4th and a mile with Paul Muth

The Astros are MLB's Patriots, and World Power Rankings

There's only one move from here. Win. Photo by Getty Images

Weekend takeaways

Well, like I said last week, this past weekend certainly didn't disappoint. The Houston Roughnecks kicked off the season with a huge win, and UFC 247 put on one heck of a show. I learned two things Saturday night:

  1. Reddit's r/XFL appreciated my low effort Roughnecks merch.
  2. Derrick Lewis could not care less about meeting fans after a fight.

That poor guy was inundated with rabid UFC fight bros just dying to get a picture with the heavyweight Houston native once he had arrived to his official after party at Little Woodrow's EaDo. The cringe moment of the night was every fight bro who asked him to do the weigh-in fight pose. There's probably at least one fight bro on your friends list who's already changed his profile picture to that.

Taking a page from Foxborough's playbook

The Astros have more in common with the New England Patriots right now than they'd probably like to. They've both found sustained success (obviously New England has done it longer, don't @ me Patriots fans), but they've also been a source of controversy. Both went to their respective championships, and later it was discovered that both used cameras to steal signs from the defense the same year. The Astros did it in 2017, and coincidentally, the Patriots exactly a decade prior.

The Astros cheated, and the Patriots cheated. There's no denying it.

But here's the thing: you probably thought to yourself "oh yea!" when I brought up the Patriots thing, even though it's almost exactly what the Astros did. The reason you forgot, is because the Patriots kept winning after the fact.

The Astros did two things specifically that have the sporting world outside of Houston demanding blood:

  1. They cheated.
  2. They beat two of the largest markets in the sport in the process

There's a pretty good argument to be made that there would probably be a lot less chirping if the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks had been defeated rather than the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, but here we are. One thing the Patriots at least had going for them was that they were caught spying on a New York Jets team that went 4-12 that season.

Everyone forgets the timeline because we're just now finding out about it, and as a result they think that the 2018 and 2019 seasons were tainted too. The 2019 season was legitimate, and all the more heartbreaking as a result, but it proves something that the dog day Astros fan already knows:

This team is still really, really good.

Vegas doesn't care how much anyone likes a team. They care how good they are, and right now the Astros have the third best odds to make it back to the World Series according to OddsShark.com.

It's painful to be an Astros fan right now. Practically every preseason marketing visual has been scrubbed clean of any Houston representation despite finishing the season in a World Series game 7. It's easy to guess why. But between that and every social media platform spewing venom in the comments section at anything even remotely associated with the Astros, it's understandable why fans would look for ways to just make it go away.

There is a way. The Patriots showed us all, and it's pretty simple.

They won. The Patriots, much like the Astros (at least at the moment) were hardly apologetic. They shrugged it off, continued winning, and eventually the spotlight moved away.

So for everyone's sake Astros...

Go win.

The ultimate world power rankings of the week



#5: Another dog being an awesome bro.

It's really easy to get on my list. Just be a dog doing something awesome like this:

#4: Ohio Medical board harshes fans' vibes

I love the fact that a panel of brilliant doctors had to be convened for this, but once they were they voted in opposition of the petitions that called them there in the first place. According to ESPN.com, It was determined Wednesday that "[b]eing a fan of the NFL's franchises in Cincinnati and Cleveland does not meet the condition requirements to purchase medical marijuana."

They must not be big sports fans, because there's at least some room for debate there if we're being honest.

#3 Football bro invents rule that the other football has been doing for years

I've seen a lot of memes floating around XFL and NFL pages that, well, aren't really memes. It's just the two league's logos and what they think is a hair-brained idea:

This isn't new. This is called relegation, and outside of the play-in game, they've been doing this in soccer for years. Look it up.

#2: Brown Jewelry

No other weird valentine's day gift will dominate your sports commercials more than Kay Jewelers trying to offload those weird brown--excuse me--"Chocolate" diamonds. I still haven't met anyone that has ever actually asked for them, but the TV said it's a thing. Enjoy your final week in the spotlight, weird brown diamond, we'll see you back on TV the day after Thanksgiving.

#1 Valentine's newest trend, pandering to the jaded

This seems like a new thing over the past few years, but if it isn't it's at least gained popularity. Capitalism has found a way to make even more money off of their fake holiday by catering to those who won't be celebrating it. So if you're a vulnerable, newly single person looking for an unhealthy attempt at catharsis, the San Antonio Zoo has just what you're craving. That's right, for $5 you can name a cockroach after your ex. And for those of you truly unable to cope you can drop $25 and they will happily name a pre-frozen rodent after them, to be fed to a reptile later on. Don't worry, for proof they'll send you a certificate that "can be shared on your own social media pages." They'll be live-streaming everything too, so don't worry about missing out!

4th and a mile with Paul Muth

The Roast of baseball whiners, and what to do this weekend

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Allsport/Getty Images

I think I'm on my 8th or 9th full run through of The Office right now. The Office Ladies podcast got me back into it this time, and if you haven't given them a listen, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I was watching the "Stress Relief" episode where the office takes turns roasting Michael Scott. He eventually craters and leaves, only to return and head shot roast everyone with one liners.

I'm at the point in this Astros offseason episode where I've cratered. I've kept silent while I watch Astros fans don their Twitter armor and go to Twitter war in defense of their team. But it's old, and I'm human.

Now I don't condone the cheating they were found guilty of. And I also think it's OK to be mad if you were on another team when it happened. But whining about it on Twitter or into a microphone isn't doing anything, especially if you haven't taken the time to make sure your side of the aisle is clean. It's important to not throw stones if you live in a glass house, and frankly, all of this piling on is going nowhere and changing nothing.

So, whatever. Let's throw some back.

"[I] thought Manfred's punishment was weak, giving them immunity. I mean these guys were cheating for three years. I think

what people don't realize is Altuve stole an MVP from [Aaron] Judge in '17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us."

-Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder

Your own player's union prevented the punishments and even if he did they would have all been thrown out due to good old fashioned labor laws. And don't talk about stealing an MVP, you're one Christian Yelich kneecap away from a 2nd place finish last season dude. Even then he still should've won it.

Boom roasted.

"I feel like every single guy over there needs a beating. It's wrong."

-Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves outfielder

I mean, bold words dude. It's a shame that the next day 70-year-old Dusty Baker crumpled your entire manhood into a ball with a simple response: "I didn't think Markakis talked too much, maybe he had his Wheaties." Also, try swinging better than .121 in the postseason the past two years.

Boom roasted.

"If I knew what [pitch] was coming in '17, I probably would have hit 80-plus home runs,"

-Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees outfielder

Let's get you on the field for more 80 games first, then we can have this conversation, bud.

Boom roasted.

"Listen I know I don't play baseball but I am in Sports and I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be F*^king irate! I mean like uncontrollable about what I would/could do! Listen here baseball commissioner listen to your players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken, etc etc about this. Literally the ball is in your court(or should I say field) and you need to fix this for the sake of Sports! #JustMyThoughtsComingFromASportsJunkieRegardlessMyOwnSportIPlay"

-LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers small forward

So speaking up about the sanctity of baseball is more important than speaking up about the basic human rights of the people of Hong Kong. Noted. I guess Houston didn't buy enough of his shoes.

Boom roasted.

And finally, here's a one tweet mic drop to all of the journalists piling on for easy page views:

Boom roasted.

This weekend in Houston

Sabrecats - Live sporting events are a little thin this weekend, but if you're feeling adventurous, there's a Sabrecats rugby game this Saturday at 7 pm. Watching rugby isn't the adventurous part. Driving down 288 to get there is.

Doomsday Wrestling - If you've never seen Doomsday Wrestling put on a show, be at Numbers on Westheimer on Saturday at 9 pm. You don't have to like wrestling to enjoy it. You're welcome.

Mardis Gras Stuff - It's Mardi Gras weekend, people. be prepared. If you haven't tried Mardi Gras in Galveston, this is their last weekend. Get going. There's also a pub crawl in the East End (or EaDo for the hipsters).

It's also National Margarita day this Saturday, for what it's worth.

What to watch this weekend

Your Houston Roughnecks hit the road for the first time against the Tampa Bay Vipers on Saturday at 1 pm (FOX), and the Rockets will be in action against the Utah Jazz at 8pm (ATT-SW).

But that's not what this weekend is for.

This weekend is about the Deontay Wilder versus Tyson Fury rematch on Saturday (8 pm, ESPN+/FOX PPV). We're dealing with two absolute mammoth human beings in what has been a fairly underwhelming weight class to watch for some time. This is the biggest boxing match of 2020 to date, and last time these two were in the same ring it was a draw.

4 Downs of the Week

I'm switching up the formatting of the Ultimate World Power Rankings of the Week to be a little more on theme. It's simple, we'll get through this together

1st down (a good thing) - JJ Watt ties the knot, boogies with grandmother, stays wholesome.



That couple is so adorable it's exhausting. Probably the most heartwarming sports-ish news Houston has had in awhile.

2nd Down (An okay thing. Mainly just a thing.) - Brodie and the Beard, swag on max.

On July 16th 2019, a sage mind (me) predicted an unquestionable truth on this site:

"Harden and Westbrook may be in the running for best on-court duo on the league, but they are hands down the most fashion-forward."

-Me

And would you look who made the cover of GQ! The Oukast nod didn't go unnoticed, either. Very nice.

3rd down (not great) - Astros have a target on their backs, Vegas has an over/under.

Place your bets, Houston. According to an ESPN.com article, Vegas has the odds of Astros batters being plunked at 83.5. Last season teams were hit about 66 times on average, for reference. I wonder what the over/under is for Astros bench clearings?

4th and a mile (Bad) - As if Houston needed another reason to cancel Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings found itself in a bit of hot water in the Bayou City earlier this week after someone's twitter fingers got ahead of themselves.

Houston fans didn't take that lying down, and BWW soon tweeted an apology. Then this happened:

I'll see you guys at Pluckers. Forever.

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