Here's me channeling an NFL player...
After a September and October that included two Texans road trips, three Texans home games, a trip to College Station for Alabama-A&M, and a trip to South Bend for Oklahoma-Notre Dame, the bye week came at a good time for me.
Yes, that's right, last weekend's bye for the local team represented an opportunity for me to rest. A time to vegetate on the couch and watch the Red Zone Channel for seven hours on Sunday, and curse at Green Bay for possessing the ball for roughly 58 of the 60 minutes against the Vikings on Sunday night. (NOTE: I have Adrian Peterson and Blair Walsh on my fantasy team and lost to my opponent, a certain NBA general manager, by six points. Winning that game would have been my seminal sports-fan moment. And I was robbed.)
If you BATTLE-DRINK each weekend, hopefully the bye week gave you a chance to dry out. But the stretch run is here, and not only is this game on Sunday against the Colts the latest in the "BIGGEST GAME IN TEXANS HISTORY" box set, but it's a night game.
So pacing matters. Keep it in mind, kids. Now, let's look at this week's board...
First, a reminder, that two alternate versions of BATTLE-DRINK can be played, if you truly don't feel like dying. The board works for both alternate versions -- there is BATTLE-DRINK SIP, in which you just replace the various drink styles (GULP, CHUG, SHOTGUN, SHOT) with SIP.
Also, there is BATTLE-DRINK LIGHT, in which you merely take one sip for each occurrence on the board. How you handle tailgating throughout the afternoon will probably dictate which version you play.
Okay, let's get to the new squares on the board. Here they are:
B1: Arian Foster carry B2: Ben Tate carry B3: Ray Graham carry B4: Dennis Johnson carry B5: Deji Karim carry When it comes to the whole "Sam Montgomery/Willie Jefferson/Cierre Wood marijuana/cigar did smoke/did not smoke" saga, if I were Gary Kubiak, I think the one of those three fools I'd be most angry with would be Cierre Wood, and here's why: heading into the Chiefs game last Sunday, Arian Foster was dealing with a hamstring issue, and by four carries in, he was in the locker room done for the day.
As it turned out, Kubiak had only dressed out two tailbacks, Foster and Ben Tate. Now, keep in mind, nobody in the media or in the viewing audience knew that Wood had been booted from the team, so instead we all thought Kubiak did something incredibly dumb by making Wood inactive with only Tate as a truly healthy back (and even he was dinged up by the end of the game).
Therefore, not only did Wood let you down as a head coach because he broke rules, but he put Kubiak in a position where he looked stupid. And frankly, there's enough people throwing stones at Kubiak about other things lately. He doesn't need that hassle.
So after a four-way battle in training camp for the RB3 spot, a battle won by Wood, after Wood was cut they brought back/called up all three of the other guys. As of this typing, I have no idea who starts or who even plays, so let's be safe and give the entire position and all five backs their own column, okay?
I1: Player gives high school during NBC intros One of the staples of the NBC broadcast is the introduction of the starters on both sides of the ball, where each of the players' head shots appear one after another at the bottom of the screen, and each says his name and most say the college they went to. However, some of the players use this platform to pay homage to their high school. If they say their high school name, this will call for a GULP. If you feel like playing an "off the board" rule, then if a player tries to turn their intro into a night at the Improv (i.e. Jared Allen citing a "culinary institute"), then finish your beer.
I2: Texans prime-time record mention I'm not sure if you know this, but the Texans have been fairly mediocre in prime time (Sunday night, Monday night) the last few years. Let's take a look:
2010 @ Indianapolis, L 30-17 2010 vs Baltimore, L 34-28 OT 2012 @ NY Jets, W 23-17 2012 vs Packers, L 42-24 2012 @ Chicago, W 13-6 2012 @ New England, L 42-14 2013 vs San Diego, W 31-28 2013 @ San Francisco, L 34-3
That's 3-5, which ironically would be their 2013 record if they win Sunday night. I'm not sure that NBC will want to tout how shitty one of the two teams has played in prime time, y'know during their prime time broadcast, but it's certainly a storyline.
I5: Bum Phillips tribute vignette This will be the first Texans game since the Bum Phillips memorial at Lakewood Church on Tuesday night, so at a minimum there will be footage of that. Also, there's that little thing about Bum's son (or @sonofbum, as it were) coordinating the defense for the Texans. Either way, there's a good chance that when it comes to your liver, Bum is gonna kick the son of a bitch in!!
N5: Keenum scrambles for 1st down This is an historic Battle-Drink square, as it marks the first time that a Texans quarterback's mobility has triggered an imbibing action.
G1: "Andrew Luck from Houston" mention G2: Andrew Luck high school highlight G3: Oliver Luck Houston Oiler highlight G4: Oliver Luck "Texas AD rumor" mention G5: Andrew Luck "not recruited by UT" reference Remember in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl in 2006 in Detroit how the prevailing storyline was "Hey, Jerome Bettis is from Detroit! Did you know that Jerome Bettis is from Detroit? He is from Detroit!!" I have a feeling by the time the pregame is over on Sunday, that "Andrew Luck is from Houston" will be that day's "Jerome Bettis is from Detroit." Add to it the fact that Luck's father, Oliver, is a a) former Oiler quarterback and b) still highly relevant (rumored for the Texas AD job), and this column could become a clusterdrink quickly. O1: Schaub Shot This was suggested by a Twitter follower -- a shot every time they show a shot of Matt Schaub on the bench. As if for Texans fans there are any more reasons to "sports despise" Schaub.
O4: John McClain tweets about Astrodome vote Let me preface this by saying that I like John McClain. I consider him a friend, and he's always been great to me. Also, he is Twitter gold and a Battle-Drink Hall of Famer, so there's that. That said, I heard McClain on "In The Loop" on 610 this past week imploring listeners to vote YES for saving the Astrodome with the sales pitch that it would only cost each taxpayer $8 per year.
With all due respect, most initiatives can be broken down to mere pennies or a few bucks per taxpayer; it comes down to what's most important. The few hundred million used to revamp the Astrodome could potentially be used on schools or road or extra security at Matt Schaub's house to keep away the riff-raff. My point is, some people don't even want to spend $8 to revamp the Astrodome. We will see, if the game gets out of hand, McClain may use the second half to go on an Astrodome filibuster. Could be good.
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O5: Al Michaels gambling reference The specialty move of both Michaels and Brent Musberger -- thinly veiled references to the spread and/or the total, hopefully because both have tens of thousands of dollars wagered on the game. They say that if you listen to Brent closely, you can tell within the first quarter which side he's on. Michaels' specialty is referencing the total on the game as it winds down to the end. If it's anywhere near going over or staying under and the game is a blowout, count on a "Well, a few people still interested in whether or not the Colts punch it in here..." from Michaels. If you want to follow along, just know the Colts are favored by 2.5 and the total is 44.
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 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.