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So I have this friend. HUGE Houston sports fan. Loves the Rockets, Texans and Astros more than life itself. Great guy, but more than a little unstable. You know the type: when his teams win, he’s busy knitting personalized championship banners. When they lose, every player needs to be traded and every coach fired. There is no middle ground with this guy. In fact, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know what the word “lukewarm” means. Due to his penchant for bombast and bravado, I dubbed him “Troggie,” after everyone’s favorite one-armed, burninating dragon.
I’m bringing in Troggie today because I’m at a loss for words after a weekend spent watching the Texans and Rockets. With Sunday’s win over the Bucs, the Texans currently sit one game below the .500 mark. Meanwhile, the Rockets are one game above it, thanks to the stinkbomb they unleashed in Toronto yesterday. So since Troggie has no concept of middle ground, I thought it would be interesting to hear his take on two clubs currently serving time as the perfect pictures of mediocrity.
What follows is a transcript of our rather animated conversation. You’ll notice I tweaked some of Troggie’s lingo in an effort to keep things family friendly. It wasn’t easy. The Burninator does not mince words, my friends. - Jason Friedman
Me: So, how ‘bout those Texans, Troggie?
Troggie: Sage! Sage! Sage!
Me: Don’t tell me you’re giving up on Schaub already?
Troggie: Fu** that sh**. I’m so sick of having Mr. fu**ing Glass line up behind center. Meanwhile, all Sage does is win ball games and make big plays. Everyone likes to rip the Texans for drafting Mario two years ago, but if you ask me, the worst draft decision the team ever made was giving up two second round picks for a guy with a wet noodle for a right arm. Meanwhile, Mario is tearing sh** up and playing like a Pro Bowler!
Me: Wait a second, I thought you loved the Schaub deal and were pissed when the Texans dissed Vince?
Troggie: I don’t know what the fu** you’re talking about.
Me: Glad to see you apparently have the memory of a goldfish. So now what? Stick with Sage next year and bench Schaub?
Troggie: Hell no! Trade Matty boy to some sucker-ass team who’ll at least give us the second round pick we gave up to get him. Come on, you think a team like the Ravens or Bears wouldn’t do that deal in a heartbeat? Then we can get an O-lineman or running back to help my boy Sage. That’s brilliant! Go tell Rick Smith!
Me: Not to rain on your parade or anything, but what about the salary cap implications of a deal like that?
Troggie: Don’t be talking to me about some salary cap bullsh**. Just do the fu**ing deal already!
Me: No doubt Bob McNair appreciates your willingness to spend his money. I must say, you seem pretty pumped about this win. Especially considering you were ready to become a Titans fan about this time last week.
Troggie: Hey man, last week You-Know-Who was our starting QB. Besides, I really think the boys turned the corner today. The D-line made life miserable for McCown and we put up 28 points on one of the best defenses in the league. Coach Kubes has us primed for a big finish.
Me: So all that talk about brining in Bill Cowher or Marty…?
Troggie: Since when did you become a fu**ing historian? I don’t give a flying fu** about the past. All I know is, I got a good feeling about this team going forward. We’re gonna finish 8-8, and then next year we’re going to the playoffs, baby! Just remember, you heard it here first. But by next summer, I bet the Chron guys will be on the bandwagon, too.
Me: Dude, the Chron guys are on the bandwagon every summer. Anyway, I hate to dampen the mood, but what are your thoughts on the Rockets season so far?
Troggie: No heart, man. No fu**ing heart. You’re tight with Morey, right? I mean, you better be after that golden boy, puff-piece you wrote at the start of the season. Get his ass on the line, too. Then tell him to trade that spineless, passive piece of sh** T-Mac to L.A. for Kobe ASAP. This team is garbage and will be lucky to make the playoffs. And even if they do, it’ll just be another one-and-done like every other Rockets team we’ve seen the past decade.
Me: So I take it you’re not on board my patience train?
Troggie: I’m sorry, did I not make myself clear the first time? Get rid of McGrady now! I’ve seen all I need to see. This team is softer than the saddle bags on Bonzi’s behind. Only a straight-up killer like Kobe can help us at this point.
Me: Of course, there’s just that small matter of actually convincing the Lakers to trade Kobe…
Troggie: Jesus, no wonder you’re such a miserable excuse for a human. You think absolutely everything is impossible. Besides, even if they can’t get their hands on Kobe, the Rockets can certainly bring in a guy like Jason Kidd. We’d be unbeatable with a holy trinity of Kidd, Yao and McGrady.
Me: Hold up. First, you’re trying to kick T-Mac off the team, and now he’s part of a new holy trinity? How does that work? And while we’re on the subject, how do you plan on getting Kidd here without giving up Ming or McGrady?
Troggie: Now that’s easy. Just give ‘em Rafer, Mike James, Bonzi and a draft pick. And if that’s not enough, throw Kirk Snyder in there, too. Done and done.
Me: Are you freaking kidding me?!?! You think the Nets are dumb enough to hand over a Hall of Fame point guard for nothing but a bunch of Houston’s spare parts? And I hate to keep harping on this, but you don’t seem to be grasping the concept behind that little hurdle better known as the salary cap.
Troggie: That’s not my problem, bro. Throw Battier in if that’s what it takes. All I know is Mr. MIT better fix this sinking ship before the entire season goes up in flames.
Me: Love the mixed metaphor, by the way. That’s a really nice touch. And glad to see you’ve got all the answers regardless of whether or not they have anything even remotely in common with the real world. You and John Royal should really get together sometime. The two of you would make Houston titletown in no time.
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Troggie: Hey, don’t be calling out JR like that, homie. At least he takes a fu**ing stand every once in awhile. He pretty much nailed the Astros’s season from the start, didn’t he? Meanwhile, you’re so goddamn wishy-washy, it’s disgusting. If you spent less time trying to impress everyone with big words, and more time giving a strong opinion, you might actually be relevant someday. But, no, you just sit there on your fence churning out the world’s best cure for insomnia. “Be patient… blah, blah, blah.” Please. Stop trying to cozy up to everyone in the locker room and executive suite and just grow a pair already.
Me: That’s sage advice, Troggie. Thanks for your time, but that’s Morey calling me back on the other line.
Troggie: Tell him to go get Kobe or Kidd!!!
Me: I’ll be sure to do that. ‘Til next time.