It sure is tough being a Texans fan. The 2010 iteration of this team provided more heart-breaking loses in a season than most fans endure in a decade. Yet here we are. Back for more punishment - "More fool you!" as the Bard might say. But maybe this time will be different! That's what we tell ourselves! Except this fan base stopped doing that somewhere along the way. Instead, we all parade forward like depressed lemmings proclaiming loudly to the heavens that we await their smiting. "Doom!" we cry, before free agency has even begun. "Why God why?" we lament, before a ball has even been kicked.
But this time could be different. It could be. Sit down, stay with me a bit, and maybe I can change your mind.
I wont bore you with the details, but the last year of my life presented me with a number of unique challenges I'd not previously encountered. This caused a bit of introspection and with it a changed outlook on certain things. One of those things was sports. I love sports. I'm a fanatic. I'd hazard to say I follow more sports and more teams than 95% of you reading this post right now. (Sidenote: Bodog has India at +350 to win the second test against England. I like those odds.) But sports made me angry, pessimistic, bitter, furious. One of my few outlets from the day-to-day grind of life was tinged with the cynical emotions I was already dealing with. No good that. Things needed to change. I decided I refuse to be preemptively pessimistic about sports (which can lead to the loss of $10 to MDC).
So what's this got to do with the Texans? There seems to be a notion that optimism and realism are mutually exclusive. This isn't true. I don't see the Texans through rose-colored glasses. I don't ignore the many flaws this team has, nor negate the troubles we may encounter if we don't address them. I see these issues, I see these problems but I also see reasons for optimism. And I want you to as well. I want this blog to be a place of intelligent discourse about this game and team we all love. So let me give you a few reasons to hope. Then you can tell me why I'm wrong, and we can reason it out. Like modern day, pad wearing Descartes!
Wade: I like this hiring. No wait scratch that. I love this hiring. I think Wade Philips is exactly what our defense needs. A tried and true coach who's spend years on the sidelines and knows his shit. Our coordinator isn't learning along with the players anymore. He's telling them what the fuck to do and I for one think it's going to help a lot. I don't think it can be emphasized enough - we don't need an elite defense. With our offense, we just need an average defense. And with the talent we have on defense, I think Wade gets us to that level.
The AFC South Is Garbage: The Jags are at best stagnant. The Titans have likely taken a step backward, in no small part because of what I consider absolutely atrocious coaching hires. The Colts are getting older and will be trotting out an unproven LT to face OLB Mario. Speaking of....
OLB Mario: Look at this picture. Doesn't he look a little slimmer? Leaner? Meaner? I don't know about you, but I am ecstatic about seeing Mario line up at OLB. I think he's going to ruin lives, destroy dreams, crush LTs, murder QBs. It's going to be a one-man wrecking crew of biblical destruction and he's lining up for your Houston Texans.
Our Offense Is Still Amazing: Matt Schaub. Arian Foster. Andre Johnson. Not to mention Jacoby Jones, Owen Daniels, and Eric Winston. Oh right and Ben Tate coming off the IR. And James Casey. Maybe even Vonta! (Just kidding!) Need I say more?
That's just a few things for you guys to feel good about. I didn't even touch on what I think was a stellar draft class nor a schedule that I think is actually not as bad as many say.
Will any of this come good? I haven't the slightest clue! Maybe it will, maybe it wont. But this time - this 2011 - I refuse to accept defeat before we've even kicked off. All the things that could go wrong? They might. But then again, it might all come up Milhouse. Either way, I intend to enjoy the season. As of writing this, your 2011 Houston Texans are undefeated.
That's the beauty of sports. You can't lose until the game is actually played. And sometimes - get this - sometimes you win!