Astros: Which athlete is the face of Houston sports?
Baseball season has begun and with the NBA playoffs a day away and the NFL off-season is in full swing, it’s time to figure out which athlete is the face of Houston.
Houston sports are at its peak, this is one of the first times where every major sport in Houston is succeeding. The Rockets have “The Beard” who is no doubt the best player in the NBA. Harden is the NBA’s reigning MVP and has only improved from last season and hopes to bring a championship to Houston. The Texans finally have found their franchise quarterback who is poised to take them to the postseason for years to come and ever since J.J. Watt arrived in 2011 he has changed the dynamic of not just Houston football but the cities. Finally, the Astros are riding a six-game winning streak and fresh off a World Series victory two years ago. Jose Altuve has been with Houston since the beginning of the rebuild and has now won multiple batting titles and has become an MVP in the process.
Harden is putting up insane numbers this season and in my opinion there is no reason he shouldn’t be the MVP again this season. He is averaging 36.1 PPG, 7.5 AST and 6.6 rebounds per game. He dropped 30+ points for 32 consecutive games and no one has done that since Wilt Chamberlin back in the 60’s. Since December 13th Harden has put up 40 triple-doubles and the entire rest of the NBA hasn’t even come close to his numbers. He is on a tear and doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon. He has put Houston basketball back on the map and the Rockets might be the only team in the NBA who can take down the Golden State Warriors. This may be the season for the Rockets to win it all and it wouldn’t be possible without the star power of James Harden.
The five time All-Pro and three time Defensive Player of the Year has changed Houston football for ever. He made the Texans into a playoff team and has been a captain for as long as I can remember. He is a true leader on the field however his off the field achievements are the center of his legacy. Watt has changed the lives of many and inspired the city of Houston, it started as a simple message after Hurricane Harvey which turned into 41.6 million and earned him the honor of being the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2017. Celebrities from all over backed behind Watt in his support for Houston and has changed numerous lives for the good. He is an inspiration to this city and stood tall when the city needed him most. Watt’s contributions will always hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Houston and the city would never be the same without him.
America’s pastime is back and the Astros are expected to find their way back to the World Series. Everyone knows Altuve’s story from being rejected by the Astros in Venezuela to growing up with only one baseball it’s an achievement by itself to have made it this far. However, he doesn’t seem to want to slow down Altuve is playing his best baseball and looks to be even better than he was in 2017 when he won the AL MVP. In this past series against the Yankees he homered four times and two of the homers left the ballpark at 108 MPH.
Last season, Altuve only hit five balls at that speed all season. He is getting better with age and somehow perfected hitting above .300 every year. It was not easy for Altuve when he got called up to the majors at the time the “Disastros” where on the field and the franchise had no upside. They were the worst team in baseball and struggled to find any talent to put onto the field. That didn’t stop Altuve from wanting to become the best, in his first full season in 2012 he picked up his first all-star appearance after batting .290. The fans finally saw hope for the Astros and it looked like there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. That all changed in 2015 when the Astros found themselves back in the postseason and Houston knew the Astros were back. Altuve was the start of the rebuild and is still here to lead this team to multiple championships for years to come.
The Winner Is…
Don’t get me wrong J.J. Watt and James Harden have done their fair share for Houston and have impacted this city in many ways. However Jose Altuve was the underdog he was never expected to be good and turned a whole franchise around by himself. Houston has always been a baseball city, from Jose Cruz to Nolan Ryan and to the Killer B’s the city has rallied behind the Astros. Altuve brought the greatest gift to Houston, a world championship and the city will forever be grateful.