Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wanting National Respect for Team is Part of Being a Fan

                                         "Good it doesn't make Sportscenter, though"
One thing that will bother a Texans fan more than anything -outside of hearing the name David Ca…nevermind- is what seems to be a lack of respect/coverage by the national sports media. And one thing that bothers ‘this’ Texans fan just as much is hearing local radio guys and even some fans ask the question, “Why do Texans fans care so much about the team being respected nationally?” The answer is in the question:  “Fans”!


Fans love to indulge in everything “their team”. They want to buy the hats, shirts, jerseys and bumper-stickers. They want to go to the games and tailgate, or just get together with friends and watch the game at home or at a sports-bar.  They even want to dress their newborn babies in their team’s gear, even though that newborn hasn’t had the chance to pick a team themselves, or decide if they even like the sport to begin with. And if you’re a fan that does dress your newborn in your team’s gear, you are a loser! And let me be the first to welcome you to the club. Welcome!


Along with indulging in the games and the merchandise comes a craving for information and highlights. You can get this from the local news, or internet sites and blogs dedicated to your team.  But fans want to see their team getting that outside, national exposure. They want to see a different prospective. They want to see some ex-NFL vet drool over their team, showering them with great words and praises. For Texans fans, they want to know that some wind-blown, frozen-balls bastard from Chicago came in from the cold,  tuned into ESPN and saw a highlight of TJ Freakin’ Yates squeezing in a pass to Kevin Walters Walter for the game-winning touchdown. But time and time again, we Texans fans tune in just to see maybe the score on the bottom ticker, or if we’re lucky the “other” team making a positive play. (My weekly aside: as I’m typing, I keep looking up to watch Thursday Night Football. Kobb sucks! And I refuse to spell it the way his family does... He and Mike Shashevski need to file the proper paperwork to have their last names at least close to being spelled correctly!)


I know the Texans may not be as exciting as a Rex Ryan postgame presser, but is it too much for a Texans fan to ask that ESPN show highlights of their team clinching their division and a playoff berth for the first time in franchise history (I’ll let you slide, B’e’rth!)? Is a rookie, practice-squad QB leading a game-winning drive on the road against a playoff-caliber team not the stuff highlights should consist of? I guess not. While waiting around to see some “real” highlights of their team doing the impossible, Texans fans have to suffer through 24-hour, non-stop coverage and analysis of Tim Tebow’s throwing-motion, and what it might be able to tell us about how he wipes his ass (which is probably not very well if his throwing motion is any indicator. I bet he has a home-health agency on speed-dial.)


I admit, I understand why the Texans haven’t gotten more air-time nationally. The Texans really haven’t given the national media anything to cover in the franchise’s short history up until recently, so I guess we Texans fans should be a little more patient. But is it wrong to want it? Hell No! It’s what any fan should want, especially when they know they deserve it.


Now, if only Texans fans would stop doing “The Wave” when their offense is on the field.  But that’s another rant...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Green Bay Won the Damn Game

                                                   (The officials gave Green Bay "the business" Monday night)

I tried thinking of a catchy headline for this entry, something clever and to the point I plan on conveying, but at the end of the day (<--possibly the first of many clichés to follow) it all boils down to this (<-- see!): Green Bay did what it needed to win the game; Seattle did not do what it needed to win the game; the replacement officials gave Seattle that win and as an aside: my favorite beer right now is Saint Arnold’s “Santo”.
 I do not care about the Green Bay Packers enough to be angry about this past Monday Night Football’s outcome. I am also not going to participate in the whole grandiose-statement orgy going on right now and chip in on how the NFL is somehow “insulting my intelligence” by passing off the replacement officials as officials actually qualified to judge football contests at the highest level.  No, I am not offended. That’s not what this is about. This is about the  erroneous opinion that “maybe if Green Bay would have done what they needed to win, they wouldn’t have been in a position to be screwed by the officials.” And when this opinion comes from ESPN/NFL Network analysts and radio personalities, my “Over-Simplified and Lazy-Analysis” meter hits the red.  Let me guess, Talking Head (we’ll call them Talking Head): Had Green Bay “given 110%”, and “played all 60 minutes”, they wouldn’t have fallen victim to the old cliché of “Any given Sunday!” (Or Monday night. Or Wednesday night when The Barack is speaking at the DNC on Thursday, so the regularly scheduled Thursday game must be moved up in an effort to eliminate any real viewing competition. But dammit, we’re still gunna call it Thursday Night Football).
It’s perfectly fine for a coach to tell their team that they didn’t do enough to win in a situation like we had Monday night, and I wouldn’t expect less. You don’t want your players dwelling on something out of their control and in the past, but you’d rather them focus on what they can do to improve (like not allowing your quarterback to be sacked eight times in the first half). But Talking Head: I’m not your player!  Your audience is not a football team coming off a loss at the hands of replacement officials! And finally, you’re not our damn coach! So please, cut the bull-chit and talk to me like a fan of the game you’re paid to talk about. A fan of this game like every other fan -not in Washington state- who saw Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings intercept a pass with :00 left on the clock. A fan of the game who knows the difference between offensive and defensive pass interference.   I’m also a smart enough fan to realize that bad calls are a part of the game, and teams must overcome those bad calls. But Green Bay had no time to overcome these bad calls (Well, outside of the defensive pass interference call, which they did have time to overcome, and DID overcome by intercepting the pass on the last play of the game).
You can coat it how you will, and go on with your coach-speak clichés about accepting responsibility, but the Green Bay Packers DID accept responsibility. They went out in the second half and shut down the Seahawks offense. They put enough points on the board to have a lead in the final seconds of the game.  And when it came time for Seattle’s offense to put up a final drive, the Packers’ defense showed up to put the final touches on a tough road win.  We all saw the Green Bay corner blanket  his receiver down the sideline.  Only he must have done it TOO well, as the receiver had to hold him to insure he didn’t get his hands on the ball. But instead of calling offensive pass interference/holding, the officials went ahead and threw the yellow on the defense, giving Seattle a fresh set of downs and a shorter field on a crucial last minute drive. And of course, we all saw Green Bay deny Seattle a touchdown on a last second Hail-Mary pass by intercepting the prayer. But we forgot one thing: If the offensive player puts his arm around a defensive player that has completed an interception, that means the offense gets the touchdown. I know, the rule does not sound familiar, but that’s mainly because it just went into effect Monday night.
Now thankfully, as I type this (12:34 PM 9/26/2012, partly cloudy skies with a steady wind out of the South), there are reports circling that The NFL and the regular officials are “maybe” close to an agreement  that would bring those regular officials back.  That would be great, and would make such a sad moment for the Packers and their fans a good moment for the rest of the league and its fans: the moment that hopefully made everyone say “Okay, that’s enough!” Because we all saw it clear: Green Bay won the damn game!
And as if I hadn’t used enough clichés already (including the word “cliché” itself enough that I myself am annoyed), I’ll leave you with another: When these two teams play (Green Bay and Seattle), “throw the records out the window!” Seriously, as those records do not reflect what actually took place Monday night.

Derick Zimmerman

Monday, July 2, 2012

Carlos Lee: Hope for the Houston Sports Fan

I think we can all agree, the summer of 2012 has been a rough one for Houston sports fans.

The Astros are yet again one of the worst clubs in baseball, continuing a rebuilding process that already seems to be taking forever. The Rockets, though competitive, remained in neutral and missed the playoffs again. And the worst thing of all: Albert Haynesworth is still available to be signed by a team on the Texans schedule. That means the possibility of Matt Schaub suffering a season ending injury at the hands (or ass) of Fat Al is still floating around (ATTENTION RICK SMITH: Sign his fat ass NOW! And do not let him near Schauby!). Nothing has gone right, and there has been nothing positive to take out of this summer, right? Insert Carlos Lee. One of the biggest wastes of money in the history of sports in Houston may have finally came through in an unlikely way, and provided some hope for the city's sports fans.

Lee has vetoed a trade that would send him to the L.A. Dodgers, a winning team with a realistic shot at some postseason success. "How is that a good thing?", you might ask.  I know, for a team rebuilding it seems to be a bad deal, not being able to trade an old horse on the decline for some young colts with promise of helping in the future. But you have to dig deeper, think outside of the Juice Box for a second to see where I'm coming from.

One of the things that gets a Houston sports fan more down than a, well, something real low is that athletes, specifically star athletes never want to play in Houston. Dwight Howard says he doesn't want to be here, expressing through various outlets he would not re-sign with the Rockets in 2013 if traded to Houston. Chris Bosh wanted to play in Miami, turning down more money to NOT play in Houston. Nnamdi Asomugha didn't seem too interested in coming to Houston last offseason (though the Texans may be better off with the player who did sign on).  Carlos Beltran was in Houston just long enough to have only one of the best postseason runs in MLB history, then chose to leave a World Series caliber team to play in flashier New York City. Get where I'm going with this now?

Yep, by refusing to be traded to a winning team in L.A., Carlos Lee is basically saying he wants to stay in Houston! This should excite Houston sports fans, someone actually "wants" to be here.

....yah, you're right, this summer really sucks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Old BCS out - Playoffs In! Problem Solved?

Well, there we have it: finally there's a playoff in college football's top division! We can all live happily ever after, right? Probably not! Though better than the current way of producing a champion, this will not put an end to the controversy.

The first problem is there will be only four playoff spots available to teams in pretty much six major conferences (assuming the Big East keeps its status, which is in doubt). That means at least two conferences could feel screwed when they're not represented, and possibly repeatedly screwed. Add to it that there will be a selection committee picking the teams --problem two IMO, the 'human element'-- and it makes it "personal" for the "screwed" conferences. Fast-forward to meetings a few years later, and it's possible that the "screwed" conferences refuse to sign up to continue participating in the system or a similar one, pretty much blowing up the playoff because they're pissed off at "someone". Then we're back to 1 vs. 2 in a championship.

As a fan of college football, I am glad to see ANY type of playoff system finally arrive. It's about damn time! I just believe the current computer formula used to determine the national championship match-up has been wrongly prosecuted. IMO, it is in how the formula is being applied that is the problem, not the formula itself.

Before, humans picked the two title game participants (via polls etc..) and that was a problem. Now it's the computers that do the picking, and they're the problem too? No! The constant theme with all of the systems we've deemed unsatisfactory is they leave us with only two teams to compete for the title on the field. I believe using the current formula to pick the playoff participants --whether fully or in a smaller capacity-- would be the better thing to do (and eight participants, mind you)!

I've always been of the opinion that the computer formula does a good job of putting the top six, seven and even eight teams into the top six, seven and eight. The order may not be 100% accurate, but it's always pretty damn close. Rarely are we arguing that the #2 team doesn't deserve to be in the championship game, but that the #3 team, and sometimes even the #4 are just as deserving, which leads us to resent the #2 team and the system that put them there.  Sometimes, we even feel #5 and #6 may not be as deserving, but "by golly, they're playing the best football right now. Would sure like to see 'em against #1 and #2." That has always led me to believe the current formula can still be used, just in a different way.

I've always thought the formula should be used to produce the final top eight teams, then have those teams placed in a playoff. Let it be settled on the field!  But though that would remove the human element, and increase the chances of each major conference being represented, it still allows for controversy when a conference comes up short of being represented.  

That leads to another suggestion that is growing on me, and I will credit Houston sports talk host Nick Wright of Sports Radio 610,  whom i heard it from first. The suggestion is defining a solid five major conferences that would compete for the first five playoff spots. The champions of the five conferences would automatically make the playoff, leaving just three spots to fill.  Being that the computer formula isn't the devil it has been made it out to be, the final three teams would be determind by computer ranking. That means the top three teams not to win their conference championship make it in. Most importantly, however, is NCLB - No Conference Left Behind, which makes for happy conferences less likely to throw wrenches.

With either my way or the Wright way (no pun), the teams could be placed in bowl games --seven in total to determine a champion-- at the existing BCS bowl locations, and even add a couple of new ones if you'd like. Hell, even keep the name 'BCS'! Do that, and for the first time ever the words behind the abbreviation 'BCS' will make sense: a 'Series' of 'Bowls' that lead to a 'Championship'! Wait, that's SBC...but you get the point.

As for the argument that eight teams making a playoff will somehow "water down" the regular season: Ridiculous! If the top eight teams were put in a playoff, as my original suggested system would do, that bottom half and the four or so teams on the outside would be clawing like crazy to make the playoff. With a system like the one Wright suggested, not only would teams be fighting to win their conferences, they'd be fighting to be as highly ranked as possible.  And when a really good team appears to have lost a shot to win their conference, instead of the "poor me, I lost my chance at playing for a title" we see every year, those teams will continue fighting because they would still have a shot. That almost triples the excitement IMO!  Then add an eight team playoff at the end of all of that? Man, the last half of the college football season would be as exciting as it can possibly be (not an opinion, that's a fact!... imo)!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Are Those Crickets I Hear?

So i was hashing out ideas for my first blog entry when this came to mind: Just who in the hell am I writing to? I don't even have an audience, yet! So, am I pretty much writing to myself?  Are those crickets I hear?

Of course those were not crickets I heard, because not even the crickets are aware of my blog.

Truth is I just want to write, and to share my thoughts with those unlucky enough to click the link. But what will I write about? What will my blog be about?

Well, to start I am a big sports fan. Most days I sponge up information on sports via Twitter and sports talk radio, arguing with the hosts through the radio as if they were in the room with me (What's that? You think I'm crazy? Corrrrect!). Being from the Coastal Bend of Texas, my main sports interest is the Houston Texans, so that is where I plan to do the most damage, though I'll hit up other sports and national sports topics I'm positive.

Other things to blog about? Well: Fishing; life in general; stupid people and the stupid things they do; your mother; music; beer; food; social issues. Maybe I'll even throw in some big words to trick you into thinking I'm smarts. And hyperbole? I can do that! I do that about a million times a day!

Oh yah, and politics! Everyone loves some social issues and politics discussion. Well, I'm a Libertarian (I think), so maybe you'll see me blog about how it's none of my business (or yours) if Gary marries Bob, Bob + Sally, or even twelve other guys (poor Gary). Or how I'm not bothered if Gary wants to smoke some pot, as long as Gary doesn't care if I get drunk and fall off of a boat six times chasing the sixth cigarette I've immediately dropped upon lighting (that is not hyperbole. As a matter of fact, it may have been seven times). And of course I feel it is important to mention that picking between Obama and Romney is like choosing what caliber deer rifle you'd prefer being shot in the head with at point blank range (30.06 me, please! Let's get this shit over with).

And some day I may even explain why I chose the blog title that I did (You Need to See Things My Way). But for now, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the new blog smell, patiently awaiting the arrival of the first crickets.