If you were like most Houstonians, your heart sank on Sunday afternoon when you saw Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub hit the ground in agony after getting hit by the Denver Broncos' Joe Mays. Immediately images of last year flew through our heads and within seconds, T.J. Yates was in the game -- albeit for just a throw.
Our man was only inconvenienced for a short time and returned to the game quickly, but he would end up losing part of his ear lobe in the brutal tackle.
We all winced when we saw blood trickle from his ear, as most of us do when we see anyone have a precious piece of their anatomy ripped asunder. We beat the Broncos, and Schaub earned props all over the league. A lesser man like, say, Tony Romo probably would have tapped out and gone home early.
Mr. Schaub's ear adventure is just another instance of ear-ie happenings in pop culture and sport.
You know, if Brian Cushing had ripped Peyton Manning's ear off, he would have had a ticker tape parade today, with free cake and ice cream.
But that's why I love Houston.
5. Mike Tyson Bites Off A Part Of Evander Holyfield's Ear YIIIIIIIIIIIIKES. This one still hurts to watch or read about. During a June 28, 1997, bout, boxers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were engaged in battle and Tyson -- in a moment of absolute clarity -- managed to bite off a chunk of Holyfield's ear. The whole world was shocked and horrified, but not altogether surprised that Tyson would bite off part of a man's ear. Which is sad in itself.
4. Mike On Breaking Bad Gets The Tip Of His Shot Off If you are a Breaking Bad devotee, you will remember the episode where hitman/PI Mike Ehrmantraut had his ear grazed by an errant bullet in a shootout in the back of a truck. He didn't lose it totally, but the image of that tip dangling stuck with everyone, and on him too. His scar would be a mainstay on his character until the bitter end.
3. Peter Cuts Off A Guard's Ear In The Bible In the account of Judas's betrayal of Jesus Christ, Peter reached for his sword and cut off a guard's ear. But being the good guy he is -- Jesus reattaches the guard's ear. Who said the Bible was boring?
From the Good Book:
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Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest's slave.
2. Quentin Tarantino, Stealers Wheel and an Unlucky Cop We all know that director QT loves his blood, guts and cinematic octane. Michael Madsen's Mr. Blonde taunting a captive cop with a little soft shoe to Stealers Wheel's radio hit "Stuck in the Middle with You."
1. Drama Queen Vincent Van Gogh Cuts His Own Ear Off (Maybe) In 2009, new reports came out that maybe the artist Van Gogh didn't cut off part of his own ear, and that actually it happened in a fight with his friend, French artist Paul Gauguin. The image of cutting his own ear off in a fit of passionate rage was too good to pass up, it seems, for the artist. It makes for great emo lore.