The Houston Astros are digging deep to get all the H-Town pride that they can possibly gather for their Game 7 matchup at home against the Texas Rangers. Their pre-game will feature three Houston legends to rev up the crowd. Even though none of the three names are Paul Wall, they are heavy hitters in hometown pride.
According to Astros’ reporter Brian McTaggart the national anthem will be sung by Houston native, gospel recording artist legend Yolonda Adams. Jeff Bagwell is going to throw the first pitch, and hopefully that old shoulder has one more strong toss in it. The play-ball call will come from the greatest player in Houston Texans history, Andre Johnson.
Hearing his voice will certainly rile up the crowd at Minute Maid Park, but as a player, Johnson was always more about action than words. Cortland Finnegan found out the hard way when Johnson beat him down during a game in 2010. The irritant cornerback learned that quiet people with large shoulders are not to be trifled with.
When Finnegan hit Johnson in the face at the start of a play in the fourth quarter, the Texans’ legend decided that even though there was time remaining on the clock, the game was over for those two. In one of the greatest moments in NFL history, Johnson ripped off Finnegan’s helmet, flung him to the turf and socked him in the jaw. As Johnson was leaving the field after being ejected, he received a standing ovation from the Houston crowd.
Since he is going to be a part of the game, the Astros should juice up the crowd with the video of the fight right before he bellows out, “Play Ball!” Those who watched the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins play on Sunday Night Football, saw what the Rocky theme does for Philly fans.
The fights in that movie were fake. In the ballpark on Monday night, Houston will have a true legend in hand-to-hand combat in the house. Let that man lead the best way that he knows how, by action.
Adams is going to reach the heavens with her voice, and the sight of Bagwell will remind Astros fans of a certain time when they would grind their bat in the batter’s box just like the four-time All Star.
The crowd will certainly be jacked up for Game 7 against an interstate rival, but if the Astros really want maximum intensity, they should replay a great moment in civic history: The day that Cortland Finnegan F’d around and found out.
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