Deciding the Texans QB Battle Via the Non-Football Decathlon

Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett …… Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer.

To call the discussion among fans over who will be chosen the Texans' next starting quarterback a "debate" is a bit of misnomer.  The word "debate" would inherently imply that fans are arguing about this, that they're split virtually down the middle. Unscientifically, that seems to be far from the case. (NOTE: By "unscientifically," I mean the random text polls that we take in the middle of the show asking our listening audience on SportsRadio 610.)

Right now, again unscientifically, things seem to be running about 90/10 in favor of Mallett. In fact, it would seem that you'd have a better chance of getting a native Texan to choose In N Out Burger over Whataburger than you would a fan of the Texans choosing Hoyer over Mallett. Why is that? Why the fervor over a guy who's started two whole games, and was good in only one of them?

Well, start with that, the scarcity of film on Mallett. He's only started two games. Theoretically, there's a lot we still don't know about Ryan Mallett, and when it comes to the quarterback position in the NFL, the unknown is intoxicating. Hoyer, on the other hand, has started 16 games of the Cleveland Browns, the equivalent of a full NFL season. We've seen quite a bit of him, and despite going 10-6 in those starts (which, if it were an actual season, would be the best season the Browns have had since returning to the league in 1999), Hoyer is pegged more for his pedestrian 56 percent completion percentage and nauseating 16/15 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions.

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And then there's the metaphorical thunder that emanates from their respective right arms, which is where the Mallett Express really picks up steam. Hoyer's right arm thunder is the sporadic type, the random rumble that kind of goes nowhere at the end of a humid day in Houston. Mallett's right arm thunder is like the gods have been angered, some Garth Brooks "Thunder Rolls in concert" kind of shit. And this just in, fans dig Garth Brooks concerts. 

Indeed, the one elite trait between the two of these guys collectively is Mallett's arm strength, but it's all a big question mark right now. Until they both put pads on and play opposing teams, we just won't know. Hell, at this point, deciding the Texans' quarterback job may as well be done using events that have nothing to do with football.

Conveniently, this is exactly what I asked Texans fans do on Twitter this weekend...

And within a few minutes, you all responded in full force. I picked out my favorite ten events and put together a "football agnostic" QB decathlon of sorts. So let's try and pick a quarterback based on things having seemingly nothing to do with football….


I'm fairly certain that Ryan Mallett has a cornhole game placed down next to the kicking and punting net on the sidelines and when he's not in the game, he's hustling John Weeks for smokes. WINNER: MALLETT


Putt putt is a game played by two different types of people over the age of 12 — teenagers who have run out of ideas for legal things to do on a Friday night, and adults who have kids under the age of 12. Brian Hoyer has kids under the age of 12, so I'm guessing that his putt putt game is on point. Plus, I just trust him more in judging angles and caroms than I do Mallett, who strikes me as a bull in a china shop on the putt putt course. WINNER: HOYER


I think Ryan Mallett plays video games. In fact, I'm virtually certain that he does. I just don't think he plays a ton of sports video games. In fact, I would guess that the only sports video game Mallett plays is MADDEN 2016 (NOTE: Mallett uses the Texans and is roster is made up of 53 Super Malletts that he spent two full days creating. LOCK.). Mallett strikes me as more of a "ten hour session of Grand Theft Auto against teenage strangers on xBox Live" kind of guy. WINNER: HOYER


I think Ryan Mallett is into building robots that kill other robots. WAY into it. WINNER: MALLETT


This was possibly my favorite entry of the few dozen that I received on Twitter. For those of you who don't know what Battle of the Network Stars was, back in the day, when the main network channels were the only ones that mattered (and for many of us in non-cable houses, the only ones available), the stars of the various shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC squared off in quirky athletics events, like this…..

Howard Cosell on play by play with Billy Crystal on color commentary describing Melissa Gilbert and Kristy McNichol (who was the "it" girl for like a year in 1977) going through an obstacle course, with McNichol setting a course record! I mean…. this video may deserve its own Zapruder. Just know, kids, that this video is the equivalent in 2015 of Jim Nantz on play by play with Jason Sudeikis on color commentary describing Sarah Hyland and Kat Dunnings going through matching Wipe Out courses. Also, I think Mallett would bang his head on something in the course in that video. WINNER: HOYER


If you had to guess "Yes or No — Ryan Mallett has thrown a chainsaw before?", what would you guess? Yeah, me too. WINNER: MALLETT 

Also, this gives us an excuse to embed Sharknado video in this post…..


My concern here is that Mallett's knife would wind up looking like a bad third grade science project, like when you'd have the papier-mâché unit back in elementary school and you'd set out to make, like, R2-D2 and it would wind up looking like R2-D2 after getting doused in battery acid. WINNER: HOYER


Mallett may have killed a critter with a lawn dart at some point. WINNER: MALLETT

2. LARPING (with stipulations)

This might be the most important event of all because it involves persuasiveness, convincing others to do something to help. If I may dork out for a second here (I mean, we are talking about LARPing), if this were Dungeons and Dragons, this event would require the charisma points. How can you deny Mallett's magnetism? He's got a whole city in love with him based on a 1-1 career record. THAT'S charisma! WINNER: MALLETT 


The physical "Tale of the Tape" says Mallett is the choice, but can't you see him having an "Oberyn Martell" moment like this?….

I can, too. WINNER: HOYER

Well, that's 5-5, so assuming that the two of them are not laying dead next to each other like the end of that Game of Thrones episode you just saw, we need a tie breaker. I think Cyndi found a good one. We haven't done anything WWE-related yet! So…..

And we all know how this ends…. 

Yep, J.J. Watt comes in (to John Cena's theme music), destroys both Mallett and Hoyer, and declares himself the starting quarterback, and everyone lives happily ever after.


Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at

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