Twenty years ago, sports media coverage was simply reporting news devoid of almost any opinion. Things have drastically changed since then with the advent of dedicated sports networks, such as ESPN and NFL Network, and the internet. Now it's not enough to report the news. You have to put your spin on it. It used to be that your sports coverage preference depended on access; now it depends on that and whether you agree with that person's opinion.
You would think that would lead to a lot of variety. There are more people writing and reading about sports than ever before, so surely the reporting must be more diverse than ever as well, right? The problem is that usually there are two basic sides to a decision. Should the free agent be signed or not? Do you agree with the first round pick? Should that coach be hired or not? With so many people vying for attention, it's common practice to fervently agree or disagree with something.
This applies to the Texans in spades this offseason. Most reactions are not only negative, they're as far on that end of the spectrum as you can get. If you read Twitter, listen to sports radio or read sports blogs and columns, it almost seems like people are trying to top each other with their own personal brand of disapproval in the current regime. Take Alan Burge's latest column, in which he puts Kubiak's tenure and record over that time in perspective to include the fact that he is the longest tenured head coach in the league without a playoff berth. Or all the latest negative reactions to Bob McNair by the likes of Paul Kuharsky, Richard Justice and Jerome Solomon.
I was on record saying that I thought Gary Kubiak should have been fired following the season. Does that mean I have to go full-bore negative in relation to anything Kubiak or the man that decided to keep him, Bob McNair? Can I not root for the man to succeed even though I advocated his removal? The problem with that stance is that if success does come, you have to eat crow or conveniently forget your harsh criticisms. Nobody wants to engage in either of those practices so essentially, you have backed yourself into a corner to root against the team you are a fan of or that you get paid to cover.
I see the flaws in the Texans organization, and I don't see anything wrong with diagnosing those flaws, but I don't want to burn the whole thing down. Somehow, it almost feels like a writer will lose credibility by having a stance more near the center than the left or the right of an argument. I would much rather engage in this practice than think of clever jokes to turn into hash tags making fun of the organization in an attempt to be funnier and more negative than the last clever hash tag. I hope this doesn't sound as preachy to you as I fear it may, but I find myself thinking "what's the point?" more and more often lately. For links pertaining to the Texans moving forward, follow the jump.
Stephanie Stradley wrote an article detailing her views on the current CBA and why the NFL and specifically Roger Goodell is to blame in the current standoff.
All NFL fans are fervently hoping that a lockout is avoided, but Rivers McCown states why Texans fans in particular should hope it doesn't come to that.
Diehard Chris diagnosed the problem with Rick Smith's free agent acquisition strategy and how it can be fixed.
One free agent that Rick Smith can be proud of was of the undrafted variety. Arian Foster managed to get repeatedly passed in the draft by all 32 teams, but he had an incredible season as was noted by seven writers who voted for him as the Offensive Player of the Year. This was good for third behind Tom Brady and Michael Vick.
Lost in the Super Bowl attention is the third and final draftee all star game, the NFLPA Game. The game formerly known as the Texas vs. the Nation game features a few players worth paying attention to, according to Wes Bunting. The most interesting piece from Wes was his review of Hampton DT Kenrick Ellis, who he believes is almost equal as a NT prospect to Baylor DT Phil Taylor.
The next big step in the draft evaluation is the Scouting Combine, which posted its 2011 invitation list yesterday.
Lastly, Lance Zierlein posted his first mock draft of the year, which is definitely outside of conventional draft-nik wisdom. Also new from Lance is his website The Sideline View that he publishes with John Harris.