The Ultimate Houston Texans Fan Stephanie Stradley is the ultimate Houston Texans fan. She even has the title to prove it: winning the Ultimate Texan Fan contest in 2006. While this season’s success makes it easy to root for the Texans, it hasn’t always been so easy. The year she won her title, the team was coming off a 2-14 season, hired a new coach, and surprised everyone with the first round draft selection of defensive end Mario Williams. Talk of the team was not positive and, for a true fan, it was not interesting. Stradley, a corporate generalist with a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, decided to do something about it. She contacted the Houston Chronicle, which already had a fan blog for the Astros, and offered to write a blog about the Texans. With zero blogging experience, she began “Texans Chick” to change the direction of talk about the Texans. What she lacked in experience, she made up for in passion. For Stradley, sports are a way of life. As she says, “Growing up, that was what you did on Sundays: watch your football teams.” She wanted to encourage intelligent talk about the Texans and create something that she would want to read. In fact, her favorite part of her blog is the comments, which allow her to learn from readers, and create an open and positive dialogue with them. But Stradley has more than passion to contribute to the world of sports. She puts her legal expertise to good use explaining the collision between sports and the law. Stradley understands sports, fans, and the law, and she tries to explain these varying legal issues in a way that is informative and accurate. Beyond the controversial legal troubles in sports, Stradley offers interesting commentary on every Texans game — both praising successes and acknowledging weaknesses. She also provides tips for traveling to away games, safety precautions to take in another team’s stadium, what NOT to wear to a Texans game, and more. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. The Houston Press awarded Stradley with the 2012 Best Blog Post for a Feb. 2 entry titled, “A Modest Texans Proposal,” which outlined her thoughts on off-season changes for the Texans. Two years earlier, the Houston Press named “Texans Chick” as one of the 10 most notable blogs in Houston for her entertaining and unorthodox style. Stradley believes the best thing about the NFL and other pro sports is that being a fan doesn’t hinge on who you are, what your job is, what school you went to, or how much money you make. Sports provide a sense of community, and she uses her blog to bring members together. “There are a lot of problems in the world that you feel strongly about but have little control over changing. It is fun to feel strongly about something that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t really matter — it’s a game,” she says. Discovering Life Lessons in Rugby Dallas attorney Bob Latham is the first, and only, American to serve on the 10-member International Rugby Board Executive Committee, which governs the predominately European sport. Other members are from South Africa, England, Ireland, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. While it is run by a staff of more than 50, the Executive Committee meets regularly to manage the IRB strategic plan’s progress, monitor performance, and implement governing principles and practices. Currently, there are more than 3.5 million people playing rugby in more than 100 countries on five different continents. “I feel that one of my roles is to keep the game safe,” says Latham who, in addition to his role on the executive committee, has served as a judicial officer for the past 10 years. For Latham, serving on the IRB executive committee is his way of staying involved with the sport. Born a sports fan, he grew up playing tennis, baseball, and hockey. It was not until college that he began playing rugby. He played through college and law school, and played on a top level club team in Dallas for the first 12 years of his law practice. Through rugby, Latham has learned both respect for his opponents and the belief that preparation is critical. Preparation allows him to successfully navigate both his passion for rugby and his work. The key is to master the art of working during flights. While the in-flight movie has its draw, he resists the urge and instead uses the time away from phone calls and email to focus on his clients’ needs. He says, “Rugby is a physical game and things come at you from many different angles. The litigation process is the same way. You must be prepared to handle anything that comes at you; any flaws in preparation will generally be exposed.” TEXAS PEOPLE Jim M. Perdue, Sr. The Perdue Law Firm, L.L.P., Houston Received the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists Lifetime Excellence in Advocacy Award for his outstanding legal work. Lacy Durham Deloitte Tax, Dallas Honored by Altrusa International, Inc. as a 2012 Outstanding Woman of Today ... Builder of Tomorrow for her determination, innovation, and outstanding contribution to her field. Judge Leonard E. Davis U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas Chief Judge,Tyler Named the 2012 Baylor Lawyer of the Year. Judge Jan Krocker 184th District Court Presiding Judge,Houston Received the Houston Galveston Institute’s 2012 Champion for Change Award for her outstanding commitment to the mental health community.
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