JERMAINE EVERY'S Every-Thing Sports

Holiday Blues? Let sports help

Thinking of lost loved ones during the holidays can be rough. Jermaine Every

Every now and then, I like to be transparent with my audience. People often talk about how they “keep it real,” but few often do so. I’ve talked about my vasectomy in regards to men’s health, making memories with your kids, and wrote about how some die-hard female Astros fans felt about the Osuna trade. I’m not one to shy away from how I feel on any given subject. Except that time AJ Hoffman shamed me into the vasectomy on-air, but that’s different.

That being said, let’s talk about something most people don’t like to talk about: holiday depression. Mental health is a taboo subject. Some seek help, some self-medicate, and some refuse to acknowledge they need it. But holiday time can often bring about some tough times for those of us that deal with holiday depression.

Holiday depression may be a term I made up because I doubt the medical profession would call it that. But I sometimes deal with it when I think of my little brother or grandmother. One was my best friend and knew me better than anybody, the other taught me how to cook and how to put others above yourself (especially those less fortunate).

One of the things that have helped me throughout this time in dealing with it has been sports. The memories of playing sports video games, collecting cards, and studying sports with my little brother helps. As does the countless hours debating with my grandmother why Shaq is a great player and not just a “big ol dummy who bullies people,” or who’s better Elway or Montana.

Chris and I would spend any allowance or birthday money we had on cards and video games. Our favorite was Bill Walsh College Football on Super Nintendo. I still have our collection of basketball cards from the early ‘90s. We have the Bulls’ roster from their first title win, as well as a rare (I think) Magic vs Mike card from the ’91 Finals.

Another thing that makes me smile is remembering how my grandmother also taught me how to talk trash. It goes back to watching the Lakers/Celtics matchups in the NBA Finals in the ‘80s. She even trolled us by wearing her Colts gear when the Saints played “her boy” Peyton Manning. Sometimes I wish she were still here to see how her sister (my godmother) is now an Alabama fan given they were born and raised right outside Baton Rouge. (Side note: My godmother sent Mad Dog and I a crystal football after Bama beat LSU in the national title game with a note saying “Bama is a real dynasty.”)

People all deal with depression around this time of year differently. Sports can be a nice respite from it all. A few months ago, a good friend of mine lost his niece in a senseless act of violence. It’s going to be tough on him and his family, but I know sports will help them through their first holiday season without her.

We can often times allow sports to depress us. Let’s try to use them to our benefit this holiday season. While I know this may not work for everyone, give it a shot. All of you going through it this holiday season, you’ll be in my prayers. God bless.

 

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Composite image by Jack Brame.

There's an elephant in the room when it comes to the Houston Texans. No, it's not Bill O'Brien. He's the ominous black cloud that hoovers over the whole building. That cloud is like a slow moving weather system that's constantly dumping rain and flooding the city. Eventually, it'll pass, we'll rebuild and recover from it.

It's not even the McNair family. Cal and Janice are the building itself. It exists, but needs people around and operating it in order for it to fully function. Sure, it could use some work. After all, it's almost twenty years old and could probably use a facelift. It happens when buildings age and are only taken care of or held to minimal standards.

The elephant in the room is Deshaun Watson. More specifically, his progress as a franchise/superstar quarterback. I've heard different people talk about this in one way, shape, form or whatever. AJ and Fred covered it on ESPN Houston's The Blitz. My friend @itsDanielBsr tweeted it and brought it up as well. There were others who talked about this topic, but these were the two places I encountered it in which I could pay closer attention.

When it comes to Watson, most people believe he's a great talent. However, there is a growing sentiment that it's time for him to take the next step. Watson turned 25 on September 14. He signed his four-year extension about a week before his birthday. When you're getting paid like a top quarterback and people recognize you as one of the better young quarterbacks, there comes a time when you need to poop or get off the pot.

When calling Watson to the carpet, people will call O'Brien into question. O'Brien is a factor in holding Watson back some. He's been the play-caller his whole time here in Houston up until this year when he allegedly turned it over to Tim Kelly. We've all seen how that has gone. O'Brien is also the general manager that traded away Watson's top target in DeAndre Hopkins. These type of things can hinder a young quarterback's growth and development, but at what point do we stop blaming O'Brien and start looking at Watson?

Some will point to the offensive line as a key factor as to why Watson isn't progressing. We've seen him escape sacks and create plays out of thin air. But when is it time to call him to the carpet for not going through his reads and/or making a check-down? He often escapes sacks and looks downfield, but should he be looking to scramble more often? Should he be reading progressions better? These intimate details are answers we won't ever get, but we hope we can understand that Watson is making his reads and decisions the way he's supposed to.

Whether it's his big extension, his bumbling idiot of a head coach, his lack of protection, or his lack of weapons, fans will eventually stop giving Watson a pass. Del said it best on ESPN Houston's The Bench: When will people stop bringing up Clemson when talking about Watson's greatness? NFL quarterbacks have their college career talked about in their rookie seasons. After that, it's all about what have you done for me lately. I sincerely hope Watson realizes his tremendous potential. He's a star now and a superstar in the making. The one thing that he needs is the success on the field that will catapult him into the upper echelon of the other top talents at his position. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Pat Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Lamar Jackson all have either a league MVP award and/or a Super Bowl ring. If Watson is to be mentioned in that rarefied air, he needs to start taking the necessary steps. The clock is ticking and people are watching. Your move Deshaun.

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