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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Houston gets the best of the Dodgers

Astros behind McCullers Jr. get shutout win in hostile Dodger Stadium

Yordan Alvarez added some big insurance runs against the Dodgers on Tuesday night. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Having dropped two of three in San Francisco against the league record-leading Giants over the weekend, the Astros exited an off day on Monday and entered a hostile environment at Dodger Stadium in the first of a two-game series on Tuesday night. With some timely hits and an excellent start from their starter, Houston would grab the win.

Final Score: Astros 3, Dodgers 0

Astros' Record: 65-42, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (9-2)

Losing Pitcher: Walker Buehler (11-2)

Houston scores first as McCullers Jr. out-duels Buehler

After nearly turning the game's very first pitch around for a home run but instead going foul, Jose Altuve still started the game with a single in the top of the first. A double play would erase him, though, as the game remained scoreless into the top of the third. Martin Maldonado led that inning off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch by Walker Buehler, then scored on an RBI double by Michael Brantley, putting Houston ahead 1-0.

Houston threatened again in the top of the fourth, getting two on with two outs, bringing up Martin Maldonado with an empty base, which the Dodgers would use by intentionally walking him to get to Lance McCullers Jr., who grounded out to strand all three runners. He made up for it on the mound, though, out-dueling Buehler, who finished six innings while allowing a run by getting into the seventh scoreless. He would get two outs into that frame while giving up a single and a walk, leaving two on base for Blake Taylor, who came in to get the third out. McCullers Jr.'s final line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 110 P.

Alvarez adds insurance as Astros take the opener in LA

Clinging to the one-run lead in the top of the eighth, Carlos Correa worked a one-out walk to bring Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who demolished a 415-foot two-run homer to add two big insurance runs, extending the lead to 3-0. Kendall Graveman took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth and, despite allowing a leadoff single and hitting a batter, was able to finish a scoreless inning.

With Ryan Pressly on the paternity list, Houston handed the ball to Ryne Stanek to close things out in the bottom of the ninth. He would get the job done, earning the save by retiring the Dodgers in order, giving the Astros the win at the dismay of the fans in Los Angeles.

Up Next: This short series's second and final game will begin thirty minutes earlier on Wednesday at 8:40 PM Central. For the Dodgers, they will get the debut of Max Scherzer (8-4, 2.76 ERA), while Jake Odorizzi (4-5, 4.30 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros.

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