Houston Is Burning: Andre Johnson Is an Indianapolis Colt

Houston Is Burning: Andre Johnson Is an Indianapolis Colt
Photo by Eric Sauseda

In sports, when an athlete's career in his main city ends, rarely does it end well. Typically, it ends in some sort of depressing mix of hubris, resignation, and finite math. All of these instances hurt to some degree, because you hate to see it end, but the amount of pain is usually directly proportional to the odds that said athlete will come back and exact revenge in some way, shape or form.

When Hakeem Olajuwon left for Toronto, we all knew there was no way he was going to win doodly squat north of the border. He would be in the Eastern Conference (out of sight, out of mind), and let's face it, Dream had given us two titles already. We were ok.

Nolan Ryan leaving for the Texas Rangers was painful, but again, we knew there was no chance of him exacting any sort of championship revenge there, and besides, rooting against Nolan could mean that he could find you and beat the shit out of you, a la Robin Ventura.

Earl Campbell to the Saints was just plain depressing, to the point that you almost felt sorry for Earl. No animosity or fear there.

Andre Johnson is now an Indianapolis Colt, and make no mistake -- it's scary, and for Andre, it's personal.

The news came down yesterday around 3:00 p.m. that Andre Johnson would be an Indianapolis Colt next season, signing a three year, $21 million contract that will pave the runway for his twilight years in the NFL.

As heel turns go, this was one of those WWE style turns that you saw coming, but still when it was finally executed, the visceral emotional reaction wasn't in any way muted by the obvious signs that it would eventually happen.

This sucked.

And not sucked in a "Matt Schaub just threw another pick six" kind of way, but in an "I just found my wife in bed with my biggest asshole neighbor" kind of way. Andre was our guy. He was the one who fought valiantly all those Sunday's to try to vanquish the Colts.

And now? Well, this...

It's official I'm a Colt

A photo posted by Andre Johnson (@ajohnson1500) on

And this...

Sometimes, the best WWE style promos are the ones that are the shortest, the ones where it's not so much what the performer does say, but what he doesn't say. He speaks with his facial expressions.

"Hey, Colts fans, this is Andre Johnson. I'm very happy to be here, can't wait to get it going."

Andre Johnson is happy to be a Colt. We've been stabbed in the heart! Not so much by Andre Johnson, but by the math of what it takes to keep an Andre Johnson on the roster of a still-rebuilding team. To keep Johnson here at his then-current salary would've cost the Texans $16 million against the salary cap. That was never going to happen. And Andre Johnson was never going to take a pay cut to stay with a team that is likely going to top out at 9-7 again.

Now, Andre Johnson has a real chance at a Super Bowl, with a team that made it to the AFC Title game (admittedly, in part due to some good fortune in catching Andy Dalton and an injured Peyton Manning in the playoffs, but still...). As a bonus, he may get to win at the highest level with close friends Frank Gore and Chuck Pagano, compadres from their days at the University of Miami.

On top of that, with Andrew Luck throwing him the ball, Andre Johnson is essentially two very-doable-if-healthy 60 catch, 850 yard seasons away from moving into the top three all-time in receptions and receiving yards:

ALL-TIME RECEPTIONS LEADERS 1. Jerry Rice, 1,549 2. Tony Gonzalez, 1,325 3. Marvin Harrison. 1,102 4. Cris Carter, 1,101 5. Tim Brown, 1,094 6. Terrell Owens, 1,078 7. Reggie Wayne, 1,070 8. Isaac Bruce, 1,024 9. Andre Johnson, 1,012

ALL-TIME RECEIVING YARDS LEADERS 1. Jerry Rice, 22,895 2. Terrell Owens, 15,934 3. Randy Moss, 15,292 4. Isaac Bruce, 15,208 5. Tony Gonzalez, 15,127 6. Tim Brown, 14,934 7. Marvin Harrison, 14,580 8. Reggie Wayne, 14,345 9. James Lofton, 14,004 10. Cris Carter, 13,899 11. Henry Ellard, 13,777 12. Andre Johnson, 13,597

So there's an argument to be made that the greatest player in your franchise's history, Texan Fan, needed to go to your arch rival in order to solidify his case to be a Hall of Famer. So, chew on that.

"Hey, Colts fans, this is Andre Johnson. I'm very happy to be here, can't wait to get it going."

Only Andre Johnson, whose actions always spoke louder than his words, could inflct so much emotional sports harm on one city in less than twenty words.

The torch is officially passed. Houston is yours, J.J.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.


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