Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Day the Music Died

Well, it's been almost 48 hours since the day my football soul was ripped out, thrown to the ground and stomped on. So now that I've had a wee bit of time to grieve, I'll try to put Sunday's events in perspective.

This has been the worst season I've ever experienced as a football fan. When I was 5 (and didn't know any better) I cheered for the Cowboys and saw Joe Montana and Dwight Clark turn my super bowl dreams into nightmares. In '93, I witnessed the Oilers fall apart in Orchard Park, New York as an unknown back-up quarterback led the Bills to the greatest comeback ever. But this one takes the cake. Yes, the Texans have doubled their win total from a year ago, but at least last season there was hope. The hope of a number one pick and the accompanying clean slate, star power and excitement. Well, we all know how that turned out. Furthermore, we all knew this day was coming the second Houston announced their deal with not-so-super Mario on draft day eve.

Umm, anyone see Mario Williams?

Watching Vince and Reggie do their thing was no surprise. They're playmakers. That's what they do. And now all of Houston will get to watch them from afar for the next 8-15 years. Meanwhile, we're left with... what exactly? Another top 5 pick? Last year's draft was loaded. It was once in a decade. This year the studs are few and far between. The number one pick will be Brady Quinn, who will go to Oakland and be a bust. Whither the Texans? Troy Smith? Adrian Peterson? An O-lineman NOT named D'Brickashaw? The fact is, Houston still has just as many holes as they possessed as an expansion franchise. We can blame CBS "Insider" Charley Casserly for that. But Coach Kubiak hitched his horse to Mario and in so doing, left the club boring, faceless and the laughing stock/whipping boy of the NFL. The sad thing is that Kubiak is a good coach and the Texans' draft was solid starting with defensive rookie of the year, DeMeco Ryans. But Kubes will forever be remembered as the guy who passed up Vince and Reggie... two guys who would have given Houston the electricity and playmaking ability this club has lacked from day one.

Here's a fun project: Revisit the first 11 picks. Where would Mario go now? Not even top 5. Sure, he's still young and has plenty of time to grow and improve. But will he ever be better than Young, Bush, Leinart, D'Brickashaw, etc? Not bloody likely. I love this game!

Enough Texans' talk. At least I made it through without swearing. That's quite an accomplishment, believe me.

As for the Cowboys, I stil expect them to make their run to the NFC title game, but no further. They're vulnerable to the deep ball??? This is news? I think Santana Moss and every other burner who has torched Dallas would beg to differ. Look, Roy Williams is a linebacker trapped in a safety's body. Great hitter (though not a great tackler), but absolutely pathetic in coverage. Still, in a weak NFC, Dallas is going to have a legitimate shot.

And in the AFC, I still don't trust Marty Schottenheimer come playoff time. No doubt about it, the Chargers are the best team on paper. Their only true weakness is in the secondary, but the pass rush they bring neutralizes that. Yet the January air seems to constrict Marty's throat and I'm not going to trust him until I actually see him lift the Lombardi trophy in the air.

As for AI, I just don't think the Spurs have the pieces to acquire him, Jensen. What would they offer? Ginobili and who else? Besides, I said this before the season started: The Spurs will win it all anyway.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Sorry to subject you to the misery wrought by the Texans.

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