Cheaters, Chaplains, and Strip Clubs: A look back at the many bizarre moments of Houston sports in 2020

Houston sports garnered negative attention throughout the calendar year

Jim Crane, Jack Easterby, and James Harden.
Jim Crane, Jack Easterby, and James Harden. (Getting Images/KPRC)

When professional sports franchises made headlines in 2020, it often had to do with COVID issues and canceled games. But the teams here in Houston repeatedly garnered national attention for reasons that were just… odd.

I’m not focused on the really good moments or even the terrible ones. Let’s dive into the timeline of the outright weird situations and decisions that rocked Houston sports.

January 13, 2020 – Chiefs and Cheaters

“I feel like we did a lot of good this year relative to some of those decisions, but there’s some things that we need to improve upon.”

How could we have known this year would be so weird? It started out in such typical fashion, as I listened to Bill O’Brien utter those words at his morning-after press conference at NRG Stadium. The night before, the Texans had blown a 24-point lead to the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, it was time to put a bow on the season.

As we were getting ready to go live for our afternoon show, the photographer I was working with said “your day just changed,” and it had nothing to do with the Texans.

He had just gotten a notification that A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year by MLB. We know what happened a few hours later as they were fired by the Astros. Many Houston sports fans felt it was extreme to outright fire the two, but that was Jim Crane’s decision.

That day, January 13, set off a strange year in Houston sports involving a chaplain, a mass exodus of coaches, and allegations of a possible magic carpet ride at Disney World.