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Sports Columnist Smackdown

Our two Houstoned Ballz blog columnists got in a bit of an online tiff last week. First, on Monday, September 24, John Royal wrote "Peyton Manning Takes a Break from Shooting Commercials, Takes Down the Texans." The same day, Jason Friedman wrote "Same Old Texans? Jason Friedman Writes a Rebuttal to John Royal." The next day, Royal replied with "Sports Columnist Smackdown: John Royal Writes Back." Below is a sampling of the back-and-forth in the comments section between the two columnists, and, oh yeah, a few readers, on "Smackdown."

Wow: What a truly in­sightful, mature re­sponse. What's more, I'm thoroughly impressed you waited until after the Texans lost to tell us how much they suck.

I wish you could have come down from your mountaintop and shared this hidden truth with us while they were in the process of starting the season 2-0, but — shockingly — you were silent during that period. Maybe you were just too busy fighting the likes of Jose de Jesus Ortiz. Well, since you've shown me the error of my ways, feel free to resume your attacks on him.

Now, if you'll excuse me, apparently I've got something to suck on.

Jason Friedman

His crystal ball: Okay, maybe I should've said something when the team was 2-0, but I did write this in my predictions for the NFL season: "Houston: I'm not buying the hype. It was just two seasons ago that the Chron was comparing David Carr to John Elway. And I've yet to see any signs of genius coming from Gary Kubiak. Jason says this team finishes at 8-8 or 9-7. I say it'll be lucky to match last season's record."

And I stand by that.

John Royal

Fair enough: I've got no problem with that, whatsoever.

At the very least, I think we both agree that the Texans possess serious holes and continue to face tough questions which must be answered before they can legitimately be called contenders. However, I just so happen to believe they're on the right track.

The next two weeks (at Atlanta and vs. Miami) should go a long way in determining whether in fact that is the case.

Jason Friedman

Tough luck: Before Sunday, I would say the Texans would get a sure win over the Falcons. I still think that they can beat the Falcons, but with Johnson, Jones, Green, Dayne and Mc­Kinney injured, it's going to be a lot tougher.

Luckily, it's Joey Harrington this week, and not Peyton Manning.

And I just hope that teams are stupid enough to keep kicking to Jerome Mathis.

John Royal

Must love dogging: I guess you'll be a better coach than Garner, Cooper, Kubiak and presumably Adelman when basketball season rolls around...

Yes, there is a reason you are not coaching a professional team and that you are sitting behind a computer writing for a minor-league publication.

If you were writing for your Indianapolis counterpart rag, you would be dogging the Colts for not winning by 50...

Henry

Whoa: Not that I'm defending anyone's argument here. I'm not.

But man, who is this Henry guy? And what kind of point is that? Of course these guys aren't the coaches. What the fuck? And what's the deal with attack­ing the publication? "Oh, you say two plus two equals four? Well, you drive a shitty car, so who cares about your opinion?"

The Duke

The greatest ever: I'm buying all the hype the Texans can feed me. Personally, I don't think there is enough hype. The Texans are the greatest football team on the planet. Period. Matt Schaub is to football what Jesus Christ is to Christianity. I pray that my wife cheats on me with Andre Johnson and he gets her pregnant. One time I was at the mall and my car was blocked in by a Honda Civic: Matt Turk magically appeared and kicked it 12 feet to the right. No shit. I love the Texans.

P.S. Jason and John, you guys do a great job. You're like Mexicans and decals on a car; you just go together.

Liston

Same old sportswriters: Maybe it was your crappy seats, maybe it was your Manning man crush. I don't know but this is not the same old Texans.

You are one of those people who looks negatively on our sports franchise and always will. You write, "If Anthony Gonzales didn't drop all those passes." How about, "If we had a healthy Andre Johnson"? How about, "If we had a healthy Ahman Green"? You have all these ifs for the Colts, yet it's the same old Texans, right? Whose side were you really on that Sunday? Were you giving out high fives to those Colts fans around you? Then you talk trash about the fan base? Are you even from Houston?

This Texans team has brought new life into a stagnant football town. It's the sportswriters like you who are the same old, same old. You go to the game to find things to pick at. Maybe if you spent less time shoveling hot dogs in your grill and jotting down your pet peeves about the stadium music and announcer, you would have seen the same thing everybody else did: A much-improved Texans team made it a game against the Superbowl Champion Colts without our key starters.

You have no business writing about something you know nothing about. Ha, Where's Wali Lundy? Do you even follow the Texans? He got cut because he sucks. Idiot. Next time you decide to take in a casual game, do us all a favor and keep the commentary and negativity to yourself. That may have been cool a few years ago, but this is a new team and we don't play that shit.

Mark LeClair

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