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Cal McNair = Tommy Boy?

The comparison that just won’t go away

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NFL: International Series-Houston Texans Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In a story line that seems to have no end, several months back we heard whispers that people inside the Houston Texans organization had nicknamed team owner Cal McNair, “Tommy Boy”.

Soon after [taking control of the team], many Texans staffers began referring to Cal by a new nickname: Tommy Boy.

For those unfamiliar with the character, Tommy Boy is a stereotypical #failson originally portrayed by comedian Chris Farley in the movie of the same name. The term has transcended the film and seeped into pop culture in similar manner to the name “Karen”, including all the negative connotations that come with it.

After his beloved father (Brian Dennehy) dies, dimwitted Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) inherits a near-bankrupt automobile parts factory in Sandusky, Ohio. His brand new stepmother, Beverly (Bo Derek), wants to cash out and close, but Tommy’s sentimental attachment to his father’s employees spurs him to make one last-ditch effort to find someone who will buy their products. With his father’s tightly wound assistant, Richard (David Spade), in tow, Tommy hits the road to scare up some new clients.

There’s an old joke that seems apropos to this scenario:

Q: How do you set an idiot up in a nice, small business?

A: You put them in a big one, and wait.

Since Cal took over for his deceased father and team founder Bob McNair, the organization has taken a precipitous journey from annual division champion to laughingstock of pro sports. It seems that sentiment isn’t just held by fans and (now former) team employees. The Athletic’s Ben Standig ran a poll yesterday, conducted with 33 NFL agents, and this was one of the responses on the topic of the Texans:

Bleacher Report

In a survey conducted by The Athletic’s Ben Standig, one anonymous agent said “a lot of league folks” have compared McNair to the movie Tommy Boy.

The comment came in a poll in which 33 NFL-certified agents voted on a series of topics. Houston received the most votes (11) when asked which team had the worst offseason. No other team received more than three votes.

(The full Athletic article is behind a paywall; feel free to view it here, just not actually for free.)

While new Texans general manager Nick Caserio seems to be striving to take one step forward every day, based on The Athletic’s poll, it sure seems that Jack (“Grima Wormtongue”) Easterby and “Tommy Boy” are still busy taking two steps back.

Odds are, this adds another wrinkle (like there need to be more) to the Deshaun Watson mess. While every GM out there would most likely love to be the guy who brought a young, franchise quarterback to town and greatly altered their team’s future for the better, there’s a strong possibility that none of them want to be the one to lose a deal with the NFL’s version of “Tommy Boy.”