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Totally Not Fake News: Vindication

Or should be Validation? What’s the difference? Let’s find out.

NFL: APR 28 2022 Draft Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Houston, TX – Many emotions define the NFL Draft. Excitement, anticipation, fulfillment, trepidation, a little bit of fear/dread. They come from the players, seeing the culmination of a lifetime of dreams. They come from the fans looking to the future with hope. They come from Roger Goodell, praying that none of these guys crush him so hard in a man-embrace that he suffocates. Emotions abound that night.

Yet, there was one team that had a far different feeling/emotion. For the Houston Texans, there was the strangest of feelings. Not hope or optimism, admittedly two concepts somewhat foreign to the team and fanbase. The emotion: vindication. As if all the work of the past few seasons was coming to some focus/end-game.

“Actually, I prefer the term validation myself” noted a rather buoyant Jack Easterby. “Vindication…the root of that one is a bit too close to ‘vindictive’ and honestly, I am just not that sort of person. With the love of the Lord within me, and me in an ordained place of power to project His message to the masses, I don’t need to be all about petty things of the world, like ‘hate’ or ‘jealousy’ or ‘a desire to take all the words written by my biggest critics, package them all up in a nice, shiny offering plate, and shove them up all of their Sodom and Gomorrah [Easterbys!!!]’…oh no, I, the most humble servant of the Lord and driver of the Houston Texans, would never stoop to such levels.”

After this message from the self-proclaimed Messenger of the Gospel of the Holy Texans, our reporter looked to follow up:

16th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration
Validation, Validation, Validation, Validation, Validation, Validation, Validation, Validation
Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for Super Bowl Gospel

“So, why would you even think of vindict…or, sorry, validation as a theme for you and the team?”

“You mean the team and ME. The team always comes first, remember that…well, right after service to that most highest power, but you get the idea. Anyway, while I myself am above the pettiness of men, those that toil under me, er, work with me in the quest for divine Texansdom, well, they monitor my social media gospel, and they were dismayed to see that my, er, our message was obscured by a lot of blasphemous slander and falsehoods. The devil’s spawn permeates in that realm. Yet, as an Executive Vice President of Football Operations and the Ayatollah of the most Blessed Texans, you just have to walk above that.”

When our reporter noted that many people were sour on Easterby due to his role in personnel decisions over the past few years, the Exalted Easterby was quick to reply:

“Oh ye of little faith. The path to salvation and football paradise is not easy, nor is it smooth. There are challenges that one must face. Much like the noble literary personification of John Bunyan, you must go through pain and suffering, purging the soul of all unrighteous thoughts. For example, the blasphemy of the ‘Smart, Tough, Dependable’ doctrine. We went through it all.”

“And I am not one to brag, this most humble Lord of the internal team political battle royal. HOWEVER, if I was cursed with an over-abundance of self-love, I would be on a major witch-hunt to ferret out the internal sources from those SI.com hit pieces, threatening to Torquemada their [Easterbys] to eternal damnation…Obviously, I am not…anyway, yeah, about all of that, well, I think that we know how things turned out.”

“I had the team purify the contagion of “That Player”. While said “That Player” did have a few moments, his deceit and falsehoods caught up with him, as he is burdened with a major suspension that shalt damage his standings and his access to the robes of Babylon.”

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That Player...in the Robes of Babylon
Photo by Anthony Ghnassia/Getty Images For Balenciaga

“The ‘false franchise player.’ Oh, that I tried to curry his favor, and tried to reach his yearning and thirstful soul, to douse the burgeoning sin within. Alas, he let himself stray from the path. Twisted and corrupted by sin. Even when I, er, we, made the leadership and personnel moves that would bring that divinely-ordained talent back to the team, he was content to gnash his teeth and rend his clothes, hiding behind his ill-gotten gains. Well, maybe Caesar did render judgement on him, but the real judgment was made, and thus, to the land of eternal cold and misery did he go. Perhaps he finds the forgiveness of the Lord. Ok, he could have had some real divine forgiveness from me, er, the team…so sorry about those slips….”

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The False Franchise Player, facing the implications of judgment
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

“Oh, and then there was the whole thing with O’Brien. You know, I have nothing but love for the man, much like I have for everyone as does the Lord. Even the heretics. Yes, BO’B was arrogant, head-strong and power hungry, but we did ok. Of course, when it came to assigning blame, er, the main focal point for all leadership decisions, well, the guy was GM and the Head Coach. I was but merely a humble helper with a servant’s heart. Well, his place in the next kingdom is fine, but you do have to pay the piper, and he clearly had to go. I did just send him a Special Order of the Easterby to celebrate the achievement.”

The Special Order of the Easterby

“With those moves, then we could truly remake the Texans in my…heh, there I go again…remake the Texans as per the divine plan. Adherents to the Word were a must, as were loyal and faithful minions, er, servants, er employees…yeah, employees. Then we had to purge the unworthy. No false idols here, no matter what good works they did. We just the other day purged another of the ‘Smart, Tough, Dependable’ heretics.”

“Now you can see the fruits of our labor. They will study the books with passion…and then maybe have a chance to review a playbook. Oh, and we just installed the new baptismal pool in the locker room. We shall purge the unrighteousness off of them upon entry into the blessed Texans kingdom. Sure, a vet or two may feel bitter about losing the old whirlpool, but what is their discomfort to the purification needed to follow the Easterby… oh fiddlesticks, I did it again!!! I meant the path of Texans glory. Blessing be upon you all.”

The team will take a small fee out of the first few paychecks to cover the expenses.

With that, we leave you, the good reader, with this update and will continue to provide the latest and greatest.

Also, we are in need of a new reporter, since the original one that filed this story apparently had a nervous breakdown. We don’t have all the details, but we did get this image from the doctor treating said individual, a recent college grad on first assignment:

On the set of The Exorcist Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images