Jermaine Every: On the Texans, Astros, Rockets, NFL playoffs and protests
Here’s my initial weekly contribution to SportsMap. Those of you that are fortunate enough to follow me on Twitter or Instagram, or fortunate enough to be a friend of mine on Facebook, know how random I can be. This is my outlet for sports takes and the like. You’re going to get a gumbo of stuff from me some weeks, and some weeks I’ll stick to my favorite sandwich. This week, gumbo it is:
Bill O’Brien extension
The Houston Texans decided to not only hire a general manager head coach Bill O’Brien likes in former Buffalo Bills V.P. of player personnel Brian Gaine, but also make sure his contract matched that of Gaine’s in length to ensure the two are tied together. Gaine was also Director of Player Personnel in his tenure with the Texans 2014-16. Team owner Bob McNair is the guy who gets married weeks after meeting that 6 he met at the club that one night when he was wearing whiskey goggles. I’m not saying O’Brien didn’t deserve some insurance, but adding four more years to the year he had left just because you gave Gaine a five year deal wasn’t smart. To say this has nothing to do with Rick Smith’s untimely leave of absence would be speculative, but this whole situation smells like a Lifetime movie.
Astros acquire Gerrit Cole
The Houston Astros acquired the services of Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates for thirty-two pounds of brisket, seventy-five sausage links, thirteen pounds of chicken fajitas and a five gallon bucket of queso (Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz, Colin Moran and Jason Martin). Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow is heads and shoulders the best executive amongst all the major pro sports teams in the city. Not only has he won a World Series through analytics and tanking, but he’s keeping this team in title contention by not mortgaging the future. Between this deal and the one for Justin Verlander, he’s pushed his value to the franchise beyond description. Astros fans had their panties in a bunch and wedgie thinking top prospects would be sacrificed for short term rentals. Fear not Astros fans, for Luhnow is what Rockets G.M. Daryl Morey wishes he could be!
The Rockets are faltering, but fear not
The Houston Rockets have gone from leading the Western Conference to second place and four games behind their Biff Tannen, the Golden State Warriors. Despite their fall from grace, the Rockets are still three games ahead of the third place upstart Minnesota Timberwolves. G.M. Daryl Morey has done a good job by keeping the team in contention and rebuilding on the fly under the Les Alexander era. Under new owner Tilman Fertita, I expect the reigns to tighten as far as expectations are concerned, but very loose in terms of spending and doing what it takes to build a winner. I truly feel this team has what it takes to topple the Warriors and/or San Antonio Spurs if Morey can be their Doc to the team’s Marty McFly.
Great googly moogly those were some exciting games! Of course I’m clearly speaking to Sunday’s games, as Saturday’s games were sort of ho hum. The Falcons failed to do what most of us thought they should, which was kill off a snake with its fangs missing in an Eagles team sans starting quarterback Carson Wentz. The Patriots did the Titans like every older sibling has done to their younger sibling since the beginning of time. Meanwhile, on Sunday, The Jags and Steelers decided to reenact the shootout scene from the end of Scarface. But the Every-Thing Award this week goes to the dramatic ending to the Vikings/Saints game where a simple tackle would’ve advanced the Saints to the NFC Title game…but the missed tackle led to a Vikings touchdown and trip to Philly instead. I could barely finish writing the recap after watching the end of that game.
Yesterday, the country observed a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lots of people (myself excluded, by that’s another conversation) took it as another government/school/bank holiday or even more simply put “an extra day off.” Many of those who enjoyed that day off were some of the same ones who loathed NFL players for National Anthem protests, which happen to be a portion of the things Dr. King and many others have fought to protect. Protests aren’t meant to be comfortable or fit into neat little boxes. They’re meant to call attention to issues those protesting feel strongly about. Sure the pro athletes that have protested have angered and upset many, but they have the right to do so. Some may/may not like or support/not support the protests, but that’s every person’s personal choice. We’ve been fortunate enough to live in a country where we have the freedom to express ourselves without fear of persecution or retaliation due to our views. Perhaps we should spend these holidays seeing and learning about the opposite side of our views in order to better understand one another instead of enjoying “just another day off.” Then, and only then, will we ever learn to cohabitate more harmoniously.
Now look. I’m going to tell you guys like I tell my family: just because I can cook it, doesn’t mean you can request me to do so all the time. I may feel like crawfish étouffée with crab meat, or a classic shrimp poboy, or some beef stew with potatoes. The meal depends on y mood and what the store has on sale. But I can guarantee that when you sit down to eat, you’ll leave the table fat and full!