QUOTE OF THE DAY
“November 3, 2017 has been proclaimed Houston Astros Day in Texas. Congratulations to the World Series Champions @Astros!”
—Governor Greg Abbott on Twitter. Happy Astros Day!
Houston may be celebrating its first-ever World Series championship thanks to the Astros, but Bayou City sports fans are probably feeling a little bittersweet. The Houston Texans’ star rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a a routine play during practice on Thursday, likely ending his season, according to the Houston Chronicle. Watson, whom the Texans drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft in April, had been spectacular in his first season, throwing for 1,699 yards and scoring a league-leading 21 total touchdowns in just seven games. He was the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Month and the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Month for October. His injury is likely a fatal blow to Houston’s playoff chances, as the team’s offense—which was prolific under Watson, averaging a league-best 30.7 points per game—will now turn to backup Tom Savage. This isn’t the only big injury in the Texans season: Before Watson went down, star defensive end J.J. Watt was lost to a season-ending tibial plateau fracture in his left leg in early October.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
U.S. Representative Lamar Smith, a Republican from San Antonio, is retiring from Congress, according to the Texas Tribune. “For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else,” he wrote in an email obtained by the Tribune. “With over a year remaining in my term, there is still much to do. There is legislation to enact, dozens of hearings to hold and hundreds of votes to cast.” Smith has represented a district spanning Austin, San Antonio, and the Texas Hill Country since his election in 1987, and he currently chairs the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. He’s the second big-name Texas Republican in Congress to announce his retirement this week, following Dallas’s Jeb Hensarling.
The city of Houston will celebrate the champion Houston Astros during a parade downtown on Friday afternoon. The parade will begin at 2 p.m., with city workers set to shut down the parade route beginning at 1 p.m, according to KTRK. The route will start at Smith and Lamar and end at City Hall. “It’s a true privilege to proudly host this magnificent salute to our hometown team that has earned history,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “As we bounce back from Hurricane Harvey, we are more than ready to welcome our heroes home in proper form.” Players, coaches, staff, and their families will be honored at the parade, including team owner Jim Crane, manager A.J. Hinch, Astros mascot Orbit and even Minute Maid Park train operator Bobby Vasquez. Oh yeah, and that beautiful World Series trophy will be around too. If you’re at the parade and you see a whole bunch of school-age kids, don’t worry, they’re not playing hooky: Houston ISD actually cancelled school on Friday so kids could go to the parade. Unfortunately, work wasn’t cancelled for all adults who plan to attend. (Editor’s note: Hooky it is, then.)
Energy Secretary Rick Perry put himself in hot water again, this time after claiming that fossil fuels would help stop sexual assault in Africa. “It’s going to take fossil fuels to push power out into those villages in Africa, where a young girl told me to my face, ‘one of the reasons that electricity is so important to me is not only because I’m not going to have to try to read by the light of a fire and have those fumes literally killing people,'” the ex-Texas governor said during an energy policy event in Washington on Thursday. “But also from the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts.” As Texas Monthly‘s Doyin Oyeniyi notes, Perry didn’t specify which villages from 54 African countries he was referring to, though one study has found that installing more lights and cameras in public spaces would be a “quick gain” to addressing sexual assault in South Africa.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
The city of Austin doesn’t want taxpayers to know who the candidates for city manager are Austin American-Statesman
Texas’s ban on the most common type of second-trimester abortion is being challenged in court Dallas Morning News
El Paso singer Khalid is named one of TIME‘s most influential teens in 2017 El Paso Times
A case of tuberculosis was reported at a McAllen high school McAllen Monitor
North Texas just had its hottest day ever in November, reaching 95 degrees in some areas Fort Worth Star-Telegram