We're finally here. It's GAME WEEK. All hail the ivory tower stooges that thought a neutral site game in the Houston summer was a capital idea!
For Arizona State, the trip to Houston serves as an opportunity to sell the Todd Graham Mega Church to one of America's most fertile recruiting markets.
Sumlin has plucked some serious bad asses (Kyle Allen, Christian Kirk) out of Arizona State's backyard. Sun Devils are hoping Graham can return the favor.
For Texas A&M, the match up represents a "road" game in a metropolis loaded with Aggie Former Students and the aforementioned recruiting pipelines.
This is a damn fine opening game in a damn mediocre city. Thank God the game is indoors. Sans air conditioning, Houston is an uninhabitable swamp taint jungle hellbent on killing your will to live.
This city guide is aimed to help the traveling Sun Devils during their visit.
WELCOME TO TOWN!
We're so glad you've decided to leave your sprawling, characterless, dangerously hot hellscape for a vacation in a sprawling, characterless, dangerously hot hellscape WITH polluted humidity that requires a snorkel. So glad you're here!
Houston has the traditional four seasons:
- Fuckbuckets hot summer
- Football summer
- Rain summer
- Bug pandemonium summer
Lucky you - there's a great chance you'll experience all four this weekend. I'm just dumb enough to live here! We have all the crime and humidity of New Orleans without the charm, history, architecture, or interesting people.
Good luck finding your way around this place. For some reason, Houstonians are proud of things that should make them utterly ashamed. Lack of zoning is one of those things. If this city looks like it was organized by boisterous, tasteless drunks who fell ass backwards into wealth its because that's exactly what happened.
Houston's approach to zoning ensures that you can get authentic Guatemalan food, discount jewelry, a lap dance, an oil change, and a half-hour of handgun shooting in all during your lunch break without leaving the same strip center. Lack of zoning is a way for Houston to celebrate unregulated American freedoms. You may see pollution, prostitution, and attempted murder with a tack hammer -- a Houstonian sees freedom ringing. Lacking some cash liquidity? There will surely be a pawn shop and/or cash store to rob your ass blind so you don't have to delay any gratification.
Everything about this dump is centered on immediate gratification. We'll eat whatever the hell we want - health be damned. If it compromises our appearance, we'll get plastic surgery. We'll build the gaudiest, ugliest, biggest houses because we're dimwits with credit cards. It takes a special type of person to reject all the joys other cities experience of weather, scenery, city infrastructure, and culture for a mangled, dirty concrete slab who's key exports are oil and inferiority complexes.
Being the capitol of the refining industry as well as home to major medical research facilities like MD Anderson makes Houston a world leader in the creation and curing of cancer. We're ground zero for making a multimillionaire out of Joel Osteen. We are responsible for giving you the star of one of television's stupidest shows:
Of course Houston would produce a star of a show that is catered to the lowest common denominator with obvious punchlines and storylines that require absolutely no mental heavy lifting to track.
Sun Devils, part of me was embarrassed that you're visiting, but then I remembered that Phoenix is a horrid city with almost all the same blemishes of Houston. Sure, our citizens might be obese roughnecks in JJ Watt jerseys, but your citizens are California rejects whose skills include:
- Getting foreclosed on
- Captaining a jetski with a bellyful of Bacardi
- Leasing yellow sports cars
- Cheating at golf
WHERE TO EAT
This is our wheelhouse. If Houston is exceptional in one area, it's creating and eating some of the world's best food. Name any cuisine and Houston is sure to have a world class joint that offers that fare. We didn't get all plump and basted by eating salads. I'm sure the commenters will have their hot food taeks, but here are some places I think you should scope:
- Texas BBQ: Killen's.
- Seafood: Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen.
- Dranks and meats: The Hay Merchant and Underbelly.
- Obesity inspired: Lankford Grocery & Market.
- Sushi: Uchi.
- Tacos: Laredo Taqueria.
- Tex-Mex: Ninfa's on Navigation.
- Steak: oh, man. So many. I'll leave that to the commenters.
WHILE IN HOUSTON AKA SIZZURP CITY
I understand that most of your time in Houston will be centered around the game, but I wanted to point out some other things you could check out. Normally, I'd recommend Houston's extensive museum scene, but let's be real. You're Arizona State. You need a place where you can funnel beer, show off your tan, and not think too much. Here are some things you could do:
- The Galleria. We overcompensate for our environment's lack of beauty by buying a lot of beautiful shit. If you need to buy club gear or whatever, go shopping at the Galleria.
- Rice University. A very lovely campus and neighborhood. Frankly, I can't imagine a college experience that is more opposite than Arizona State. These nerds read and shit.
- NASA. Go check out stuff that's been to space. COOL THIS IS WHERE WE BEAT RUSSIA.
- For your hooch fill, I recommend these bars: Anvil Bar & Refuge, Grand Prize Bar, Little Woodrow's (all over the place), West Alabama Ice House. There are many others. The commenters can pick up my slack.
You're now a savvy visitor to Houston! I love ripping the hell out of the city in which I live, but the truth is, the people are great and we manage to have a lot of fun. Enjoy your visit. We're glad you're here.
NOTE: for any Dallasites who read this piece and chortled with aloofness, just know we'll put the Metroplex on blast when the Ags play Arkie up there in a few weeks.