Before the start of the 2006-07 season, Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy held auditions to find what he deemed the most rabid fans of the team. The Rowdies, get their own section at Toyota Center during home games. Van Gundy even offered to pay the fans’ season tickets. The coach was responding, in part, to the team’s 15-26 home record in the 2005-06 season; the Rockets were 28-13 at home in 2006-07.
Each participant in the original tryout, held in late August 2006, was asked to show off why he or she is the greatest Rockets fan. Entertainment ranged from speeches, scream shows, and re-enactments of the greatest moments in Rockets history to singing, running, and Indian, Hoola, and break dancing. Judges consisted of members of the Rockets organization and household radio names.
In all, 30 Rowdies were selected from the first tryout. The Rowdies made so much noise in the preseason that Rockets superstar Tracy McGrady decided to purchase twenty more tickets. Tryouts for the second audition were held at Dave and Busters during the regular season opener against the Utah Jazz. A remarkable number of approximately 200 people showed up for the tryout, much less than the estimated 70 who showed up for the first tryout.
During Game 1 of the First Round of the Western Conference playoffs, TNT Sports reporter Craig Sager joined the Rowdies in watching the Rockets take on the Utah Jazz. Throughout the season, many reporters from ESPN, TNT, and Fox, as well as several other newspaper journalists, visited the Rowdy Section 114 on the lower bowl of the Toyota Center.
One thing is for sure, there are gonna be tons of beards at the tryout.