They've never appeared in a playoff game, but when it comes to politics, nobody in professional football spends more money than the fledgling franchise from deep in the heart of the Lone Star State.
The Houston Texans are the NFL's most politically active franchise, according to a new study released over the weekend.
In the ever-changing political landscape, the Texans, thanks mostly to well-heeled owner Bob McNair, have made $293,100 in political contributions from players, coaches, and management since January of 2009.
McNair, who grew up in the foothills of western North Carolina, has been a resident in the Republic of Texas since 1960. He's donated $215,200 to political groups since the beginning of 2009, with 100 percent of it going to the Republican party, according to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The Texans owner made his riches in the energy business. He's worth an estimated $1.4 billion.
Houston edged out the San Diego Chargers for the top spot in political football. Bolts owner Dean Spanos, along with management and executives, have given $171,500 to federal politicians and committees.
Owner Woody Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson empire, and his New York Jets ranked as the third-busiest NFL franchise when it comes to politics, with $147,850 contributions overall. Johnson has donated $130,550 of that total since January of '09.
The Arizona Cardinals are fourth, followed by the Miami Dolphins, each giving more than $100,000.
As you might expect, 80 percent of the NFL's top 10 political donors support the GOP.
Among the most politically active owners, only Bob Kraft, the big cheese of the New England Patriots, has been a big supporter of the Democratic party. Kraft has given 86 percent of his $33,600 in donations to President Obama's party.
Other fun facts from the Center for Responsive Politics.
- In total, NFL owners, coaches, executives, coaches and players contributed at least $1.4 million to political candidates and groups, according to the research. Close to two-thirds of the cash went to the Grand Old Party.
- The Cleveland Browns were the least politically active franchise, donating a bewildering low total of just $750. The Oakland Raiders with late owner Al Davis were next to last with $1,000 donated to the Dems.
- Bengals safety Gibril Wilson, is the only active NFL player to crack the top 10 individual-related political donors list for Democrats with $15,000 -- all going to the Dems.
- Dhani Jones, veteran NFL linebacker, currently a free agent who hosts a a show on the Travel Channel has given $25,200 since January of 2009, with 100 percent going to the blue state party.
- Colts QB Peyton Manning ponied up $5,000 to Republican Sen. Bob Corker from Tennessee.
- Bears DE Julius Peppers donated $2,400 to Kevin Powell -- a candidate from the Democratic party in New York's 10th Congressional District.