One thing missing from this week’s installment of the Misery Index: pulled punches. As in, I didn’t pull a single one. It’s a surlier-than-usual helping of CSMI. Some have called the honesty “refreshing,” while others have referred to it as “refreshingly honest and alarmingly handsome.” Whichever side you find yourself on: you’re welcome.
Texas Longhorns (4-5)
It’s just Kansas. I know that’s rude to say out loud, but hey shut-up ‘cause you’re all thinking it, too. And that’s okay.
Suggested Segment Soundtrack: “The Great Pretender” – The Platters
I was driving through Houston, yesterday (as I often do… since I live here), when I noticed a woman in an otherwise unremarkable Mercedes sport utility vehicle WEARING A FUR COAT. If you were in Houston, yesterday (or ever, really), you’d recognize the absurdity of that sentence, given it was like 80-something degrees and as humid as a high school locker room. (Ed. Note: Gross.) It was such a curious sight to behold in the middle of the day. Naturally my mind began to wander, as it often does in the most unfortunate of times and places (sometimes I completely check out in the middle of conversations and forget I’m supposed to be actively involved in the discussion because the person said something that reminded me of something else and my brain is always moving and working through stuff at a dizzying pace).
So there I am thinking about the oddity that is this fur-clad woman in the warmth of November and I’m imagining her also wearing a long string of her mother’s pearls and upon her face she’s peering through an over-sized pair of fashionable sunglasses and on her feet she’s clumsily wearing a comically-over-sized pair of red high-heels and OH MY GOD THAT’S A TEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL PRETENDING TO BE A GROWN-UP AND SHE’S DRIVING A CAR SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THE POLICE.
The point is, playing pretend can be fun. Especially when it involves being a winner. Just don’t let it fool you into thinking you’re something that you’re not.
North Texas Mean Green (1-8)
On the subject of honest self-reflection, North Texas is still the worst team in college football.
Suggested Segment Soundtrack: “Hurt” – Johnny Cash
I know, I know – Kansas is bad at almost everything that isn’t basketball and North Texas did beat UT-Satellite, last week. But North Texas loses in ways that makes losing itself seem impressive. As if it were something to be praised. As if they had something to gain by losing.
This week, they gave up six rushing touchdowns to one guy. To put that into perspective for the majority of you who didn’t even know North Texas played Division 1A football, the entire Mean Green team has only scored six rushing touchdowns all SEASON.
I want to say it will get worse before it gets better, as the next game is a road date with Tennessee (what?) that promises sports carnage in great quantity, but it’s hard to imagine anything much worse than what we’ve seen so far.
That said, this team’s tough to beat when it comes to losing.
Houston Texans (3-5)
The Texans didn’t lose, this week. But they didn’t win, either.
Suggested Segment Soundtrack: “You’re No Good” – Linda Ronstadt
While the Texans were busy doing macramé on vacation (or whatever NFL football teams do during the bye week), the Colts notched a win over the previously undefeated Fightin’ Kubiaks of Denver, reclaiming sole possession of the #1 spot in the AFC South – where I might have predicted they’d stay, but now there’s news that Andrew Luck is down a kidney and will be resting on the sidelines for the next few games and everyone in Houston is going to start thinking about what could be and I just want to stop you all right there and drop some honestly into your hungry little football mouths:
The Texans are not good. The division is worse.
Unsolicited GM advice: Trade J.J. Watt for everything you can get, then draft a QB and as many linemen and linebackers as you’ve remaining picks. You’re welcome.
The Misery Wildcard : NFL Quarterbacks Not Playing for the Texans
Suggested Segment Soundtrack: "The End of the World" - Skeeter Davis
On the subject of the NFL draft and quarterbacks, I’d like to remind everyone of that one time head coach Bill O’Brien got all worked up about the media questioning the ability of his QB’s during the preseason (remember, one of them later slept himself out of a job) saying, and I quote, “These are two guys that are good quarterbacks.” All due respect, Mr. O'Brien sir, they are not. And so the Texans -- for whatever reason -- weren't compelled to spend any high draft picks on a new quarterback, going on... Wait, when was David Carr drafted? But a few other teams did, so let’s check in, see how they’ve fared. What do you say?
OH COME ON IT WILL BE FUN.
Derek Carr’s mid-season stats are basically indistinguishable from that of Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers. Is that good?
Teddy Bridgewater has led the Vikings to a 6-2 record, which puts them at the top of the NFC North division. Is that good?
Marcus Mariota put up 371 yards with 4 TD’s and no interceptions in the Titans win over the Saints, last week. Is that good?
I ask because I don’t know what good looks like; I’ve not seen it since the Oilers left town.
Remind me again of the definition of insanity?
This week’s Croucher Sports Misery Index: 67
Michigan State’s Fan Base
And in the tenth week, the Spartans learned about misery and not a soul in Ann Arbor, Michigan cried a single tear. Probably Nebraska didn’t actually win this football game. But they did according to the record books and that’s all that matters – especially troublesome for a Michigan State team that had its eyes on a playoff spot.
Speaking of, I might be concerned if I were a Buckeye fan, as there’s a lot of hate with a side of redemption headed that direction in a couple short weeks.
Texas A&M’s 2015 Season
A&M’s schedule was set up perfectly for a deep run, this season. It had a handful of easy, breezy non-conference games – all of which would be played within the state of Texas – and a favorable SEC home slate, hosting Alabama, Mississippi State and Auburn at a mostly new, ultra-swanky version of Kyle Field. In fact, the Aggies schedule has them leaving the State of Texas just three times the entire season. Strategically, you couldn’t ask for a much better situation, as it (THEORETICALLY) allows some time for a team to get used to a new defensive scheme and I’m of the opinion that winning begets winning, as it builds confidence. (But I’m not a coach or a player or an expert on anything so don’t mind me over here minding your business.)
Add to that the fact that the Aggies have had a solid three-four years of recruiting, including one of the nation’s best defensive players in Myles Garrett and two of the best QB recruits in as many years, and you’ve got a guaranteed recipe for a success.
Anyways, I drank the Kool-Aid on Texas A&M in 2015 and the Kool-Aid has gone bad.
Turns out this season’s A&M football team is the 80’s hair band of college football: style, flair, and pizzazz for days (hello, SWAGCOPTER), and yet almost entirely devoid of substance.
(Unrelated: I own every Monster Ballads compilation that was ever sold.)
The Dallas Cowboys
If you’re going to go with the win-at-all costs approach to sports management and sign a controversial player, it had better work. That’s how we do it in America, where we’ll forgive almost anything if it comes with a championship or a lot of money. (Cynical, I know.)
Jerry Jones went all-in with the signing of Greg Hardy. Then Romo and Bryant went all-out with injuries and the 2015 Cowboys turned into a dysfunctional train wreck of a football team. Are these facts related? Of course they’re related. (That, or it's Illuminati.) You reap what you sow -- it’s the universe’s way of balancing everything out.
People deserve second chances -- I believe that wholeheartedly. Hell, I believe in third and fourth chances, in many situations. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences.
Playing in the National Football League is a privilege. Being paid millions of dollars to play a game is a privilege. Domestic violence, however, is not a game. And the perpetration of the latter should permanently remove a person from participation in the former. Period.