When the clocked reached all zeros for the Texans against the St. Louis Rams, the rumblings that had simmered beneath the surface of the Houston Texans finally exploded into full blown anger. The fans cheered as Matt Schaub lay writhing on the field, calls for Gary Kubiak's head rang on the phone line of every reputable Houston sports radio station and Sports Radio 610, and most fans grappled with the very real, very grim realization that the train has completely gone off the tracks.
But some have chosen not to grapple with what was probably the most painful loss by the Texans since 2010. Instead of facing this reality, a mass of several hundred Texans fans, no longer decked in the team colors, stormed to the offices at Reliant Stadium and handed general manager Rick Smith a petition signed by the mob that stood before him.
"We're done being complacent about the state of the Texans," said one mob member after presenting their demands to Smith. "And we made our point in the petition; either we get traded to another fanbase before the trading deadline or we'll begin a campaign of actively heckling Kubiak and the Texans at every home game until we get what we want."
The mob was composed of fans who want to defect from the bandwagon for a variety of dubious reasons.
"We were more than willing to remain loyal Texans fans," said one couple. "But the treatment we received from one of the players was absolutely unacceptable. I mean, you camp out in someone's front yard and they get all uppity about it, saying things like 'I appreciate the support, but would you please get off my lawn,' and 'I'm calling the police, please leave.' Talk about ingratitude! I'll bet you the Patriots fanbase is just as eager as we are. Isn't that right J.J.?"
"J.J.," whose real name we learned was Arthur until he changed it to "show his passion for the greatest human being alive," said he felt quite indignant about being shooed off of Mr. Watt's front yard. "We're season ticket holders and we deserve better treatment than that."
Other fans wanted a trade because they felt the team was in incompetent hands under center.
"Schaub sucks!" exclaimed another fan, carrying a sign that showed a picture of the embattled Texans quarterback with the words "SCHAUB SUCKS" pasted in big neon letters.
After he was escorted away from the locker rooms by security, he stated, "I cannot be a fan of any team that insists on employing a quarterback like...like...THAT man to start for the Texans." When asked why, he snarled, "Because he can't take criticism! I mean, he's supposed to have a thick skin! If he can take criticism in the media, he can take it at home! But no, he threw me out and now I have people calling me a psychopath for my troubles. I mostly just went over to toughen him up, but it didn't go as I had expected."
When asked where he thought he might be traded to, he answered vaguely, "I don't know. I think maybe Denver would be nice. Peyton would be able to put up with my motivational speeches a lot better than friggin' Schaub ever could."
Other fans are just plain disgusted with certain elements of the fanbase.
"They cheered when he was hurt. They threw ice at Schaub as he walked off the field into the locker room. I can't tell you how embarrassed I am to be a part of the same fanbase as anyone who would throw ice at someone whose professional career is crashing down all around him." She went on to say, "I love the Texans, and will continue to support them, but I can't be a part of a fanbase that would act like that over a football game."
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak reacted to these demands with a mixture of sadness and grim determination, saying, "I believe we can turn this season around with enough time and the grittiness you come to expect from this team. I know we have to do better, I know I have to do better about...well, just about everything. Still, I think we can work something out with these fans that will lead to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties involved."
The faint sound of a massive collective raspberry could be heard at the end of Kubiak's remarks.
Rick Smith remained perplexed about the fans and their demands. "I've never seen anything like it. I've been involved in football for well over 20 years, and I've never heard of fans demanding to be shipped to other fanbases. I didn't think they could be traded, frankly. I want our fans to know that we do value them equally and as much as we wish we could change these particular fans' minds, we understand their frustration and I am currently working on several deals to make everybody happy."
General managers across the NFL and in American professional sports are undoubtedly watching closely how this situation plays out because, as one unnamed GM put it, "I can think of more than a few fans I'd like to trade to the [Edmonton] Eskimos up in Canada."
As of this moment no trades have been reported, but we will update this story with every fan trade as news breaks.
UPDATE 1 (10/16 11:47 A.M. CDT): The two fans who had been camping on J.J. Watt's front lawn have been traded to the Tennessee Titans for a couple of pallets of barbecued pork shoulder and a fan who waited in line for three days to get Titans tickets for no good reason. A barbecue is scheduled for later in the week, any remaining Texans fans will be invited.
UPDATE 2 (10/16 1:34 P.M. CDT): The fans who threw ice at Matt Schaub have been traded to the Cleveland Browns for a dozen fans who bark like dogs regardless of whether the Browns are playing or not. "We thought it would be a nice change of pace," said Smith after the trade was completed.
UPDATE 3 (10/16 2:15 P.M. CDT): The fans who tracked Matt Schaub to his house to berate him/take pictures of him have been traded to the San Francisco 49ers because, as Niners GM Trent Baalke put it, "Compared to our usual assortment of stabby fans, a couple of loudmouths won't be as easily noticed." In return, the Texans fanbase will receive a pair of patented Jim Harbaugh sideline rages for Coach Kubiak's use because, as one front office person put it, "We thought it'd be funny."
UPDATE 4 (10/16 4:13 P.M. CDT): The assembly of fans who were embarrassed by how Schaub was treated on Sunday were finally traded after Smith hammered out a deal to send them to the Green Bay Packers in return for a score of good-natured Packer fans and their cheeseheads. At first they were dismayed to learn of the trade, but when the deal was sweetened with the guarantee of a photo op with J.J. Watt, they agreed readily enough.
UPDATE 5 (10/16 5:25 P.M. CDT): The fans who cheered when Schaub was injured were slated to be traded with the Eagles, but negotiations broke down when Eagles general manager Howie Roseman bluntly stated, "Even our fanbase doesn't want those [EXPLETIVE] guys over here." However, in what is being hailed as a master stroke of jiggery-pokery, Smith was able to negotiate a trade with the University of Wyoming. "We could sure use some fans up here; heck, we could use people up here," said Wyoming Athletic Director Tom Burman. "Regardless of what kind of fans they are." In return, the Texans will receive one of the Grand Teton Mountains because, according to Smith, "They don't have much else up there to offer."
UPDATE 6 (10/16 7:31 P.M. CDT): The last batch of disgruntled Texans fans, those who "want to be part of a championship team" have been sent to the Oakland Raiders. In return, the Texans will receive Oakland's entire 2014 draft and the Raiders' 2015, 2016, and 2017 first round picks. When asked why the Raiders were willing to give up so much for such fans, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said, "It's what Al would have wanted; plus, we enjoy misery and suffering here. It's kind of our thing."