In last week's BATTLE-DRINK post, I wrote the following:
As we head into Week 10 with the Texans taking on the Arizona Cardinals, all of a sudden we have squares devoted to Gary Kubiak's health, the jumbled running back roster, a quarterback non-controversy-that-some-people-are-trying-to-make-a-controversy, bullying in the Dolphins locker room, and John McClain's Twitter feed.
In other words, somewhere along the way the hope and renewal of the 0-0 record going into the season devolved into a multilayered 2-6 soap opera.
So to be clear, the Texans' season had already crossed over from "pleasant sporting distraction" to "dark tragicomedy" heading into last Sunday's game. In other words, it turned before Ed Reed sent subtle jabs at the coaching staff that led to his release, and before DeAndre Hopkins's Instagram account became an homage to ChatRoulette.com.
In short, the way it has evolved, the Texans' 2013 season would have been a perfect season of Playmakers on ESPN.
Now let's get on with this week's BATTLE-DRINK card. As always, you can play conventional BATTLE-DRINK by following the rules exactly (and risk a case of alcohol poisoning that would kill an adult elephant), you can play BATTLE-DRINK SIP, which replaces all of the column components (Chug, Gulp, Shotgun, Shot) with "Sip," or you can play BATTLE-DRINK LIGHT, which makes each square one sip when it occurs.
As always, please drink responsibly, and don't drink and drive. Let's go... B1: Ben Tate carry B2: Dennis Johnson carry B3: Deji Karim carry B4: Case Keenum carry B5: Keshawn Martin carry The "carries in the running game" column this week has been revised to reflect Arian Foster's season-ending surgery on the herniated disk in his back. It's now the Ben Tate Show, and you could argue that these next seven games are the most important to Ben Tate among people not named "Case Keenum." If you're an NFL team in the market for a frontline running back, these next seven games will allow you to get a grasp on how Tate can handle the load, at least for roughly half a season.
I1: "Stress on NFL head coach" mention Gary Kubiak retured to practice this week and expects to be on the sideline this Sunday, which is wild when you consider that dude had a mini-stroke two weeks ago. That's wild to me. I'm sure CBS will use the game as a reminder that NFL head coaching is a stressful gig, while failing to remind us that they all make an average of a few million dollars a year with guaranteed, iron-clad contracts. (More dramatic that way.)
I2: D.J. Swearinger "NOM NOM NOM" With Arian Foster's namaste bow on the shelf, we have some open space for a celebration square, so after his stellar start last Sunday against Arizona, how about safety D.J. Swearinger's celebration where he mimes like he's shoveling food in his mouth? Interesting celebration that would be a hundred times better if a reputedly fat athlete (in a position where fatness is frowned upon) used it to celebrate. Yes, I'm picturing Carlos Lee doing it after a home run two years ago, okay? You happy?
N2: "Al Davis death" win in '11 mention The last time the Raiders came to Houston was in Week 5 of 2011, the Sunday after longtime owner (and senile kook) Al Davis passed away. On that day, the Raiders pulled off a 25-20 upset under then head coach Hue Jackson. Shortly after that game, the Raiders traded a couple of high picks to Cincinnati for Carson Palmer, leading many to believe that Al Davis was still alive and managing the team from the top of a bell tower somewhere.
N5: Andre Johnson touchdown catch Last Sunday, Andre Johnson added two more touchdown catches, giving him five in the last two games (his first back to back multi-touchdown games in his career). It's strange to see Case taking those "huge risks" that Matt Schaub avoided...you know, "huge risks" like throwing deep balls and jump balls to one of the twelve greatest wide receivers in the history of the game. That Case is a nut!! What is he thinking?!?
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G1: DeAndre Hopkins Instagram mention G2: Hopkins "roll the dice" TD celebration G3: Hopkins Instagram hacker revealed G4: Hopkins gets sausage endorsement deal G5: Hopkins gets Sports Science sequel So DeAndre Hopkins's Instagram account almost broke Twitter on Wednesday morning (social media platform on social media platform violence!) when an alleged hacker posted a picture of an African-American penis being stroked by an African American hand, presumably both belonging to the same person. And if you believe Hopkins, that person was not him. In fact, he was good-spirited about it after practice on Wednesday, laughing it off and saying, "Those aren't my genitals."
For what it's worth, Hopkins's girlfriend via Hopkins's Twitter account tweeted just after it occurred that Hopkins had been hacked, and that he was in meetings without his phone. So if we are to believe Hopkins's story, someone spent his or her entire morning (or longer) guessing the password to Hopkins's Instagram account before uploading a video of an African American person jerking off. Okey-dokey, then.
O1: John McClain tweets "wretched" O2: John McClain tweets "pathetic" O3: John McClain tweets "horrendous" O4: John McClain tweets about Ed Reed O5: John McClain tweets Reed "wretched, pathetic, horrendous" Ed Reed is no longer a Texan, as has been covered in this space ad nauseam. The only update on this front -- Reed is now a New York Jet, and so is reunited with his old defensive coordinator from his Raven days, Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Considering how done Reed looked in his Texans stint, I liken this contract with the Jets to the owner of a mom-and-pop business giving some innocuous desk job to a lazy nephew.
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 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.