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Totally Not Fake News: The End of the Beginning

What might have been...

NFL: AUG 28 Preseason - Buccaneers at Texans Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HOUSTON, TX – This past weekend saw the NFL wrap up its preseason, the first since 2019. The teams of the league now embark on the longest regular season in the Super Bowl era, preparing for a 17-game regular season with the potential for teams to play up to 20 total games (3 post-season games). There is much to look forward to with the dawning of the 2021 NFL regular season.

Yet, for the Houston Texans, there is not so much a sense of anticipation, but rather, a sense of regret and lost opportunities. The team completed its final preseason game in a matchup with the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The first home game of the new league season, the squad fought valiantly, but it wasn’t enough, falling 23-16 for its first L of the preseason. The reactions post-game were quite gloomy.

“We blew it, man!” lamented one unnamed player. “We had a chance to clinch the preseason championship of the NFL. Our first one under the Divine vision of The Easterby. We had it!!! We so [Easterby] had it!!! It was all part of the master plan from the most Reverend Brain-trust. It was out path to glory!!!!”

“There was a master plan for the preseason?” our reporter queried.

“Yes. It was all ordained by the Most Revered, revealed on the mountaintop of the top offices at NRG Stadium, and extolled by the prophets Caserio and Culley. We had it down to one tablet, 4 ordained goals.”

When asked what it looked like, the player demurred “Hey, there is a line you don’t cross. Only the Most Revered and pure can enter into the part of NRG where the Divine plan is held. Only the cleansed and ordained dare enter into the most Holy of Holies, the vault where the Divine Tablet resides. Only they can see and study the Divine plan.”

Some of our reporters took this to mean a “challenge accepted” by the Texans. They found out where in NRG said Divine Tablet Plan resided. They had the camera crews ready to reveal this master plan…it did not go well.

In the midst of filing a flurry of new job advertisements to replace this rather unexpected loss of our staff, we did pick up some aspects of the Most Divine 4 Point Plan for the Texans:

1) Win the State

2) Win the Preseason

4) Profit

After intensive study, calling upon some of the most prestigious Christian seminaries, Talmud Scholars and Islamic Imams, all of whom either hung up on us, told us to get out and/or concussed our remaining field reporters with giant religious tomes, we didn’t quite a clear answer about the true divine message of the Most Divine 4 Point Plan. Then, in a stroke of luck, we turned to that bastion of truth and unbiased opinion: the comments section of Twitter. The consensus:

You guys suck.

You are a combination of libratards/dumb-as-[Easterby] Conser-duh-tives

You can only steal from South Park in your analysis.

“Ah, that’s what the unclean heathens would have you believe” noted an acolyte of the Divine Easterby when we followed up. “We are aware of the vile, unholy South Park, and they had a 3-step plan. Ours is the true, correct 4-step plan.”

“But what is the 3rd step?” we inquired.

“There is but 4 steps to the Divine plan:

  • Step 1, Win the State
  • Step 2: Win the Preseason
  • Step 4: Profit”

This circular argument lasted for hours, until our employee gave up.

Yet, while others debate the religious implications of the Most Divine 4 Point Plan, there were more immediate ramifications for the roster.

“Oh man, Nick didn’t take too kindly to the failure to clinch the Pre-season championship. All of those moves, made with the championship goal in mind…oh, was he ever irate!!” noted another unnamed team staffer.

His answer was manifested quickly with the immediate purge of the off-season’s biggest trade acquisition: Shaq Lawson. Brought in as part of the McKinney trade, he expected to be the centerpiece of the Texans’ pass rush for the coming season. Yet, after not registering any pressure on any of his pre-season snaps, Caserio quickly shipped him out for yet another 6th round pick. Miami, deciding that they haven’t trolled the Texans enough, cut McKinney 24 hours later.

Continued said staffer “Yeah, everyone talks about the 1st rounders/etc. But we all know the true GOATs are found in the lower rounds, with the GOAT of the GOATs found in the 6th. That most revered and perfect QB, Tom Br(STOP THAT!!! STOP THAT!!).”

“Oh, that right, you have a hang up about the man, the myth, the New England legend Tom Brad (STOP THAT!!! STOP THAT NOW!!!).”

“Anyway, there is great opportunity in the 6th round. However, we have to be careful of the numbers. So long as we have less or more than 3, but not exactly 3 6th round picks, our Divine aura for glory will be safe.”

Can’t quite place our fingers on it, but there just might be a reason why the team will avoid 3 6th round picks...

As for those still on the team, there was the double gloom of missing out on some championship swag and the potential fear about the loss of a roster spot, as the team needed to purge folks before Tuesday.

“I’m good. Even though I didn’t play a snap in the preseason championship game, I know that the team can’t afford to lose its best single-wing quarterback,” noted Jeff Driskel. Yet, that optimism might have been misplaced, as Culley later noted when asked about him “Jeff, who? Oh, the sacrificial lamb…eh, hardly knew him.” Then again Driskel might have been on to something, as he will return to the team on the practice squad. Will the team go to the single wing? TBD.

“Man, I was really hoping for that super-new championship T-Shirt they were talking about. Would’ve been so cool to wear that back home,” observed Davis Mills. “Alas, I will have to just wear the boring team gear that I got for just attending preseason games. I wonder what happened to the gear?

While we at Totally Not Fake News didn’t have an immediate answer, we have our suspicions. The usual story is that such gear is either destroyed or shipped out to some other part of the globe. We have unconfirmed reports that one such box arrived in Nepal, where the shirts were put to immediate use, mainly to clean up the increasing amounts of debris on the mountains . Best not to confirm that for Davis, lest it upset him too much.

We have unconfirmed reports that this potential T-Shirt design was blessed off by the Most Divine Messenger himself.

With that, the preseason is at an end, and the team is moving ever forward towards the future NFL season, hoping to put the disappointment of failing to achieve one of its stated goals, but still driving towards the ever-present requirement, the most important step…Step 4: Profit!!! Or, if not that, then maybe a win or two in the regular season.