In the wagering world, there's a reason (well, several, but one big one) why football betting is so popular. Since 98 percent of the action occurs on Saturday and Sunday, there's a built-in moderation and containment to football's action where (a) it largely doesn't infringe on the average Joe's w ... More >>
Fun-loving, but hyper-competitive on the court, the Rockets are ready to deliver a new age in Houston basketball. Fans are ready for that, too.
Amidst the hoopla of "Johnny Football, Part Two" and the carnage of the box set of back breaking turnovers that Matt Schaub is assembling, the Rockets quietly opened training camp this week with arguably their best assembly of talent since the mid 90's. Indeed, a new age of Rockets basketball begi ... More >>
I've said it many times in this space -- we are all dorks. I don't mean we all have pocket protectors and pull our trousers up to an unreasonably high waist level (or even use the word "trousers" instead of the hipper, cooler "pants"), I mean that we all obsess over something, obsess to an extent t ... More >>
It's difficult to believe anyone outside of the most hardcore fans truly believed the Rockets would be a playoff team this year. Most, including myself, assumed they would finish under .500 and back in the lottery. Even with James Harden, an unproven starter, added before the season, it was tough to ... More >>
A movement, for the playoffs.
Rockets fans have, at times, been criticized for their lack of fervor. Outside of the Red Rowdies, the Toyota Center can be a staid place, even during critical games. But much of that is owed to the fact that the most expensive seats -- the seats often occupied by corporate interests rather than har ... More >>
I always find it amazing that after an entire season, spots in the playoffs and seeding can come down to the final few games. This year in the Western Conference it is no different. The east has been settled for over a week and there is only limited jockeying for position. But the west is deeper and ... More >>
With four games to go in the 2011-2012 season, the Rockets were coming off a 117-110 loss to Dallas, a loss in which Dirk Nowitzki provided a stark reminder to last season's Rockets team that they were devoid of a superstar caliber player by dropping 21 points on them in the fourth quarter. To call ... More >>
"What a long strange trip it's been." -- The Grateful Dead It is fitting in a season as crazy as this one that the young Rockets' road to the playoffs would ultimately come down to a game, a play and a call like the ones that occurred Tuesday night at Toyota Center. All season, the Rockets have don ... More >>
The Rockets loss to Denver on Saturday night was almost a given. Very few teams who faced the Nuggets in Denver on the second half of a back-to-back travel game in the last couple seasons have won. It's tough to travel and play a game at altitude against a team that likes to run. Plus, the Nuggets a ... More >>
I've mentioned in this space on numerous occasions that you have to take the good and bad with youth. It's exciting and fast-paced and fun, but it's also exceedingly frustrating. On a weekend that saw the Texans go out more with a whimper than a bang, it would have been nice for the other halfway de ... More >>
Check out our slideshow from the Thunder game! This was not the best weekend ever for Houston sports fans. The Texans...well, let's just leave them to their misery and inevitable playoff floundering and talk about the other team that went from boom to bust, the Houston Rockets. Of course, there wer ... More >>
In 2011, Christmas Day was the literal start to the NBA season thanks to a lockout that kept the season from starting for nearly two full months. Most every other year, the season starts in October, but for the casual fan, it doesn't really get going until Christmas Day. With the NFL taking the day ... More >>
Thirty-six years ago this week, avant-garde basketball went away when the American Basketball Association merged with the National Basketball Association. The old ABA (1967-1976) helped revolutionize the game through the invention of the three-point shot and the drafting of underclassmen. At one t ... More >>
The kid shooting the free throw, that's Jared. He's a rapper. And this is kind of about him, but also about some other people. Because this is kind of about rap, but also about some other things. Jared's father is Trae tha Truth, which means a few different things: 1. He's probably very well-beha ... More >>
People laugh dismissively when I say it, but the more they can incorporate WWE performers and the general WWE "way" of entertainment, the more enjoyable other genres of sports will become. No, I'm not talking about the predetermined outcomes of matches (The NBA has already incorporated that aspect o ... More >>
The man behind Clutch takes up the fight game on the side.
In the tunnel next to the lounge under the expensive seats at the Toyota Center this past March, Robert Boudwin ripped the head off of his costume and collapsed to the floor in exhaustion. Boudwin, the man behind the Clutch the Bear mascot costume for the last 17 years, had just performed the final ... More >>
Photo by Groovehouse This Rockets team, it just sneaks up on you. It's loaded with second- and third-tier players, most of whom would be backups (albeit rotation players) on good teams. They struggle with interior defense and have an unproven coach who was once a hated rival. They lost their entire ... More >>
What will the second half bring?
The Rockets kick off the second half of the 2011-2012 season tonight. I'm not sure how many of you care about this. The acres of empty seats at Toyota Center lead me to believe that fewer of you care than Kevin McHale, Daryl Morey and Leslie Alexander would have hoped for. Television ratings indicat ... More >>
The NBA All-Star Game is coming up in a couple of weeks. There may not be any Rockets on the roster - even ex-Rocket/Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin didn't blow up in time to be added as a reserve - but musical names such as Kanye West, Rihanna (the halftime entertainment), Lenny Kravitz, Josh Groban, ... More >>
Go ahead and chalk up the NBA All-Star Game taking place in a few weeks (Sunday, February 26, to be exact) in Orlando's Amway Center as the next "feels weird" moment of the NBA season. It feels like the season just tipped off a few weeks ago and yet here we are, about 20 games in, deciding who the b ... More >>
Neither the best nor the worst, the Rockets remain stuck in professional basketball's great midsection.
Houston's history is dotted with albums that, fairly or un, have been swept aside. We'll examine them here. Have an album that you think nobody knows about but should? Email email@example.com. D-Risha Big Trouble In Houston, Texas (Self-released, 2011) D-Risha: Rapper. Allegiance: Nor ... More >>
Tough night for Dick VitaleMy fingers are still recovering from the lengthy (eight printed pages!) live blog I did last night here on Hair Balls, but the day after the draft necessitates some post-draft analysis. I've now had a day to sleep on it, and without further ado, a few post-draft tho ... More >>
Mark Cuban: We have the video evidenceApparently, at the end of Game 3 of the Maversicks-Blazers series on Thursday night in Portland, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was pegged in the face with a mysterious unidentified object. While I don't condone the anonymous launching of projectiles a ... More >>
Please, no more operations on Yao Ming"What should I do?" -- LeBron James, over and over and over again his new Nike spot The fact that LeBron James is posing the question in his new Nike spot perhaps tells us that he is not completely devoid of self-awareness, as he appeared to be last summer. ... More >>
Brett Favre can't get out of the headlinesI hope everybody had a lovely Texans bye weekend (insert lame joke about "Texans giving up fewer than 300 yards passing to BYE" here), and that you're refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for the back half of the football season. I'm on vacation this week vis ... More >>
Power walkers are tough to pick out of size 18s.'Melo ain't coming. Rockets Nation has to resign itself to that fact.But that should be all right. With the current roster, we're young, we're quick, and we don't have a scorer (we'll discuss Kevin Martin later). But you heard the young and quick pa ... More >>
'Melo is eyeing up the RocketsCarmelo Anthony is interested in coming here? To Houston? To play for the Rockets? Don't be messing with us, Sports Illustrated.Supposedly it's so.SI reported that the Rockets are on a short list of teams Anthony would be interested in joining if he and his current e ... More >>
cutlineAs "must see" events on the sporting calendar go, the annual NBA Draft is highly underrated. If you ask the average sports fan his or her five most watchable sports nights of the year you'll probably get canned answers like the Super Bowl, a Game 7 in the MLB or NBA playoffs, and any inte ... More >>
First, I want to thank everyone for their reaction, positive or otherwise, to my post yesterday which chronicled the high points of the era of Tracy McGrady's Expiring Contract I seem to learn something with every new post that I generate here on Hair Balls, and yesterday I learned that there are ... More >>
Back in the day, Arco Arena in Sacramento used to rock pretty good. Even when it was hosting a perennially lottery-bound squad, and the Sacramento brass was drafting the likes of Pervis Ellison first overall in 1989 and Bobby Hurley in the 1993 lottery, fans would still show up and represent.Ultim ... More >>
Those of you who listen to my show know that I am fond of placing the "occasional" friendly wager. While handicapping the day-to-day and week-to-week ebb and flow of a football, basketball, or (if you're really sick) baseball season can be enjoyable and, at times, lucrative (especially when betti ... More >>
With about 20 percent of the season concluded, the Rockets' 11-7 record appears at first blush to be maddeningly inconsistent. But I think it's a lot easier to explain than it may seem. One way to measure the future success of the team based on its current record is to look at "bad losses" - ... More >>
Smokers' rights activist Dave Pickrell thinks his freedom is being stubbed out cigarette by cigarette. He's fighting to stop that, coughing all the way.
Where the games are good, everybody knows the story of Dwayne Rogers, and everybody wonders: Why is he still an amateur?
Vernon Maxwell has made a reputation by going crazy. Now he says he wants to go straight. Really?