4th and a mile with Paul Muth

Houston's sideline untouchables

Mattress Mack
Photo courtesy of Gallery Furniture

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:




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:


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."

Fly high, marketing eagles. Fly high.

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Astros defeat the Orioles, 5-1. Composite Getty Image.

Ronel Blanco pitched seven strong innings and Chas McCormick homered twice to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Yordan Alvarez added a two-run shot to help Houston extend its winning streak to four games.

Blanco (8-2), who threw seven hitless innings in his last start, allowed four hits and a run with three strikeouts for his third straight win.

Alvarez put the Astros on top with his 16th homer, which came off Corbin Burnes (8-3) in the third, and McCormick made it 4-1 in the fifth. McCormick got his fifth career multihomer game when he connected again in the eighth.

Burnes allowed five hits, including a season-high two homers and a season-most four runs in seven innings to snap his career-best streak of 10 consecutive quality starts. He was 5-0 in seven starts since a loss at Washington on May 7.

Jordan Westburg homered in the second for the Orioles, who set a franchise record with 21 straight games with a home run to surpass the 1998 squad's 20-game streak.

Baltimore had troubled stringing hits together Saturday after scoring 28 runs combined in the last two games. The top four batters in their order combined to go 1 for 13 against Blanco and Houston's bullpen.

Ryan Pressly threw a scoreless eighth before Josh Hader struck out two in a perfect ninth to end it.

Westburg connected off Blanco with one out in the second to put the Orioles up 1-0.

Yainer Diaz opened Houston’s second with a triple on a line drive to right field. The Astros tied it when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Mauricio Dubón with one out.

McCormick singled with no outs in the third and the shot to center field by Alvarez came with two outs to put Houston on top 3-1.

McCormick’s home run to the seats in left field extended the lead to 4-1 with one out in the fifth.

Cedric Mullins tripled off the wall in center with one out in the seventh. Colton Cowser hit a sharp line drive, but was robbed of a hit when shortstop Jeremy Peña made a leaping catch for the second out. Blanco then retired Ramón Urías to end the inning and leave Mullins stranded.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Jake Bloss, who made his major league debut Friday night, was placed on the injured list with right shoulder discomfort.

ROSTER MOVES

Astros: RHP Nick Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday night. ... LHP Bryan King was selected to the MLB roster and RHP Luis Contreras was recalled from Sugar Land on Saturday. … RHP Alex Speas was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT

Houston LHP Framber Valdez (5-5, 3.91 ERA) opposes RHP Albert Suárez (3-1, 2.05) in the series finale Sunday.

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