Mardi Gras! is right around the corner. Photo courtesy of the Houston Texans.
GALVESTON ISLAND, Texas (Feb. 2, 2022) – If you’re looking to catch some beads this carnival season, look no further than the 111th celebration of Mardi Gras! Galveston.
Taking place Feb. 18 - March 1, Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebration will feature 22 parades and 22 concerts as the island’s krewes prepare to throw more than three million beads and other trinkets to throngs of revelers. For tickets, visit www.mardigrasgalveston.com.
Houston Texans defensive lineman Roy Lopez, a standout rookie and one of just 24 Latino players in the NFL in 2021, will serve as Grand Marshal of Mardi Gras! Galveston’s fifth annual Fiesta Gras celebration of Hispanic heritage on Sunday, Feb. 20. Lopez will lead a parade through the Galveston Historic District at 4 p.m. to close out the day's festivities. Fiesta Gras also will feature a 12 p.m. concert by San Antonio-based Tejano group La Dezz, a 1 p.m. parade and 2:30 p.m. headlining performance by Latin Grammy Award-winning Tejano group Siggno.
Other music headliners at Mardi Gras! Galveston include multi-platinum Mississippi rock group 3 Doors Down on Saturday, Feb. 19; and country artist Matt Stell on Friday, Feb. 25, on Mardi Gras! Galveston's First Responders Day, which offers free admission to first responders and anyone with a military ID plus a guest.
Mardi Gras! Galveston also has announced its inaugural Bead Recycling Program, with a goal to recycle one million beads in 2022. The program was launched to get Mardi Gras beads out of the trash while providing Life Skills students from Galveston's Ball High School the opportunity to collect, clean, sort and repackage the beads and raise profits for a future community center.
Founded in 1867, Mardi Gras! Galveston is the third-largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States and the largest in Texas. Festival organizer Yaga’s Entertainment donates a portion of proceeds to charitable causes such as The Sunshine Kids, Shriners Hospital for Children, Galveston Education Foundation, Texas A&M Maritime Academy and local firefighters.
About Mardi Gras! Galveston
Mardi Gras, the traditional festival of feasting and merrymaking that precedes the season of Lent, was first publicly observed on Galveston Island in 1867. Following a sabbatical imposed in 1941 by war and challenging times, Mardi Gras! Galveston was revived in 1985 by Galveston-born preservationist and developer George P. Mitchell. The largest celebration of its kind in Texas and the third largest in the nation, Mardi Gras! Galveston brings the island’s streets to life with parade viewers shouting for beads, lively tunes played by the colorful marching bands, and the infectious merriment that dominates the island for two full weeks. The Island’s 111th annual Mardi Gras celebration, to be held Feb. 18 to Mar. 1, 2022, is expected to draw more than 350,000 attendees. For more information, visit https://www.mardigrasgalveston.com/.
“Another one!”- DJ Khaled
That's the first thing that came to mind when I heard the news of Tytus Howard being shut down for the season because of a knee injury. They've had more injuries on the offensive line this season than Nick Cannon has Father's Day cards. Almost every member of the offensive line has spent time on the injury report. Howard went down in the same game in which Juice Scruggs was finally on the active roster. He missed the first 10 games due to a hamstring injury. The irony of next man up has never been so in your face.
The other thing that came to mind was the soap opera As the World Turns.
Howard had just signed an extension this offseason. So did Laremy Tunsil and Shaq Mason. They drafted Juice Scruggs, and signed a few guys too. Those moves, along with other holdovers, were expected to fill out the depth chart. Then a rash of injuries struck. At one point, only one of the original five guys expected to start was playing! In fact, they beat the Steelers 30-6 with that backup offensive line!
One can't have the expectation of backups to perform as good as the starters. They're professionals and are on an NFL roster for a reason. However, the talent gap is evident. One thing coaching, technique, and preparation can't cover is lack of ability or talent. The Texans have done a good job of navigating the injury minefield this season. While the Howard injury will hurt, I have faith in the guys there still.
As of this writing, the Texans are in the eighth spot in the AFC playoff picture. The Steelers, Browns, and Colts are all in front of them at the fifth through seventh spots respectfully. They've beaten the Steelers already. They play the Browns on Christmas Eve and their starting quarterback is out for the season. The Colts are relying on the ghost of Gardner Minshew to steer their ship into the last game of the season vs. the Texans with a possible playoff trip on the line. The Broncos and Bills are the two teams immediately behind them. They play the Broncos this weekend. Even though they're on a hot streak, this is the same team that got 70 put on them by the Dolphins. The Bills are the old veteran boxer who still has some skill, but is now a stepping stone for up & comers.
To say this team should still make the playoffs would be an understatement in my opinion. I believe in them and what they have going on more than I believe in the teams I listed above. That includes teams around them in the playoff race that aren't on their schedule. The one thing that scares me a little moving forward is the sustainability of this line. When guys get up in age as athletes, it becomes harder to come back from injuries. The injuries also tend to occur more frequently when it's a knee, foot, ankle, shoulder, elbow, or another body part critical to blocking for C.J. Stroud.
I know they just re-signed three of those guys and drafted one they believe can be a starter, but depth and contingency plans are a way of life in the NFL. We see how important depth was this season. Why not plan ahead? Don't be surprised if the Texans spend valuable draft capital on the offensive line. By valuable, I'm talking about first through third or fourth rounders. Those are prime spots to draft quality offensive lineman. Whether day one starters or quality depth, those are the sweet spots. The only guy on the two deep depth chart for this offensive line that wasn't drafted in one of those rounds was George Fant, who was an undrafted rookie free agent. While I highly doubt they spend any significant free agency dollars on the group, I'm not totally ruling it out.
The bottom line is, this team will be okay on the line for the remainder of this season. The only way that doesn't happen, more injuries. Stroud is clearly the franchise guy. Protecting that investment is a top priority. I don't care about a number one receiver, or a stud stable or singular running back if the quarterback won't have time to get them the ball. If the pilot can't fly the plane, you know what happens. So making sure he's happy, healthy, and has a great crew is of the utmost importance.