HOUSTON – Christopher Beck and his wife, Sally, watched on television as their son, Texans fullback Andrew Beck, kept backing up until he collided with teammate Mike Boone, momentarily losing his grip on the football before regaining possession and sprinting 20.37 miles per hour up the field earlier this season.
Beck’s epic 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the first kickoff return for a score by a fullback since Derrick Wimbush in 2005, helped the Texans earn a key road victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“It was great,” Christopher Beck said in a telephone interview with KPRC 2. “I’m pretty sure he probably heard his mom through the TV she was yelling so loud. We were both laughing and watching when he dropped the ball after backing into the return man, we were both saying, ‘Oh, I hope something good happens from this.’ It was exciting to watch, certainly not a normal occurrence.”
As proud as his parents are of him, Sunday is a day to recognize Beck’s father. Christopher Beck is a West Point graduate, a Major Commanding General and Silver Star award winner for his heroism during Operation Enduring Freedom in the Middle East. Christopher Beck, the leader of Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and previously a Brigadier General at Fort Hood in Texas, will represent H-Town before kickoff Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals by shooting off the cannon to fire up the crowd. The Texans are holding their annual Salute to Service and First Responders Appreciation Day.
“It always means a ton every time the NFL does anything with Salute to Service celebrating the military,” Andrew Beck said. “Obviously, that’s very important to me growing up in a military family. Anytime, we can spotlight those individuals it’s something special. It kind of means a little more to me when it’s my dad. It’s really cool he gets to be a part of this thing. He’s done so much for our country and been through so many things in his military career. He deserves the recognition and he’s never asked for it.”
#Texans fullback Andrew Beck on his father, Major General Christopher Beck, a 30-year plus Army veteran who was awarded the Silver Star for bravery for his service during Operation Enduring Freedom and being raised in a military family @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/8o4fzJorhD— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 15, 2023
A former All-Big 12 selection at the University of Texas who signed with the Texans as a free agent this offseason, Beck, 27, won the NFL-USAA annual Salute to Service award previously while playing for the Denver Broncos.
Growing up as a military kid, Beck was born in Fort Knox in Kentucky. He has also lived in Missouri, Maryland, Germany, Illinois, West Virginia, Kansas, Texas, Colorado and Florida before attending college in Austin and then moving to Denver to play for the Broncos.
“It’s definitely got its pros and cons, it was a good thing for me because I got to live in a bunch of different places, move around and I’ve got really good friends all over the world,” Andrew Beck said. “I’ve seen some amazing places I never would have otherwise. Obviously, it’s tougher the older you get, the different kind of relationships you build and saying goodbye to friends. At the time, I didn’t know you could stay connected when you move around. It’s been more beneficial looking back on it. It was tough at the time. It’s definitely helped craft me to who I am today.
“It shows the importance of sports for me. That was how I always made friends when the school year started with football workouts. It was easy to make friends. Everybody hangs out with each other. It definitely made it easier and teaches you how to make friends.”
Christopher Beck recalled 21 moves in 30 years.
During his service, he has received the Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal. He is also authorized to wear the Combat Action Badge, the Air Assault Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Army Service Identification Badge.
“We’ve had a great opportunity to be stationed throughout the country and in Germany,” Christopher Beck said. “It’s really made it a lot of fun”
For the Becks, watching Andrew succeed in the NFL has been a thrilling experience.
“It’s very surreal,” Christopher Beck said. “He’s still our kid. We enjoy it as kind of a reward for the work he’s put in, but also for the fact that he has remained very humble throughout the entire process. I think he truly understands how fortunate he is. It’s been fun to see him give back, particularly to the military community throughout his career.”
Beck is primarily a lead blocker for the Texans’ improving running game, clearing pathways for running backs Devin “Motor” Singletary and Dameon Pierce.
He has also rushed for a touchdown and had that game-changing kickoff return.
“He’s having a great time,” Christopher Beck said “He’s obviously mostly blocking. He takes a lot of pride in blocking. He did it in college and in Denver. He really enjoys giving his teammates the opportunity to shine where they’re supposed to shine while he does his job. It’s great to see him get the opportunity to score. He truly believes whatever he can do and should do to contribute to the team, and that’s what makes it a lot of fun to watch. It’s very humbling.”
Service in the military requires discipline and hard work, as does playing football. There are parallels.
“There are a whole lot of similarities,” Christopher Beck said. “The Army is completely built on cohesive teams. They’re all about training, discipline and being fit. We can win for our nation. For the NFL to take this step and to appreciate what we do, it’s awesome. I’ve served more than 30 years and I’ve loved every single day of it.”
And Andrew Beck can’t wait to see his parents this weekend at NRG Stadium.
He’s back from ankle and shoulder injuries that sidelined him last week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
And now he’ll get to be with his parents as his father is recognized before a game he’ll play in.
“Electric, the Texans always do a great job of hosting people,” Andrew Beck said. “It will be a fun environment. To get the parents involved, I’m excited about it and it will be a fun one for sure.”
Aaron Wilson is a Texans and NFL reporter for KPRC 2 and click2houston.com.