I know there are Texan fans out there who are wondering if I am going to have the creative juices and the time to recreate the Battle-Drink BINGO card each and every week. (And to make sure full credit is shared properly, it's actually Monica Fuentes who creates the actual card; I just come up with what goes in the squares.) Some of you are understandably skeptical if I can have one for every game this season.
I don't know if I'll be able to do it, but I can assure you that this week will not be the week that I shove my Battle-Drink commissioner duties aside. The 8-1 Texans play the 1-8 Jaguars. This is the best against the worst. Hulk Hogan against Rene Goulet. Las Vegas against Toledo. Deep dish pizza against broccoli.
Frankly, if ever there were a weekend when you needed Battle-Drink to maintain interest in a game, it's this weekend. Some of you will maintain interest using the 16 point spread, others will do it by getting in the express lane for a liver transplant.
This post is for those of you in the latter group. Let's look at this week's changes to the Battle-Drink grid:
I3: Blaine Gabbert throws INT I4: Blaine Gabbert leaves game injured I5: Tim Dobbins injures Blaine Gabbert After spending most of his rookie season in 2011 on his back, running for his life, or throwing back breaking interceptions, Jags quarterback Blaine Gabbert decided to trim his trademark flowing locks and go with the short, tight haircut for 2012. New year, new hair, new quarterback! Well, at least he got two out of three right. Gabbert has been his same old terrible self in 2012 to the point where Jacksonville is even hotter on hometown hero Tim Tebow (more on him in a moment) now than they were in 2011, which is amazing because Tebow has gone 100 miles per hour in reverse this season as a player. Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins gets recognized on the card this week for his game ending hit to Jay Cutler in the Bears game.
N1: Royce White tweets during game This square could, quite frankly, wind up being the difference between a mere "really bad headache" Monday morning or waking up in the middle of a stomach pump session on Sunday night. Rockets rookie forward Royce White has been tweeting all week long about his anxiety issues and how the evil Rockets empire are a bunch of liars and cheats who don't care about him as a person. (I'm paraphrasing him.) If White decides that his next Twitter filibuster is Sunday afternoon, Battle-Drink gets taken to a whole new level.
N2: Whitney Mercilus sack Speaking of rookies, Texans rookie linebacker Whitney Mercilus has begun to work himself into the mix for playing time on defense and has three sacks in his last three games. He gets his Battle-Drink recognition this week.
G1: Shahid Khan mustache sighting G2: "Fan wearing Khan mustache" sighting G3: ANY Jacksonville fan sighting Other than one obligatory shot of Shahid Khan (and his glorious mustache) and the shotgunning of beer that goes with that, the rest of the squares in this group may as well involve Bigfoot or the Loch ness monster. There's a better chance of one of them showing up at this game on Sunday than an actual Jaguar fan.
G4: Kareem Jackson INT Have we killed off the last of the Kareem Jackson haters yet? Is it safe to say that he is a legitimate NFL cornerback now? Battle-Drink says "YES!"
O1: John McClain tweets "pathetic" I'm fairly certain McClain is aware of his being a prominent fixture on the weekly game board, because after a barrage of "pathetic"'s earlier in the season (and the obligatory retweet by me with the word "DRINK!"), he's been going more with words like "terrible" and "horrible" lately. Still, on occasion, he can't help himself:
What a pathetic series that was for the offense. 5 runs in a row between Foster and Forsett. Schaub to Foster for no gain. 6 plays, 1 pass.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) November 12, 2012
So I'm not going to change up the key word for McClain, we will stick with "pathetic." However, I'm upping the stakes and making it worth a shot.
O2: Connor Barwin sack No Barwin sacks last week, so we move him from one shot to two shots. The Barwin "skins game for sacks" in the SHOT column has become a fun Battle-Drink subplot each week.
O3: Tim Tebow mentioned O4: Tim Tebow high school highlight played O5: Tim Tebow loses virginity Finally, the only place where the specter of Tim Tebow is less escapable than a New York Jets game is in a Jacksonville Jaguars game. Tebow grew up not far from the Jags' home stadium, and business is so bad in Jacksonville (The upper deck is regularly tarped for Jaguar home games.) that fans and media are all in universal agreement that it's a no brainer for the Jags to bring Tebow and his career 48 percent completion percentage in next season.
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Projected drink intake: 90 sips, 28 gulps, 24 chugs, 1 shotgun, 10 shots Predicted final score: Texans 30, Jaguars 9
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.