HOF-worthy?

Now that Andre Johnson is retired, will No. 80 make the Hall of Fame?

Andre Johnson is hoping he catches a Hall of Fame induction in a few years. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In my opinion, Andre Johnson is the greatest player in Houston Texans history. J.J. Watt is making his case for that spot, but his career is not yet over, so Johnson gets the nod. Those of us who have lived in Houston for the length of Johnson’s career know how dynamic he was as a player. The rest of the NFL knows it, too.

Now that he has retired, the talk will obviously turn toward his candidacy for the Hall of Fame. Despite his great career and great numbers, he is considered a borderline candidate. It’s easy for me to see why when I look at his statistics and compare them to how successful his teams were when he was on the field. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t know for sure and I don’t think anyone can come close to knowing for sure until the vote is actually counted.

Let’s figure this all out together. Here are the career numbers: 1,062 receptions, (No. 11 all time); 14,185 receiving yards, (No. 11 all time); 70 receiving touchdowns, (tied for No. 40 all time). All in all that’s not a bad career. If I saw that most of the receivers above him in yards and receptions were either in the Hall already or certainly on their way, I would assume he was set for enshrinement.

When you see that in 14 years he had five seasons with over 100 receptions and seven seasons over 1,000 yards you would know that a big chunk of his career was spent being one of the best in the game. Except for two things: those pesky touchdown stats and a lack of any real signature moment. I think it’s mostly the latter that will deny or delay his entry.

It’s easy to look at statistics and all time rankings and say, yeah, he deserves a spot. The truth behind nearly every Hall of Famer are those signature moments when they performed above and beyond to carry their team in crucial moments; namely playoff games. Consider a guy like Andre Reed, who was dynamic during those four Super Bowl runs by the Bills. Or Lynn Swann when the Steelers were the best team of the '70s. Neither of those guys are in the top 15 in career receiving stats but the highlights of them when they were needed most show up more than the numbers.

The fact of the matter is that Johnson’s one touchdown in four playoff games is not exactly going to wow the Hall of Fame voters. I know he can’t be entirely responsible for his team’s success; Reed and Swann had great teams around them, but if he was the best player on his team in the playoffs he should have looked like it. Whether fans like it or not, all his great seasons did not translate to the kind of success that Hall of Fame voters are looking for.

Do I think Andre Johnson deserves to be in Canton? Yes. His numbers demonstrate that he was one of the most dominant players at his position during a large stretch of his career. Do I think he will get in? Eventually. Until recently it seemed difficult for wide receivers to get in, and that created a slight backlog that will take some time to clear out.

Off the top of my head I can think of Terrell Owens, Isaac Bruce, Randy Moss, and Tony Gonzalez who should all get in before him. That list will grow larger as more players like Larry Fitzgerald and Reggie Wayne become eligible. Without that signature moment to strengthen his case it may take quite awhile for him to finally get the votes. Texans fans will just have to be patient and wait for as long as it takes.

The Texans will induct Andre Johnson into the Ring of Honor at halftime during their November 19 game against the Arizona Cardinals. Fans should take the moment to reflect on the good times they got from watching him play. They should take stock of what they saw on the field and know that despite any Hall of Fame outcome, they witnessed greatness. Some things you just know for yourself, and you don’t need anyone else to validate it for you.

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Originally appeared on houstonsportsandstuff.com.

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Many of the games have been hard to watch. Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

They say that breaking up is hard to do, then comes the rebuilding, and that's where the real pain happens. Last week, the 4-9 Rockets lost a tough game, 103-91, to the very average San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center. That night, Ben McLemore scored 21 points, while P.J. Tucker contributed four points.

Every other point for the Rockets was scored by a player who wasn't on the team last year. That's no way to build a fan base of young people, or older people, or anybody. Because of COVID restrictions, the Rockets can sell only 3,000 tickets to games, and they're still having to offer special deals like four tickets and four drinks (soda, water, wine or beer) for $79.

The night the Rockets fell to the Spurs, DeMarcus Cousins was out with an ankle injury (surprise), John Wall was out with a sore knee (shock), and Eric Gordon sat with a lower leg injury (stunning). They were not sidelined by COVID protocol, it was age creakiness. All three are on the other side of 30. All have a history of missing games because of injuries. Danuel House also missed the game because of a bad back and COVID protocol.

The Rockets took to the floor with able-bodied Mason Jones, David Nwaba, Rodions Kurucs, Kenyon Martin Jr., Jae'Sean Tate and Christian Wood. They're nice players, for sure, they're on an NBA roster. But the NBA is a megastar-driven operation. How many of them would you recognize if they were standing behind you at Costco? The way the Rockets sign, trade and cut players, many or most of the current roster won't be around next year. Becoming a fan of a current Rocket is like falling in love with the Rug Doctor you rented for the weekend at a supermarket. It's going back Monday.

Last year, the head coach was Mike D'Antoni, the general manager was Daryl Morey. Both are established and respected figures in the league. Would you recognize the Rockets new coach Stephen Silas? Can you even name the Rockets new general manager?

And that's how you sink to 14th place in the Western Conference standings, inevitably a lottery team, the end to the Rockets' eight-year run of making the playoffs … the longest current streak in the NBA. The 2021 Rockets aren't just a lousy product, it's worse, they're a boring team. Gordon and Tucker, maybe the two most popular Rockets veterans, are rumored to be traded soon. Fans will have abandonment issues.

Maybe the Rockets should offer something stiffer than beer on "Guys Night Out" next Thursday when the Portland Trail Blazers visit Toyota Center. Good seats available.

That's not what you want to see

Did you see where the New York Mets fired their general manager Jared Porter because he sent explicit, uninvited, unanswered text messages to a female reporter?. Porter absolutely deserved to lose his job. What he did was awful and cruel. More than just losing his job, he should be committed to a home for the terminally stupid. Who does something that moronic? So unconscionable and abusive, on top of being job-killing.

But not all junk shots are meant to be hurtful – here's one that's actually funny, and totally inadvertent and innocent. Several years ago, a local sportscaster not only took a photo of his naked, anatomically correct body, he posted it on Facebook for all of his friends, indeed the world, to see. I won't name the local sportscaster because he was the victim of his own innocent lack of focus. It could have happened to anybody. Not me, thankfully, but anybody else.

Here's how it happened. The sportscaster was taking a shower, and when he emerged, he noticed his kitten curled up in the bathroom sink. Aw, isn't that cute? The sportscaster grabbed his phone and took a photo.

And posted it on Facebook. He didn't notice that, in the background of the photo, in the mirror, was his naked body. You can't say he was butt naked because it was full frontal nudity. You can't say it was a wardrobe malfunction because there was no wardrobe involved. Fortunately his wife noticed the mishap and told the sportscaster to delete the photo.

Here's the real problem, and his solid alibi. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put huge, wide mirrors in the bathroom, especially opposite the bath tub? There's a good look, you're naked, dripping wet, with patches of soap you missed rinsing off. This should be a fleeting disturbing image, not one to be preserved on film or online. Solution: don't bring your phone, or any photographic equipment, into the bathroom. We've all taken accidental photos. Nobody needs to see a photo of your disgusting body. You are not Michelangelo's statue of David. I don't let my dog watch me take a shower or any other business conducted in the bathroom. There is a reason that bathroom doors have locks. Use them.

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