I want to introduce you to one of the greatest Houston Texans fans in the world.
It’s easy to be a fan of a team when you live in their market area. Not only does Armando Oceguera live 1,000 miles from Houston, he lives in a country where most sports fans would rather watch soccer than football. Armando, 29, lives in Mexico City where he founded and operates Somos Texans Mexico (We Are Texans Mexico), the official fan club of the Texans in Mexico.
I recently had lunch with him at Avalon Diner. He was a guest of our intrepid traveling photographer Max Siker. Max was in town to photograph the Texans for anther newspaper and ended up sharing an Airbnb with Armando. For those who don’t know Max, he lives in Wisconsin but serves as a freelance sports photographer for the Fort Bend Star. He has made it to every Texans road game this year except for one two weeks ago at the Los Angeles Rams.
Armando makes it to a few Texans games each year and desperately wanted to be at NRG Stadium when Andre Johnson was inducted as the first member of the Ring of Fame. Not only did he make it to the game, but the Texans provided him with a VIP pre-game sideline pass. There he got to meet, visit and take pictures with team owner Bob McNair.
“He was happy to hear about our group and the support in Mexico,” Armando said.
During the day Armando is a senior finance supervisor for the shipping company DHL. Come game day, however, he’s all about the Houston Texans. His man cave at home is decked out in Texans memorabilia. Somos Texans Mexico has about 100 or so members. Half are in Mexico City and half are in Monterrey, Mexico. He even has a Facebook page dedicated to the group.
“When I was 12 or 11 years old I saw a new logo on the NFL website,” he said.
When he was 14, the Texans played their first game. Not only did Armando watch on TV, but he can tell you the opponent and the score off the top of his head (Texans beat the Cowboys 19-10).
“I loved the uniform, colors, logo … so I decided to be a Houston Texans fan,” he said.
At first his family wasn’t convinced he was in his right mind. When it comes to the NFL, they rooted for the Raiders.
“They like the way I support the Texans … it’s healthy, not a bad thing,” he said. “They became Texans fans because of me.”
Last year the Texans played the Raiders in Mexico City. Armando shelled out $400 for tickets and participated in every single game-related event he could.
“I was at the airport when they arrived,” he said, adding that the Texans gave him insider information that also included the hotel they stayed at.
Unfortunately, his best friend was getting married out of town the same weekend as the game. He went to the wedding on Saturday and pulled an all-nighter to be at the game on Sunday.
“Whenever I see an event of the Texans I try to do it,” he said. “I’ve got to be there.”
This year he flew to West Virginia to attend the Texans training camp. Last April he came to Houston for the draft party. He’s met several of the players and has a growing autograph collection. If all goes well, he hopes to go to the game in Jacksonville on Dec. 17. Max also plans to be there.
(I won’t be at the game. It’s my anniversary that day and I’d rather stay married than attend a game. Besides, I’m already in enough hot water for making plans to cover the game against the Steelers on Christmas Day.)
I can relate to a lot of what Armando is going through with Somos Texans Mexico. Although I didn’t mention it to him, at about the same time he was forming his club, I was forming the Lone Ranger Fan Club. I ran it for about nine years before handing over the reins to someone else. It was a lot of fun to run the club, even if the character wasn’t popular and my family and friends thought I was some kind of a nut case for doing it. Armando is still going strong with his club, even if most people in Mexico City would rather watch soccer than the NFL.
Armando is a really nice guy and a dedicated fan. I hope our paths will cross again some day. Even if that never happens, we can both proudly say Somos Texans!