Every-Thing Sports

Comparing Houston sports teams and players to everyday items

Yes, there is a Texans crock pot. Jermaine Every/SportsMap

I got off work Monday and Mad Dog texted me to pick up some eggs because she wants to make cornbread since the wife was making loaded baked potato soup for dinner. She’s pretty good at making cornbread for a 12 year old. As I walked into the grocery store, I saw the picture you see above. Yes. Someone actually thought about putting a Texans logo on a crock pot. If I remember correctly, it was priced at about $49.99.

We often see players, teams, and leagues peddle different items with their faces and/or logos on them. But this one got me to thinking: what everyday items do some of the local players and teams compare to? When my mind wanders, it can go in some pretty strange places. Let’s take a look where it wandered pondering this question:

James Harden is…an electric car

The electric car, and its close relative the hybrid, are the new wave in the auto industry. Sure they have been around for years, but they have recently become cool thanks to better looking designs (such as Teslas), as well as their environmentally friendliness. However, electric cars can only go about 200 miles or so before you have to stop for an hour or more to recharge them. Sound familiar? See every Rocket playoff run since 2012.

The Astros are…Netflix

Netflix has been around since 1997 and launched on April 14, 1998 as the world’s first online DVD rental company. It moved to a subscription-based operation the following year and has constantly evolved. Over the last few years, its popularity has grown immensely as it has offered new, fresh, exclusive content. The Astros have enjoyed a similar arch. They took their time to build a machine that appears to be built for the long haul.

The Dynamo are…after-market phone charger cords

I’m not talking about the cool ones that you get online. I’m talking about the ones you see at the gas station or drug store counters. They are reliable, sturdy, offer a new twist, but are underappreciated. The Dynamo won the MLS Cup in their first two seasons and have been a steady competitor ever since. The atmosphere at a Dynamo game can be felt all over EaDo. Why this comparison? My gas station charge cord is longer and more durable than the one that came with the phone, yet the factory version costs three times as much to replace. Go figure.

The Texans are…knock off purses

At first glance, one might not know the difference. They have the same logo, same size, they may even weigh the same. However, upon further review, the stitching is a different color, the leather is actually “pleather”, and the metal emblem is spray-painted stainless steel. It only takes a keen eye to be able to tell the difference between the real deal and a knock off. Most Texans fans don’t realize this team was bought online from China because they get fooled every year into thinking this team has a legit shot. Here’s how you spot the difference.

The Rockets are…cubic zirconia

Once again, another fake luxury item most people can commonly get confused. There have been a high number of people fooled by thinking they have high quality jewelry, when in fact they don’t. The Rockets year after year make it to the playoffs, but can never close the deal. It’s almost as if a guy proposes to a girl with a cheap ring prompting her to say yes, only for the relationship to soon crumble when she realizes she’s been had by phony jewelry.

JJ Watt is…pumpkin spice (fill in the blank)

The whole pumpkin spice flavor craze hit its peak a few years ago. When it first hit, people went crazy for it! It was a new twist on something we’ve had before. Next thing you know, it was infiltrating everything. Now, it’s just about run its course and is starting to get annoying. Hopefully it takes a break and comes back strong.

Jose Altuve is…the old school metal can opener

It’s small, reliable, and often taken for granted. Then comes that special time of year when you’re cooking all sorts of food and your fancy electric can opener can’t quite get the job done. You can always rely on the old school metal can opener. Altuve is a throwback hitter that hits for average and makes contact on everything, just like that can opener that can open any can.

I know some of you won’t agree with what I’ve written, and I don’t care because you clicked on the link and have read this far. Those of you that do agree I love y’all. And for everyone in between, pick a damn side, but by all means keep reading my stuff either way you feel.

 

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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