he do the same for a music scene that, not unlike the Texans, is good, getting better and nearing championship status?
A recent peek at Reed's Twitter feed shows at least one sign of hope. He's posted a clip from the 1976 comedy Car Wash. That film's soundtrack featured more than a dozen songs written by Motown legend Norman Whitfield, primarily performed by funk band Rose Royce. "I Wanna Get Next to You" is a standout and the titular song's familiar handclaps bolster burgeoning rallies on home fields across the country.
Maybe Reed could bring the same hope to the R&B artists he discovers here that he's bringing to his new home team.