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Houston Texans show off new letterman jackets (Pictures)

The Houston Texans are taking it back to high school. The team’s players decided to order a bunch of customized letterman jackets, and they plan to wear them on the plane to the team’s Monday night game against the Patriots in Foxboro, Tania Ganguli reports.

Each jacket features the Houston Texans logo on the chest, and the player’s number and position on the right sleeve. Linebacker Connor Barwin (pictured at left, along with Antonio Smith) told Ganguli that they will add patches for division titles, captains, and future accomplishments. Danieal Manning says the team had other ideas for the jackets but they were too nerdy to share.

Nose tackle Shaun Cody had the idea to get the jackets made, and he told Barwin, who loved the idea.

“The jackets turned out awesome,” Barwin said Friday.

“I used to say before the season it feels like we’re on a college team,” Barwin told the Houston Chronicle. “Everybody gets along, we have so much fun. And this jacket, you feel like you’re on a high school team where it’s all about winning, it’s all about being around a group of guys. This jacket is just another symbol of that. There’s no names on it. You just have your number, your position group and the Texans logo.”

We have seen other teams do similar things in the past, and the Tampa Bay Rays actually had customized letterman sweaters made, not jackets. Teams often coordinate their outfits for road trips as bonding experiences, but that’s in sports like baseball and hockey, not football, so this is pretty unique.

These jackets are pretty slick if you ask me. I bet there are thousands of fans salivating over them and hoping to receive one as a Christmas gift. If you’re looking to get one, Scurfield says the team had local company Bull Shirts make them.

Here are a few more photos of players posing with the jackets:

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Old Navy selling shirt that says Texans were 1961 AFC champions (Picture)

If you’re going to start a line of NFL-themed clothing called the NFL Team Champions Collection, it’s probably a decent idea to know who the champions were and when they won the championships. Old Navy had a decent idea with the collection, but unfortunately their historical accuracy leaves a lot to be desired.

As you can see from the photo above that The Big Lead shared with us, Old Navy has crowned the Texans the 1961 AFC champions. One problem with that is that the Texans were not a franchise in 1961. The other is that there was no such thing as the AFC in 1961.

It’s possible the shirts are referring to the Houston Oilers, who won the AFL title in 1961. The Oilers, however, are now the Tennessee Titans — not the Texans.  The mistakes were not limited to Texans shirts, as Old Navy has also called the Lions the 1957 NFC champions and the Browns the 1964 NFC champions. They also crowned the 1968 Jets and 1969 Chiefs NFL champions.

At the very least, Texans fans can take comfort in knowing it was Old Navy that screwed the facts up and not their own team. Redskins fans can’t exactly say the same.

Male Dixon Hernandez tries out with 1,000 women to become Texans cheerleader (Video)

Around 1,000 people tried out to become one of the 35 cheerleaders for the Houston Texans over the weekend, and there was something unique about one of the candidates: Dixon Hernandez tried out for the team despite being the only male in attendance.

Hernandez is a young man from Houston and he decided to give it a shot.

“I was like, ‘why not try out, and just go for it and have some fun?’ I’m here to have fun, and for the experience and, you know, just to see what it’s all about,” Hernandez said in an interview with KTRK. “Who wouldn’t want to be a Texans Cheerleader?”

Hernandez has expressed a desire to become a Texans cheerleader for the past few months, and he told the TV station he’s planning to try out again next year if he doesn’t make the squad this year.

The Texans don’t appear to have any gender-based restrictions for their cheerleader team, but male cheerleaders have been a controversial subject for years. However, if Hernandez is anything like this amazing male Chinese cheerleader, they should definitely put him on the team.

The Texans cut Eric Winston two weeks ago but still want him to buy a suite

The Houston Texans sales staff may need to update their mailing lists. Offensive lineman Eric Winston was surprisingly released by the team two and a half weeks ago, but that didn’t stop them from sending him the above letter asking him to purchase a suite for the upcoming season. Winston signed a four-year $22 million deal with the Chiefs a few days later, so he can afford all the suites that he wants. I’m just guessing his purchases will go toward Chiefs games.

Nothing signifies personal touch quite like sending a mailer to a fired employee.

Picture credit: Eric Winston
Thanks to Robert Neagli for the tip

Texans Division Champion Souvenir Cups Feature Players from Past Teams (Picture)

Considering the Texans have never been to a playoff game before, perhaps we should give them a break. Houston is heading to the 2011 playoffs as the No. 3 in the AFC. This is all new to them, so maybe they don’t know how things work on the souvenir front. One general rule of thumb is that you want to feature current players on any items that have members of the team plastered on them. As State of the Texans pointed out, Houston failed to do that with their AFC South Champion souvenir cups.

The cups feature four players who are no longer with the team: Dunta Robinson, John Busing, Amobi Okoye, and Bernard Pollard. Maybe the Texans were so shocked they made the playoffs that they were unprepared and had to take old cups and have “AFC South Champions” printed on them. We’ve seen something like this happen before after Donovan McNabb left Washington, but you would think a team would be more careful when creating playoff memorabilia. Rookies make mistakes. Let’s just hope they learn from them.

Who is the Favorite to Reach the Super Bowl from this Year’s Mediocre AFC?

This has truly been a strange year in the NFL.  Granted, every year is strange in the world of professional football.  We have teams that start out smoking hot and finish the season 6-10.  We have others that start out 1-4 and scratch and claw their way into the playoffs.  This season, however, seems to be more of a mystery than ever — particularly in the AFC.  The Packers are the clear-cut favorite to win the NFC and the Super Bowl at this point, but what about the rest?  With the AFC up for grabs, here’s a look at the teams that are in the hunt. We start with the least likely to play in Indianapolis on Feb. 5 and end with the most.

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Raiders Beat Texans With Only 10 Men on Field for Final Play

Maybe the spirit of Al Davis was truly guiding the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

The Raiders beat the Texans in Houston 25-20 thanks to a Michael Huff interception on the final play of the game. Houston was at the five yard line and had an excellent chance to score, but Huff stepped in front of receiver Jacoby Jones to pick off Matt Schaub’s throw.

The amazing part about Oakland’s triumph is that they only had 10 men on the field for the play. Astute Raiders fan Preston Jones made the observation and notified several Raiders reporters.

Beating the Texans as a road underdog was already a major accomplishment for the 3-2 Raiders. Winning the game on the final play with only 10 men on the field is even more impressive. Maybe this was Al Davis paying his team back for their Sunday tribute.

You can see a video of the play at NFL.com