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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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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