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Deep in the Heart
Adam Duerson
December 13, 2004
Houston, you have a problem: Peyton Manning and his 44 TDs
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December 13, 2004

Deep In The Heart

Houston, you have a problem: Peyton Manning and his 44 TDs

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DEC. 12 >> INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS >> NOON CST

[1] RIVER OAKS Exclusive hood of ex-president George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara. Among others in the Oaks: Robert McNair, Cogen Technologies founder who paid $700 million for Texans in 1999. [2] ASTRODOME "Eighth Wonder of the World" and ex-Oilers/Astros home gave world AstroTurf as well as "Bad News" Bears (Breaking Training) and Permian High Panthers (Friday Night Lights). [3] FOGO DE CHAO Brazilian churrascaria where Texans offensive linemen hold weekly socials. Says center Steve McKinney, "I love it because it's all-you-can-eat meat [for $44.50]." [4] SAN JACINTO BATTLEGROUND The 1,200-acre field where Texas won its independence from Mexico on April 21, 1836. [5] ENRON CENTER Energy company built the 40-story tower but never moved in on account of a certain securities-fraud scandal. [6] UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON Host of Oilers' first training camp, in '60, and onetime employer of former Oilers coach Bum Phillips. As Cougars defensive coordinator, Phillips had son Wade (now a Chargers assistant) as a linebacker. [7] MAGGIANO'S LITTLE ITALY Texans coach Dom Capers gets in the stirrups at table 82 for some rigatoni on Fridays before home games. [8] COMPAQ CENTER 16,000-seat arena, former home of the Rockets, is being converted into a nondenominational church. [9] BEAUTY INDULGENCE DAY SPA In 2003 QB David Carr vowed not to cut his hair until Texans won back-to-back games. After beating K.C. and Oakland last month, Carr let Indulgence stylist Shaida Kootahi cut his locks--on live TV. [10] CHANNELVIEW Setting of bizarre murder plot in '91, when a mother hired a hit man to kill the mother of her daughter's cheerleading rival. The (failed) incident resulted in two (also criminal) TV movies. [11] MISSOURI CITY Warren Moon built dream home in suburb where ex--Bills running back Thurman Thomas was raised. Among Moon's amenities: a gym, a movie theater and the Kevin Wall, a privacy fence jokingly intended to keep Moon's off-field life secret from Oilers offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who lived nearby. [12] MINUTE MAID STADIUM Astros' home, where kicker Kris Brown won 2004 Texans home run derby by cranking two balls out. [13] THE CHURCH OF LORD JESUS CHRIST Heavyweight champ and grillionaire George Foreman preaches four times weekly. Nearby: the George Foreman Youth Center, a boxing haven the reverend opened in 1984. -- Adam Duerson

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RELIANT STADIUM
? SEATING CAPACITY: 71,054
? TEXANS' RECORD HERE: 8-14
? FIRST TEXANS GAME: Sept. 8, 2002 (Texans 19, Cowboys 10)
? RATIO OF SUPER BOWLS HOSTED TO YEARS IN EXISTENCE: 1:3 (2003: New England 32, Carolina 29)
? WEIGHT OF NFL'S FIRST RETRACTABLE ROOF: 3,000 tons
? TIME REQUIRED TO RETRACT ROOF: Seven to 10 minutes
? GAMES UNDER CLOSED ROOF: 13 Texans; one Super Bowl
? IN-STADIUM TEAM WEIGHT ROOM: 10,000 square feet, largest in the NFL

439 MILES N
Tulsa. Aug. 6, 1960: The AFL's Houston Oilers debuted here in exhibition game with Dallas Texans. Oilers' George Blanda threw two picks, and Houston lost 27-10 after borrowing unis from the Texans. ( Houston's had been stolen.) Better times soon arrived: Oilers finished year 11-4 as AFL champs.

1,069 MILES NE
Rockbridge County, Va. Birthplace of Sam Houston (1793), first elected president of the Republic of Texas (1836) and namesake of U.S.'s fourth-largest city.

666 MILES NE
Nashville. City to which Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams relocated team in 1997. Two years later his Tennessee Titans won franchise's first home playoff game since 1991.

1,329 MILES NE
Chester, Pa., Widener College. Division II school where Oilers AllPro wideout Billy (White Shoes) Johnson did the Watusi after TDs in 1972. Said Johnson, "[The nickname] made me kind of tough, because people thought white shoes were sissy stuff."

212 MILES E
Breaux Bridge, La. A billboard just off I-10 touts the small town's (pop. 7,281) two homegrown heroes: Texans' RB Domanick Davis, the 2003 NFL rookie of the year, and Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme. Also from Breaux Bridge: Ali Landry, the 1996 Miss USA.

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