Brenham, TX – Sometimes the start of massive issues can originate from the smallest and most benign of things. Or, in this case, places. A seemingly random act or event can set things in motion that grow into massive calamities with devastating results. Some might call this “Chaos Theory” or “The Butterfly Effect”. Whatever the name of the phenomenon, the modern world does not lack for examples.
Thus, we come to the small Central Texas town of Brenham, TX. Located between Austin and Houston, this small city in the middle of Washington County is home to some of the best collections of wildflowers in the state of Texas. Its Germanic heritage lends itself to various festivals, and the potent combination of Texas barbecue and Germanic-based beers are a culinary delight.
Yet, for most in Texas and outside of the state, the name of Brenham is synonymous with one thing: Blue Bell Ice Cream. The Little Creamery, the source of the best mass-exported ice cream around (in our completely unbiased and objective opinions…which, where Blue Bell Ice Cream is concerned is not an opinion, but certified truth and has not room for any Fake Newsy criticism) produces millions of gallons of sweet and cold delight for all the good red-blooded Americans and other international folks blessed to have tasted such divineness. It ranks in the top three ice cream producers in the country.
However, the Blue Bell Ice Creamery is also ground zero for something much darker and more sinister than anything previously known. From its vats of flavor, it spawned a plague, one that did not reveal its devastation immediately. However, the impacts still resonate to this day, and with devastating consequences. We speak, of course, of the listeriosis outbreak in 2015 that forced a massive shutdown of the Blue Bell Creamery and the export of the nectar of the gods that was Blue Bell Ice Cream.
The immediate impact: Well, setting aside the millions of dollars in lost revenue, there were significant human impacts. Multiple people reported illnesses from consuming the tainted product. Unfortunately, this outbreak struck in the spring, just as Texas (and most of the customer base for Blue Bell) was entering prime ice cream eating time. Thus, we came to see brutal second-order effects.
While eating tainted ice cream can do brutal things to a system, depriving Texans of a key staple of their diet proved just as devastating. There was the whole Jade Helm debacle, whereby people in Texas sudden grew all paranoid about a US takeover of their lands under the guise of a military exercise, never minding that the US flag had flown over the land for over 170 years to that point. If Texas still had its Blue Bell then, it might have easily batted aside such blatant propaganda.
However, the listeria outbreak at Blue Bell can also be placed at the center of the current state of the Houston Texans. While initially dismissed as a drunk illusion, multiple publications, such as Tin Foil Hat Weekly and The DumbfaQ Journal, along with credible Twitter insiders such as darealQ, basementdwellingking31, and Jason La Canfora, all claimed to have the insider scoop that the current state of the team can trace its current downfall from the 2015 outbreak.
When we posed the questions of how they came to this conclusion, they were only all-too-willing to offer their theories and suggestions. “Look back to 2015” they said. “The Texans, having rebounded from the debacle of the 2013 season with a 9-7 season, looked poised to return to glory. The only thing that they needed, as least a far as anyone could see, was the right QB. [Ryan] Fitzpatrick was long gone, but there was Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage, two decent, if not perfect, prospects (at the time). The team still had some draft picks, even in the 1st round, to consider some options, and there was some cap space. “
“Yet, it was in the spring that the team started to suffer the 1st and 2nd order effects of the listeria contamination. Suddenly, BO’B, who had shown aptitude for quarterback development (2012 Matt McGloin, 2013 Christian Hackenburg, 2014 Ryan Fitzpatrick) suddenly lost his ability to develop coherent QB play. This was further compounded by the decision to accept a Brian Hoyer as a starting quarterback. This begat a nightmare trend of the mediocrity of Hoyer, Mallett, Savage…then the 72 million dollar mistake that was [NAME REDACTED]. Strange that the Texans brain trust would make that bet, especially if they had been watching the last couple of games [NAME REDACTED] played in Denver as Manning’s backup. However, I think that is explained by the combination of listeria/Blue Bell withdraw.”
“The team was only bailed out by the fact that Rick Smith could buy off Cleveland with some draft picks. Yes, we got Watson, but then, Texans ownership, especially Cal, felt that BO’B could easily step in, aided by Easterby, once Smith had to step away. Yet, the decisions and draft picks, when the team had them, continued to failed. The longer term effects of Blue Bell withdrawal are not always easily studied, but the Texans are a case-study on the dangerous impacts.”
“Think about some of the other actions. J.J. Watt didn’t miss much time until 2015…the Blue Bell withdrawal hit him very hard. The contacts for Whitney Mercilus, [NAME REDACTED], Eric Murray. Also, the decisions on and off the field, the fact that the team somehow blew that 24-0 lead…I think you could even link this to the issues facing the 2020 starting quarterback, a sort of fallout-type thing…look, it is a weird theory, but it all [Easterby] fits.”
While our crack polling system asked this question and came up with more “conventional” answers, we can’t exactly dismiss the thesis presented to us at this time. While Blue Bell overcame its listeria outbreak, the memories linger, as do the impacts. While the evidence of what that is doing longer-term beyond the Houston Texans is a harder research project, it is something worth discussing. Maybe it explains so much, from increased polarization to the recent power grid incompetency. Or maybe not. We shall see.
This article is brought to you by...no one (held out hope for Blue Bell, but now, not so sure).