4th and a mile with Paul Muth
Houston's sideline untouchables
Nothing makes sense anymore.
This is already an insane start for a year by any measure. Well it seems Chaos heard our cries of bewilderment and had a "hold my beer" moment in the sports world on Monday night.
In a shocking move, famed director (and likely final Knicks fan) Spike Lee announced he would no longer be returning to Madison Square Garden for the remainder of the regular season to watch the Knicks after a run in with employees and security.
There are conflicting stories, but sometimes in life, even if you're right...you're not right.
Short of an actual crime, there is little that Lee shouldn't be able to get away with in that building. He's cemented him self as someone as analogous to the Knicks as he is to the film industry. And when you spend close to $10 million to watch a team as Lee claims he has over the years, then yeah, special treatment is probably expected.
The whole debacle got me wondering though. If a similar situation occurred, are there certain Houston A-listers (that never played) that deserve the same benefit of the doubt? Who out there would fans storm the battlefields of Twitter to defend if they were ever treated improperly inside the confines of Houston's hallowed(ish) sports venues? Here are my candidates.
Minute Maid Park: Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale
In 2017 Mattress Mack rolled out his "Win it all, Get it all" promotion where anyone who bought a mattress during the Astros season would have their bed fully compensated if the Astros won the Won the World Series. After the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Harvey, Mack opened the doors of his massive showroom to displaced refugees, and continued paying his employees while they served instead in a volunteer capacity. When the Astros won the World Series that year, not only did Mack throw out the first pitch to game three, but he also kept his word to everyone that bought into the promotion back in the beginning of the season. The bet set him back roughly $12 million, but that's a drop in the bucket for a guy who simultaneously cemented his legacy in Houston lore. Also, I'm fairly certain I haven't seen Mattress Mack without an oversized Astros jersey on in two and a half years.
If you need an idea of how big of a deal he is, I watched grown adults peel away from our playoff game group this past season to take pictures with a man who sells couches. When I got to my seats and people asked where the lost party was, I explained that they were trying to get a picture with Mattress Mack and everyone accepted that as a viable excuse for missing first pitch.
Runner up: George and Barbara Bush.
Toyota Center: Travis Scott
Locally sourced, and global hip-hop phenom Travis Scott owns Toyota Center. On game nights, he's the closest thing the Rockets have to a Lakers Jack Nicholson or Knicks Spike Lee. He's done promos for the team, he's collaborated on custom jerseys, he name drops them in his albums. Scott is all in on the Rockets (and Houston in general), and it's apparent enough that the Rockets reciprocated the appreciation just this past month:
#TravisScott Bobblehead giveaway is happening tonight at the Houston Rockets game ⛹🏽♂️ Who's going? @trvisXX@HoustonRocketspic.twitter.com/2H7LMxhSeG
— 93.7 The Beat (@937thebeat) February 24, 2020
Fans arrived seven hours before tip-off to get in line, and the bobble head is currently running $150-$200 on the resale market.
Runner up: Beyonce, she just doesn't come to enough games.
NRG Stadium: Simone Biles
Look, there just aren't a ton of over the top, ride or die celebrity Texans fans to be completely honest. You've got big names like Dennis Quaid, Jim Parsons, and Rico Rodriguez ("Manny" from "Modern Family"), sure. I don't think anyone would boycott a game over them though. Then there's Joel Osteen, but I think there's a decent crowd that might pay extra to watch him get tossed. Nope, it has to be Houston's adopted daughter, world's greatest gymnast, and honorary Houston Texans cheerleader for a day, Simone Biles. She exudes charm just as effortlessly as she dominates her entire sport, and if anyone did anything to her I would personally expense the torches and pitchforks for everyone that accepts the mob group invite I would inevitably be sending on Facebook.
Runner up: Every local Houston Rapper
4 Downs of the Week
1st Down - Super Tuesday.
Look, I don't exactly care what your political leanings are on a sports website, but I think we can all agree that the fact that we got through Super Tuesday and don't have to deal with anymore political ads and unsolicited texts is something to be pumped about.
2nd Down - 21 days: amount of time left until the start of the Astros' baseball season. In this house there are two seasons: baseball season, and baseball offseason.
3rd Down - Let's talk dedication. And lack of awareness:
Woman watering plant for 2 years realises it's made of plastic.https://t.co/6scP3bLrUe
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 4, 2020
Her rubber duck is probably alive and well also.
4th Down - This week's edition of Minor League Baseball Marketing Genius goes out to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, specfically their chiropractor themed night, "Say Yes to Crack."
.@JaxShrimp's 2020 promotional schedule features some pretty... interesting concepts:
▪️ Say Yes to Crack Night
▪️ Beethoven's 250th Birthday
▪️ A Night About Nothing
▪️ Hanukah In July
▪️ Toplesss Appreciation Night
and much more!
Click for context.#Marlinshttps://t.co/HuvScmrRoh
— Fish On The Farm (@marlinsminors) March 5, 2020
Fly high, marketing eagles. Fly high.