Sunday, September 11, 2011
Though the official kick-off to the football weekend is Thursday through the Monday Night Football game on September 12th, today is the day that we are officially back to football. Thursday night was like Christmas Eve: sure, everyone was saying "Merry Christmas", but the presents were still cloaked in wrapped anonymity beneath the tree at home. And while the socks from Aunt Clara were the one gift you were allowed to open, the good stuff was still waiting until the magic of Christmas morning.
Today is Christmas for football fans. Packers robes flanked by Lions slippers, morning coffee from a Cowboys mug...it's all good.
And like the Grinch hoping to gaze upon Americans wallowing in grief, terrorism instead witnesses something amazing. We honor those who died a decade ago on that fateful morning, but we celebrate with unabashed arrogance the spirit and passion of a lifestyle by which the terrorists are so threatened.
And there is no greater metaphor for the American spirit of teamwork and strategy, resiliency and endurance, and conquest through dedicated commitment and sacrifice than the great American game of football played at the highest level: The NFL!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Points Play Description
1 First Down to First Down
1 Gain of 20+ yards
1 Field Goal
1 4th Down Conversion
2 Gain of 40+ yards
2 2-Point Conversion
3 Touchdown of 50+ yards
Points Play Description
1 Forced Punt
1 Hold Opponent to Red Zone Field Goal
1 Fumble Recovery
2 Forced Turnover on Downs
2 Fumble Recovery in/returned to Red Zone
2 Interception in/returned to Red Zone
3 Defensive Touchdown
Points Play Description
1 Punt/Kickoff Return Team Pinned inside 5-yard line
1 Punt/Kickoff Return Team returns ball beyond the 50-yard line
2 Punt/Kickoff Return Team returns ball to Red Zone
2 Onside Kickoff Executed Successfully
3 Punt/Kickoff Return for a touchdown
Remember, points earned are points kept. No play, no matter how boneheaded, results in Big Play Points being subtracted.
Big Play Scoring (and its associated components including, but not limited to, its proprietary system of weighted scoring for varying levels of “Big Plays”) is the original idea of Michael A. Knapp, aka Four-9---The Paper Texan, with All Rights Reserved.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
On Monday Night Football's pre-Season 41 premiere at Reliant Stadium, Texans fans were ready (finally!) for some football. With high profile starters (Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Brian Cushing) out of the game to nurse non-season-opener-threatening injuries, there was a chance to see what the younger fresh draft choices and undrafted free agents could do. Of more than a little interest was how new Defensive Coordinator Wade Philips' new 3-4 scheme could provide some degree of hope in the form of improvement for the team's maligned defense.
Pre-season is about making the most of the opportunity to evaluate young talent, and the decision on who to keep so that they in one form or another can contribute to the organization's continued development this season and in the future. Potential players kept on to fill the void in the event of unfortunate injuries to starters, or to be traded to acquire additional talent for a more appropriate fit for the team, have the spotlight squarely on them during pre-season games.
Lester Jean, Matt Leinart, and first round draft choice JJ Watt played very well, but the most impressive stat of the night was Neil Rackers going 2-2 with field goals from 49 and 47 yards. Yet to be determined is if Mario Williams can adequately assimilate into a two-point stance as an outside linebacker and contribute like this team needs. But with a host of athletes competing for the limited number of defensive back positions available, it appears that the one glaring weakness of the team is going to be vastly improved this year.
It is important not to be carried away one way or another another based upon a single pre-season game win or loss. But the Houston Texans prevailing upon the New York Jets 20-16 in the style with which they won is certainly not a reason for concern. So for NFL opponents that have the Houston Texans circled as a day on which to feast upon great barbecue, they may want to first make sure they themselves are not on the menu!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Colts Home Loss 0-1
Dolphins Away Win 1-1
Saints Away Loss 1-2
Steelers Home Loss 1-3
1-3 for the first quarter of season
Raiders Home Win 2-3
Ravens Away Loss 2-4
Titans Away Win 3-4
Jaguars Home Win 4-4
3-1 for the second quarter of season
Buccaneers Away Loss 5-5
Jaguars Away Win 6-5
Falcons Home Loss 6-6
2-2 for the third quarter of season
Bengals Away Win 7-6
Panthers Home Win 8-6
Colts Away Loss 8-7
Titans Home Win 9-7
3-1 for the final quarter of season
At 9-7, the Houston Texans in their tenth season for the first time have a winning record in their division (4-2), and have only their second ever winning record overall, but once again fail to make the playoffs. Bob McNair says he cannot in good conscience fire a coach who has delivered a winning product for him and the city of Houston.
You heard it here first, of course!
Tiger in the past 20 months since his Thanksgiving Holiday unintentional game of chicken with a fire hydrant and his neighbor's front lawn Sycamore Tree has been unable to focus a single point of attack against the myriad of distracting forces preventing his resurrection back to the top of the golf world. He's been like a camper trying to fight off a thousand mosquitoes! Injuries, shame, diminished game and mental toughness...even his very identity has suffered.
Think about it. For Tiger to have lost it all --- the fame, the glory, the money, the respect, the lifestyle (secret and otherwise) --- he has got to be madder than Augustus Gloop at Fat Camp! He may even be mad at himself, though that's a stretch not seen since your last Bikram Yoga class. And no matter how much he tried to harness the negative energy of what ailed him to achieve some positive level of improvement, there just was no appreciable synergy in return for his efforts to vanquish the sum of varied maladies, if even possible.
But then Steve Williams caddied for Adam Scott who won the WGC Bridgestone at Firestone. In and of itself, that alone would probably have equated to nothing more than just one more mosquito swarming around Tiger's head. But Williams had to speak up and fan the flames of what were otherwise probably only the dying embers of the remains of any potential comeback for Tiger.
That did it. Tiger no longer has to manufacture the undeserved, unearned, and unwarranted disdain for TMZ, Elin, or a no-longer-adoring fanbase. Instead, he can singularly with lazer-focus project his mining of the necessary energy to finally mount a successful comeback. He will not be ridiculously at odds with sanity relative to the people, himself included, to whom he did such destruction, but instead to a chirpish ex-caddy.
Thank you, Steve, for making golf interesting again!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The fact is that the Houston Texans, NFL record holders for the longest period without a playoff appearance, have been asking you the fans year after year to take on faith and take it to the heart that they have finally put the pieces together to make a playoff run. But year after year they fail to deliver as players, coaches, and an organization. There have always been fantastic excuses masquerading as explanations as to why they always come up short.
But in their sixth year as General Manager and Head Coach, Rick Smith and Gary Kubiak will no longer have any viable modus operandi other than to go for broke, because their bank of good will for being "good guys" who "do things the right way" and fill their roster with "character guys" is dead-flat empty.
Respected defensive schemer Wade Phillips, changed assignments for star player Mario Williams, and the acquisition of help for the NFL's worst ever secondary in the form of Jonathan Joseph at cornerback and Danieal Manning at safety are going to have to finally be enough to balance out an offense that is good enough and deserves to be in the playoffs.
Additionally, if DeMeco Ryans can play to a level prior to last year's week #6 season-ending injury, if Brian Cushing can bounce back from his sophomore slump, and if J.J. Watt can deliver as a first-rate first round draft pick, there likely is indeed reason for optimism for the Houston Texans.
But right now, all we can do is wait...and that's the hardest part.