Del Aware

Del Olaleye: Several ways to watch the NFL draft if your team does not have a pick

Brian Gaine might as well be playing golf. Houstontexans.com

I’m in the middle of cutting the cord. I’m breaking away from one of the main pay for TV services. “Bless up” for free trials. I’ll document my experiences next week but the whole thing got me thinking about how I would watch the NFL draft. More specifically, how I would watch the NFL draft without a first round pick. Which is the position Texans fans find themselves in. There will be a five-hour party celebrating the NFL on Thursday and you’re not even invited. The Texans disinvited themselves due to a number of moves we don’t need to get into. We all know how Thursday came to be. There are plenty of ways to attack Thursday. Rick Smith isn’t available for you to kick around anymore and Brian Gaine has the night off but I have your draft primer here.

Don’t Watch:

Depending on who you are this may be the most attractive of all the options. You know your team doesn’t have a pick. Any draft party involving Texans fans will just be sad. Ignore those invites and keep your television on TNT. The Celtics have a chance to close out the Bucks in Milwaukee in Game 6. The old standby Netflix is a legit option as well (check out Dark if you haven’t seen it). If you’re looking to get out of the house, Avengers: Infinity War will be theaters that night. The NFL doesn’t run your life. Well at least it shouldn’t in late April. Watch a top 5 comic book movie of all time. Yes I’ve seen it and Josh Brolin is great as Thanos by the way.

Stress Free Watch:

No anticipation. No stress. No cares. Watch the draft to enjoy the spectacle. Your team doesn’t have a first round pick, so they can’t piss you off by picking a guy you don’t want. Appreciate the old standards. You know Roger Goodell is going to get booed. Somehow, someway some kid will be convinced by his dad that if their favorite team drafts “insert player name” it will be the worst mistake the franchise has ever made. Cue that kid’s favorite team taking that aforementioned player and his apoplectic response. Don’t forget the draft staple of a team making the “wrong” choice which leads to fan cam. I didn’t say “sad fan cam” because I don’t think I’d describe this emotion as sad . Fans aren’t the only ones who can be memorable. I doubt we’ll ever get another troll like Cowboys great Drew Pearson but we can always hope. The draft can entertain even if your team doesn’t pick till late Friday.

Hate Watch:

Without a first round pick your team can’t possibly screw up but someone else can. We won’t know if anyone has actually screwed up for months or years but that won’t stop instant overreactions. Fans at the draft always want skill positions players or at least someone from a school they have heard of. For maximum outrage hope for a defensive lineman or a small-school offensive lineman to get picked when a player of need at a skill position is on the board. I enjoy a team picking a player that wasn’t on Kiper or McShay’s board at the team’s spot. Not because the team could be wrong but because I get to watch two draft experts explain how they got it wrong. That’s my own personal hate watch.

Twitter Watch:

For those familiar with the twitter search feature that should make an entertaining night for you. You’ve got the obvious follows like Adam Schefter and Jay Glazer but simply entering the name of a player and the team they were drafted by will get you reactions that run the gamut from excited to furious. If you like reading tweets that call an NFL decision maker a “F--- Boy” then Thursday night is the night for you.

 

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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