The Croucher Sports Misery Index -- Week Six (10/19-10/25)

It is with great sadness we bid the Houston Astros ‘farewell’ from this year’s CSMI. They had a great run, often providing a sweet respite from the sports misery. As the football season sleepwalks along, swearing as it bumps into pieces of furniture in the dark, we’ll look to find a replacement for our beloved baseball team. 

For now, they’ve been removed and the index has been adjusted accordingly.

Texas Longhorns (3-4)

Well how about that? Texas grounded and pounded the ball in the pouring rain to scratch out a win against a decent K-State team. 

Suggested Segment Soundtrack: “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” – Creedence Clearwater Revival 

Texas is beginning to form an identity and it starts and ends with running the football between the tackles. The run game accounted for 274 of the Longhorn’s 373 total yards of offense against the Wildcats and has accounted for almost 600 yards in the last two wins. (We'll hold off on calling it a "win streak" until there are more than two.) 

Tyrone Swoopes a.k.a., “Swoopesdozer” a.k.a. “StormSwooper” a.k.a. “18-Wheeler” a.k.a. “By All Accounts A Really Nice Kid Who’s Had A Tough Twelve Months And Been A Good Teammate Through It All” used all 240+lbs of his 6’4” frame to take over the end of the fourth quarter with three-straight runs of 13, 29, and 10 yards, the last of which was good for the game-clinching touchdown.

All this is great. Here's where I might drop a "sunny day in the midst of the rain" metaphor before circling back to the suggested song, showing a masterful command of this ridiculous column. But I’m most-interested in talking about Charlie Strong’s post-game comments and the reappearance of “Charlie Weather”. 

Some may remember last year’s frigid road-trip to Stillwater where the Longhorns faced the Cowboys of Oklahoma State in a game that was mostly played in sub-freezing weather. Before kickoff, Charlie offered a pep talk of sorts that simply stated it was not in fact cold. 

“They told me it was cold. I told them it was not cold.”  

 Simple. Succinct. Stupendous.

Simple. Succinct. Stupendous.

Strong followed up last year’s weather chat with another pre-game meteorological gem regarding Saturday’s torrential downpour in Austin. 

“Okay, it's wet, we understand that. What do you want me to do, move the clouds? I can't move the clouds. I can't stop the rain.” 

No, you can’t. But you can keep makin' it rain (figuratively, of course -- try to keep up, people). 

Speaking of meteorological disturbances, the Longhorns travel to Ames, Iowa (find a U.S. map, put your finger in the middle -- it's there-ish) to take on the Iowa State Cyclones (slow-developing segue, hope the payoff was worth it), this Saturday. 

Possibly Unpopular Opinion: I think this is the toughest game left on the schedule not named Baylor. 

Misery: 0

North Texas Mean Green (0-7)

Another week, another loss. This time the Mean Green played doormat to the Thundering Herd of Marshall. 

I’ve stumbled into a lazy, poorly thought-out theory that basically posits the Mean Green started the season with a bye week and never really came off of it. That’s the easiest way for me to explain the fact that the team doesn’t appear to believe the season has begun. 

Suggested Segment Soundtrack: “Loser” - Beck

Regardless, if ever there were a time to win a game, this week is it. The Roadrunners (beep-beep) of Texas-San Antonio come to Denton with their own misery-painted sports car (think ‘86 Camaro with different-colored body panels and purple window tint, which has faded and bubbled up and is currently peeling off the glass), riding a zero-game winning streak that adds up to a 1-6 record. UNT has played seven games and won none of them. So between them they’ve just one win. ONE. In 14 tries, they’ve got ONE win. Total. 

Now maybe this isn’t such a big deal for UTSA. After all, they just started their college like five years ago. (Ed. Note: UTSA was founded in 1969, Brant. Their football program played its first game in 2011.)  But UNT has played football for a hundred years. 

 A HUNDRED!

A HUNDRED!

Fans of “major” programs that value “winning” and sending athletes to the “NFL” every year to “make” “money” may laugh at this, but I’d argue this is actually must-see TV. That stakes have in fact never been higher. (They’ve also never been lower.) This is essentially the game of the season for both teams. It’s like a reverse bowl game. 

“Congrats, you’ve done so poorly up to this point of the season, we’d like to feature you in a game that will decide which program is the absolute worst in the entire State of Texas. The loser gets to play ‘two below’ against Katy High School in the parking lot of a church to be mutually agreed upon by both programs.” 

So I say grab a cold pop and settle in for another stellar American Sports Network broadcast (whatever the beep-beep that is) and watch as UNT and UTSA battle for the belt of the program which is the least bad. Ah! Now we have a name for our non-bowl game: The Battle for the Belt of Badness. Maybe Del Taco would be interested in a sponsorship. 

The Del Taco Battle for the Belt of Badness: All that’s terrible in one neatly-wrapped box that’s been sitting in a puddle for three days and as soon as you try to pick it up the bottom will fall out and all the terrible will spill all over yourself and the floor of your home.

Misery: 9

Houston Texans (2-5)

I don’t know which is worse: A grown man – a man who is paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000,000 a year to play a sport – that sleeps in (speculatively), gets stuck in traffic (allegedly), doesn’t plan ahead (obviously) and is generally bad at life (evidently) and misses a team flight OR the team that arrives on time, but then sleeps through the entire first half of the actual game. 

Regardless, it all happened to Houston, this past weekend, and when the Texans finally awoke, they found themselves down 41-0 to the Miami Dolphins – at halftime. This was as bad a pro football game as I’ve ever seen played. 

To make matters worse, Arian Foster lost his leg and bled out on the field and is probably out for the season. (More on this later.)

Suggested Segment Soundtrack: “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” –WHAM!  

Whereas it’s impossible for me to get my mind around the reality that a person can make millions of dollars and somehow still not be able to accomplish the most basic of tasks, I’ve developed a new business that goes something like this: 

Are you a professional athlete? Do you sometimes have a difficult time waking up when you’re supposed to wake up? Are you habitually late to important events? Are you super bummed out by the idea of being responsible for yourself and accountable to your employer? Are you intrigued by sales pitches that begin with a series of rhetorical questions? Then I have a product for you. 

Introducing Entitled Red Phone Service (ERPS), the ONLY phone wake-up service for indifferent, entitled athletes. But how does it work, Brant? Could you maybe explain it using a fictitious but relatable scenario? Of course I can.  

You’re a pro athlete making millions of dollars a year. You’ve got a very important meeting the next day that is essential to your ability to continue to make millions of dollars a year. Erps! You slept in. 

Don’t let this happen to you!

At ERPS, we understand that without the services provided by professional athletes such as yourself, our society would collapse and humanity as we know it would cease to exist. With the fate of the entire planet hanging in the balance, you can’t be bothered nor expected to deal with trivialities such as setting an alarm or working complex math equations to determine what time you have to leave your place of residence to arrive at an important destination on time. 

That’s where we come in. We’ll send you your very own red phone. All you have to do is plug it in ONE TIME, then we’ll take care of the rest. For just $30,000* a year, we’ll make sure you’re awake in time for every meeting, practice, or game. 

 ERPS Prototype

ERPS Prototype

Don’t risk millions by not sending us thousands!

We’ve limited space to 100 qualified clients each year. Apply now.

*We’ll provide a support technician to assist you – or a person in your crew – with your red phone installation at an additional cost of $500 per hour. 

Misery: 10

Intangible Misery

This week’s Intangible Misery segment is dedicated to Arian Foster’s broken body.

Suggested Segment Soundtrack: “Torn” – Natalie Imbruglia

The Texans’ best offensive player went down in the fourth quarter with an Achilles tear (not a “lost leg,” as had previously been irresponsibly reported in this very publication) in what had essentially turned into a meaningless game. This injury comes on the heels of (oh no he didn’t!) a groin tear Foster suffered in training camp, which kept him out of the first few games of the season. 

If this injury sidelines Foster for the season – and by all accounts, it will – this probably marks the end of Foster’s time with the Texans, due to contract issues, salary cap space, and other stuff I can’t be bothered to research. I’m ahead of myself, but it’s disappointing to think his final game as a Texan was probably the worst game in the history of the franchise (a lofty claim, given… well, you get the idea; there’s no need to set a decomposing horse on fire). 

Misery: 9

This week’s Croucher Sports Misery Index: 70

 

Miserable Shout-outs

Utah

The Utes were ranked #3 in the nation as they headed to Los Angeles to face a USC team without a head coach. And they lost, big. This is presumably a big deal to people who are fans of the Utes. Which by the way, are the University of Utah Utes. So UUU. Like, UUU we lost? Yuuup, you sure did. 

Baylor

I thought Baylor was the best team in the nation right up to the point where their QB broke his neck. Whereas it’s generally inadvisable to play a contact sport with a broken neck, the Bears will have to find another QB to continue the excellence they’ve seen at the position through the first half of the season. I’m not counting them out, but this changes the balance of power in the Big XII – and the national title picture.

Bob McNair

I gave the owner of the Houston Texans a lot of run last week for his baffling decision to get involved in the politics surrounding Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance. This week, McNair rescinded his support, retracted his donation and offered an apology, sort of. Am I saying McNair read this column and realized the err of his ways? No. But I'm not not saying that. 

I have a lot of thoughts on this (as per), but I’ll leave it to a tweet I came across, which I felt summed them up nicely:

Until next week, my friends.