OFF THE TOP OF MY BALD HEAD

Barry Warner: What's next for the Texans and other assorted sports takes

Barry's back with a variety of takes. Barry Warner

Now that Brian the cheater Cushing is off the Texans books, who is next?

Look for them to waive Jeff Allen, brought in when they lost Brandon Brooks to the Eagles.  Allen looks like a fat, out-of-shape construction worker, not a pro athlete.  Couple that with his injuries and concussions and he has no future here

That would free up $4.875 million of cap space.

They will not break the bank with a Monopoly Money deal for Xavier Su’a Filo, the left guard.  He is a terrible pass blocker, who is the best pulling offensive lineman on the team.  But how many pancake blocks do you see him make at the second level?

Look for seventh round pick Kyle Fuller from Baylor to get a lot of work in OTA’s and training camp. He was drafted a a center, but with his size -- 6-5, 310 pounds -- and average feet, he is better suited for guard. But the kid needs to get stronger.

Say goodbye to tough guy right tackle Breno Giacomini, the human turnstile as a pass blocker.  

He will be replaced by last year’s fourth round pick, Julian Davenport.  The 6-7 tackle from Bucknell is green as grass, but needs to play now.  Sure, he will make mistakes, part of on the job training, but with his size is worth coaching up.

The biggest difference this off season is in the leadership of GM Brian Gaine.  Rick Smith never lifted a finger last year to get help for Bill O’Brien in this all important offensive line.  Slick Rick failed to even buy a plane ticket for a single offensive lineman to visit.

Gaine has made this a priority.  The problem is this year’s free agent class for lineman stinks.

Big money for QBs

Deals for quarterbacks have become like salaries of Wall Street hedge fund managers. Here are three salaries:

A.J. Mc Carron $19 million (projected). Not bad for a guy with four career starts.

Deshaun Watson: $3.463 million. Slotted rookie deal from 2017, as the No. 12 pick.

Dak Prescott: $680,000. By rule, he can’t sign a new deal until after 2018. What a bargain for Mr. Plastic Face, Jerry Jones.

More on the NFL

By signing John Pagano as linebacker coach, Bill O’Brien got Romeo Crennel’s replacement when the legend retires...The NFL Draft on Fox from Dallas will be the first over air free programming of the draft.  It was a little present to the Foxies for overbidding on the Thursday Night Football package. They  will compete with the NFL Network and ESPN. Yet another example of the white cartel known as the NFL ownership is squeezing every dollar they can. Just what football fans need, another set of talking heads for three days.

Semi-pro hoops scandal

Where there smoke there is fire.  Cheating in semi pro sports goes back to the days of party line telephones, to be shared with your neighbors.  Greed did not just now jump into the news. The legendary John Wooden, UCLA guru, was a religious man who checked on his players academic grades as well as the box score.

But always lurking in the background was a self-made millionaire, sleazy, slimy Sam Gilbert.

According to the LA Times, Gilbert held dinners at his home, provided UCLA players with advice, counsel and much, much more. He was "Papa Sam" to UCLA's parade of All-Americans — he even negotiated contracts, usually taking only a dollar, when the NBA beckoned various Bruins.

Now some of the biggest programs and coaches in the nation are under the watchful eye of the feds.

The holier than though hypocrites, the suits at the NCAA

hide behind an outdated rule book and greed.

But like the owners of Major League baseball teams during the steroids era, acted like an ostrich, burying its head in the sand.

It is not quite as simple as paying the so called “student-athletes,” but clearly something must be done to clean up this cesspool.

But understand something else:

Paying the jocks won’t stop the cheating any more that it is stopping hurricanes.  Boosters and sneaker companies will not vanish into thin air.   The same with the group with no conscience: agents.   Football and hoops generate the revenues to carry all other sports, including Title IX for women.

Around MLB

The so called national pastime wants to cut the time of the games by limiting mound visits.  They could cut several minutes, but that would eliminate new streams of revenue, which has put a price tag on everything but the marketing departments rely on...Even though it just spring training, the untouchable first round pick three years ago, Kyle Tucker is turning heads with his powerful left-handed swing with two home runs in the past two exhibition games. He’ll start the season in Triple A Fresno.

Chirp!

Photo via Kansas City Chiefs/Facebook

History repeats itself, unless it doesn't.

(And they say a University of Maryland education is worthless.)

So here's some history worth repeating: In February 1999, President Clinton, after being impeached by the House of Representatives, was acquitted by the Senate; Super Bowl 33 that year was played in Miami. In February 2020, President Trump, after being impeached by the House, likely will be acquitted by the Senate; Super Bowl 54 this year will be played in Miami.

In Super Bowl 33, the AFC champion Denver Broncos beat the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons, 34-19. In Super Bowl 54, it is almost fated that the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs will beat the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers by the EXACT SAME SCORE, 34-19.

Wow.

And now, as a public service, I am here to provide my 54th annual Super Bowl Viewing Guide (for Super Bowl Parties of Six or More):

This is the Chiefs' first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years. A lot is being made of this. You know who is tired of hearing it? Fans of the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, the four NFL teams yet to play in a Super Bowl.

Here is a fun Patrick Mahomes factoid. In the 2014 MLB draft, he was selected in the 37th round by the Detroit Tigers. This means that the Tigers have drafted one more Super Bowl quarterback than the Lions have.

Here is a fun Patrick Mahomes observation. He is Stephen Curry in cleats.

I'm not a big nepotism fan – what did my dad ever do for me? – but it sure pays the bills. Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan are the first father-son Super Bowl head-coaching duo; the elder Shanahan won back-to-back titles with the Denver Broncos and son Kyle is the 49ers' honcho. Meanwhile, Joe Buck is calling his sixth Super Bowl for Fox; his dad Jack Buck broadcast Super Bowl 4 on CBS with Pat Summerall.

Family ties are big in sports AND politics. John Adams was the second president (1797-1801) and son John Quincy Adams was the sixth (1825-29). It happened again with George H.W. Bush (1989-93) and George W. Bush (2001-2009). And Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. could very well become the first father-son presidential combo to be impeached.

Jimmy Garoppolo apparently completes more passes off the field than on the field. The 49ers quarterback reportedly has dated adult film star Kiara Mia, model Alexandra King and, recently, a VIP bottle-service gal from Sacramento. With the ladies, he makes Tom Brady look like Trent Dilfer.

Here is a controversial take I do not apologize for – on Super Bowl Sunday, dogs are okay and spouses are optional. Toni, a k a She Is The One (And Then Some), will attest to this: I have thrown her out of the house so I can watch in peace, but our beloved pit mix Daisy is allowed to sit by my side, licking herself through endless replay reviews ITAL and END ITAL critical third downs.

There are other, more sobering viewing options on Sunday. For those of you who miss the presence of the New England Patriots, I suggest the three-part Netflix docuseries, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez.

Your guests deserve wise choices on food and beverage. No to kale, no to quinoa, no to chard, no to coconut water, no to all Budweiser products. Yes to Yuengling, Dr. Brown's Black Cherry soda, San Pellegrino sparkling water, Fritos, olives, capocollo, pigs in a blanket and cacio e pepe.

Super Bowl prop bets are bigger than ever. They're usually bad bets. My favorite? William Hill sports book is offering 9,999-1 odds on the Chiefs scoring exactly four points. Four points? When's the last time an NFL team scored four points? Like, maybe, NEVER. So why waste a dollar? Plus, this should pay 999,999-1, not 9,999-1. Geez.

Only one prop bet is an (almost) sure winner. Heads or tails on the coin flip: It's tails. Trust me. No one has flipped more coins than Couch Slouch. I flip a coin every morning – heads I get dressed, tails I go back to sleep – and I'm in bed almost the entire week.

Ask The Slouch

Special Houston Astros Edition

Q. Will MLB be investigating whether the infamous Cleveland Indians drum-playing fan is actually relaying signs to Indians hitters, or does the team's lack of success make it a moot point? (Dan Cantwell; Albany, N.Y.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Will the Astros be able to hit major league pitching if they don't know what pitch is coming? (Michael Seltz; Alexandria, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Will any win over the Astros in the future be described as a buzzer beater? (John Haluska; Guilderland, N.Y.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. How might the Astros have fared if Mitch McConnell were commissioner instead of Rob Manfred? (Joe Salo; Latham, N.Y.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Does MLB' s one-year suspension of A.J. Hinch prevent him from getting a job with the New England Patriots? (Bruce Ellisen; Washington, D.C.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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