NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerd report: Avengers, Rockets and more

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!

Hey Nerds!

Alright guys, we're halfway through the week, we can do this! Let's show Wednesday who's boss.

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

This week I didn't want to pick something, I wanted you guys to pick something. A neighbor in need, Puerto Rico, the Atlantis formerly called the Midwest, a family member or friend of the family. Someone you know maybe isn't saying much but seriously, they could use the help. Anyway, make sure you're doing your part and there aren't people in need standing right next to you everyday. I think a certain someone called it the Golden Rule.

1,2,3, Cancun

The NBA Playoffs are going on right now and honestly they have been amazing so far, not just the Houston Rockets looking great until this last game against Utah where they missed some 14 three pointers. That's a cause for concern because when the three's aren't falling they keep shooting them no matter what, and it's great for them to be confident but I just wish James Harden and Chris Paul would take back over after say miss number eight and do a few dribble penetration lay-ups or draw the fouls and get some free throws to let everyone calm down and stop forcing the three. Also Portland, man, just Portland. Dame Lillard just sunk Oklahoma City with the best 40ish foot three point shot anyone has ever seen and he did so with utmost confidence after dribbling the clock down to nothing and taking the shot that apparently he wanted from nearly half court. The other part of this whole equation is now Mr Triple Triple Double Russell Westbrook has proven yet again that Hero Ball doesn't work anymore in the NBA. Oklahoma City is a poorly built team centered around Westbrook and Paul George who gave himself the nickname of "Playoff P". Who by the way finally had a good game and it was in a loss, kind of proving the rule we don't get to pick our nicknames. People are growing tired of Westbrook's seemingly anger fueled style of play where if he isn't talking an obscene amount of trash and pushing around players of noticeably lesser status than him, he's just being an overall irritant to everyone doing their job.

Avengers Endgame

If you're not excited for this movie and if you're not curious how all of this ends, then you aren't even kind of the person I want to hang out with. Do the Avenegrs save the day? How does Tony Stark make it back? What role does the quantum realm play in all of this? Is Clint Barton the coolest guy in the MCU? These are all relevant questions that will finally be answered, and with these answers we can finally move on to the next set of Marvel movies. Before anyone rolls their eyes, don't tell me they aren't excited for whatever is coming next. Marvel has been the best at planning these things out and as DC's movie universe and don't forget Universal's failed monster universe with Tom Cruise's Mummy as the flagship can tell us, it ain't easy. Hats off to the kings of the movie universe and may they enjoy this victory lap.

Has anyone else noticed this?

The new trailer for Hobbs and Shaw is out and some how there's a Samoan Haka in the story? The fast and the furious franchise has grown into this incredible popcorn munching scenery destroying super movie every couple of years and it's honestly, impressive at this point. A movie franchise that starts off with Paul Walker going undercover to find out who is hijacking trucks in the underground race scene and befriending sort of bad guy Vin Diesel, turns into a massive ensemble cast by the fifth one and then Paul Walker actually dies and the movies continue and they film a whole movie with him in it after his death somehow. Now the franchise has grown so much the Rock is now a reoccurring character getting his own spin off with other reoccurring character Jason Statham. The franchise has also featured Charlize Theron and other major stars and seems to just keep going.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

The other day Donald Trump complained to twitter's CEO that he doesn't have enough followers, and it brought a lot of thoughts to mind but most noticeably it brought to mind that old people just don't understand technology. As the new apps and machines and types of entertainment creep up it becomes obvious again and again that technology will leave you behind in a heartbeat. Ninja the world famous streamer who has upwards of a million people watch him stream at any given time, was paid roughly a million dollars allegedly to stream Apex Legends for set amount of time after it released and for those of you who thought that last sentence was a foreign language, catch up. This is the future and in many ways it's the present, this guy has more effective influence than a Sprite commercial, and yet there's probably a large segment of the population who couldn't pick this dude out of a line up.

I'm going to jump out and wish you guys a great Wednesday 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 every shirt is now under $20 or listen to Nerd Thug Radio or support our Patreon Page. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March. Photo via: NRG Park/Facebook

Football players, coaches and general managers have come and gone, but only one person has been running the business side of the Texans, well, even before they were the Texans. Jamey Rootes has been President of the Houston Texans since 1999, when an NFL team in Houston was still just a gleam in owner Bob McNair's eyes. That's before the team adopted the name "Texans" in 2000, before there was NRG Stadium, which opened as Reliant Stadium in 2000, and before they became serial champs of the AFC South, six titles between 2011-2019.

The precise date was Oct. 6, 1999 when NFL owners voted 29-0 to award the NFL's 32nd and newest franchise to Houston. Not only that, Houston was awarded the 2004 Super Bowl. Rootes, 34 years old with no NFL experience, had his work cut out for him. Before taking the job in Houston, Rootes was team president, general manager and CEO of selling peanuts and popcorn for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.

Major League Soccer, with all due respect, is not nearly a national obsession like the National Football League.

"I wasn't intimidated," Rootes said. "There's a quote that I love, 'Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.' I've always been a purpose-driven person. As for the step up to the NFL, I went from knowing nothing at the start of my time in Columbus to five years later thinking, OK, I've got this sports thing down. Actually, I had a very significant reduction in my responsibilities in Houston. When I was in Columbus, I ran the stadium, I ran the team's business, I was the general manager so I did the talent side of it, too. When I came to Houston, all I had to do was the business, so that was great."

Rootes has captured his remarkable journey from the soccer team at Clemson to grad school at Indiana University to the business world at IBM and Proctor & Gamble to the Clemson Crew, to ultimately being named President of the Houston Texans in his new book, The Winning Game Plan: A Proven Leadership Playbook for Continuous Business Success, available next week.

I've known Rootes from his day one with the Texans, but I still had to ask: everybody knows what the general manager does, and what the head coach does. What exactly does the President of an NFL team worth $3.3 billion do?

"I like to use the parallel of a pharmaceutical company to describe my job. There are two sides to that company. First you put scientists in one building and you leave them alone. They create products, which is what our football team is. The football side has a coach and general manager and all the people who prepare the team to play on Sunday. But getting that product to market is done by the business side, traditional business disciplines. Those are the things that fall to me. Basically, everything between the white lines is run by the football side. Everything outside of those lines, I do," Rootes said.

Between 1999 and 2002, when the Texans played their first game (let the record show the Texans defeated the Dallas Cowboy, 19-10), the team was essentially a massive start-up project. First orders of business for Rootes involved building a new stadium, developing relationships with suppliers, contractors and government officials, preparing for a Super Bowl and, most important, developing a relationship with fans.

Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March, but it's really an accumulation of lessons learned and behind-the-scenes stories about building the Texans from scratch into one of the most admired and valuable franchises in all of sports.

"I've always been a meticulous note-taker. I've kept every presentation I've ever done. I took all of my notes and concepts and put those down on paper," Rootes said. "To be a good leader, you need a wild imagination. You can show me a blank piece of paper, but I don't see it as blank. To me, it's a finished product that hasn't been created yet," Rootes said.

Rootes lays out his leadership strategy in seven chapters: Are You a Manager or a Leader, Get the Right People on Your Team, Build a Winning Culture, Create Raving Fans, a Winning Playbook for Adversity and Success, Your Leadership Playbook and Play to Win.

He learned lesson No. 1 the hard way. A friend once counseled Rootes, "your staff doesn't like the way you're all up in their business, you need to back off." Rootes took that advice to heart.

"It was an epiphany. I wasn't a leader. That's when I truly began thinking about leadership. I say this all the time, I don't do anything. All I do is create an environment where exceptional people can be their very best self. I know what's going on. I'm fully informed. I leave every game day exhausted. I get there early. I do the things I need to do. I kiss babies. I shake hands. I present checks. I entertain clients. I'm dialed in. It absolutely wears me out because I love this organization so much. I am so proud of what we've been able to do for this great city of Houston."

I asked Rootes, as someone who lives for Game Day and a packed NRG Stadium, are you devastated by 2020, the year of COVID-19 and small crowds limited by Centers for Disease Control guidelines?

"I don't look at it that way. I think there's a song by 10,000 Maniacs that said, these are the days that you'll remember. I told my staff, I know you're all going through hell right now, but later on in life, you'll talk about this year. Things that are important are memorable, for the positive and those things that leave a scar. You learn from adversity and you're a better person for enduring it. Victor Frankl said 'We can discover meaning in life in three different ways, by creating a work or doing a deed, experiencing something or encountering someone, and by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.' Suffering is part of life. He should know, he survived a Nazi concentration camp," Rootes said.

H-E-B President Scott McClelland wrote the forward to The Winning Game Plan. Rootes dedicates the book to late Texans owner Bob McNair. Rootes' book is a fun read. All I kept thinking was, where was this book when I needed it? And before you buy too much into Rootes as a leader, consider that Rootes admits that he had to ask for wife Melissa's permission before he could accept the Texans job.

Personal note: I believe that a big part of leadership is the ability to keep a promise. Several years ago, I was riding my bicycle with my dog Lilly on a leash. It was the only way I could keep up with her. Well, one time Lilly saw a squirrel and pulled me off my bicycle. I tumbled a few times and rolled next to the curb. When I looked up, there was Jamey Rootes. I told him, "There's no need for you to tell anybody about this." He never said a word.

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