Super Bowl Shuffle

Only in Houston

As I write this, I'm fewer than four days from firing up the grill, knocking back beers and listening to get-pumped music with great friends to watch the Houston Texans meet the Miami Dolphins at Reliant Stadium's 2013 preseason opener, my 12th in a row.

Best week of the year.

When we last saw Texas's winningest NFL playoff team of the current century, they were getting killed by Aaron Hernandez (though not literally, thankfully) and the New England Patriots. Only the Brady Bunch and four more quarters of professional football stood between our Texans and the Super Bowl.

Hopes are high again this year. Maybe it's just my unabashed fervor for the home team, but I'm drinking the battle-red, liberty-white and deep-steel-blue Kool-Aid, people. This is our year. See you in New Jersey come February.

Inevitably, all this singing the Texans' praises got me wondering whether any of them could sing. Can at least one carry a tune the way Ben Tate carries linebackers across the goal line?

In my ongoing attempts to get any of them to read anything I've written, solely so they'll know how much gratification they've brought to me, my family and friends, I'd like to pose those very questions. Which Texans should make an album? And which genres of music are best suited to these fellows?

One note: Every Texans player appears to want to be a rap star. There's room for only so many hip-hop artists and Arian Foster has already begun covering this ground, putting his poetry to beats with the guidance of H-town's own rap legend Bun B — whose name will be frequently appearing in the remainder of this blog — so I'll be skipping the rap category in these suggestions.

Quiet-Storm R&B

This was a no-brainer. Step up to the microphone, Duane Brown.

The NFL's best offensive lineman recently shared his pregame playlist with, and it was mostly rap-oriented. But I still see him as the next coming of Gerald Levert.

For one, he's got the voice. You know he can go baritone with the best of them. Also, he's married to radio personality Devon "Devi Dev" Brown, so music isn't an afterthought in his life, it's at the forefront. And by many documented social-media accounts, Brown might be the nicest person in the city. He's a sweet guy. He's got natural lovin' in him.

A couple of our season tickets are three rows up in section 134. From there, you can see how ginormous Duane Brown is. The man dwarfs most of his hapless opponents. He can sing whatever he damn well pleases. Who's going to tell him he can't?


I scanned the Twitter pages of many of the Texans, searching for at least one mention of Slayer or Megadeth. No luck. (However, I did find out that practically the entire roster follows @BunBTrillOG.)

I considered Brooks Reed. After all, he's got the hair for hair metal. His hair is so exquisite, it has its own Twitter page, @BrooksReedsHair.

In the end, my best guess for a Texan to record a metal album is Brian Cushing. Mostly I wanted to mention Cush in this piece just so I could say what's up and welcome back from all your fans in Blue Lot, Section 21.

As proof, I'll offer this: No. 56 is from New Jersey; I'm pretty sure he heard plenty of headbanging guitars growing up there. He went to a Catholic high school; I did, too. When the Jesuit brothers who ran our place got all holier-than-thou (all the time, if you think about it), I personally went to my dookie-brown Honda Civic and cranked up some Judas Priest. You can't tell me Cush never did the same thing.

Also, you have seen that picture of Cushing's face drenched in blood during a game, right? If that's not metal, I don't know what is.


Initially, I thought, it's gotta be Randy Bullock. He's an Aggie and his tweets out him as a Duck Dynasty fan who watches Joe Dirt whenever it's on cable TV (which is pretty much every day). But in the end, I think Antonio Smith is really the man for the job. Maybe the whole Ninja Assassin persona recalls Wu-Tang more than Waylon, but trust me, he's the right man for this job.

For starters, Smith was born in Oklahoma. According to the pre-game package Channel 13 did before last weekend's game, that's where he spent his offseason — tending to cattle and riding horses. So the Ninja Assassin is a cowboy (mercifully, not the kind associated with Dallas).

You know he's listening to Rocks Off's favorite, Blake Shelton, out there on the ranch. I'll bet he knows all the words to "Okie from Muskogee." But don't just take my wild, unfounded assumptions as proof. Last February, the menacing disrupter of offensive plays everywhere posted this very chill, very country tweet:

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Jesse’s been writing for the Houston Press since 2013. His work has appeared elsewhere, notably on the desk of the English teacher of his high school girlfriend, Tish. The teacher recognized Jesse’s writing and gave Tish a failing grade for the essay. Tish and Jesse celebrated their 33rd anniversary as a couple in October.