I'll admit, I never went back and watched the complete telecast of the Texans and Chargers game from Monday night, partially because I just haven't really had time and partially for, well, other reasons.
The good news is that I did finish Season 3 of Breaking Bad last night! So there's that.
My point, though, is that I have not been able to go back and tally up the "per human being" liver damage caused by the season opener's version of BATTLE-DRINK (the Texans BINGO drinking game that's sweeping the nation), but from everything that you all are telling me, it would appear that the carnage was crazy brutal -- like Chris Berman, John McClain, Andre Johnson, and Arian Foster were all dressed in skeleton costumes and doing a Kobra Kai style beatdown on inebriated versions of all of you.
And that's the goal, right? A wicked four day hangover is the sign of a solid game of BATTLE-DRINK!
But now it's a short work week, and like the players themselves, you need to turn right back around and bring your best effort this Sunday as the hated Titans (They stole your team, Houston!!) come to town.
Let's see what changes this week's board has in store:
B3: Antonio Smith ninja celebration For the first time in his Houston Texans career last weekend, Antonio Smith was not in uniform for a regular season game as he was serving his one game suspension from the league for
trying to set Richie Incognito straight swinging Richie Incognito's helmet at him in a preseason game. It ate away at Antonio Smith to not be in San Diego with "his brothers," but along the way, he found peace and forgiveness in his soul:
"Days after that situation I just let it go," Smith told KRIV-TV in Houston and the Houston Chronicle. "I forgave him. I forgave myself. The thing that hurt me the worst is letting down my brothers. That's how I've always been. I've always been the type of person that fights for the things that he loves and that's why I'm so passionate."
Forgiving Richie, forgiving self. Namaste, Antonio. (Wait, wrong Texan. More on that guy in a second. Never mind.)
B4: Promo for "Big Brother" I don't watch this show, my girlfriend Amy watches it religiously (She even has the subscription to the 24 hour house camera that you can stream on your iPad, or whatever). Honestly, some of her shows I get into through the osmosis of just sitting in the same room working (Law and Order is probably the biggest one in that category.). Big Brother I can almost guarantee I will never, ever find interesting. Oh, by the way, CBS promotes the shit out of it, so....um....drink!
I3: JJ Watt "swatts" a pass I decided to move this off of the "SHOT" column and into the "CHUG" column. I'm doing you guys a solid. J.J. only had one of these last week. First home game, I'm smelling a multiple "swatt" afternoon from number 99.
I5: Ben Tate waves off Arian Foster If you've been following the "Arian Foster vs Almost Everybody" saga this week, it's gone something like this:
"Hey, I don't know if you guys have noticed, but man, Arian Foster sure looks like he doesn't really care out there. He looks aloof and disengaged..."
Five minutes later, from the same people....
"Man, Arian Foster, what a jerk, throwing a fit about not going into the game. He should understand what's good for the team!"
It would appear, at this point, that short of rushing for 1,800 yards, there is very little Arian Foster can do to please many of you. Also, it seems like we're on the verge of making psychoanalyzing Arian Foster an Olympic sport. So I'll indulge for a moment myself...
If we can all start from a place where we accept that none of us reacts perfectly to every situation, then try to digest for a moment the lunacy of the two criticisms above. One second Arian Foster doesn't care enough, and then a few minutes later he cares too much? Logically, it makes very little sense.
I think it boils down to this: Arian Foster is not all that different a guy than he was three years ago. I think three things changed that effected people's perceptions of him:
1. Arian Foster got off of social media. He used to be one of the more interesting athletes on Twitter (not a tough bar to clear, but still, he was pretty good), then he stopped tweeting to his several hundred thousand followers back in March when one particularly hateful tweeter was the straw that broke the camel's back. I think, for a guy who we felt like we knew a lot about, this felt like Arian Foster was secluding himself in a tower somewhere.
2. Arian Foster stopped doing his radio show. As I've mentioned before, I did a show with him a couple years ago every week, and Marc Vandermeer did one with him last season on 610. Again, these shows provided another window into what is an interesting personality outside of the football talk. Arian doesn't do a show this season, for whatever reason. Again, to the public, like Twitter, this was another window closed.
3. Arian Foster signed a monster contract before the 2012 season, $20 million guaranteed. All of a sudden, the everyman who was scrapping for every dollar, who could have it all taken away with one bad hit, a guy we regular folks could all relate to, wasn't "regular" anymore. He was rich. He still is. For some people, even if he is the same guy, this immediately makes him less relatable.
I couch all of this with an acknowledgement that Arian Foster doesn't do himself any favors by eschewing a media obligation after the San Diego game. (He was one of maybe four or five players who were on the short list of "must hear from" after that game, for several reasons.) If anything, explaining his side of his demeanor on the sidelines would have helped the situation. He allowed the viewing public to fill in the blanks, which as Johnny Manziel might tell you, is a losing play.
So some criticism of Foster is justified, I just don't think that personality-wise Arian Foster is that different a guy than he was in, say, 2011. He was never the easiest dude to fully understand in the first place. It may not be as cut and dried (nor as prevalent) as our over-analysis of Manziel, but I do think some of our perception of Arian Foster says as much about ourselves as it does him.
My two cents.
N2: Bernard Pollard personal foul If I could add another square for "jumps up and down screaming and moaning like he didn't do anything wrong," I would.
G1: Vanilla Ice's real name mentioned G2: Vanilla Ice adds Houston custom lyrics G3: Vanilla Ice trips and falls G4: Vanilla Ice duets with Clay Walker G5: Vanilla Ice sings song other than Ice Ice Baby Yesterday's big story about the game this Sunday was that the halftime show will be performed by Vanilla Ice, who I admittedly had to double check on to make sure he was still alive. The immediate reaction from people born after the year 1995 was "Who?" The immediate reaction from people born before 1980 was a rolling of the eyes and vehement scorn toward the Texans for such an "embarrassing choice" of entertainment, even though everybody who reacted that way knows every word of "Ice, Ice, Baby" and will be drunkenly slurring along with 'Nilla on Sunday afternoon if they have a ticket to the game. We can all act appalled about such a "tone deaf decision" by the team, or we can all be honest that we love nostalgia, especially nostalgia from a time in our lives where we could eat, drink, smoke, and sex with no fear of weight gain, heart failure, or reprisal. I was live at the New Kids On The Block concert a few months ago at Toyota Center. Trust me, Vanilla Ice will tear the joint down, then grab somebody's wife, throw down a few Viagra, and sex her on the back of Toro's four wheeler in the tunnel. That's going down, people...
O1: John McClain tweets "wretched" I know, I know. John McClain almost singlehandedly filled up the detox ward with you crazy bastards as the Texans were falling behind 28-7 on Monday night. This game should -- SHOULD -- be a little different than that one, so we add a couple McClain squares to keep the party going. First, he added a new adjective to go with "pathetic" (which is basically McClain's skyhook, his go-to move):
Just a wretched series by Texans D. An embarrassment. 80 yds, 12 plays. Stuffed on 4th down run. CB Brice McCain abused in coverage.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) September 10, 2013
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O3: John McClain mentions the Oilers O4: John McClain mentions Bud Adams ....I'm smelling plenty of good ol' Oiler nostalgia on Twitter from the General, and on a whim....
O5: John McClain mentions Miley Cyrus ....hey, you never know.
Enjoy the game, and as always, please don't drink and drive!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.