Texans to honor first responders before game Sunday

Houston has been anything but normal in the last month, but on Sunday, a little bit of normalcy will return to the city, if only for a few hours.

While the Texans will take the field to the raucous cheers of their fans for a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the franchise will make sure those in attendance and watching on television won't forget the efforts of the brave in Houston. Area first responders, Houston city officials and related members vital to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts will be honored by the franchise before the game Sunday, the team announced Thursday.

The aforementioend group will be involved in roles including Texas flag holders, Color Guard and coin toss captains. The team will be selling Houston Strong T-shirts, with the proceeds benefitting the Red Cross.

One Texan who can't wait to get things going on the field after the devastation of the hurricane is J.J. Watt, who also happened to raise $27 million in Harvey relief.

"I'm going to try not to hyperventilate," Watt said before practice Wednesday, according to the Houston Chronicle. "It's going to be incredible.

"From a football standpoint, I miss the adrenaline rush. I miss running out of that tunnel. I miss playing. I can't wait."

Watt and his teammates have spent most of their non-football time assisting with relief efforts, helping move supplies for transport and talking with fans just to boost morale. They'll provide the biggest inspiration on Sunday -- something Watt knows is needed.

"It's going to be a special day," Watt said. "For three hours, we want to take people's minds off everything that's happened. We want to give them an escape.

"Our guys are going to give everything we have to make sure to put a smile on this city's face and to give them something to cheer about."

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