Have you ever seen The Talented Mr. Ripley? If you haven’t, here’s a brief synopsis.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT FOR A 20+ YEAR-OLD MOVIE.
The film is about a man named Tom Ripley befriends a number of American socialites after assuming the identity of a Princeton alum who people think went to school with Dickie, one of the socialites in question. Once he ingratiates himself with DIckie, he becomes addicted to the way of life that Ripley’s new friends live; posh, extravagant lives of luxury. He wants to be just like them, even though he knows deep down he can never truly be one of them.
Ripley’s obsession grows to the point where he starts to wear Dickie’s clothes and act just like him when he’s not around. This, naturally, unsettles Dickie to the point where he wants to cut ties with Ripley, and Ripley can’t have that, no sir. So during a ride on a small boat, Ripley kills Dickie with an oar, thus allowing him to continue pretending to be Dickie out in the world.
Things spiral out of control as people eventually learn who Ripley really is (not Dickie) and has to continue to kill people who catch on to his true identity, which he hates more than life itself, until he is forced to move on from “his” socialite friends so he can be who he truly wishes he could be: someone else.
What does any of this have to do with the Baby-Eating Sister [Kitten]ers? Plenty, actually. Starting in 2022, NFL teams will be allowed to wear helmets with alternate colors to pair with their alternate, classic, or color rush jerseys. As a result, Amy Adams-Strunk, daughter of the great Satan himself, has begun lobbying to allow her blighted football team to start wearing the old Houston Oilers helmet as part of “their” alternate uniform starting in 2023.
As many of you know, the Houston Oilers ceased to exist in 1996 when the great Satan Bud Adams dislodged the team from its rightful place and planted it in the salted earth of Tennessee because he had a temper tantrum. So the only reasonable excuse for the Tennessee Football Team to want to pretend to be the Oilers, even for one game a year, is because they have a profound and unshakable collective shame about representing the state of Tennessee, which is perfectly understandable. Personally, if I lived in Tennessee, I’d spend every waking moment wishing I was someone else too.
But when you don’t have any real, meaningful history to speak of, other than an uncalled, illegal forward lateral, and coming up one yard short of tying up a Super Bowl against one of the greatest offenses in football history, you make do with what you have; and what they have is Houston’s history.
Is all of this to say that Amy Adams-Strunk murdered Bob McNair with an oar and dumped him in the water in a convoluted scheme so her team could pretend to be a team with a long history with roots that remain in Houston to this day? I’m not saying that. But I’m also not not saying that.
What I will say, however, is that if the Tennessee Football Team is going to pretend to be a team from Houston, then it should be the Texans’ right to pretend to be the University of Tennessee’s football team. Turnabout is fair play, after all. And despite the Tennessee Football Team’s striving, the only football team that Tennesseans care about is the University of Tennessee’s team. So if they’re going to pretend to be Houston’s team during one of their games against the Texans in 2023, and I dare them to do it, it should only be fair for the Texans to come out onto the field wearing that nightmarish orange which can blur film from 50 yards away.
Will it make them better? No, they’ll still be bad, but that would only make Tennesseans madder because the Texans will do a better job of mimicking the Volunteers than the fake Oilers would do of pretending to be the Oiler teams of old. And that would almost be better than winning. Almost.