[Author's Note: Look, I know this post is late. You know this post is late. There's no need to dwell on that, is there? I mean, you could, but what good with that do? It's not like your dwelling on my lack of timeliness is likely to improve anything on my end. Let's just move on.]
This past Sunday, largely because Tim is pretty great, my wife and I attended her first regular-season NFL game. As first games go, she could certainly have done worse; the spread at the Lone Spot tailgate was, as always, tremendous -- even if someone COMPLETELY FAILED TO BRING THE HOMEBREW -- and the game was just competitive enough to be exciting while still feeling like Houston was never in danger. So, yeah, had that been the sum total of the gameday experience, there would have been no complaints.
As luck would have it, though, it happened that singer/songwriter Hayes Carll (pictured above) and three of his buddies were coming to the game and looking for a place to tailgate. Wait . . . did I say "singer/songwriter"? That's not quite accurate. I should say, "singer/songwriter and huge favorite of both MDC and Mrs. MDC." (Note: Mrs. MDC occasionally goes by her own name, Leabeth.)
There's always a risk when you finally meet someone that you hold in high-esteem that he or she will, in the words of Shooter Jennings, turn out to be an asshole. I can happily report that such is not the case with Hayes Carll. In fact, if you didn't know who he was , you might have assumed that he was just some other Texans fan at the tailgate. There was no pretension, no air of celebrity. He just chatted with everyone, including a lengthy conversation with my wife about Conway, Arkansas. Hell, he even hung out with one drunken blogger who was rambling about Hayes' albums and Little Rock concert venues and the like.
I do realize that all of this comes off as somewhat fanboy-ish. I'm ok with that; I am a fan, and meeting Hayes on Sunday was pretty friggin' cool, so if I am a tad effusive, then so be it.
His presence at the tailgate did cause one problem, though: it set the bar absurdly high for future tailgate experiences for my wife. I guess I just have to hope that Lone Spot has a connection and can get Willie Nelson to perform next time.
Regular season games, dating back to last season, in which Arian Foster has scored at least one TD.
Number of 100-yard rushing games in Arian Foster’s career. Domanick Williams had 11. Steve Slaton had 5. Ron Dayne had 2. Jonathan Wells had 1 because his college made him a terrible pro. Ryan Moats and Wali Lundy each had 1. Ahman Green had LOL. Meaning that Arian Foster is one 100-yard performance away from having as many 100-yard games as every other Texans running back combined.
Days, as of this writing, since Jim Irsay lied to me.
Date on which I'll elaborate why Jim Irsay is a liar.
Number of 100-yard rushing games for Reggie Bush. (Look, sometimes I’m just gonna hit the piñata, regardless of whether it is necessary.)
Rushing yards needed by Arian Foster to reach 4,000 for his career. Should Foster get to 4,500 this season, he would be 150th all-time in NFL history.
It's A Statement About The Wave-Particle Duality Of Man, Sir.
There's a (relatively) famous experiment in the world of quantum physics known as the Double-Slit Experiment (which sounds dirty, but isn't). I'll let Wiki explain generally what it is:
In the basic version of the experiment, a coherent light source such as a laser beam illuminates a thin plate pierced by two parallel slits, and the light passing through the slits is observed on a screen behind the plate. The wave nature of light causes the light waves passing through the two slits to interfere, producing bright and dark bands on the screen — a result that would not be expected if light consisted strictly of particles. However, on the screen, the light is always found to be absorbed as though it were composed of discrete particles or photons.
Where it gets weird -- and relevant to this post -- is when you try to pinpoint whether the light is going through both slits (as a wave would) or a single slit (as a discrete particle would). Simply by putting particle detectors just beyond the slits, the interference that is normally visible on the screen more or less disappears. The particle detectors do not interact with the light -- they simple observe it -- but that observation changes the outcome.
All of this is a (rather tortured) analogy for what generally happens when I watch a Texans game in person. Over multiple games at Reliant as well as Texans road games in Nashville and New Orleans, I have never seen the Texans win when I was the only member of my household who went to the game. Worse, two times that I was supposed to go but was unable -- the big comeback in Nashville and the first playoff game -- the Texans won. The only wins I've seen in person were a few years ago against Kansas City, when my son came with me, and this past Sunday with Mrs. MDC.
Apparently, having two Campbells at the game is necessary to counteract whatever quantum-level voodoo hex I bring on my own. Realizing this, I'm suddenly faced with having to locate two Super Bowl tickets.
Sacks needed by J.J. Watt in 2012 to pass Mario Williams (14.0) for the best single-season total in team history. Watt’s 10.5 – THROUGH EIGHT GAMES, MIND YOU, BECAUSE THAT NEEDS TO BE STRESSED FOR AWESOMENESS PURPOSES – represent the fourth-best single-season total as of right now behind Mario Williams’ 14.0 in 2007 and 12.0 in 2008 and Connor Barwin’s 11.5 in 2011.
Where J.J. Watt’s 10.5 sacks this season would rank him among Texans’ career sack totals.
Career forced fumbles for Whitney Mercilus.
Oddly, that total is better than Connor Barwin (1) or J.J. Watt (0). Because sometimes things make little sense, and whatcha gonna do, right?
Because It's Election Season (/no politics).
Consecutive regular season games in which Matt Schaub has thrown for fewer than 300 yards. Over that stretch, he’s averaged 229.8 yards, 1.4 TD, .4 INT, and the Texans are 11-2.
October 17, 2010.
The last time the Texans won a game in which Schaub threw for 300 or more yards. Since then, they’ve lost seven straight 300-yard+ games.
Does not equal causation. Always important to remember that.
Random '90s Rap Video.
Number of TD receptions that Owen Daniels needs in 2012 to set a new single-season high for himself. His five so far in 2012 tie his totals in 2006 and 2009.
Owen Daniels’ season-by-season TD totals are bizarrely symmetrical right now: 5-3-2-5-2-3-5.
Number of different Houston Texans who have scored a receiving TD over the years, a list most recently joined by Garrett Graham.
Saturday evening, my wife and I went with Tim and his better half to Uchi. At the risk of overselling it, I have to say that the food was absolutely amazing. After two servings of wagyu beef and ponzu seared tableside on a hot rock, we worked our way through the omakase tasting menu, which included shun no kaki (kumamoto oyster with green apple), various pieces of deliciously creative nigiri, a roll that featured duck confit, short ribs sous vide that were unreal, and a piece of foie gras nigiri that was one of the best things I've ever eaten anywhere.
Ah, but here's the kicker. One of the underrated things that makes a good restaurant great is the quality of the waitstaff, and Uchi did not disappoint on that front. Our waiter, Ryan Doan, was knowledgeable about the menu and preparation techniques and enthusiastic about all of it. If you go to dinner at Uchi, I strongly recommending asking to sit in Ryan's section if he is working. You won't regret it.
Two things worth noting, just so you don't feel like I slow-played you on this. First, Uchi does very limited reservations, so plan on just arriving and waiting (at the bar, of course) for a while for your table. I think we waited roughly 40 minutes on Saturday night, but we also arrived before 7pm. Second, while Uchi is many things, one thing it is not is cheap. If you're drinking, dinner for four can quickly climb north of $300. So this probably isn't a once-a-week place for most people. Still, totally worth it when you do go.
Number of rushing TDs allowed by the Houston Texans in 2012 and number of other NFL teams who have also allowed no rushing TDs.
Number of passes defensed by the Texans in 2012, the highest total in the league.
Generally speaking, saying that a player is "on pace for" just about anything is pointless. There are too many variables for it to be as simple as extrapolating from past performance. That said, the midway point in the season allows for a nice measuring stick, where we can double the stats at this point and, later, see how the end-of-season numbers compare. Plus, you know, it’s good filler for a post like this. So . . . yeah.
J.J. Watt: 21 sacks, 20 passes defensed, 78 tackles, 34 tackles for loss.
Connor Barwin: 4 sacks, 6 passes defensed, 40 tackles, 4 tackles for loss.
Glover Quin: 84 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 FF, 2 INT, 6 confirmed kills
Kareem Jackson: 6 INT, 12 passes defensed, 40 tackles, 2 TDs
Arian Foster: 384 carries, 1,540 rush yards, 24 receptions, 154 receiving yards, 22 total TDs
Matt Schaub: 3,836 pass yds, 498 attempts, 24 TD, 8 INT, -20 rushing yards
Andre Johnson: 84 receptions, 1,124 yards, 4 TD
Owen Daniels: 74 receptions, 956 yards, 10 TDs
One of the best parts of BBQ
in America is the regional differences. Yet, sadly, many people are wholly unfamiliar with these regional styles. This season, the 2DH is going to feature a different BBQ region and a recipe from that region. This week: Argentina.
For our first foray outside the U.S. BBQ scene, we head to the land of Eva Peron and incredibly low ages of consent. The primary meat in Argentinian BBQ is beef, though that's not exclusive, and the flavor profile borrows heavily from the Mediterranean. The meat is generally cooked over charcoal in an open pit, with the animal splayed open.
What I LOVE about Argentinian BBQ is the chimichurri sauce. God, I love chimichurri. So good. I'm rambling. Here's my version:
3/4 c. (tightly packed) Italian parsley
1/2 c. (tightly packed) oregano leaves
1/4 c. (tightly packed) basil
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
5 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 c. white onion, chopped
2 tsp. smoked paprika, hot
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Place the leaves, olive oil, and vinegar in a food processor and pulse to chop. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until all the pieces are small, but stop before the sauce becomes a smooth mixture. Chunks and unevenness are good here.
Kill a cow (or buy a piece of a dead cow). Cook it however you prefer, opting for real flame over a gas grill. Serve with the chimichurri over the top. Enjoy.
I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Tim and his wife for the invite. I don't like to be remiss, so ... thanks!
Thanks as well to Lone Spot and the rest of the tailgate crew (not counting the friend who failed on the homebrew front). The food is always good, but the wings / boudin / buffalo chicken sliders trifecta was top notch. Plus, I got to meet AllenOU, leaving one less thing on my bucket list.
Finally, a HUGE thank you to the people at Reliant and in the Texans' front office who helped me track down my check card, which I left behind without closing my tab. It was absolutely my fault (obviously), but everyone I spoke to -- five people in all -- was helpful and seemed legitimately interested in finding the card.
TXT MSGS Of The Week.
I wish this was the bye week so I could spend 12-3 reading the MCM game thread.
Tim Dobbins just got juked by Harvard. He should be ashamed.
Are you jerks hanging out with Hayes Carll?!
 If you don't know who he is, I highly recommend you listen to the following five songs: "Bad Liver And A Broken Heart," "Wish I Hadn't Stayed So Long," "Chances Are," "Grand Parade," and "She Left Me For Jesus."