[Author's note: I am worn out. This post is almost certainly going to ramble (moreso than usual, I mean). Whether that is for better or worse is to be determined. Whatever. ONWARD! Once more into the breach and all that jazz!]
Guh. Double guh, even.
On a macro level, that game was the last thing I needed today.
I left for Orlando last Thursday at 5pm, driving 6 hours to Birmingham, AL, (thanks, traffic!) on Thursday night and 10 more on Friday. Then it was Mickey's Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom on Friday night, a drunken trek through Epcot on Saturday, and a 12-hour day at Magic Kingdom on Monday. Monday was 10 hours of driving from Orlando to Hattiesburg, MS. Tuesday was 7 hours from Hattiesburg to home, followed by a 6am wakeup to cook Thanksgiving dinner today.
Oh, and then there was Sunday, when I watched the Texans' insanely stressful win over Jacksonville from Vega's house. While we were certainly animated, thanks both to the 7% abv homebrew and the fact that we're not the kind of people who can watch a game passively, a person can only get so loud around his buddy's wife and almost-two-year-old daughter before people start thinking he's lost his mind. So I was forced to not scream and rampage to the extent I would have had I been in the safety of my own home.
Then, today, with the inlaws in the front living room while my wife, my son, and I watched the Texans from the relative comfort of the den, I was again unable to adequately react to things like Shayne Graham's miss and Matt Schaub's OT interception. Between the two games, I have an unhealthy amount of unspent anger and overreaction bottled up deep in my soul. (It feels like heartburn crossed with a desire to crush something.)
So, no, on a physical and emotional level, I did not need the Texans' game to unfold the way it did.
That said, it is (as I write this particular paragraph) a day for giving thanks, so I feel thankful for the win, even if it contributed to a week that has shortened my life by at least seven years. With what we've endured over the years, I try to be thankful for every win, no matter how ugly or soul-crushing it may be. And this was certainly both of those things
It's good to be thankful, I think. At the very least, it beats the alternative.
I am thankful, too. For the win, but also for a whole lot of other stuff. And I am far from sober, so, at the risk of careening wildly between sarcastic and sappy, with a high chance of veering off into maudlin, here's a terribly incomplete list of things for which I am giving thanks today.
- My cohorts here at Battle Red Blog. I couldn't ask for a better group with whom to confound the higher-ups at SBN.
- My wife. She's cool for myriad reasons, many of which I've forced you people to hear, either here or in real life conversations.
- Jerry Jones as GM of the Cowboys. Because that means more seasons LOLFAIL.
- Vodka. Oh, how I love you. Especially Tito's version of it. Preferably in massive quantities. (That the 2DH is not sponsored by Tito's is one of the greatest failures of our generation.)
- Brisket. Because brisket.
- Also bacon.
- J.J. Watt. As the internet's staunchest defender of Mario Williams while he was in Houston, I'll just say that, every week, J.J. Watt is what we always prayed Mario would become. I feel like Watt is some sort of karmic payback.
- Andre Johnson. Watching Andre Johnson, I feel like I assume people felt when watching Mickey Mantle in his prime.
- Arian Foster. He's a strange dude, but he's our strange dude, who also just happens to be a fantastic RB and a TD machine. That's fun.
- Any person who I'm friends with in real life due entirely to my blogging about the Texans. You know who you are -- there are too many to name without accidentally omitting someone -- and I love you jerks.
- Those of you who not only enjoy the 2DH, but who actively (and aggressively) await it each week.
- The fact that this list is over and we can get on with the Hangover. Enjoy.
Number of 1,000-yard seasons for Andre Lamont Johnson. At his current pace (96.2 ypg), he would finish with 1,539 yards, just shy of his two best season totals (1,575 in 2008; 1,569 in 2009). Tell me again how he's declining.
Career rankings of the single-game yardage totals of Andre Johnson's last two games. His 273 against Jacksonville was a career high (as were his 14 catches in that game), and it was only the third game to crack the top 10 since 1995. His 188 against the Lions was the fifth-best of his career. And, in his tenth season, he set those marks within five days of one another.
Total receiving yards for Andre Johnson over the last two games, the highest two-game receiving yard total in NFL history.
Days, as of this writing, since Jim Irsay lied to me.
Days, as of this writing, until I elaborate on why Jim Irsay is a liar.
Watching the commercial for the remake of Red Dawn today, I started thinking again about the glut of remakes that have flooded the movie market over the past ten years. (Because, hey, why write a new movie when you can just redo something that worked in the past, right?) That eventually led me to ponder what the least-necessary remakes of this recent timespan have been. This isn't necessarily the worst remakes, though those are certainly part of the equation, but just the remakes that had the least business being made.
- Psycho. The original Hitchcock version is a cinematic masterpiece. Spoiler alert: replacing Anthony Perkins with Vince Vaughn and doing a shot-for-shot redo of the original does not create a more modern cinematic masterpiece.
- The Wicker Man. The original focused on the insanity of a hyper-insular sect of people. The remake had Nic Cage donning a bear suit, screaming about bees, and making the group being investigated seem normal by comparison.
- Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. I'm generally a Johnny Depp fan, but Gene Wilder's version was near perfect for the time, and it was Wilder in his second-best role ever. (If you don't know his best, you haven't paid attention to my and BFD's favorite comedy.) I felt sorry for Charlie in the remake, even after he won, because he'd have to own a factory full of crappy Oompa Loompa knock-offs.
- Footloose. I've written about this previously. While the original is almost old enough that you could overlook the insane First Amendment violations that are central to the plot, the newer one is decidedly not. Also, the original is terrible, yet the new one manages to be worse. That's impressive.
- Halloween. Oh, yay, Rob Zombie decided to remove any suspense or mystery about Michael Myers, thus killing the part of the movie that made it truly scary. Well done, you moronic jackoff.
- Arthur. Just no. Russell Brand, on his best day, is not Dudley Moore.
- Rollerball. I wouldn't even care about this remake if they hadn't airballed and missed the entire point of the original. The 1975 version was about maintaining an identity in a dystopian future and the senselessness of violence. The remake was about, hey, smash people together is cool -- BOOM!
- Total Recall. I hope everyone involved in redoing this one contracts hepatitis.
- All Quiet On The Western Front (2013). It hasn't even been released yet, but, apparently, someone thought, "hey, let's remake one of the greatest war films ever made, and let's do it with Harry Potter." Think about that. No, seriously, think about it. It makes your brain hurt, doesn't it?
- True Grit. The remake is very good. I wouldn't even suggest otherwise. But the original was, for my money, one of the two best films of John Wayne's career (along with The Searchers). Why even mess with that?
For whatever reason, no one seems interested in remaking movies that I think are ripe for a modern redo. Whether because movie-making technology has improved so much, or simply because the original was almost great but for one misstep, here are the top 5 I'd like to see a second time:
- Eyes Wide Shut. As I've previously written, if you simply replace the couple in the film with two people who are not an absurdly famous couple in real life, the movie takes on a whole different vibe. Also, set that movie in London or Paris instead of NYC.
- The Towering Inferno. Also discussed in this post, I think this movie would be perfect for modern movie-making techniques.
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. At the risk of committing heresy for those of us old enough to remember how much ass this movie kicked in 1984, I still feel like a modern reboot with someone better than Peter Weller might be kinda awesome.
- Timecop. Time travel meets corrupt politicians? Yes. YES!
- The Last Starfighter. I saw this about six months ago. It did not age well. And the premise is good enough that I would be all about a second chance at seeing it done better.
Garrett Graham, 11 games, 2012: 21 catches, 219 yards, 3 TD.
Joel Dreessen, 11 games, 2011: 15 catches, 253 yards, 4 TD.
Consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for Arian Foster, who hit 1,064 against the Lions. The 102-yard performance against Detroit was the 22 such game of Foster's career. Which, while awesome on its own accord, becomes more awesome when you realize that he's only played in 45 games.
Total TDs for Arian Foster. Which, again . . . 45 games. That's, like, good and stuff.
Career games with 2 or more TDs for Arian Foster.
Career games with 0 TDs for Arian Foster.
On the way back from Orlando, we passed through Mobile, AL. As a general rule, whenever I get near a large body of water, I try to find a way to eat raw oysters. I love them so very, very much. This trip was no different, and, at my urging, we wound up at the original Wintzell's Oyster House on Dauphin St. in downtown Mobile.
As someone who has eaten way more than my fair share of oysters, just let me say that the oysters at Wintzell's were, hands down, the best I've ever had anywhere. And, at $6/dozen during happy hour (which lasts until 7, because hell yes), they are hard to beat on any level.
So I asked our waitress -- a marine biology student named Abby -- whether the oysters were local. I was informed that they were actually flown in from Galveston Bay that morning. Thus adding fuel to my theory that all awesome things have some kind of tie to southern Texas.
Just . . . Just Look At It. It's Glorious.
That is, obviously, J.J. Watt's line from Thursday. That would have been a fantastic day from a 3-4 OLB. From a 3-4 DE, that's absolutely disgusting.
Sacks by J.J. Watt in 2012, setting the single-season franchise record. IN ELEVEN GAMES, WHICH IS SO RIDICULOUS THAT THE CAPS LOCK TURNED ON WITHOUT MY HITTING IT BECAUSE EVEN MY LAPTOP KNOWS THAT THIS IS AWESOME.
Number of passes defended that Mario Williams had in his 14-sack season.
Number of passes defended that J.J. Watt has in his 14.5-sack (and counting) season.
Fodor's or Whatever.
My buddy Pete spent his Thanksgiving in
Iraq Kurdistan. He was not there as part of some military operation. Rather, he was there, I assume, because it was better than spending Thanksgiving with his parents.
Anyway, his Thanksgiving dinner was at this place. Which, as a Texans fan, seems pretty friggin' cool. As a lawyer, it seems . . . iffy. Regardless, the idea of the Texans' logo as a stand-in for "American" makes me happy.
Length, in yards, of Justin Forsett's TD run against the Lions, as officially recorded. It was the longest TD run in team history.
Length, in yards, that said Forsett run would have been had Jim Schwartz been struck dead by a lightning bolt prior to throwing the challenge flag.
Better Off Dead.
In case anyone was wondering the official reason why Justin Forsett's TD run was not reviewable after Jim Schwartz was stupid, here's the deal. Under Rule 15, section 9:
Penalty: For initiating a challenge when all of a team’s time outs have been exhausted, when all of its available challenges have been used, after the two minute warning of either half, during an overtime period, after a scoring play, or after a foul that prevents the next snap: Loss of 15 yards.
Replay Official’s Request for Review. After the two-minute warning of each half, throughout any overtime period, and after all scoring plays, any Referee Review will be initiated by a Replay Official. There is no limit to the number of Referee Reviews that may be initiated by the Replay Official. He must initiate a review before the next legal snap or kick and cannot initiate a review of any ruling against a team that commits a foul to prevent the next snap. His ability to initiate a review will be unrelated to the number of time outs that either team has remaining, and no time out will be charged for any review initiated by the Replay Official.
So, basically, the result would have been the same had a Lions player gotten flagged after the play for arguing with an official or for hitting a Texans player late or anything else. In other words, if you break the rules and it interrupts the flow of the game, you can't challenge the call and the replay official can't challenge it for you. Given that attempting to challenge a scoring play is this kind of penalty, and has been for nearly two seasons now, Schwartz has absolutely no one to blame but himself, which he seemed to recognize even as it was unfolding.
Total yards and TDs, respectively, for Justin Blackmon prior to the game against Houston.
Yards and TDs, respectively, for Justin Blackmon against Houston. This continues to bug me like few things can.
Career high for TD passes in a game for Chad Henne prior to the game against Houston.
Random '90s Rap Video.
It's something we've all heard. You eat a huge meal at Thanksgiving, and about two hours later you are groggy and considering a nap. Someone pipes up and proclaims that the reason you are tired is because of the L-tryptophan in the turkey. On some level, it sounds legit; I mean, it has an L and a hyphen, so it's science, right?
Actually, no. Well, I mean, turkey does have L-trytophan in it. That part is accurate. But it's not why you feel sleepy after Thanksgiving. After all, chicken has more L-tryptophan than turkey, ounce for ounce, and you don't often complain about being sleepy following a chicken meal, do you?
The reason you need a nap after Thanksgiving is much more simple: you ate a massive amount of food. Digestion is an energy-intensive process under normal circumstances. When you gorge yourself with the equivalent of three meals worth of calories, the energy needs to break that food down and keep it moving through your system are ramped way up. And, if you're like me and my family, the alcohol that you added to that mix just adds to the sleepiness factor.
Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer Inexplicable Decision of the Week.
Much like the decision to name your daughter "Marijuana Pepsi," Jim Schwartz's decision to throw a challenge flag after Justin Forsett's TD run was mind-numbingly confusing, even if you ignore the part about the TD automatically being upheld. The rule that such a challenge is a fifteen-yard penalty has been in effect for nearly two seasons now. Yet he flung the flag as if he'd never even heard of it or, more accurately, as if he didn't understand the scope of the rule -- that all scoring plays are reviewed, which includes the entire play.
BBQU -- Non-BBQ Edition.
I could give you some background on a regional BBQ style, complete with a sauce recipe that a few of you might someday attempt to make. Or I could give you a fantastic recipe that every one of you absolutely should make as soon as possible. I choose the latter. Take it away, Vega!
It's called "Tinga Poblana" which sounds dirty, and kind of is. It's a traditional dish from the town of Puebla, which is better known for mole, but which has other great food.
1 lb pork loin
1 lb flank steak
1 lb chorizo
2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
3 chipotles (reserve adobo from can)
Put pork, beef, bay leaves, and 2 garlic cloves in large pot. Boil for 1 hour, let cool and reserve stock. Shred pork and beef and set aside. Remove casing from chorizo and cut into small pieces. Saute chorizo in large skillet until fat renders. Remove chorizo and saute remaining garlic (minced) and onion (diced) until soft. Add chopped tomato, tomatillo, and herbs and simmer for about 10 minutes (tomato and tomatillo will release juice). Add chipotle juice (if you want it spicier, you can also add a diced chipotle or two -- in the one I made I put one seeded one as the wife doesn't like spicy food). Add shredded pork and beef, chorizo, and one cup of stock. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. Salt to taste.
Serve with grilled tortillas, beans, and guacamole. I also chop up a couple more chipotles on the side and add them to the tacos if you want additional spice.
TXT MSGS Of The Week -- JAX.
And the football gods exact their revenge for Kubiak's cowardly punting. /TMQ
Shake, when Jacksonville was up 10 late:
Remember all those times over the years that a shitty Texans team would upset a good Jags team? I bet all 16 Jags fans felt like I do now.
Shayne Graham's superfluous "Y" is for "yank." That FG attempt at the end of regulation reminded me of too many bad tee shots. FORE!
TXT MSGS Of The Week -- DET.
Jeff, re: my wife watching the game while her family was in the other room:
Dig that. She's endured you over the years, so it's definitely cool to bask in 10-1 glory.
So that happened. We stole that game.
Just saw we have a guy named Clutts. That explains a lot about our special teams.
 Forced totally of my own accord, mind you. Vega is an awesome dude. I just didn't want his wife to wonder why he invited a psychopath to their house, so I avoided screaming things about what Chad Henne could choke to death on or how Brice McCain's mother is a service animal for drunken sailors.
 With the exception of Leabeth's mostly deaf greataunt Myra, the inlaws are a crowd that knows (and cares) little to none about the NFL. They even managed to turn the one attempt at an NFL conversation to the upcoming Arkansas-LSU game. This is not their fault, per se; Arkansans have almost no appreciation for the NFL, save for rooting for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones and Chris Houston and . . . . Yeah. So they tend to view my wife's obsessive interest in the Texans as a negative symptom of being married to me.
(Also, if you do happen to find an Arkie who cares about the NFL, they are almost always a Cowboys fan because Jerry Jones is from Arkansas. DO YOU SEE WHAT I AM DEALING WITH HERE, PEOPLE?!?!)
 No, this is not hypocritical in light of last week's intro that mocked people giving thanks on Facebook. Because there's a huge difference between being that idiocy and actually giving thanks ON THANKSGIVING.
 This obsession of oysters has, at times, led me to eat them in places where eating raw seafood is a sketchy proposition, including Kansas City, Tulsa, Denver, and Chatanooga. Oddly, the only time I've eaten them and suffered consequences was in New Orleans, when, best I can tell, the oysters were the cause of an intestinal infection that lasted nearly 10 days.