From Tragedy to Triumph – Reflecting on an Unforgettable Year in Houston

As we embark on a new and prosperous 2018 (claiming it!), we can’t help but remember the most incredible and tumultuous year the city of Houston has seen thus far. From hosting the Superbowl to a World Series Championship, HoustonTrend reflects on one hell of a rollercoaster ride called 2017 in Space City and its most memorable moments. 

Hosting Super Bowl LI – History Made in Houston

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The city of Houston had another opportunity to host one of the most prominent NFL attractions, the Superbowl. Houston was home to Super Bowl LI, raking in over 1 million out of towners, from celebrities to tourists. The New England Patriots faced the Atlanta Falcons and beat them 34-28 in a game-clinching victory. Both teams held each other to a scoreless first quarter before the Falcons gained momentum to score 21 points in the second quarter, marching into halftime with a 21-3 lead over the Patriots. With such a huge lead going into the third quarter, many Falcons fans were already counting their wins and bets, but perhaps too soon. In the world of sports, you can never count a team out for the count. The Falcons held the Patriots to only nine points in the third quarter, scoring one touchdown of their own. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter the Patriots revved up the engine to blast off like a Rocket (get it). The Patriots would go on to score 19 unanswered points and tieing the game in the fourth quarter, ultimately sealing the win with a touchdown and seizing the Super Bowl championship. The Patriots’ 25-point comeback was the largest comeback in history, and Super Bowl LI was the first to be decided in overtime. Talk about one memorable game for the playbook, and it happened in Houston!

Hurricane Harvey – The Devastation that Rocked the City 

(Richard Carson/Reuters)

With a nickname like “Bayou City,” it’s understood that Houston has seen and will see its fair share of flooding, but this year the city was hit with the most massive flooding ever. Hurricane Harvey, also deemed the 800-year flood, was the costliest tropical storm known to date, causing close to 200 billion dollars in damage, primarily from widespread flooding in the Houston metropolitan area. The flooding from Harvey, in total, submerged hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30, 000 people and engaged over 17, 000 rescues. Not only did the rain last several days, but the city was also swept with multiple tornadoes, adding more insult to injury. To date, Harvey committed 14 confirmed fatalities. Devastation filled the streets, and the hearts of Houstonians as the city drowned. Nearly four months later, Houston is still in recovery mode and slowly resurfacing as the city Houstonians know and love. There’s beauty in the struggle as many rallied together to help thousands stranded from homes and rooftops and getting them to safety. The city assembled like troops on the frontline. The magnitude of support shown amongst human beings was overwhelming. There was no color barrier or hate. People didn’t see each other and enemies, despite the racial tension brewing throughout the country. A true testament to this city was not the attractions Houston has to offer, but rather the camaraderie and patriotism that surfaced in a time of detrimental need. Many celebrities from all over, including Houston native Beyoncé, donated money and rallied in the city, helping shelter and feed thousands. Houston Texans defensive end, JJ Watt, raised over 37 million for the cause, but it was the help of Houston rapper, Trae Tha Truth and DJ, Mr. Rogers, who formulated a community organization, Relief Gang, to do more groundwork in helping those tremendously affected by the aftermath. The Relief Gang is still very active in restoring homes and assisting families in need. Driving around the city, you’re sure to see recovery mode on 10, with many businesses gone, due to the aftermath. Homes still being repaired and much construction left to do. No, the city doesn’t quite look the same, but the strength and integrity of what Houston stands on remain intact. Despite everything Hurricane Harvey tried to destroy, it couldn’t kill the Houston Strong pride. We will reign!

Astros Win First World Series in Franchise History – City Finds Hope in Stros

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

It was the epitome of a fairytale ending. After Hurricane Harvey, the city was in desperate need of distraction, and the Houston Astros became the main attraction. Houstonians took a break from the depression of the city to unite in rare form for the Astros, who defeated all odds to prevail as the World Series Champs for the first time, since becoming a major league competitor in 1962. In support of the city, the Astros began to wear patches with the logo of the team with the word “Stong “on the bottom as apart of the #HoustonStrong movement. A world wind of emotions engulfed both Dodger Stadium and Minute Maid Park as the series came down to the wire in a gut-wrenching game seven; each game, fortifying camaraderie amongst the fans as we united once again, this time for good. The Stros set a World Series team record with a combined 15 home runs in the series, including a hit combined eight home runs in Game 2, setting a single-game World Series mark. The Stros outfielder and MVP, George Springer, hit five home runs in the series tieing a World Series record with Reggie Jackson in 1977 and Chase Utley of the LA Dodgers in 2009. George Springer was our hometown savor in this series, coming through in the clutch to solidify wins and with the help of Altuve, Correa, and others, the Astros won not only a championship but also our hearts. The magnitude of emotions that flourished through the city and LA was electrifying. From smiles to tear-filled eyes, back to chants and cheers. Emotions ran high from all spectrums of the globe, and it was no time like the present to be apart of such a monumental moment for the city of Houston. We remain Houston Strong!

World Series Championship Parade – What A Time To Be Alive

(Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

The streets of Downtown Houston filled with eager Houstonians ready to shower the Stros with insurmountable love and appreciation for turning a city tragedy into a triumphant celebration. Many schools shut down to allow employees and students to partake in the victory festivities, painting the streets orange, white and blue. Downtown exploded with unattainable uproars as the champs cruised through on fire trucks, sharing smiles and laughs with eager fans along the way. The players took to the stage set in front of City Hall to express their gratitude for the support they received throughout the season and especially during the World Series, expressing many times this win was for the people of Houston. There had not been a citywide spark of this significance since the Houston Rockets won back to back NBA Championships in 94/95. It was a day filled with hope and glory, reiterating the strength of a city that pushed through a traumatic experience and somehow managed to find the beauty within the storm. It was a time to be alive!

Snowfall in H -Town – We Have a Winter

(Houston Police on Twitter)

It began to look and feel a lot like Christmas when snow fell from the sky on Dec 8th; many gathered during the night and morning to witness real snow in Houston for the first time in about 1o years. There wasn’t enough snow for a full-on snow day or school and work cancellations, but being able to make snowmen and snow angels, was good enough for excited Houstonians. Considering the winter season skipped over Houston last year, the surprise snowfall made for another memorable moment in H-Town History and a perfect end to a crazy year.

So bring on 2018. Houston is Ready!

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