CREATED BY BUD LIGHT AND VICE DIGITAL SERVICES
Omascaras is a musician superfan with a strong sense of cultural pride: he wears mariachi pants, a luchador mask, and bandoleer belts to symbolize Mexico's revolutionary strength in the face of tyranny. He also carries machetes... but not real ones. He has a perfect attendance record for Sunday home games.
How did you fall in love with your team? What is your first memory around your NFL team?
When the NFL rescued us from life without having a franchise in Houston by giving us the Texans I could not have been happier. The name is very meaningful, because the state became a republic under General Sam Houston who was the father of the Republic of Texas for Texans.
What is your first memory around your NFL team?
Becoming the first ever expansion team to win its first game and beating the interstate rival, also known as the, "Blue-Starred-Evil-Empire", 19-10 at Reliant Park.
How, when and why did you start dressing up, collecting or becoming more than a regular ordinary fan?
I always had an affinity for superfans and was inspired by the best. Seeing how they created their own personas to support their teams sparked my interest, so I challenged myself to follow suit. It wasn't until 2010 that I decided to create my own "cultural" character that would represent my culture and pay homage to my Mexican heritage and my devotion to my Texans at the same time.
What is your favorite NFL moment or team memory?
The delayed, inside-slant, route to the end zone for a touchdown that put the Texans in their first ever Playoff appearance against the Bengals.
What distinguishes you from other fans of your team?
I know a lot of dedicated Texans fans that are just as passionate as I am, but I live in Dallas, four hours away. Despite that distance, I was the only season ticket holder we knew who maintained a perfect attendance record for Sunday Home Games and that's since 2009. Game day rituals include being up at 4 a.m. and on the road by 5 a.m. to be at the Blue Lot at 9 a.m. for tailgating. The game is at noon then we drive four hours back to Dallas to be home for the Sunday Night game. I also attend training camp every year, traveling the same distance for that. I believe my dedication sets me apart from other fans of my team.
How did you develop your costume / get your nickname / develop your superfan persona?
Since I am of Mexican descent, I wanted the Omascaras character to embody elements of Mexican culture and history. I chose to do this by honoring the Mexican sport of Lucha Libre, thus embracing "his" boyhood hero. Omascaras wears mariachi pants, because he is also a musician; the bandoleer belts symbolize Mexico's revolutionary strength in the face of tyranny. I also carry the machete, which is a tool of tradition. Lastly, the shoulder pads and a Texans jersey. This outfit celebrates Mexican culture (which Texas originally was) while embracing the Houston Texans. Since Houston is where Sam Houston declared his Texas Republic, it is the ultimate homage to our origins, our mutual history, and our dedication to our beloved Houston Texans.
My friends are my energy supply for the passion within me...
What is your favorite keepsake or piece of memorabilia?
Every ticket stub from every game I have attended is a keepsake. I staple them to the walls and they serve as mementos of each of my game day shenanigans. I also have a large collection of figurines of players featuring various Texans, which are among my most prized possessions.
When did you start collecting / building your fan cave?
My collection items go back to the mid 70s when I was a pre-teenager and the fan of another team.
What is your game day ritual? How do you prefer to watch the game?
Game Day starts at 5 a.m. en route to the Blue Lot at NRG to begin Texans "FANmily" tailgating shenanigans. Dressing up and getting into character, meeting new fans both young and old; seeking other fans out to hear about their game day experiences, and "infecting" them or feeding off their passion for our team. Away games are special times. You get to meet opposing team fans. I make new friends in every stadium I attend. Always being classy, polite, courteous, and respectful of their traditions. It's a great way to approach away game experiences.
How does it feel to be known by your friends and peers as a die-hard fan?
It is exhilarating to see a character you created be recognized and well received. Being asked to take a picture or sign an autograph is both humbling and gratifying. Seeing the appreciation for all the effort you take to invest time and money into your character's wardrobe brings an overwhelming sense of acceptance that I thrive on. My friends challenge me to take my character to higher levels every year, to strive for reaching higher goals, to serve in my community, to help, and donate my time to charity and to community events. My friends are my energy supply for the passion within me. They are my inspiration.
What is the best thing about your team?
Players come and players go, but the fans will always be here. The best thing about the Houston Texans is our fans and specifically our tailgate experience. Everything's bigger in Texas! That cannot be more evident than the tailgate experience at NRG. The fan experience at our tailgate is beyond comparison to other teams throughout the NFL, fans come together, dress up, and "pimp-out" their grills, chairs, tents, and RVs. We convert the NRG parking lots to an all day extravaganza.
Our fans and their devotion are the best part of our team.
All images by Stephanie Mei-Ling.
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