On Sunday, the Houston Texans will try to keep the dream alive against the heavily-favored New England Patriots in the playoffs. And Houston fans want to believe. We really do.
But the seeds of self-doubt were sown almost exactly 20 years ago.
It was January 3, 1993. The Houston Oilers were playing the Buffalo Bills. Quarterback Warren Moon had connected the team to a 32-point lead. It seemed insurmountable.
Then, the wheels came off. The Oilers collapsed. It was the Bills that would go on to play in the Super Bowl.
After one of the biggest blown leads in sports history, Houston receiver Ernest Givins' assessment had the ring of a prophecy:
"This one's gonna stay with us. For a long time," Givins said.
"For a while we got the nickname Choke City," recalled local rapper Paul Wall. "Until the Rockets won back-to-back. And then we got the nickname Clutch City."
Wall and fellow hip hop artist Slim Thug collaborated on a Houston Texans tribute song whose video on YouTube has more than one million views.
"We really just showcased what we're all about," Wall explained. "We're celebrating the Texans' success but also celebrating all the hard times too. All the hard times we were in front of our TV sets and, after the game, going home disappointed."
Anyone who lived through Houston's Luv Ya Blue era can relate. But Wall and his buddies believe the tale of the Texans in the playoffs will have a better ending.