I’ve been a Houston Texans fan since 2002, the year the team played their first game. I watched that game at my grandmother’s house, stayed up after she went to sleep and after I should have been asleep so I could witness the Texans beat Dallas 19-10.
The Texans have never been a great team. They’ve won the division three times in their existence. They’ve never played in a Super Bowl. They’re a team that often has just enough talent to be serviceable.
Lately, Houston’s been relying on one big talent, JJ Watt. Watt, who is the living embodiment of all those memes about lifting weights, is very good at football. He’s been named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year three times in only five seasons, which is really impressive since only one other player ever has three DPOY awards in a full career.
Well, Watt hurt his back. He’s out the rest for the season.
Injuries happen all the time in the NFL. Playing fantasy football helps make fans immune to many of these—if someone gets hurt there, you just go grab a new player—but when the team you love loses it’s most key player. Well. Yeah.
Houston’s season is probably over. Even in a weak division, the team’s chances of making the playoffs plummet. And, I don’t know, I should be upset by this. I watch Houston play every week. When Watt initially went down, I was like FUCK, FUCK. Time, though. Processing, though. Sportswriter Bill Simmon once called Chuck Klosterman a sports agnostic, someone who appreciated sports but didn’t root for a specific team. Simmons asserted that this kind of person was extremely rare. Maybe, though, the Watt injury, the loss of my team’s hopes, can give me that kind of perspective for the rest of the season.
The NFL is a business. The teams exist for one reason: to make money. They stir up a nationalistic-style pride in fans, working people into a fervor of us vs them. Houston vs Dallas. Cleveland vs Cincinnati. In a world in which Donald Trump is surging onto the national stage with his particular brand of nationalism, something about the way we root for sports, the way we view it so provincially, seems to reflect that. Maybe I can take a step back for the rest of the year, can focus on the players instead of the uniforms they wear.
Or maybe Houston will keep winning and I’ll be a liar. Also very possible. Sports have a way of making us irrational.
What Happened On The Field?
- Terrelle Pryor became the first player in over half a century to successfully be a quarterback and a receiver and run the ball in the same game, not counting things like running backs who threw the ball on trick plays. Maybe the Browns have something interesting happening???
- It’s Cleveland.
- Russell Wilson got hurt. Seattle probably is going to struggle this season.
- Green Bay and Detroit played a bonkers game. The Packers jumped out to a huge lead and then Detroit slowly reeled them in and then the Packers still won anyway.
- The Texans went on the road Thursday to play a Patriots team that was starting its #3 quarterback. The Texans lost 27-0. JJ Watt actually played in that game, btw.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick threw six interceptions. I play a lot of Madden and even I can’t make the computer throw six interceptions in a game. Fitzpatrick did it in real life.
- Carson Palmer threw a lot of interceptions too.
- EVERYONE THREW LOTS OF INTERCEPTIONS
- Now things start to get interesting. This upcoming week, the Steelers get their top rusher back from a drug suspension. The week after Tom Brady will come back from a suspension for maybe lying about maybe deflating footballs in a playoff game that happened in January of 2015. Yeah, more on that soon. I get to rant against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell soon, which is my favorite thing to do. I wrote a paper for a Rhet/Comp class once about how Roger Goodell represents the style of teacher that no teacher should be. Or something. I don’t remember exactly because it just became a rant about how useless he is.
- Like, for example, he gave Ray Rice a very light suspension for domestic violence then changed his mind when he saw a tape of the violence EVEN THOUGH HE ALREADY KNEW THE CONTENTS OF THE TAPE YOU DO NOT NEED TO SEE THE EVIDENCE YOU JUST CAVED TO PUBLIC PRESSURE ROGER GOODELL DO NOT PRETEND YOU CARE ABOUT VICTIMS BECAUSE YOU DO NOT AT ALL CARE ABOUT VICTIMS
- I mean, seriously. Goodell questioned Rice’s girlfriend with Rice IN THE ROOM. I repeat: HER ABUSER WAS IN THE ROOM.
- So, yeah. More Goodell rants.