Mayor Parker: Redskins Rely On Texas Leadership

As the Houston Texans prepare to tackle the Washington Redskins on their home turf, Houston Mayor Annise Parker is a guest columnist in this week’s Washington Post “Political Football.”

KPRC Local 2 is part of the Washington Post corporate family. I’ve posted the entire article below:

In this week’s “Political Football,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker notes the Redskins reliance on Texas-bred coaching:

Washington has long depended on the state of Texas for great leadership.

The Washington Redskins are no exception. 

Our great state has sent many larger-than-life politicians to the nation’s capital to be part of the sausage-making process more commonly known as the federal government.  The long list includes U.S. Presidents, a Vice President, a Speaker of the House, and a majority leader or two. I won’t name names, but I’m sure we can all agree that some have been more successful at it than others.

The same can be said about the Washington Redskins, who earlier this year, stole some of Houston’s finest football minds to help Dan Snyder rebuild his sagging NFL franchise.

Did Houstonians and Texans Chairman and CEO Bob McNair drop a flag on this play for unsportsmanlike conduct? Did we pick up our pigskin and go home? Nay! We responded as Houstonians always respond, with some old-fashioned Southern hospitality, graciously sending Snyder a small army of former Texans employees.

The Redskins snatched up former Texans assistant coaches Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur, Richard Hightower and Ray Wright. They even brought along backup quarterback Rex Grossman and senior vice president Tony Wyllie, a native Houstonian. They probably would’ve taken Texans head coach and former Mike Shanahan protégé Gary Kubiak while they were at it, but we had to call time out.

Of course, if the season opener is any indications, it seems they played a better game in Houston. Ah. Revenge can be so sweet!

I read with much interest Texas Governor Rick Perry’s tongue in cheek first installment in this series last week. You’ll have to excuse Rick Perry for his overestimation of the Dallas Cowboys. Living in Austin instead of an NFL city has clearly clouded the Texas governor’s judgment, or perhaps it’s the heat of his re-election campaign. (I can’t say this is the first time I’ve disagreed with a Republican on an issue of such importance, nor will it be the last)

It’s the Texans, not the Cowboys, who are in the win column after one week of the 2010 season. It’s the Texans who look the part of a playoff contender as they prepare for a trip to FedEx Field, and it’s the Texans with whom the Redskins are hoping to measure up.

The enthusiasm for Texans football is at an all-time high in Houston. The Texans have sold out every home game since arriving as an expansion team in 2002, and this year’s regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts set an opening-day attendance record at Reliant Stadium. Houston is once again beginning to see, as Washington long has with the Redskins’ storied fan base, what a positive and unifying effect a football team can have on a community.

All teasing aside, best wishes to the Redskins and their fans for a great 2010 season – beginning next Monday. Maybe when it’s all said and done, the Redskins will have captured a little Texas swagger.

By Houston Mayor Annise Parker  |  September 16, 2010; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins

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