We're a couple decades removed now from Nashville stealing our professional football team, so we tend to forget that we are supposed to "sports hate" that city and their beloved Titans. It's hard to fabricate that "sports hate," but unfortunately that's what we find ourselves doing the last few years, given how consistently crappy their team been since like 2009.
This coming season is no different — the Texans are expected to be a dark horse for an AFC playoff spot, while the Titans are a favorite to pick in the top five in the 2016 NFL Draft. So again we are left needing some sort of "vitriol Viagra pill" in order to conjure up some good ol' fashioned anger at them.
Thank the football gods for Zach Mettenberger!
We all remember Mettenberger from his rookie year in Nashville, which was best remembered for a) his playing just well enough to make head coach Ken Whisenhunt fake like he might not draft Marcus Mariota and b) his pissing off J.J. Watt (who can conjure up fabricated reasons to "sports hate" about as well as any human being) by posting selfies on Instagram the morning of a game against the Texans last season. It got Watt perturbed enough to not only celebrate a sack of Mettenberger with a pantomimed "selfie," but also bring it up in the post game press conference:
Now, here we are, several months later and Mettenberger is preparing for a season in which we are not entirely sure he's even going to be the Titans' starter. That didn't stop him from sharing his thoughts on J.J. Watt. In an interview with a website called Campus Sports, Mettenberger had the following to say:
“J.J. had to say it’s a bit high school-ish that I take selfies and I think he still rags me on Instagram every time he posts a selfie,” Mettenberger said in the one-on-one session. “At the same time, if that’s high school-ish, he got a letterman jacket made, a Texans letterman jacket. That’s pretty high school-ish to me, don’t you think?”
You can view the entire interview here (fast forward to about the 5:00 mark for his comments on J.J. Watt):
Again, at this point, we're not even sure if Mettenberger is going to be the starter, so at the very least, he may have put Marcus Mariota in harm's way, seeing as J.J. Watt knows the only way he gets his hands on Mettenberger with Mariota starting would be to somehow knock Mariota out of the game. I don't think that's what Bill O'Brien would call "being a good teammate," Zach.
And right on cue, it appears it didn't take long for word to trickle back to J.J. Watt, as he tweeted this at around 6:30 a.m. today:
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So if you're marking your calendar, the Titans come to town on November 1, noon kickoff local time. Whatever the posted prop bet is for J.J. Watt's number of sacks in that game, I'll take the OVER. Football season can't get here soon enough!
(h/t State of the Texans)
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/SeanTPendergast.