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2DH: Fifty Hours Later, It Still Feels Great

80 for 80.

John Grieshop - Getty Images

Your Houston Texans have played a game of footed ball on December 11 exactly twice in their near-decade of games. On December 11, 2005, the Texans rolled into Nashville sporting a 1-14 record. Also on that date, the San Francisco 49ers had an identically terrible record, and a race to to the bottom was in full swing. Also in full swing, my love of a certain mutant DE from North Carolina State who I dreamed would assuage memories of taking David Carr over Julius Peppers in 2002.

I dragged my wife to a local sports bar that day to watch the game, and I explained to her why I wanted the Texans to lose that game (and every subsequent game). She looked at me like I was nuttier than squirrel turds. "Why are we even watching if you want them to lose?"

You see, prior to her questionable decision to be in a relationship with me, she'd never cared for football in the least. Now, here she was, learning about the NFL (and, more grudgingly, college football), and doing it by watching the Texans and a bad Michigan team most every weekend. The idea of my wanting the Texans to lose seemed even more absurd to her than the idea of watching football in the first place.

As you almost certainly remember, the Texans (or, at the very least, Kris Brown) were totally on board with trying to lose that game as well. When the Texans set Brown up with a 31-yard FG opportunity to tie the game and send it into overtime, Brown responded by kicking the most blatantly intentional missed FG ever.


The other game that the Texans played on December 11 was, of course, this past Sunday. Even though I had no idea that Kris Brown's intentional shank occurred on 12/11, in the moments after I watched Jake Locker take a game-ending sack, it was one of the first plays that I thought of as I recounted moments of failure (both intentional and otherwise) that had haunted us for so many years.

The Q-Tip. The Jets Debacle (2010 & 2009). Getting Tebowed. The FUBAR'd finish to the Falcons game in 2008. VY's OT run in 2006. Brown's intentional miss (and his other, nearly as obvious intentional miss in the season finale against San Francisco that season). Etc. Etc. Etc.

I am not going to pretend like getting into the playoffs --- albeit for the first time in team history --- somehow exorcises all the demons of the past. Only a Super Bowl win will do that. But, as I sat there, tears running down my face, I couldn't help but laugh at how different 2011 has been for your Houston Texans. The season has not been easy, and there have been moments that still defy logic in the way that only the Texans seem to manage, but you can't deny that it has been fun. On some level, that's all we've ever asked from the team.

We have no way of knowing how the rest of the season and postseason will play out, of course. Maybe the injuries eventually become insurmountable. Maybe Sunday is a let-down game. Maybe the Texans go one-and-done in the postseason because they are just happy to be there. All of this is possible. But, at this point, I wouldn't bet against the Texans surprising us a few more times before it's all said and done.

The difference between 2011 and previous seasons? I fully expect those surprises to be positive.


Days between October 6, 1999, when the NFL announced that Houston had been awarded the league's 32nd franchise, and December 11, 2011, when your Houston Texans punched their ticket to the postseason for the first time. Just how long is that? Consider, on the day that the franchise was awarded:

  • Y2K was still a thing that some people were worried about.
  • T.J. Yates was 12 years old, rooting for a then-winless Falcons squad. Connor Barwin was 12 and rooting for a similarly winless Bengals team. Kareem Jackson was 11 and was struggling in coverage against physical Pop Warner WRs.
  • Rivers McCown was 14 and was being ironically pessimistic about the as-yet-unnamed Houston franchise before it was cool to do so.
  • The St. Louis Rams were undefeated, and this was still 116 days away:
  • Fight Club, Dogma, The Green Mile, and Toy Story 2 had not yet been released.
  • "Heartbreaker" by Mariah Carey (feat. Jay-Z) was the #1 song in the land.
  • Wilt Chamberlain, Scatman John, and Curtis Mayfield were still alive.
  • The Houston Astros had played their final game in the Astrodome only three days prior.


Length, in yards, of Ben Tate's first run of the day against the Bengals. It was the longest run of his career and the second-longest run allowed by Cincinnati this year behind a 59-yard run by Ray Rice.


Yards per carry for the Houston Texans on Sunday, topping the 3.74/carry that the Bengals had allowed prior to playing Houston.

1.21 Gigawatts!

Due in part to having seen them hundreds of times and in part to my fascination with time travel paradoxes, I have written more in the Two-Day Hangover about the Back To The Future series than any other movies. (See, e.g., here.) Yet, on Saturday, ~Jay asked a question about BTTF that I had not previously considered: Why would a 1955-era TV have inputs for a 1985-era video camera?

When Marty is at Doc's house, explaining how the youngest McFly wound up in 1955, he busts out the camcorder, and he and Doc watch the incident at Twin Pines Mall that had occurred a few hours before (or 30 years in the future, depending on your perspective). Here's the video of that scene:

Now, we know from the film --- because we are obsessive about such things --- that the video camera used was a JVC model GR-C1. According to the manual for it that I found online, it also allowed playback through a television via an RF adapter (like how you hooked up your first Nintendo). The common answer, therefore, is that they just hooked the camera up using the antenna input on the television. This doesn't hold water, however.

First of all, Marty did not bring the RF adapter when he came to the mall, carrying only the camera as he rode his skateboard. We can be even more confident of this when you look at the quick shot of the camera and Marty's walkman in the passenger seat of the DeLorean.


And it's highly, highly unlikely that Marty would have shoved the RF adapter into the pocket of his vest, because he wasn't expecting to need to play the tape on a television (the JVC GR-C1 had immediate playback that he could watch through the viewfinder if he'd really needed to see something while at the mall). He was only going to the mall to film something for Doc, remember?

So, assuming Marty didn't bring the adapter, we are faced with a problem: even though the antenna input on the back of Doc's TV might have matched up with the adapter, the end that plugged into the camera was decidedly 1980s technology (i.e., plastic, using a bunch of little pins) and was not the type of thing that Doc would just have lying around the workshop.


Additionally, there's a problem between the output of the camera and the input of the TV in terms of ohms. The video camera had an unbalanced 75-ohm output, but a TV in the 1950s would likely have had two 300-ohm balanced inputs for the antenna. These could be connected, but the picture would likely be terrible due to the difference until Doc created a makeshift balun. (There's actually a deleted scene where Marty asks Doc if he has a 75-ohm matching transformer.)

But let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that Doc could have fashioned some way to connect the camera to his television; the movie still makes it pretty clear that he did not. First, even though there's a cut-scene right before this scene, the timing between that scene and this one makes it pretty obvious that hooking up the camera and showing Doc the time machine was the next part of Marty's conversation with Doc. Plus, you see Doc's fascination with the camera and his reference to what Marty had just said a little earlier about Ronald Reagan being President. More important, in this close-up of the scene above, we see only the regular RF adapter wire coming out of the camera.


Considering that the TV that was used in the movie was a more modern color TV retrofitted into that chassis, it's a pretty sure bet that they just used the existing RF cable and hoped that people would assume that Doc Brown made it work because he's DOC friggin' BROWN, inventor of time travel. Like blankets covering traces of brain and blood in the back of Jules' car, however, the subterfuge falls apart upon closer inspection.


Percentage of Joel Dreessen's catches (19) that have resulted in touchdowns (6).


Number of receiving TDs Joel Dreessen needs this season to tie Andre Johnson for the most receiving TDs in a season.


Number of receptions Joel Dreessen needs this season to tie Andre Johnson for the most receptions in a season.

Fun With Hypotheticals!

Displaced Texan (nee Evan) sent this to a few people last week, and I'm curious as to other people's answers:

You have built a rocket ship that can be successfully launched, but is programmed to fly directly into the sun. The ship possesses six seats and is emblazoned with the NFL logo. You are free to choose anyone associated with professional football, but the breakdown must be as follows: two media members, two players/coaches, two executives.

Who do you fire into the motherf--king sun?

I'm going with Roger Goodell, Bud Adams, John McClain (I assume there's no weight-limit on the ship), Skip Bayless, Jason Babin, and Cortland Finnegan.


Total yards per game for Arian Foster, second among non-QBs behind Buffalo's Fred Jackson.


Rushing yards needed by Arian Foster to pass Domanick Williams (nee Davis) for first all-time in Texans history. At his current pace of 92.4 yards per game since coming back from the early season injury (i.e., not counting his performance in the Miami game), he would come up about 89 yards short. Of course, the three teams remaining on the Texans' schedule are pretty bad in run defense (Tennessee -- 20th, Carolina -- 23rd, and Indy -- 30th).


Players from the University of North Carolina who have started a game at quarterback in the NFL.


Players from the University of North Carolina who have never lost a game as a starting quarterback in the NFL.


T.J. Yates' rank among Texans QBs in total passing yards. With 325 yards over his last three games --- 108.3 per game --- he would pass Tony Banks for fourth in team history. The Texans' remaining opponents have allowed 239.1 passing yards per game.

Random '90s Rap Video.


Rushing yards allowed by the Texans' defense in the second half, after allowing 92 rushing yards in the first half.


Rushing yards allowed to Cedric Benson in the second half, after allowing 92 rushing yards to him in the first half. (Bernard Scott rushed for 4 in the first half, and Andrew Hawkins rushed for -4.)


Sacks needed by Connor Barwin in the next three games to pass Mario Williams (14) for the most in a single season in franchise history. The Panthers and Colts are middle-of-the-pack in terms of sacks allowed this season, but the Titans' are second-best in the league.


Sacks needed by Barwin to pass Kailee Wong for second all-time in Texans history.


Tackles needed by Glover Quin to pass Petey Faggins for 10th all-time in Texans history.

1; 3; 4.

The Texans' defensive rankings in total yards allowed, rushing yards allowed, and passing yards allowed, respectively.


Unnecessary Archer Quote.

Cyril, come on. Worst-case scenario, her cover got blown, and Skorpio's raping her senseless before he chops her battered corpse into fish food. What? I said, worst-case.


The current seed held by your Houston Texans in the AFC Playoffs. They win the tiebreaker over the Ravens and Patriots via having a better in-conference winning percentage (.800 compared to .778 for the other two).


The seed that your Houston Texans will hold in the AFC Playoffs if they, the Ravens, and the Patriots all win out. Baltimore would be the #1 seed based on strength of victory, and the Patriots would hold the #2 seed based on strength of victory.

And Now, Pictures That Need No Description.

Captain Happy


albino convention

Papa Bob


"80 For 80."

Nickname given to the game-winning drive on Sunday by drwhitmire91, referencing the length of the drive and Kubiak's comment that, with the win, "Y'all got Andre into the f--king playoffs!" I really dig the label, and I'm sticking with it.

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," Gary Kubiak's decision to go for it on 4th & 2 at the Bengals' 32-yard line was puzzling. I know that I am generally one of the people saying that Kubiak needs to be more aggressive on fourth downs, and I stand by that, but I was shocked that he went for it here, especially with that playcall. There's 13:44 to play, and the Texans are down 9, meaning they will likely need a FG at some point. It would have been a 49-yard attempt from right there.

Now, Neil Rackers had hit from 46 and missed from 47 on the day, and the made FG was just barely long enough, so maybe Kubiak figured it was a safer play to go for it rather than risk giving the Bengals the ball at midfield. Fine. But, if you are going to do that don't have your rookie QB run the play with an empty backfield out of a shotgun set! At least keep up the appearance that you might try to run the ball, ya know?

I like the new, slightly more aggressive Gary Kubiak that we've seen of late. The designed QB run on Sunday was a gorgeous play. But when it comes to fourth-down playcalling, Gary still seems to be a bit all-or-nothing. Either it's a 8-man line, a FB, a RB, and an off-tackle run, or it's empty backfield. Maybe try combining those two ideas a little, Gar.

TXT MSGS Of The Week.

Evan, discussing a predicament. My replies are in italics.

I totally wanted to have playoff sex tonight, but the girl I'm seeing is a Bengals fan.

Tell her she should let you put it in her butt so she can know what the Bengals' D felt like on that last drive.

That line only ever works on Browns fans.

Whatever the sexual equivalent of Yates' 18-yd run is, you deserve that.

Surprise sex that takes forever and ends with you grunting and falling over?


The only way I can describe the way I feel right now is relief and satisfaction.

And maybe a tinge of sexual attraction for T.J. Yates.

Lone Spot:

Just finished manscaping in preparation for a playoff bush.

Tim, Saturday night, discussing my assertion that 250 passing yards for Yates would not surprise me.

It wouldn't stun me, but 220ish seems more realistic. 300 would shock me.

Tim, as a homeless man's Aaron Rodgers took the field on the final possession.

Were I a Packers fan, I'd have absolute faith that Aaron Rodgers was going to lead a game-winning drive here. T.J. Yates? Considerably different feeling.

SMU alum grungedave:

No way the Texans lose to a soul-sucking ginger Horned Frog.


Gary Kubiak's third-down running back motion plays remind me of Max Powers. "The Wrong Way -- But Faster!"