THE NERD REPORT

Nerds around town: What next for TV, not legal weed and Rockets

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!

It's Wednesday and we're already cruising through another week. From here we're a hop, skip and a jump from the weekend and maybe going to see Avengers again!

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

The American Red Cross came to Houston during the hurricane a few years back and they helped out a lot of people. They weren't perfect and there were tons of people who got declined and had to deal with more issues but they also came here and put food in front of a lot of people who didn't have it, clothes on a lot of people who needed them and that's more than some churches *AHEM* did during the hurricane in their own hometown where they take money and resources in the name of a certain lord and savior who was known for turning the other cheek and giving charity and aid for those in need. I'm just saying. #NerdsUnite

ANADARKO BUYOUT

For a little while The Woodlands will be the center of the oilfield world as Anadarko is in the middle of a rather interesting buyout deal. Two competing offers, one from Chevron and one from Occidental, a much smaller oil company than Chevron with Chevron's being smaller in value than Occidental but Anadarko chose to sign a "walk away" agreement where if the deal falls apart Chevron gets a billion dollars in cash. A billion dollars. The deal got even crazier as now Warren Buffett has stepped in and bought a ton of preferred shares with an option to buy more preferred shares at a set price later, injecting even more cash into Occidental to help make this purchase go through. Shareholders of Anadarko have votes to make, for the fate of their shares, then Occidental or Chevron has votes to make to decide to follow through on the purchase or not. We live in interesting times.

WHAT'S NEXT?

With Avengers over, Game of Thrones coming to an end and the Star Wars story ending this December it is time to start looking ahead to what's next? Amazon is gearing up to begin making their Lord of the Rings television series, HBO is working on as many as four prequel shows from the Game of Thrones universe, there are of course going to be more Marvel Universe movies and there will be streaming shows from Disney set in the Star Wars universe, but really, what's next? What will be that next thing that catches fire and becomes the big unexpected hit? This is a real opportunity in the world of Nerds to make the next big thing, find a way to spark America's zeitgeist and steal the pop culture wave again. I'm going to say it's going to get harder and harder to find the next big thing because of streaming services dividing audiences. Shoot me an e-mail and give me your picks, corydlg@gmail.com

IS IT LEGAL YET?

So I saw a headline the other day that basically said the marijuana bill in Texas' Senate is basically dead. What kind of nonsense is this? Are we really going to be the last state to get on board the legalization plan? This is crazy, we can't have casinos but for some reason we can have lotteries, dog tracks and horse racing. Now we're going to hear that in Colorado they brought in almost a billion dollars in tax revenue from pot and we still want to be the guys who go, "naw, we're good."? Are we crazy? We want more money for schools, we want money for roads, we want money for firefighters but we don't want to do the things to bring in more money? How is this going to go exactly? What's the plan?

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

There was a ton of conversation in the build up to Rockets game 2 matchup against Golden State about the referees. I have a few thoughts on this. First of all, if the Rockets have actually put together an accurate report showing that some 70 fouls were missed over the seven game Rockets vs Warriors series then it bears being turned in and discussed before this series. If I'm the Rockets, I want the league to have a talk to the refs before the playoffs and remind them to call fouls equally and fairly and correctly. The two minute reports are destroying the league's credibility, no one in Houston wants to hear that Curry should have been fouled out well before he makes the three pointer that puts the Rockets away, no one. I also would say that complaining to the refs isn't a good idea but then I remember the Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban putting together a film package of Yao Ming not being called for his moving picks in 6 games and in game 7 he was in constant foul trouble and Dallas won by double digits because Yao was on the bench. So it's either brilliant or a terrible idea…. It's tough to say.

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 Thursday 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 $.50 from every shirt is donated to a good cause 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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