How the Houston Texans resemble The Andy Griffith Show

The Mayberry Texans

The original cast of characters are back. Only the setting has been moved from Mayberry, North Carolina to Houston, Texas. The roles of Andy and Opie Taylor have been re-cast, as has those of Barney Fife and Gomer Pyle.

Andy Taylor - Bob McNair

Opie Taylor - Cal McNair

Barney Fife - Bill O'Brien

Gomer Pyle - Jack Easterby

Whistling is heard as the show begins... To stay true to form with episodes of yesteryear, the cast has severely reduced the roles of minority characters in this reboot. Andy Taylor (Bob McNair) in past seasons drew heavy criticism from the viewing audience with comments surrounding Barack Obama being elected president, Donald Sterling comments and his "inmates" statement.

Andy Taylor passed a couple seasons back and had since been replaced with his son, Opie (Cal McNair), taking a more prominent role. Surprisingly, Opie has yielded few speaking roles in the seasons since. Opie's role has affected the landscape on the once, up and coming show. The show is now viewed purely as slapstick in nature.

Barney Fife's character was perfectly cast in the return of the series. Bill O'Brien steps in as the ringmaster over all of the shenigans. Much like the original Fife, O'Brien too, believes he's stellar at his job, unaware of being the jester of the show. In the original series, Andy Taylor would only allow Fife to carry an unloaded gun with one bullet in his shirt pocket. Fife would only use the bullet in the strictest of emergencies. Taylor put these precautions in places as he knew Fife couldn't be trusted with the fire power. He was more likely to wound himself and those around him, rather than harm the enemy.

In the last season plus in the remake, now with Opie overseeing the actions of Fife, he's allowed Barney to load up his sidearm and go into battle. As the writers would image, it's led to hysterical results. Each and every time Fife has unholstered his sidearm, he's ended up wounding his own cohorts and actually helped those opposing him.

One of the most unforseen character evolutions in the new "Andy Griffith Show" is the role of Gomer Pyle. Jack Easterby has really embraced this role. In the original, Gomer Pyle was a dim-witted mechanic that would also rise to power as a fill-in deputy. Easterby has taken Pyle's role from a Chaplain to the right hand man of Fife. It was a curve ball that not even the most seasoned fans of the show could have seen coming.

In a nutshell, the series is a must watch. You get the sense that all of the characters really believe the false bravado in which they carry out each role, which makes every episode captivating as even the most novice of viewers can tell that they are horrific at the jobs that they portray each week.

The show is ranked among the top in humor, but I could see a change in coming seasons as they look to get back to more of a respectable show, instead of just plucking the low-hanging fruit in the genre of slapstick. If/when they make a change, expect the roles of Fife and Pyle to go to more qualified individuals.

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As our lockdown continues, we are still doing our best to provide content to hopefully take your mind off of things. SportsMap will provide daily content for as long as possible.

Fortunately the Texans have given us plenty of ammunition.

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Now, back to the Texans. This is not a Bill O'Brien hit piece. My opinion of him is well known. Instead I wanted to reach out to the hardcore fan base and share their opinions.

The DeAndre Hopkins trade has angered fans more than anything I have seen in a long time. Maybe it is the added stress of the world falling apart, but fans rightly lost their minds. However, the daunting issue that followed is the way quarterback Deshaun Watson reacted. His cryptic tweets made it clear he was not happy with the deal.

It also has led to speculation that Watson himself could be traded.

Some sites have even gone so far as to speculate as to what a trade would like like. While such a move seems improbable, after O'Brien's deal to ship out Hopkins, anything seems possible. And while the Hopkins trade was a body blow, dealing Watson could be the knockout punch for a lot of fans.

However, there is a contingent that will stick with the team no matter what. I reached out to several of them to get their opinion of a potential Watson trade. The most common responses:

"It would suck, but this is my team ride or die."

"If they think it's the best thing for the franchise."

And even, "I trust Bill O'Brien."

I am not here to judge or argue. I have a lot of respect for hardcore Texans fans who support their team no matter what. I merely wanted to gauge what their response would be should the unthinkable happen.

Several were more than happy to share their opinions publicly, but I chose to keep everyone anonymous to prevent them from getting the inevitable Twitter "how the hell can you think that" responses. You can always attack me with that. I've made no bones about my thoughts on the Texans GM/coach. I wanted to give the team's most dedicated supporters a voice.

I was surprised there were a few who are not sold on Watson.

"If he decides to trade Watson, it is because he doesn't think he can win with him. Maybe people will realize Watson is just not that good. O'Brien had similar success with a lot of other quarterbacks. He even made the playoffs with Brock Osweiler."

The one response that really resonated - and maybe in these times we can all relate - was that hardcore fandom for many of them is about more than the team.

"My husband and I have had season tickets for years. We have sat with the same people, became friends, tailgated and traveled to road games together. For us it is about camaraderie, friendship, and the Texans have given us that. We would not give that up for anything. We just have to hope they do the right thing, but we will be there no matter what."

To me, that is the best explanation. There are relationships we all have around different things, and they are important. I've developed similar friendships through poker, horse racing, basketball and several other things over the years. Why not around a sports team?

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and the team will move on with Watson as its quarterback. If not, there is a contingent out there that will stick with the team no matter what. Those fans deserve a voice so that's what I have given them here in hopes that maybe those of us who don't get it at least understand where they are coming from.

If we ever get back to normal, these fans will still be at games, tailgating, cheering and having a good time. We should not fault that, just as they should accept that some fans will be up in arms.

It will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few months. Hell, we might not even have NFL football this year. O'Brien has undoubtedly lost some of the fan base, but it is hard to see how much. But we know there are always fans who stick with it no matter what.

Hopefully this gives some insight into why.



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