Dear Elliot Harrison of NFL.com,
You’re a Dallas native now living in Los Angeles and writing about football. In spite of us being from other cities, us Texans should still all be friends to one another. But instead, you went and decided to show your pretentiousness by take a dump on our lovely city when you wrote your recent “Power Rankings” on NFL.com. (No, I’m not linking to your article because I’m not giving you any traffic):
Oh Elliot, bless your heart. By what measure does Houston play “second sister” to Dallas? Do tell. Still searching for something? Because I promise you that any reasons you can come up with where Houston is second to Dallas, Houstonians wouldn’t care to lead in those categories anyway. And while you do acknowledge that Houston is bigger in population than Dallas, you neglected the fact that, in terms of population, Dallas is only the third largest in the state. That makes y’all second sister to San Antonio.
Houston invented southern hip-hop… we’ve got NASA, Beyoncé, and gave the world ZZ Top too. Our energy industry is as important to the nation’s economy as New York in finance, DC in politics, and San Francisco in technology. We’ve got the largest concentration of medical facilities in the world with the Texas Medical Center and the Port of Houston is also one of the largest in the world, second in the US only to Southern Louisiana. An atom bomb could wipe out Dallas tomorrow and the country would roll on, but if it were to hit Houston the entire economy would grind to a halt.
Houston is the most racially and ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the nation and home to the country’s second most diverse public university (behind Rutgers, not a Dallas school). The Houston metro area also added more people (over 1.2 million) from 2000 and 2010 than any other metro area.
You may have also missed the memo that our city’s namesake won independence for Texas, not at the Trinity River, but at San Jacinto. So be sure to thank Houston for giving your hometown it’s ability to thrive and grow under the American flag into the snobby enclave it is today. You’re welcome.
I get it, Dallas has Deep Ellum and it does have some charm, but other than that, we’re not impressed. Many people only see Houston from the interstate and, when they do make it into town, never wander past downtown. The truth is, the best of Houston is in the many different eclectic neighborhoods spread out around the city, each of which feels like a small town in its own right. So, next time you’re down in Houston, get off your high horse, and venture into one of our scores of excellent neighborhoods: The Heights, Montrose, Washington Ave, Midtown, Rice Village, East End, the Museum District, or even our Theater District which is second only to New York City (not Dallas) in terms of concentration of seats in one geographic area. Then, be sure to mosey on over to Hillcroft Avenue where you can feel like visiting several countries all in an afternoon: India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Israel, Cuba, Colombia, Turkey, and Mexico, just to name a few.
While you’re visiting you can listen to some of our many talented local musicians like Slim Thug and Paul Wall. They’re just two Houston-born artists who’ve helped popularized a unique subgenre of hip-hop over the past twelve years that’s now influenced the rest of the world, from Toronto’s Drake to Harlem’s ASAP Rocky. Dallas has had a few respectable hip-hop artists, but none of them have been as instrumental in hip-hop as Houston legends The Geto Boys or DJ Screw, and the rest of the country is certainly not imitating Dallas culture. Hell, even Port Arthur duo UGK claimed Houston as a second home, they sure as hell weren’t reppin’ Dallas.
We get it, Houston doesn’t have the best national reputation. I mean, nobody is filming tv shows or movies about our lifestyle. Other than “Urban Cowboy” which was about a bar in Pasadena, not much else about our city gets documented on film. And because we don’t get a lot of our culture on film and out to the rest of the country (outside of Houston hip-hop) people still think of Houston as this rough, swampy backwater that is “The Armpit of Texas”. There is some truth to the stereotypes of roughnecks and rowdy refinery men and the overbearing summer humidity, but our city is so much more than that. I mean, where else can the head coach of the local university get a diamond grill from Paul Wall and TV Johnny and then turn around and be Grand Marshall of the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Parade? We hope you take the time to visit and see for yourself how awesome Houston is.