As most Texan fans know, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be starting for the Bengals on Sunday when they invade Reliant. That name should ring a bell for Houston fans, considering Fitzpatrick has haunted the hometown team before. Indeed, I've known Ryan Fitzpatrick's name since November 27, 2005. That's the day Fitzpatrick, then the third-string rookie QB of the St. Louis Rams, threw for more than 300 yards and three (3) TDs while leading his squad to a twenty-one (21) point comeback and overtime win in his first taste of NFL action. The rub, of course, is that said miracle came against your Houston Texans. I remember sitting at Reliant in complete disbelief and choking on my own rage. That game may well have been the most painful of a 2-14 campaign. That's saying something, because I clearly recall almost every Sunday of fall and winter 2005 being akin to getting punched in the face by an angry woman wearing brass knuckles: Horribly agonizing and totally humiliating, all at the same time.
Staying on the topic of the excruciating experience that is life as a Texans fan, how about the first time the Bengals came to town to play the Texans? As Kirkendall notes here, those Bengals were 0-7 as well before coming to Reliant and absolutely destroying the Texans. I was at that game as well, and it's memorable for two reasons. First off, I was more hungover than I'd ever been before in my life. I was running on fumes when I got to the stadium, and I remember my dad repeatedly expressing concern that I was not going to make it through the game without incident. I was in horrible shape, so I attempted to chase the dragon by guzzling some hair of the dog. No luck. I was sweating booze from every pore in my body and praying for death. The second thing that sticks out about that game was that it was and still is the worst football game I've ever watched at any level. The Texans were in their first year of existence, so you might be tempted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Don't do that. Words cannot express how pathetic they looked that day. Jon Kitna looked like he was the love child of Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas that afternoon. You would have thought the Texans only had three guys on the field.
So what does this have to do with this Sunday's game? Maybe nothing. But the Texans had better not underestimate Ryan Fitzpatrick. That, and Jon Kitna makes me nauseous to this day.