Back in the summer, I advocated for new, improved songs that Houston Texans fans could play at their 2013 tailgates. My suggestions were optimistic, confident selections reflective of the high hopes we had for the team.
Now, on the verge of the worst season in franchise history, it might be time to revisit that playlist. Go ahead and group these together for what will mercifully be the last home game of this dismal campaign, a December 22 anticipated beatdown by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Screaming Females, "Something Ugly" "I want to show you something ugly,.." begins this cut from the New Brunswick, N.J. trio, Screaming Females. That lyric sums up what the Texans did all season. Week after week, we kept waiting for the hidden beauty of the team to emerge, but all we got was more lipstick on the pig.
I caught Screaming Females in Austin recently and my innards were disintegrated by how hard this band rocks, particularly front woman Marissa Paternoster. She's got my humble vote for best guitarist making music on planet Earth right now and a voice that bursts from a diminutive body in a shocking way. You know, the way you'd be shocked if Gary Kubiak ever called a flea-flicker or a fake punt.
Bastille, "Pompeii" Is there a historical place more appropriate to recall on the Reliant parking lot than Pompeii? The failure that erupted this season left all inhabitants of our asphalt island in ashes. Not even the strongest EZ-Ups could protect us from the rain of fire.
Bastille is a U.K. group, but it pegged Texans fans' sentiments about how very Houston Oiler-ish this season was with the chorus from its Billboard-charting hit:
But if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like you've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
Neil Young, "Mr. Disappointment" When a sports team fails to meet expectations, the player whom fans deem most responsible for the shortcomings is known as "the goat." Fairly or not, Matt Schaub was unanimous fan selection for that unfortunate distinction. Clearly, there's more wrong with the team than just Schaub. But since he was responsible for more pick-sixes than the end cap of the HEB beer aisle, he's the one for whom fans reserved the most and loudest boos; still, kicker Randy Bullock also spent most of the season picking shreds of tin cans from his beard too.
Can Schaub bounce back? Maybe. But Young's lyrics for "Mr. Disappointment" are foreboding: "I'd like to shake your hand, disappointment. Looks like you win again, but this time might be the last."
L7, "Shitlist" As grunge-rockers L7 remind us, there's no reason to single out Schaub when so many Texans can shoulder some blame.
When I get mad and I get pissed
I grab my pen and I write out a list
Of all the people that won't be missed
You've made my shitlist
If L7 were Texans fans (or even still a band), they'd have to include on the shitlist Cierre Wood (dismissed by the team), T.J. Yates (not up to the challenge), Earl Mitchell (a non-factor), Brian Cushing (hurt,.. again), Brice McCain (inexplicably still on the roster), Joe Marciano (inexplicably still on the sidelines) and Ed Reed (a Texas-sized mistake).
List continues on the next page.
Daughtry, "Waiting for Superman" Even though he tried, J.J. Watt couldn't single-handedly produce Texans wins. But, thank you for trying anyway, Superman.
Journey, "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" I'm going to suggest something I am sure to be hated for: the trade of the best Houston Texan ever, Andre Johnson, to a legitimate Super Bowl contender. If you respect this worthy man even an iota, you must put your selfishness aside and pray to the football gods he'll be traded to New England or Seattle or some other NFL power in the offseason.
This must happen if we're going to rebuild next season. Please join me in petitioning for this classy competitor to go get the ring he shouldn't retire without. Or, as Journey put it, "If you must go, I wish you luck/ You'll never walk alone, take care my love, miss you love."
Miley Cyrus, "Wrecking Ball" Maybe she's just a kid who likes to twerk and sing with oversized animated kitty cats, but Miley is wise beyond her years on this one, which expresses the relationship we fans have with our team.
We too chained our hearts in vain to a one-sided love affair, Miles -- ours being an underachieving football team. Before Week 1, we fans came in like a wrecking ball, talking trash and belittling Dallas Cowboy fans. Now, our team flails like a harmless, errant Nerf ball as theirs heads towards the playoffs.
"I will always want you," Miley sings. As badly as the Texans treated us this year, we know how you feel, gurl. No bandwagon fans here.
Rihanna, "What Now" This one's dedicated to team owner, Bob McNair. In fact, I have this fantasy of sorts where he's in his mansion, in PJs, in the middle of a sleepless night. He's sitting in a kitchen lit only by the glow of an opened refrigerator door, a plate of cookies and some warm milk before him. He's staring into the darkness and singing this Rihanna tune with all the verve of a Broadway performer.
What now, indeed.
For starters, let's end the Kubiak era. Rick Smith's got to go, too. Draft, in this order, an offensive lineman, a cornerback and a quarterback to back up Case Keenum and whatever free-agent QB you find on the market.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
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