FALCON POINTS

Hey sports world: It's time to retire the "Houston, you/we have a problem" cliche

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Sports might be the worst when it comes to cliches. Fans and broadcasters alike can't help themselves.

Defense wins championships.

It doesn't get any better than this.

The best defense is a good offense.

One game at a time.

No I in team.

It is what it is.

Then there is my personal favorite, "you guys have a face for radio. When was the last time you heard that?"

Um, yesterday, and 11 other times this week. But yes, you are very creative!

These and many more are all lame. They are lazy. They are dumb.

And then there is the worst one of all:

Houston, we have a problem.

Or, the derivative, Houston, you have a problem.

Memo to fans in other cities: It is time to retire this phrase. Memo to announcers (including the Fox announcer who used it Sunday night) and worse yet, headline writers: You are pathetic and about as creative as a rock.

And if you are from Houston and have used it, delete your Twitter account immediately and pray for forgiveness. You are what we affectionately call a "dumb."

How stale is it? The phrase comes from an Apollo mission (that's space flight, which our country once did) message in the 1960s. That's SIXTIES. It was clever 50 years ago. Yet a quick Twitter search for the phrase yielded thousands of results. A google search? How about 281 MILLION results. So if you use it, you aren't even one in a million. You are one in 281 million. But that makes you clever and creative, right? If we are going to use phrases from the 1960s, how about "make love not war?" Or better yet, "we all live in a yellow submarine?"

Rest assured, there will be fan signs in Indianapolis this week, as there always are. Yankees fans will do it, too. (Although because it's New York, the signs will likely be misspelled. Or it will be "youse" have a problem).

First off, if you make signs for sporting events and are over the age of 12, you have your own issues. But do people really sit around and think, "hey, you know what would be clever?"

The real shame? Houston sports teams have no shortage of targets for clever phrases. You could write a book on Bill O'Brien alone. James Harden is just begging to be made fun of by anyone. Even the Astros have plenty of players to go after.

Houston fans collectively groan every time they hear the phrase. And they hear or see it A LOT. Public service announcement: It makes you look silly, boring and yes, dumb.

So if you are thinking about tweeting it, stop yourself. If you are diligently working on a sign, stop it. YOU are the problem.

And if you are an announcer? Go back to calling junior high school games.

It's also incumbent on the rest of us to stop this menace in our lifetime. If you see something, say something. Send them a shame bell. Or better yet, a link to this story.

Then again, it is what it is.

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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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