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KETR News Director Mark Haslett’s multimedia blog about Northeast Texas and the world.

Detroit-Houston Game Inspires Memory Of Northeast Texas Legend

Billy Sims went from Hooks, Texas, to the NFL.
@RealBillySims on Twitter
Billy Sims went from Hooks, Texas, to the NFL.

Who’s the best all-time running back from Northeast Texas? Hopefully, you consider Billy Sims before giving your answer. And maybe he is your answer.

The Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans will line up against each other today in the annual Thanksgiving game at Ford Field. There isn’t much of a football history between Detroit and Houston, but there is that one game in 1983 when the Lions’ Billy Sims went airborne against the Oilers. It’s shown at the beginning of the film linked below.

More interesting than that play is the career of a young man from Hooks High School, in Bowie County, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma and then become one of the most exciting players in the NFL, until an early-career injury cut his story short.

It’s fun to listen to Sims in this video. He seems to still have the joy that he brought to football. Today’s Lions-Texans matchup might not have much tradition behind it, but I’m glad the Detroit-Houston pairing called to mind a play that captured the high-energy spirit of Billy Sims when he carried the ball.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.