The second version of Vince McMahon's XFL is off to a pretty impressive start. The quality of football is decent enough, the television production is predictably top notch, and we all have one more thing to gamble on throughout the month of February, which is historically a painfully light gambling month, outside of the Super Bowl.
In Houston, the XFL is off to a resounding first couple weeks, as the Roughnecks have gone 2-0 to start the season, with two wins at what, on television at least, appears to be a comparatively raucous TDECU Stadium on the campus over at the University of Houston. The roughnecks are blessed with an exciting brand of offense, and a triggerman in quarterback P.J. Walker who is likely at the top of the early odds board for XFL MVP.
Walker has made some scintillating plays in these first two games, reminding everybody of a certain other quarterback with a certain other professional football team in town. (What up, Deshaun Watson!) Indeed, we are very lucky to have fun, top tier quarterback play for both professional football teams in town. Walker, in fact, was acknowledged in a somewhat cryptic fashion by Watson on Sunday after making a Patrick Mahomes-esque sidearm throw for a touchdown in the Roughnecks' 28-24 win over the St. Louis Battlehawks:
I have to admit, I've gotten to where I speak pretty fluent emoji, what with three college-aged kids and all. However, this one had me stumped. Deshaun is basically just retweeting this play, with only two "smoking nostril" emojis as his caption. What does that mean?
Well, as part of the discovery and conjecture process, I did what any self-respecting stumped middle aged man would do — I searched "smoking nostril emoji meaning" on the internet. So, the meaning of the smoking nostril emoji, according to Emojipedia, is as follows:
Face with Steam From Nose
A yellow face with closed eyes, furrowed eyebrows, broad frown, and two puffs of steam blowing out of its nose, as if in a huff or fuming.
May convey various negative emotions, including irritation, anger, and contempt. May also convey feelings of pride, dominance, and empowerment.
Originally named Face With Look of Triumph, and the steam from its nose may derive from a visual shorthand for frustration or disdain in anime and manga.
Samsung’s design previously looked like its head was titled back in a more arrogant expression. Earlier designs from Microsoft depicted a big, open mouth without steam and from Facebook, a smiley that resembled ???? Grimacing Face.
Face with Steam From Nose was approved as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 under the name “Face with Look of Triumph” and added to Emoji 1.0 in 2015.
So what was Deshaun Watson trying to say? Here are some categorical possibilities:
IRRITATION: "Oh, so you're stealing Patrick Mahomes' side arm gimmick, eh?"
ANGER: "This XFL scrub gets to play in June Jones' offense, and I'm stuck with Bill O'Brien calling plays!"
CONTEMPT: "Weren't you just carrying Jacoby Brissett's pads to and from practice last season?"
PRIDE: "Yeah, but can you do this, Walker?"
DOMINANCE: "Or this?"
EMPOWERMENT: "Or THIS?"
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Honestly, I would assume that the smoking nostrils are, in some way, a tribute to Walker. I'll rely on my personal experience with Deshaun Watson, which is that he is sweetheart of a human being without an irritated, angry, contempt-ridden bone in his body.
Also, perhaps his tweet was a shout out to a future teammate, because the "Walker as Watson's backup" train is picking up steam with each passing week.