I was in Memphis recently, and I had the chance to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. I highly recommend that tour to anyone with an interest in history or the south. (That the museum is built from the original Lorraine Motel only adds to the impact of the place.)
At the end of the tour, you pass by a small display featuring the quote often mis-attributed to Mahatma Gandhi:
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
I guess you could say that I took this to heart. You see, my wife and I watch the same local channel every morning, specifically because (a) the morning broadcast is actually news-ish, not a gimmicky variety show like so many channels do in the AM, and (b) they show the weather every ten minutes, so we never have to wait long.
Each time they go to the weather forecast, a graphic pops up. For a while now, this graphic has read, "Weather On The 4's." The needless apostrophe in there has bothered me from the first time that I saw it. Last week, however, I finally snapped and emailed the station, telling them that the apostrophe was incorrect and that, while it probably seems ridiculous for someone to care enough to email about such things, it would be even more ridiculous for them not to change the graphic now that they know it's wrong. Over the weekend, I received an email from the Chief Meteorologist, who said he'd forwarded my email to the news director. Then, lo and behold, I was watching the same channel yesterday morning when the graphic appeared sans apostrophe.
Some people fight injustice. Some people fight poverty. I fight abuse of the poor apostrophe. We all make a difference. Ghandi would be proud.
Number of 3-4 defensive ends who have more sacks than J.J. Watt since the beginning of 2011. In fact, if we take it back to the beginning of 2010, only two such players have more than Watt's 13 -- Calais Campbell and Justin Smith, who both have 16. (h/t to TexansDC for this stat)
Number of players in Texans' history with more career sacks as a Texan than J.J. Watt. Mario Williams (53), Antonio Smith (17), Connor Barwin (16), and Kailee Wong (15). If we're being completely accurate, Watt is tied with Jason Babin on this list, but I hate Jason Babin, so we'll ignore that.
Official team record for sacks over a six-game stretch, accomplished by Mario Williams from Week 10 through Week 15, 2007.
Sacks by J.J. Watt over his last six real games (i.e. not preseason games), including the 2011 playoffs. Watt's 7.5 sacks in four regular-season games is .5 off of Mario's best four-game total from that same stretch in 2007. Think about that for just a second: J.J. Watt, in the first four games of his second season, while playing a position less likely to get sacks than the position Mario played, has nearly matched the most productive four-game stretch (in terms of sacks) of Mario's career.
Tackles for a loss that J.J. Watt would finish the 2012 season with if he maintained his current pace. For comparison, last season's co-leaders, Jason Pierre-Paul and Demarcus Ware, finished with 26. Terrell Suggs and Clay Matthews led the league with 22 each in 2010.
You Don't Have To Take My Word For It.
What does Football Outsiders think of Watt's performance so far in 2012? You could say they approve.
And as impressive as all of that sounds, it's still not giving Watt enough respect. At FO, we credit defenders with a "Defeat" for all plays that result in negative yardage, a turnover, or a stop on third or fourth down. Put that all together, and Watt already has 17 Defeats this season, which is far and away the most in the league. (Clay Matthews is in second place with 11.) Detroit Lions in 1997. That record is now in serious jeopardy.
These numbers are all remarkable in a vacuum, but they're downright amazing when you consider Watt's role in the Texans' defense. Watt is not a 4-3 end like Jared Allen, or a 3-4 linebacker like DeMarcus Ware. He's not a perimeter rusher. He plays defensive end in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme, and that means his first priority on almost every play is to occupy at least one blocker, theoretically clearing space for linebackers like Brian Cushing and Brooks Reed to make plays. Even when the Texans go to a four-man front in nickel and dime situations, Watt usually moves inside to tackle where he can get stuck in traffic, not outside to end where he can work in space. By design, Houston is making it as difficult as possible for Watt to avoid blockers. Watt is responding by taking on those blockers and beating them play after play.
In other words, Leroy Harris is a moron.
Can the few people still holding out to the contrary please stop pretending like Jon Gruden is a good announcer? If last night's "Tony Romo is John Wayne" showed us anything, it's that Gruden is either literally insane or he's become such a caricature of himself that he's incapable of expressing rational thought on camera.
Consecutive days, as of this writing, that your Houston Texans have had at least a share of first place in the AFC South. Yes, I'm counting days between the end of the 2011 season and the start of the 2012 season. Why? Well, did anyone pass the Texans? No? Then that's why.
She Should Work For The Chronicle.
For reasons I still don't completely understand, my daughter watched Superman II recently. Early in the film, French terrorists (no, seriously . . . why are you laughing?) were planning to blow up the Eiffel Tower, because, uh . . . France? Dunno. Anyway, Clark Kent arrived at the Daily Planet offices and, in the course of being the gruff editor, Perry White told Kent, "If Paris is going to go kablooey, I want my best reporter right in the middle of it. No offense, Kent. You're good, but Lois Lane's better[. I]f I know Lois Lane, she'll not only come back with a Pulitzer Prize story, but a one-on-one interview with the hydrogen bomb titled 'What Makes Me Tick.'"
As these things tend to play out, Superman flies to Paris and saves Lois (and, regrettably, the French people) in the nick of time. A couple days later, Lois and Clark are on assignment at Niagara Falls when Clark's glasses steam up. Lois takes them from him to clean them, when this happens:
LIGHTBULB! At this very moment, Lois realizes that Clark is Superman. So, I ask you: how good of a reporter could she possibly be if some hipster-esque black glasses, and nothing else, were enough to keep her from seeing that these two dudes were the same person?
If Lois Lane is the best that the Daily Planet had to offer, then the death of journalism started LONG before the invention of the internet. She makes Anna-Megan Raley look like Helen Thomas.
Speaking Of The AFC South...
The last time the Tennessee Titans made the playoffs, Bea Arthur, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Walter Cronkite, J.D. Salinger, and Ronnie James Dio were still alive; the Burj Khalifa had not yet opened; Reggie Bush was still technically a Heisman winner; LeBron James was still a member of the Cavs and was not widely reviled as a self-serving taintsniffer; and Tiger and Elin Woods were still (apparently) happily married.
Interceptions returned for a TD as a Texan by Kareem Jackson and Danieal Manning, tying them for second in team history in that category with Marcus Coleman, Petey Faggins, Jacques Reeves, Bernard Pollard, and Brice McCain. Johnathan Joseph would be on that list (and would have one more career pick as a Texan) if the officials hadn't screwed him out of a pick-6 last year against the Steelers. 
C'est La Fees.
Noticed at the bottom of the screen during a Domino's Pizza commercial: a disclaimer about how any "delivery fees" are not paid to the driver who actually brings your pizza. The point of the disclaimer seemed to be, "so, please tip the driver as you normally would if there were no 'delivery fee' involved." Which I agree with.
What I don't agree with is calling this added charge a "delivery fee." It is a buffer against inflation that is designed to help defray the rising cost of ingredients, hourly wages, the store's automobile insurance for non-owned vehicles, and all other business expenses. That's all fine and dandy, and it's certainly the company's prerogative to increase their prices as necessary, but don't hide that price increase under the guise of a "delivery fee" that has next to nothing to do with delivery.
Answer to the question, "Does his performance against Houston mean that Chris Johnson is back?"
Yes, Now Stop Asking Stupid Questions.
Answer to the follow-up question, "Are you sure about that?"
Texans win percentage when Matt Schaub starts since the beginning of the 2011 season. This includes eight straight wins.
In Case You Were Wondering, Which You Probably Weren't, But This Is My Post And I'll Treat The Low-Hanging Fruit However I Please, Thank You Very Much.
Random '90s Rap Video.
'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out.
And, by "this," I mean "a rant about just how ridiculously awful Music City Miracles is."
In the week leading up to the defenestration of the Titans, some brilliant mind over at SBN's home for all things Titans dreamed up "Tuck the Fexans" as a rallying cry. Obviously, that's not quite "Remember the Alamo" or "I have not begun to fight." Hell, it's not even "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist--." It's basically the kind of uncreative inanity that you'd expect to see on a sign in the background of the College Game Day broadcast if ESPN ever decided to brodcast from Southwest Tennessee Community College.
But creativity and intelligence are not things that one expects to see from MCM, are they? (Spoiler: no, they are not.) I mean, we're talking about a blog that considers this kind of dreck to be not only insightful, but funny:
The Fexans may act tough but the will fold like a paper towel if you start to bang them around and show them you aren't skurd. Houston knows in the back of their minds that they are still Houston, still cursed, and will be our bitch for at least one game per year because they will not sweep us.
The Fexans are a giant bag of douche and I know deep down in my heart that they will attempt to take a shot at us right out of the gate to no one other that Dre....Please don't let this happen, we cannot be down early in this one.
BFD opined in the comments to the linked post, "Honestly, if I wrote a parody of MCM, it wouldn’t be this bad; it’s just too far and nobody would believe it." Sadly, I'm not sure that's true. It's a blog who has banned people for writing "Jebus" in a comment. (Not "Jesus," mind you. "Jebus.") It's a blog that banned me for a comment I made here.
Above all, It's a blog that embodies that bizarre delusion held by Titans fans that their team is always thiiiiiiis close to being one of the elite teams in the NFL, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. See, for example, Titans' fans explaining that Sunday's game would have been different if Kenny Britt had been healthy, if Jake Locker hadn't been put on the cover of GQ, and if other things that did not happen had happened in a positive manner.
The point to all of this ranting? I don't know that there is one, really, other than to just say aloud what we've all been thinking. So, rather than try to tie it all up with a neat little bow, I'll just say "scoreboard," post this clip, and move on.
12; 82; 1.
Catches, receiving yards, and TDs, respectively, for James Casey through four games. At this point last year, Joel Dreessen had 3 catches for 44 yards and no TDs. Overall, Texans TEs (including Casey) had 26 catches for 389 yards and 4 TDs through four games last year; they have 34 catches for 368 yards and 3 TDs at the same point this year. (Also, recall that the yardage total for last year is skewed by a 62-yard pass to Casey out of the backfield against New Orleans last year.)
One of the best parts of BBQ in America is the regional differences. Yet, sadly, many people are wholly unfamiliar with these regional styles. This season, the 2DH is going to feature a different BBQ region and a recipe from that region. This week: South Carolina
Just as we noted when discussing North Carolina BBQ, there is a common misconception that South Carolina-style BBQ always means mustard sauce. It doesn't. Similar to North Carolina, South Carolina's Q has distinct regional variations. Eastern South Carolina, especially toward the northeastern corner of the state, uses shoulders, hams, or butts, rather than the whole pig, and dresses the meat with a slightly waterier version of a North Carolina vinegar sauce. (The use of hams/butts instead of whole pigs seems to be creeping further and further into the state in recent years.) The western part of the state features a (generally terrible) sauce that can best be described as ketchup with a lot of black pepper in it.
Only in the central part of South Carolina do you find the famous "Carolina Gold" sauce, a blend of yellow mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices. South Carolinians will tell you that, "it doesn't even taste much like mustard when it's finished." This is a lie. That said, unless you're a person who absolutely hates the taste of mustard, it's still a really delicious sauce, especially on a pulled pork sandwich. (Using it on brisket should be punishable by death, however.)
The origins of the Carolina Gold sauce are generally accepted to stem from Maurice's BBQ Piggie Park. This is due in no small part to Maurice Bessinger, who is nuttier than squirrel turds, making this claim all the time to anyone who will listen for even a moment. Whether he's telling the truth is debatable, but the sauce remains interestingly delicious regardless. My take on the traditional recipe is below.
MDC's Yellow Pig Sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup yellow mustard (I use French's)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup onion finely minced
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Louisiana brand)
Whisk the ingredients together in a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring often. Allow the sauce to cool, then put in a food processor or blender until the onions and garlic have been completely pureed into the sauce.
Optional: You can replace 1/4 c. of vinegar with bourbon for a deeper flavor.
Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer Inexplicable Decision Of The Week.
[Author's note: It's a sad day in Two-Day Hangover Land. It seems that Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer has gotten married and changed the name on her public profile to the much more professional sounding, "Marijuana Sawyer-Clardy." Dang. Thankfully, we have a long memory around here, at least when it comes to stuff like this, so we'll just forge ahead and pretend like nothing has changed.]
Much like the decision to name your daughter "Marijuana Pepsi," the Carolina Panthers' decision to put eight men in the box when Atlanta had the ball on their own one-yard line with no timeouts and less than two minutes to play is the kind of thing that makes your brain hate life. To make matters worse, the Panthers bit on the play-action fake, as if Atlanta was going to run a draw play up the middle in that situation! Look, just because teams often do run up the middle when backed up against their own end zone does not mean that a team in that situation is likely to do the same. And, even if you feared that they might, I'm willing to bet that the players you have in dime coverage can catch Michael Turner in a footrace before he gets too far.
TXT MSGS Of The Week.
I want the high school refs back over this crew. There, I said it.
Travesty watch: There are about 18 players in the Sunday Night Football opening, and what they all have in common is that J.J. Watt is not them.
UofTLee (following KJax's pick-six):
I just realized the Mayans were right. Bittersweet moment.
 Memphis really is a great little city. Fantastic music, great BBQ, the best burger in the entire known universe, and a lot of history. It's a shame that it doesn't border a better state that could annex it.
 Seriously, Jason Babin is such a colossal douchemonkey, I feel like we should just all agree to never mention any of his stats from his days in Houston. Deal? Deal. Awesome.
 The best thing about the two pick-sixes (picks-six?) was Joseph's reaction to both. On Manning's, Joseph absolutely crushed Nate Washington and stood over Washington with body language that seemed to say, "SIT DOWN WHEN YOU PEE!" On Jackson's INT, Joseph seemed as happy about the play as Jackson did, almost like an older brother who was thrilled to see his younger bro finally get it. I love Johnathan Joseph.
 And what's with the punctuation in that post? I could let the ellipses abuse slide (maybe), but the complete unfamiliarity with the rules for comma usage is troubling.