ART BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ
Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!
It's Thursday and we're almost to the weekend, so cheer up warriors, you've almost made it.
GOOD DEED OF THE DAY
Zoey's Angels is an amazing organization with a great mission. They help families who suffer the loss of a newborn after an extended medical fight. Some people might point out that that's a rather exclusive group but honestly, they're a group who need your help perhaps more than anyone. The unexpected and high costs of medical care and the nature of the trauma make it a particularly painful thing for people to go through and then on top of that they get hit with bills that need paying. It's insanity. Zoey's Angels on Sunday are having their 8th annual fundraising walk, join in and help out. #NerdsUnite
I've been saying this whole playoffs that the difficulty of winning four out of five championships and just being in five finals in a row takes a toll on any team, especially a team under constant scrutiny and speculation like The Warriors have been, but when The Raptors made it from the East, it's just hard to believe in them. The injuries are starting to sink the ship for The Warriors and now giving back home court advantage tilts a lot of "gamesmanship" back in the favor of The Raptors. This is going to be an interesting series and I'm curious to see how it all plays out, but now my prediction of a Gentleman's sweep Warriors over Raptors is out.
JOHN WICK 3
Just watched John Wick 3 and honestly, it's awesome. These movies have found a way to up the intensity and action in each one, although there were a few scenes of violence that I honestly could have done without, there's a particularly brutal slow stab to an eyeball that just hurt to watch. These movies are a road map for fast paced action and violence and I love nearly EVERY second of them, they do a great job creating a fast paced story and I love the idea of them being some sort of serial concept where every few years the next chapter of John Wick comes out. It's weird to think in terms of the first and second movies that in the span of a few weeks John Wick had destroyed the Russian mob in New York and then killed a member of the "High Table", he's a busy guy. These movies though are awesome and people need to be watching them and telling their friends and telling their friends' friends.
Part of the experience of seeing John Wick 3 though was going to the movies. AMC just tried to charge me $15.99 for a pretzel. A Pretzel?! They said it's a pound and a half and my reaction was still almost knocking the cash register off the counter. Like how did we get to this point? $16 American dollars for a pretzel, I don't think there's anything they could do to that pretzel that would make me feel like $16 is a good price for it. I mean maybe there's something I'm not seeing, maybe there's a brilliant sauce or something they put on it and I'm just not there yet, but seriously $16. I mean a GIANT tub of popcorn was $9 and I was unhappy about that in spite of it coming with a free refill, so unless that Pretzel is actually two pretzels that are somehow both two times better than a tub of popcorn, it isn't even worth the money. This is just crazy math, who is in charge of prices at the movie concession counters these days?
NOT THAT YOU ASKED
Man, I love rainy, lazy days. I shouldn't have taken one, I have a ton of work to do that all requires me to kick my ass and work really hard, but man was yesterday a nice day for lying around and relaxing. Every once in a while we have to figure a way to carve some time for us to just kick back and not think for a bit, if you can't then you need to find a way to. Just little pockets of time here and there, find out how to carve them up and try and relax. It's a crucial part of mental health, which science and biology are telling us more and more every day are relevant.
I'm going to jump out and wish you guys a great Thursday and remind everyone to be kind to each other and try a little harder to have a great day! I'm coming back Friday and we'll be bringing more good times your way. Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the course of the last few years, I've noticed a marked change in my writing. It coincided with the ebbs and flows of the sports culture here in Houston. Namely, the Rockets and Texans falling off while the Astros tried to keep the city's hopes afloat. Even with winning titles, going to consecutive American League Championship Series, and staying a top contender, the Astros couldn't hold the city's collective attention (in some realms) as much as the Texans.
I don't care what you say. Football is king here in Texas. The Astros winning helped the city get over the debacle that was on Kirby and Polk. What they truly desired was a respectable football team. Having gone without for years, finally getting one, it not being up to par, being okay for a while, then taking a nosedive, it made fans feel like they were in a Twilight Zone of sorts.
Enter DeMeco Ryans. Not only has he changed the culture in the organization, but they're winning too! Who'd have thought the Texans would be in the Wildcard position this late in the season? Absolutely NOBODY! Well, I won't say nobody. There were some overzealous fans wearing Battle Red and Deep Steel Blue-tinted glasses who would say this same thing no matter what happened in the offseason. This is why DeMeco Ryans is the NFL's Coach of the Year right now, and there's no debate to be had.
The first reason was already listed above. He came to the Texans organization and changed the culture. From top to bottom, the expectations and thought processes have changed for the better. Gone are the days of people feeling like they're walking on eggshells around an arrogant jerk who had no reason to be such a blowhard. No longer are the sidelines patrolled by one and done coaches who were more of a placeholder than a purse on a church pew on Sunday morning. He brings a presence, an aura if you will. When he walks in a room, people genuinely are excited to see and talk to him. He obliges willingly and fully engages by talking directly to people and making eye contact. Never heard him yell or be condescending.
Secondly, and perhaps most notably, he's winning. Last year at this same time, the Texans were 1-8-1 and in last place in the AFC. They finished the year 3-13-1 and picked second overall in the draft. As of this writing, they're 6-4, second place in the AFC South, and sixth place in the AFC as one of the Wildcard teams. They're scheduled to play the Jags this weekend with sole possession of first place in the division on the line. No other team in the league has made as big a jump in the standings from last season to this one than the Texans. NRG Stadium was the loudest some have heard it the last couple wins against the Bus and Cardinals. Craziest part: it wasn't even full to capacity.
Changing the culture and winning goes a long way. Perhaps the biggest influence DeMeco has had is his commitment to player development. When he was with the 49ers, they raved about how he turned them into better players. Fred Warner was emotional over losing DeMeco as a coach for what he's done for Warner's career. Pairing a coach like him with players like C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson Jr, and others with the same level of commitment has this team in place to not only win, but be a factor for years to come.
I've seen coaches make some unreal turnarounds in my lifetime. It usually comes with a ton of other sweeping changes. While he did have the number two and number three picks in this past draft, this team was in shambles. The salary cap was a mess, draft capital was abysmal, and the team was devoid of talent. General manager Nick Caserio came in and cleaned up a lot of it before DeMeco was hired, so he should get some credit. However, he set a table for DeMeco to come in and work his magic. It's hard for a GM to make those moves and not have a coach to help finish the job. He bought the groceries, but had no chef. DeMeco came in and not only cooked a great meal, but he set a nice table and cleaned the kitchen when he was done.
If this man doesn't win Coach of the Year, fire everybody who has a vote. No coach in the league has done what he's done over the course of this season from last season. Improving the winning of a franchise and changing their culture to the point where the fan base did a complete 180-degree turnaround means the award should already have his name on it. The trophy should be in Houston in a lock box at a secure location. There should be plans already made, but flexible enough for their impending playoff run. If you can name a better candidate, I'd love to hear your argument. Send it to me on November 33rd. Promise it'll be the first thing I read that day.