Archive for the ‘football’ Category

How A Professional Media Outlet Does Things

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

So Sports Illustrated, the website that a few months ago decided “Hey, let’s make our site look like ass!” has released it’s Superbowl and MVP picks. Let’s take a look at these two screen shots I grabbed today so you can see how a real professional website works:

SI 1

SI 2

Evidently Tom Brady is going to be Defensive Rookie of the Year, as well as Coach of the Year, thanks to his awesome Lorem ipsum skills. At least so say the numerous clones SI hires as sportswriters…

Remember: Sports Illustrated is run by professionals. Do not attempt this at home…

Bum Phillips, RIP

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Former Houston Oilers football coach Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips Jr. has died at age 90. It’s pretty much impossible for anyone who didn’t grow up in Houston during the “Luv Ya Blue” era of of the Earl Campbell Oilers to tell you how much Phillips meant to the city. He may be the most beloved NFL coach never to even reach a Superbowl. Bud Adams firing Philips (and then trading Campbell to New Orleans for a sack of doorknobs) was one of the many, many, many things Oilers owner Bud Adams did to earn the enmity of the city he would eventually deprive of the Oilers.

Philips was an ornery cuss, but a classy one, and 100% Texan. He will be missed.

Edited to Add: Oiler player tributes to Bum. “Everybody loved Bum.”

Texas 36, Oklahoma 20

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Well, no need to torment myself watching the UT/OU game, I thought. No chance the Longhorns win playing the way they have this year, I thought.

Texas 36, Oklahoma 20

The only sure thing about this UT team is that they’ll do the opposite of what I expect them to.

New defensive coordinator Greg Robinson has completely turned that unit around. And Mack Brown just might keep his job.

When You’ve lost Earl Campbell…

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Legendary running back Earl Campbell says that it’s time for Mack Brown to step down.

“Nobody likes to get fired or leave a job, but things happen,” Campbell said. “I’d go on record and say ‘yes I think it’s time….[it's] very hard because Coach Brown is a very good man,” Campbell said. “I just hope he doesn’t stay…he’s done some great things. The program, he brought it back, and we don’t need it to get run down where somebody has to start all over again.”

So how many years of grace does winning a National Championship give you? At Auburn, they fired Gene Chizik two years after winning a national championship (which also happened to be their first). That seems more than a little injudicious. Tennessee gave Phil Fulmer ten years after winning a National Championship. (And neither’s successor has set the world on fire.)

I was not among those calling Mack brown to resign when the team went 5-7 in 2010. Knee-jerk reactions to transient adversity are seldom warranted. But Brown has had several years to right the ship of one of the most institutionally powerful teams in Division 1 football, and has not managed to do so. Ultimately, Alamo and Holiday bowl wins are not enough for a man getting paid $5 million a year.

Maybe it’s time for a change.

Shooting at Kansas City Chiefs Facility

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

I know the Chiefs are sucking pretty bad this year, but shooting up the place won’t help.

Arrowhead Stadium is on lockdown and one player has reportedly been shot.

Putting this up mainly because I’m not seeing anything on Google News yet.

Live updates at the Arrowhead pride blog.

Update: Police are saying it was a player killing his girlfriend, then committing suicide at the facility. Unconfirmed reports are that player was linebacker Jovan Belcher.

Update 2: Confirmed? “A team source tells Jason La Canfora that LB Jovan Belcher was involved in a shooting at the team’s facility.”

Update 3: Confirmed: ” A player on the Kansas City Chiefs shot and killed his girlfriend early Saturday before shooting and killing himself at the team facility, according to police. The Kansas City Star, citing police, identified the player as 25-year-old linebacker Jovan Belcher. FOXSports.com’s Alex Marvez reports that a Chiefs source has also confirmed Belcher as the player.”

Update 4: There’s a lot of strangeness to this murder/suicide. First, Belcher reportedly killed his girlfriend overher her staying out late at a concert. Second, Belcher reportedly drove to Arrowhead stadium to thank coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli for everything they had done before killing himself in front of them. I know some things should be said in person, but I think in this case both of them would have preferred an email.

Only good news? Belcher and his girlfriend’s infant daughter is safe, though obviously orphaned.

Disasters of Event Planning

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

November 16 next year, there will be a UT home football game (against OSU) and a Formula One race in Austin on the same weekend.

What could possibly go wrong?

The biggest winner? Hotel and motel owners in Bastrop.

If you plan on attending either of these events, you might want to make your reservations now…

The 2011 Houston Texans: Great Season, Disappointing End

Monday, January 16th, 2012

December 26, 2010: After watching the Texans lose to the Denver Broncos, making it four losses in a row to fall to 5-10, a despondent fan in the greater Houston area is preparing to commit suicide when the Angel of Football Future descends into his bedroom clothed into the divine light of truth. “Stop!” cried the angel. “I have been sent unto you to save you from despair by bestowing a vision of the 2011 Texans!”

Fan: You mean there’s hope? Does Arian Foster lead the league in rushing again?

Angel: No, he injures his hamstring and misses the first few games.

Fan: What, Arian goes down? Crap! At least tell me that Andre Johnson leads the league in touchdown receptions!

Angel: No, he also has a hamstring injury, and only appears in seven games before the regular season ends.

Fan: Both of Houston’s top offensive weapons suffer hamstring injuries? It just gets worse! Does Mario Williams finally lead the league in sacks?

Angel: No, Mario goes down with a torn pectoral muscle and is lost for the year after the fifth game.

Fan: Gah! Now you’re just tormenting me! Top performers on both offense and defense injured! I suppose you’re going to tell me that Special Teams are awful as well?

Angel: Actually, your rookie punter plays great–

Fan: Finally, a break!

Angel: –but then he’s lost for the year with a non-contact injury.

Fan: Agggggh! It’s like a nightmare you can’t wake from! At least tell me that’s the worst of it, that no more major Texan players go down?

Angel: Uh….

Fan: Wait, more injuries? Mario, Arian, Andre, that’s all the Texan’s superstars…except…

Angel: Uh…

Fan: No! Not Matt Schaub! Tell me Schaub stays healthy!

Angel: Sorry. Albert Haynesworth breaks his foot in the tenth game.

Fan: Bastard! So I suppose Matt Leinart is our starting quarterback for the rest of the season?

Angel: Well, he starts for one game, but he breaks his collarbone just before the half.

Fan: I’m in Hell! I suppose you’re going to tell me we hire some retread QB to lead the team?

Angel: Well, they do sign Jeff Garcia–

Fan: Aggggghhhh! Kill me now!

Angel: And Jake Delhomme does take some in-game snaps…

Fan: WHY, GOD, WHY???? WHY DO YOU HATE THE TEXANS SO MUCH???

Angel: But the starting quarterback for the rest of the season is actually a fifth-round rookie named T.J. Yates.

Fan: I’m dying here! With all that the season must suck hard! What do we finish, 5-11? 4-12?

Angel: No–

Fan: 3-13? 2-14?

Angel: No–

Fan: Aggggggghhhhh! A winless season! We’re as bad as the 2008 Detroit Lions! Life is an unending vale of misery and sorrow!

Angel: No. The Texans go 10-6, win the AFC South and beat the Cincinnati Bengals in their first playoff game ever before losing 20-13 to the Baltimore Ravens on the road.

Fan: What? After all that, our team makes the playoffs and wins a game there? How did we get by Indianapolis?

Angel: Peyton Manning was out for the year with neck surgery and they went 2-14.

Fan: But with Mario out, our defense must have sucked the farts out of dead wildebeest!

Angel: No, after the team hired Wade Phillips and drafted two defense standouts in J. J. Watt and Brooks Reed, the defense went from 30th to 3rd in the league.

Fan: Wow, with all that adversity, that’s a great outcome! A playoff game at Reliant Stadium will rock!

Angel: Indeed it well.

Fan: I guess I won’t kill myself after all! Now, can you give me any hope for the Astros?

Angel: Uh, I think it’s time to end this vision…


Sadly, the Texans’ offense (especially Jacoby Jones) made too many mistake for Houston to make it to the conference finals, but that shouldn’t obscure what a remarkable ride the Texans gave us this season, and what devastating string of injuries they had to overcome to get there. The Texans have both one of the youngest, and one of the best, defenses in the league, and if Schaub. Foster and Johnson can stay healthy, should be serious Superbowl contenders for at least the next few years

Texans 31, Bengals 10

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Quick Impressions of an impressive Texans victory:

  • The defensive line won the game for the Texans, keeping up pressure on Andy Dalton all day.
  • Especially rookie J. J. Watt, who justified his first round status and then some. I don’t think I’ve seen a nervier line-of-scrimmage interception than Watt’s pick-six near the end of the first half. Not only did he get his hands up and grab a bullet, he did it with a defender’s arm between him and the ball, and then ran it in.
  • Watt in the first, Brooks Reed in the second, T. J. Yates in the fifth: Rick Smith had a very good 2011 draft.
  • Not to mention the genius of hiring Wade Phillips.
  • The genius of Gary Kubiak’s downhill running game became apparent when Arian Foster was running at will in the fourth quarter. Assuming he doesn’t get injured, we need to appreciate that Foster is not just a future Hall-of-Famer, but potentially one of the best running backs of all time.
  • The Bengals have a very solid team, but their defense was obviously both tired and demoralized in the fourth.
  • Speaking of future Hall-of-Famers, Andre Johnson took a half to shake off the rust, but then he was the Andre of old.
  • Johnson abused Pacman Jones on his touchdown, and Jones went on to prove that he still has trouble keeping his emotions in check.
  • Though Kubiak has had trouble with clock management in the past, he’s gotten more competent this year. Instead it was Marvin Lewis who unwisely burned timeouts on questionable challenges. And His play-calling with his team down 21 points was just sad. Throws up the middle, burning off precious time you don’t have? Why?
  • Can this team bet the Ravens? It will be a tall order.T.J. Yates is good, but he’s not Matt Schaub. But there’s a chance.
  • With a healthy Schaub and Mario Williams next year, the Texans should be serious Superbowl contenders.
  • Texans Clench AFC South, Playoff Spot

    Sunday, December 11th, 2011

    The Houston Texans beat the Bengals 20-19, which, combined with the Titans loss to the Saints, means that the Texans have clenched the AFC South and are going to the playoffs for the first time in team history.

    Also, Dwight Brown owes me $100.

    In Which Your Host is Vaguely Irritated By Generic Sportswriter Pablum

    Monday, November 21st, 2011

    I was reading this John McClain piece in the Houston Chronicle on Matt Leinart starting at quarterback for the Texans when I ran into this line:

    “Leinart believes he’s ready for the challenge and doesn’t plan to let down his teammates and coaches.”

    The first half of the sentence is fine, but the second half is entirely content-free. Is there any story in the history of sports journalism where a professional athlete said he planned to let his teammates down?

    “John, I plan to throw three interceptions against the Jaguars, then blame everyone around me in a deliberate attempt to let my teammates and coaches down. After that, I plan on spiraling down in a shame-fueled orgy of drunk driving, excessive cocaine use, and sex with high-priced hookers until I’m found lying dead face-down in Charlie Sheen’s hottub.”

    McClain could have just stopped at “Leinart believes he’s ready for the challenge.” without having to dip into the Whole Foods Bulk Cliche Bin.