Hair Of The Dog: Flagged For Disgust (Texans v. Ravens)

Ed Reed's hair was the highlight of the day. - Rob Carr

If you've ever gotten all excited to go to a really nice restaurant only to get food poisoning and embarrass yourself by puking all over the waiter, then you probably know what it felt like to watch the Texans lose to the Ravens yesterday.

I've heard recently that the Texans - Ravens game has become a pretty big rivalry. I guess I can see that to some extent with the fact that they knocked the Texans out of the playoffs a couple of seasons ago, and we destroyed them in the regular season last year, but for some reason, I just don't feel that rivalry hate with this game. It feels more like a regular game against a good team.

More than anything, I think the Ravens are a team that Texans fans should look at for inspiration. Last season the Ravens had moments during the season where it felt like they were on the verge of collapse.  Insinuating that they might be Super Bowl contenders would have been cause for a straight jacket fitting. Yet, sure enough, when all was said and done, there was Joe Flacco holding the Lombardi Trophy. So when things start to go wrong this season (as they will at some point), despite what you may read on this blog later (even by me), remember that it's always possible for things to break your way.

And, yes, I reserve the right to take that back in a few hours.

Gameday Meal

This week's gameday meal is actually a request from my wife's family, who is coming in today (presumably to watch me watch the game as I can't imagine that they would want to do something else during that time). We're having pulled pork with some of the typical BBQ fixin's. The process for my pulled pork is based off of MDC's BBQ Primer (I'm not sure if this still exists on the interwebs, but if you can find it, it's a great baseline). Fortunately, having access to MDC's email, I have also received a few other key tips beyond that primer, including the recommended method for injection, which, I may add, makes all the difference. I won't divulge my rub or injection recipes because I think you're supposed to keep those as Q family recipes or something. I also smoke on a Traeger Lil' Tex pellet smoker. If you think that's cheating, I'm cool with that.

There are the usual sides, such as salad and mac 'n cheese, but I also want to touch a bit on the baked beans. If you've never made homemade baked beans, I highly recommend giving it a shot. Get some dried great northern beans and soak them overnight. Then saute up some onion and bacon. Put the beans, onion and bacon in a crock pot with vegetable stock, tomato paste, molasses, brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper.

After that, I must admit, it's going to be tough to give you a recipe, as I've never written down beyond this point. Basically, after it's been cooking for a few hours, just play it by ear. Modify the molasses, peppers (I often end up adding ground ancho at this point too), sugar, and even add ketchup or mustard. Sometimes I'll even throw in a few dried chipotle flakes, which add a nice burst of flavor, but my wife gets mad at me when I do that because she doesn't like biting into them.

Beer of the Week

This week we're going to the Blue Point Brewing Company in Long Island, NY to try Rastafa Rye Ale. If you've never had a rye, I highly recommend it. It's one of my top 3 favorite styles of beer. A rye tends to be a fairly heavily hopped beer, but the insertion of rye in the grain bill gives the beer a peppery spiciness that is just heavenly. Rastafa Rye is a well balanced golden ale. It's a fairly cloudy beer, but I find that kind of comforting because it's very similar to my homebrew in this respect (I should note that this has zero impact on the flavor, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise). The head doesn't hold up as much as I would like, but it has a great hoppy aroma suggestive of dry hopping. The bitterness level is lower than some other ryes that I've had. The pepperines of the rye is also not as pronounced as I've had in other ryes, but it is very well balanced with the hops. Overall, it's a bit of a milder rye, but it is perfectly balanced and a wonderful beer to have with barbecue. Or with a hot dog. Or with a sandwich. Or by itself. Oh, and I should also note that a portion of the proceeds of this beer goes to needy orphans in the Caribbean, so you can feel good about drinking it too.

On to the game. I'm not participating in the discussion today as my wife's family is in town and I'm already getting dirty looks for having the game on. Sitting at the computer as well might be damaging to my marriage.

Pregame:

Corzo:

On the menu today for me:

Shiner Oktoberfest
Salmon burgers

D_more:

Breakfast tacos here I come.

TDC:

For me:

- Gatorade, lots and lots of Gatorade.

tGC:

Just had chocolate ice cream. With chocolate sauce. Because that's how I roll.

UT:

The bar here has chicken fried steak for breakfast. I will report on whether it deserves to be called as such post-consumption.

First Quarter:

Mbw:

No way? A -2 yard pass

Mbw:

Ryan Harris spotting

UT:

Another unforeseen hazard with Harris, false start penalties.

tGC:

Oh yay. Dan Dierdorf.

TDC:

This has been a very...methodical drive. Just chugging along rather nonchalantly.

UT:

If only every drive this game could be this methodical.

tGC:

I would like to write a sonnet about Andre Johnson.

Corzo:

Pistol formation in every 3rd down situation so far.

Coro:

The Ravens just saved us from having to watch Bullock kick a field goal.

tGC:

I want to write a sonnet about Arian Foster.

TDC:

Knock me over with a feather twice! Bad red zone offense AND Randy knows how to kick a field goal.

tGC:

I just saw an ad for the Arsenio Hall show. Is this 1991?

UT:

I think I had this chicken fried steak back in high school.

Mbw:

That spin move was nasty, just nasty by Suggs.

UT:

How the fuck do you get called for holding AND give up a sack?

Derek Newton is officially the Petey Faggins of offense.

tGC:

There's the 3rd-and-long running play we all know and love.

Holy god-in-heaven, what a punt.

Corzo (after Lechler's amazing punt):

It BOUNCED at the 1 yard line and went STRAIGHT UP. The man is the Pablo Picasso of punting.

Tim:

Shane Lechler is the J.J. Watt of special teams.

tGC:

I feel like I'm actually in a coma and dreaming that our special teams are so much better than theirs, and I'm going to wake up in the hospital with no legs or something.

Mbw:

Harbaugh looks like he just found a bag of pot in his son's room.

MDC (not watching the game, but chiming in anyway):

Like this is a morphine induced dream and you're in a field hospital?

tGC:

Exactly. Like in that Metallica video.

tGC:

The good news is, with the way our defense is playing, a few field goals is going to be enough in this game.

Corzo:

Ahh... even Gods can bleed. Andre took his eyes off the ball before he caught it. Field goal incoming.

Second Quarter:

tGC (after J-Jo's idiotic penalty):

Oh, for kitten's sake.

TDC:

Coach Reed needs to get on him.

Corzo:

Smith with the sack fumble on a three-man rush. Ravens punting again after like 17 consecutive penalties.

tGC:

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Cincinnati is for real this year.

TDC:

Until Marvin Lewis hits playoff mode.

tGC:

Why can't I just accept the third-and-long draw play? Why do I still get angry when it happens?

UT:

Kubiak, I am really getting sick of these "I give up" third down draws. I mean REALLY getting sick of them. I literally started sneezing just thinking of it.

Corzo:

Mercilus and Watt are drawing penalties like Kobe in the 4th quarter.

UT:

Well...looks like the refs decided to equalize the penalties in this game.

D_more:

This has been one of the worst officiated games I've seen in a long time on both sides of the ball.

TDC:

I thought this game would be ugly, and it's living up to the hype.

Corzo:

Yes the refs are firmly inserting themselves into this game. Even Gumble and Dierdorf are perplexed (which isn't that hard to do, admittedly)

tGC (after another Schaub pick-six):

Please tell me I am in a coma and I just dreamed that.

Mbw:

Rip my scrotum off and call me Lucy, that was an awful throw.

UT:

Things I don't want to see ever #753: Andre Johnson messing with his leg.

Things I REALLY don't want to see #754: A fucking Matt Schaub pick six. interception.

Kitten everything.

Corzo:

One Schaub pick per game. Texans are right on schedule.

UT:

I think we've gone past morphine dream and crashed straight into bad LSD trip.

Corzo:

Punt return TD and I don't even... kitten. Braman, Swearinger, and Keo all got juked.

Mbw:

Yeah Keo had his panties shook out of his shorts on this one.

This game is disgusting.

TDC:

This game is stupid.

Corzo:

I just Kubiak'd and stood up and turned away from the TV until the field goal was over. It's only weird if it doesn't work.

Things could be much worse... down just 7 at half.

TDC:

8?

UT:

8

Corzo:

EIGHT?!!?!

Halftime:

tGC:

On the plus side, our defense looks good, and our fat kicker seems to have shaken the yips.

On the minus side, I want to kill someone.

Third Quarter:

tGC:

Dear god, JJ Watt.

Corzo:

Watt setting the tone early. Sack on the first play of the half and coming all the way around to make the tackle on a screen. Marry my girlfriend, Mr. Watt.

Corzo:

...and then the rug gets pulled out from under the defense with a deep bomb. That hurts.

tGC:

The Texans have horrible safety play.

I know Mr. McCown is shocked.

UT (on the challeng):

He didn't have control of that ball. They'll allow the catch, but he never had control of the ball.

Corzo:

Kubiak is on fire with these challenges.

tGC:

Brice "Petey" McCain.

UT:

And Ka-reem Jackson is returning to 2010 form.

Kill me.

tGC:

I hope I wake up from this coma with no legs. It would be better than watching this kitten.

Mbw:

I'm about to turn this off and only watch the Texas Rangers game. Them scoring only 2 runs would be better than watching this heaping pile of cat crap.

UT:

One thing's for sure. I am sure as hell not looking forward to the Texans playing the Seahawks next week.

UT:

I'm sorry, I must have missed when Joe Flacco was given Brady-esque status where you can't even lay a finger on him without a penalty.

TDC:

With no Andre Johnson, there's even less reason for a safety to fear anything beyond 10 yards.

This offense is infuriating.

Fourth Quarter:

tGC:

What's the record for neutral zone infractions in a game? We have to be close to it by now.

UT:

I watch them give up another first down on third and long and wonder how the hell the Texans have 13 three and outs. Maybe it's part of the morphine dream.

Corzo (after Ravens' FG):

That was a back-breaking drive by the Ravens.

Mbw:

GAME OVER

tGC:

Newton is damn lucky he hasn't gotten called for a few more false starts

Corzo (saying what we're all thinking):

What the flying kitten was that? THAT was your 4th and 2 call?

UT:

BARKEEP! Bring me a shot of vodka in an even larger shot of vodka in a pint glass filled with vodka. Thanks.

MDC:

Text from a friend: Kubiak apparently called a timeout so he could just let Schaub know that he didn't actually have a play that he wanted to run.

UT:

The sad part is, I can believe this is actually what happened.

UT:

They finally cut off the feed here. I don't think I've ever been so happy to have the game cut off in my life.

Wow. I still can't believe that 4th down call. Has there every been a late down play that was such a perfect microcosm of the entire game?

My contribution to this conversation was not greatly missed, as it would basically have been a bunch of kittens strung together.

I remember one time years ago, I coached a U-10 soccer team for my friend's kid. It was a lot of fun and my team was actually pretty good. Anyway, this was when I was a single dude and the games were generally around 10am on Saturdays, so there was more than one occasion where I simply rolled my hungover butt out of bed, and made my way out to the field. One time, I totally missed the fact that daylight savings had ended and missed half the game. I'm fairly certain that Kubiak had a similar experience today.

Of course, my team actually went out and won that game.*

*I'm embellishing a bit here... I actually took this coaching gig pretty seriously and we had a really good team.

Game Balls:

Offense: Nobody. Seriously screw that. I'm not giving anyone a damn game ball.

Defense: J.J. Watt had a really good game despite the total team collapse. He totaled 9 tackles, 3 TFL, and one sack. That's about normal for him, and just incredible for an interior defensive lineman.

Special Teams: You do have to kind of step aside and credit Randy Bullock for coming back and going 3-3 in a solid performance. I know it's not really that outstanding, and that Shane Lechler could easily win this again, but considering how crappy the overall performance was, I felt that the imaginary game ball should...

Aw, crap. This post just got flagged for encroachment.

Texans vs Ravens coverage

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