Fred Faour: XFL return ‘Rocked’ TDECU Stadium

Even before the game XFL and Roughneck fans were fired up.

Fred Faour: XFL return ‘Rocked’ TDECU Stadium

The XFL returned to Houston Saturday night, and the Roughnecks rolled to an easy win in the relaunch of the league, beating Orlando 33-12. But the game did not really matter.

The atmosphere at TDECU Stadium could be described in one word: fun.

Many of the same fans who backed the original Roughnecks were there, screaming “still undefeated,” wearing Roughnecks gear old and new, and simply having a blast.

No, this is not the same team that was unbeaten when the league shut down for COVID in 2020. All new players, coaches (including Houston legend Wade Phillips), and even new uniforms separate the two teams. The league even has a new ownership group.

But that did not matter to a raucous crowd that chanted, taunted the Orlando players, and celebrated like a fraternity party. What was happening on the field was secondary. Sure, the fans loved that, too.

Beach balls flew through the stands. Alcohol flowed.


The biggest reaction – of course – came when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was spotted in a suite. Chants of “thank you, Rock” began for bringing the league back were numerous. Hundreds of people took pictures of him from the stands and shouted their admiration.

Fan games were played and shown on the big screen while the contestants hyped up the crowd. The talented Raheel Ramzanali was back keeping the fans fired up throughout.

The line for the merchandise was ridiculously long.

It’s easy to contrast this crowd with the Texans. But that’s not really fair; there are rowdy Texans fans out there. They have just been beaten into the ground. However, even the original Roughnecks were a different crowd. More affordable seats (we got premium Cougar Club tickets for under $100 a game), and let’s be honest – who would you rather see as an owner? The Rock or Cal McNair? Perhaps the most popular actor in the world or … well, you get it.

Vince McMahon started it all in 2020 and created a different vibe, one that fans embraced. The Rock appears to have taken it next level.


No, this will never be the NFL. But these are people who can afford to go to games and just enjoy themselves. And there is another reason this thing might be a success: All new faces in the crowd from NFL games. Houston is a transient city; most people were not born here. If you moved here from Chicago, you will always be a Bears fan over the Texans. The Roughnecks are a new franchise that people from other places can get behind. And they have. The tie-in with UH is a plus as well.

Will they stay undefeated? No. But four more games (and maybe playoffs) remain at home. No matter what happens on the field, expect more of the same from the crowd.


Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *