When I wrote last week's Deep Steel Blueprint piece on the Houston Texans beginning a tanking plan, there were some fans who said they could never root for their team to lose. There were some who claimed that rooting for your team to lose goes against the very nature of fandom. I will argue otherwise.
A fan is someone who has a strong interest, admiration of, and/or love for a team or person. A fan will stick by his team or person through thick and thin. A fan wants what is best for his object of admiration.
All that said, the Houston Texans best move is to go 2-14. At this point, the Texans would have to go 7-2 or 8-1 to even have a shot at the playoffs. Nothing from the first half of their 2013 season indicates they can be that team. The Houston Texans do not gain anything from winning three, four, five, six, or seven games. Picking between spots 10 and 20 leaves the Texans in a murky situation. That range is where you just miss out on a top-tier talent and try to find the least flawed second-tier talent.
I will not exclusively stump for Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater or Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. I will not open a can of worms arguing that they provide the Texans with a decade of opportunity, nor will I invite a "Case Is The Future" argument. The Texans would benefit from any top-five caliber talent, which is what 2-14 would net them.
Wouldn't you want to see South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or Minnesota defensive tackle/end Ra'shede Hageman line up with J.J. Watt? Wouldn't Texas A&M's Jake Matthews or Michigan's Taylor Lewan look great at right tackle and help stabilize a Houston line alongside Duane Brown, Chris Myers, and Brandon Brooks? Could UCLA's Anthony Barr be the answer to Houston's edge pass rushing woes? The answer is yes to all of these.
Yes, I hear the crowd saying that betting on a rookie is a bit too much of a risk, but what are the Texans risking here? Rookie contracts are now affordable and do not break the back of a franchise if they bust. Also, the Texans aren't going anywhere this season. Why not add a premium talent? What's a faster way to build excitement around a team than to add a player who could quickly contribute to a franchise's turnaround?
The Indianapolis Colts were Luck-y enough to back into that scenario. The Texans can take control of their destiny and dive head first into the deep end. I am a fan of the Houston Texans. I root for what is best for this franchise. For the long-term health of the Texans, that's avoiding spots 10-20 and landing in that top-five for May's NFL Draft.