HOUSTON, TX – As he sits at this desk and leans back in his iron throne, Texans Executive Jack Easterby took a moment to consider the week that has been and what the future might hold. “Quite a week, don’t ya think?” he observed, absently drinking from the goblet at his desk. Some sort of red substance was in it, but we don’t think it was wine. “Had all these great plans to improve the team and the culture around here. If you hadn’t noticed, it has been a bit of a tough season.” [Editor’s note: Yeah, we noticed].
The week started out well enough, as the Texans notched their second next-to-last finish of the season over Jacksonville, 27-25, despite the fact that the squad had some personnel shortfalls. “Got so bad with the linebacker attrition, we had to go with the 5-6 defense towards the end,” lamented Defensive Coordinator Anthony Weaver. When pressed about what the 5-6 defense was, Weaver stated, “That is basically where I take the 5 biggest defenders we still had standing and put them on the defensive line and the other remaining 6 we placed in the defensive backfield. Perhaps not by the book, but you do what you must for victory…and did we ever win with that one. Held Jacksonville to 45 less rushing yards then we normally give up in a game, and they were 0 for 1 on two-point conversions, so we got that going for us.” We wanted to follow up with that analysis, but when Weaver slung his backpack Gatling gun over his shoulder, we took the cue to end the interview.
“That game was definitely a challenge for us,” noted Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly. “It got so bad that we broke our long-standing law and let Duke Johnson actually carry the football on a running play. We let him do it multiple times, that’s how out of control the game got for us. Still, a win is a win.”
However, the recent uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases impacting not just the Texans, but other teams, had the league scrambling for contingencies/alternatives. Earlier this week, the NFL approved expanding the playoffs to 8 teams in each conference if teams had to cancel more games. More squads saw players forced out of practices and potential games due to positive COVID-19 tests. With that knowledge in mind, Easterby, with the go-ahead, or probably a drunken head bob, from Cal McNair, offered another proposal to the NFL leadership.
“Had this great plan ready to go. It would have called for the rest of the season to be played with two teams isolating together. Each squad would alternate home and road uniforms. They would have played each other until the regular season was done. We put together some great match-ups, from Dallas vs. Washington, Green Bay vs. Chicago, Kansas City vs. Las Vegas…as for us, we would have been slated to pair up with Jacksonville. You saw how great the games were for us, err, I mean, how good the games were.”
We asked Shad Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, what he thought. “I was all for it. It will fit into my master plan. Think of it. After this whole COVID thing is over, say 2022-2023…The London Jaguars, helmed by starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Man, the dollars and pounds will be rolling in!!!”
That was going to be the highlight of Easterby’s week. However, news broke Wednesday that the Texans fired Vice President of Communications Amy Palcic. Noting that she was no longer a “cultural fit”, the Texans decided to go in a different direction.
“Hate to fire anyone, really, but you do what you must,” Easterby sighed. When it was noted that she was regarded as one of the top PR persons in the NFL, and that as recently as 2017, she won the Rozelle Award for best communications team, Easterby just shrugged. “Hey, nice on a resume, but we are all about the culture here, and she was not fitting in with what I, err, I mean, the team, wanted to do.”
We at Totally Not Fake News reached out to Ms. Palcic for comment. At press time, we have not heard from her or any other representatives officially. Still, we did hear from officials within the PR department who asked to speak off the record about what was going on with the Texans’ PR shop.
“The expression ‘Total [kitten]show wrapped up in a cluster[kitten] thrown in a dumpster fire!’ was about the universal response when we heard the news. Yeah, it was [Team President Jamey] Rootes that fired her, but come on. We all know who really calls the shots around here. Easterby had really been riding the PR department hard the past couple of weeks. Kept talking about some sort of promotional video he wanted done to show off the greatness of the team and its glory, especially since he has been here.”
“Well, initially Amy [Palcic] was okay with that, but when Easterby kept going into further details, I think she was a little put off. There was quite a bruhaha two days ago, when Easterby kept pestering her, asking, ‘Come on, where’s my propaganda video?! Where’s my ‘Morning in Texans’ Land!?’ Gotta get that stuff out there. I need to keep my position of power on this team. Didn’t you see the example of what I wanted to put out there?”
“She then retorted, ‘Yeah, I saw it, but what the actual [kitten]! You want a Texans’ version of Triumph of the Will!? My name is Amy Palcic, not Leni Riefenstahl! Look, I don’t give a [kitten] if you are worried about your job or that someone is gaining on you in the GM voting. Maybe you sold out to power, but I have ethics and will not compromise! Oh, and if I see you replacing my office door label with ‘OfJack’ again, I will J.J. Watt your [kitten] into the middle of next week!!!’ That was pretty much the coup d ’grace.”
“Man, Amy was great,” noted another anonymous source. “Didn’t take anything from anyone. Even when this team has been bad, she made sure we got some good press. Guess she couldn’t make chicken salad out of this chicken [garbled Zoom connection] team anymore.”
When confronted with these allegations, Easterby just chuckled. “I get this all the time from everyone. All this talk of me being like this Iago/Jafar/Wormtongue figure. That is not me. I am a good, God-fearing leader, one who seeks to do the Lord’s bidding through my efforts with the Texans. This whole business with Amy is unfortunate. I think she just didn’t get the bigger picture, but I guess I am not surprised. I think that 1 Timothy 2:11-12 sums it up best.”
Easterby did let slip that the Texans had begun their outreach for another communications VP. He was hopeful with a couple of names, but to date, they have not responded. “I’ll get my PR people to update everyone when we have a PR person to do so.”
Thus it was that this week ended for the Texans. The team continues to prepare for the Cleveland Browns, Easterby is still head of football operations, and the team is still looking for a new Vice President of Communications. When we have updates, we at Totally Not Fake News will keep you posted.