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Election day in Houston sports

It's J.J. Watt for America. J.J. Watt Twitter account

Today is Election Day for the mid-term elections. If you haven’t already voted, stop reading this right now and go vote dammit! But come back and finish this once you’ve exercised your right to vote.

That being said, I looked at the current landscape around Houston sports and determined there are some figures who could run for office. Some could get elected, some are going to create controversy, and some are dark horses that could rise to prominence. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates:

JJ Watt

Watt is seen as one of the favorites in any race. He has the all-American image and is generally viewed as a shoe-in. However, his spotty record as far as staying healthy enough to perform his duties once elected has the opposition ready to pounce. Ideally, he’d need to run for a seat in the House of Representatives, serve a complete two year term to prove he’s to prove he’s fit for the job and can perform at a high level like he did when he entered the political arena back in 2011.

Simone Biles

Here’s an underrated politician who’s done nothing but win and serve the public on a local, national, and international level in her years of service. She’s still considered a long shot due to the opposition refusing to recognize her accomplishments. The fact that her foreign relations record is impeccable shows that she’d make a great Secretary of State because she’s a beloved figure the world over. She’s also been seen as a dark horse for becoming the first female president. Great follow on social media.

James Harden

Harden is one of those public figures who has some bones in his closet. For some reason, people either tend to overlook his flaws, or excuse them. Either way, he’s the type that would win the election due to interference or some other dubious manor. There was a report of an incident in which someone spoke out about his community relations record that ended up being assaulted and robbed, but nothing was effectively traced back to Harden himself.

Jose Lima

Although Lima is no longer with us, his presence still looms large. He’s the J.F.K. type figure whose accomplishments and larger than life personality are still talked about years after his passing. Some try to live up to his carefree nature and endear themselves to fans, but few will ever some close to filling his shoes. That was until Alex Bregman came along.

D’Onta Foreman/Gerald Green

These guys are homegrown stars who are here to give back through their public service to their communities. Both are self-made and now want to use their platform to improve things on a grassroots level. Instead of searching out greener pastures, they chose to come back home in hopes of giving the kids who they identify with a better shot at making something of themselves through improving education. Solid guys who are the city council lifer types with a chance to run for mayor should the stars align in their favor.

Jose Altuve

Here’s the little guy that came to this country with nothing and made himself political giant. How? He busted his ass and worked harder than the next guy. He didn’t listen to people when they said “But Jose, they’ll never accept you!” Instead, he kept plugging away and grinding it out for the people. Now, he’s the overwhelming favorite to be governor of Texas and has people thinking of changing the laws to run for the presidency.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m willing to place my vote behind a few of these political figures. Are there any I missed? Please write-in their names on the ballot here and let me know.

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Should Watson be in the MVP conversation? Composite image by Jack Brame.

The 2020 NFL season has a lot going on. Even if we take the coronavirus out of it, there's still a lot to digest. There are so many great performances being put up, one can make an argument for several players to win league MVP. The quarterback position typically gets more credit than others. If I restrict the argument to quarterbacks only, we're looking at Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers. Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Derrick Henry are the leading contenders at running back. On defense, there really isn't a standout defender. The defense gets no love, but there are several guys in the running for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Deshaun Watson has been putting up numbers that have matched or rivaled some of the top MVP candidates over his last seven games. That stretch has coincided with the firing of head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien. Coincidence? I think not. Taking the reigns off a wild horse can often lead to said horse running free and flourishing! So question: Should Watson be getting league MVP considerations? I think so.

For starters, he's been one of the best players in the league over the course of the last seven games. 18 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions. The only quarterback with a better touchdown to interception ratio over that same span is Mahomes (19 and 2, as opposed to Watson's 18 & 2). Factoring in total season stats, of course Mahomes is doing much better. He's on a better team with a much better coach and general manager. The same could be said for Wilson and Rodgers. Put Watson on any of those teams and their records wouldn't be any worse than what they are now.

The Texans are 4-3 since firing O'Brien. While that isn't a great record, consider the fact they started the season 0-4 and looked like a total disaster. Watson looked like he was caged and couldn't wait to be freed. The team's record could be even better if the defense had a pulse. The proper supporting cast has a lot to do with a player's MVP candidate's chances. Now that one of his favorite weapons, Will Fuller, and the team's best corner, Bradley Roby, are both suspended for the rest of the season by the league for violating the substance abuse/PED policy, things will get much tougher for Watson.

If he continues to put up these cartoon like numbers, I don't see why he wouldn't be in the MVP conversation. He's currently fopurth in passing yards, sixth in completion percentage, tied for fifth in passing touchdowns, eighth in QBR, and third in quarterback rating. Watson is emerging as the star he was projected to be coming into the 2017 draft. I'm not saying Watson deserves to be the league MVP, but he deserves to be in the conversation. His MVP candidacy should be treated like the family gathering hierarchy: once you reach a certain age and/or status, you're no longer resigned to the kiddie table. Now you get to sit with all the adults, engage in their conversations, and gain access to things you couldn't previously. Watson won't win the MVP award, but I strongly believe he could finish top five. Especially if he keeps making lemonade with the lemons he's been given.

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