BEATING THE ODDS?

The Texans have a 2.8 percent chance of making the playoffs. Let's put that in context

Are the odds in the Texans favor? Twitter.com

Let’s take a break from bashing Bill O’Brien and take an honest look at what lies ahead for the Texans after an 0-3 start.

The most optimistic fan will say they can still turn it around and make the playoffs. A favorable schedule awaits. But let’s take a look at history.

We will go back as far as 1980 for the sample size. In that time, 173 teams have started the season 0-3. Five have made the playoffs. That is 2.8 percent. The last team to do it was 20 years ago with the 1998 Buffalo Bills.

There’s always the “so you’re saying there’s a chance” when it comes to that 2.8 percent number. So let’s look at some other things that are 2.8 percent or close to that number:

Miller64 beer is exactly 2.8 percent alcohol by volume. So if you like that 2.8 number, hoist a Miller64.

Let’s go to poker. The Texans have a better chance of making the playoffs than you do of making quads on the river when your opponent has an overset. So for instance, you hold KK, your opponent has AA. The flop is A-K-Q and the turn is an 8. You win with a king. Your odds? 2.27 percent. So the Texans have that beat.

You have a 0.154 percent chance of being hit by a train. So the Texans have that beat, too.

The odds of dying in a car crash? Just 1 percent. Again, win Texans.

Finally, you have a 2 percent chance of being smart enough to join MENSA. Yay Texans! (O’Brien not so much).

The not so good?

It is four times more likely to snow in Houston than it is for the Texans to make the playoffs.

You have a better chance of being told to “Come on down” on The Price is Right - just over 3 percent.

If you are on death row, you are 10 times more likely to be married than the Texans are to seeing the postseason.

The odds you are having sex every day? 6.0 percent! Yay you! That last one gives the old married contingent some hope, if not the Texans.

Finally, you have a 4 percent chance of being a golf fan, and Tiger Woods just did something the Texans have yet to do -- win. So at least YOU can celebrate.

As for Texans fans, however, the odds may not be forever in your favor.

(Statistics accrued from various research - i.e. Internet searches. Accuracy is not guaranteed. Then again, neither are Texans wins. Also, tip of the cap to Jong Lee for finding the original 5 in 173 number). 

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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