RGV Texans fans celebrate season opener amid pandemic

Local Sports

Kickoff Time: With a Twist

BROWNSVILLE (KVEO) – Gabe Mendieta arrived at the Lucky Barrel in Brownsville three hours before the Houston Texans 2020 season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gabe Mendieta is what you would call a Houston Texans superfan.

“We usually try to make four or five games [a year],” Mendieta said. “This is Texans country!”

Mendieta is a part of ‘Los Tejanos del Sur,’ an RGV Texans fan group that consists of over 350-members. The group is notorious for hosting watch parties and coordinating trips to watch games live, including joint collaborations with another local fan group known as the RGV Texans.

This year, however, was a bit different.

“We’re doing virtual high fives,” Mendieta said laughing. “We’re abiding by social distancing guidelines as far as the venue is concerned.”

Mendieta and his group planned a watch party at the Lucky Barrel in Brownsville. CDC guidlines limit the capacity to less than 50 percent, which limits Mendieta’s watch party to less than 30 fans.

Armed with sanitizing stations, distanced table layouts and contactless thermometers, Lucky Barrel employers were both happy and prepared to host a group of NFL fans.

“That’s our goal,” Lucky Barrel Manager Michael Mendiondo said. “Just come in, enjoy yourself and be safe.”

Ultimately, the group is thrilled to have football back and, though they can promote a safe and healthy environment to watch their favorite team, fans like Mendieta can never guarantee a win…

…No matter what Mendieta will tell you.

“We can’t wait to kick off the 20-20 season with a big Houston Texans win.”

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