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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Allen had high praise for Diggs. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images.

Impersonal as it might seem to have their dynamic on-field relationship end with an exchange of phone texts, Bills quarterback Josh Allen made it clear on Thursday how much receiver Stefon Diggs meant to him during their four seasons together in Buffalo.

Allen made no mention of Diggs’ mercurial temperament or the occasional sideline flare-ups by expressing only praise in his first opportunity to discuss his now-former teammate being traded to the Houston Texans earlier this month.

“Just thanking him for everything that he did for me, and (I’ll) always have a spot in my heart for him. I’ll always love that guy like a brother. And I wish him nothing but the best,” Allen said, in disclosing what he texted to Diggs. “My lasting memory of Stef will be the receiver that helped me become the quarterback that I am today.”

Brought together in March 2020, when Buffalo gave up a first-round draft pick to acquire Diggs in a trade with Minnesota, the duo went on to re-write many of Buffalo's single-season passing and scoring records, and lead the team to four straight AFC East titles.

Diggs, now 30, also brought an inescapable sense of drama with him in raising questions about his commitment to the Bills and whether his tight relationship with Allen had soured.

A day before being traded, Diggs posted a message, “You sure?” on the social media platform X in response to someone suggesting he wasn’t essential to Allen’s success.

Whatever hard feelings, if any, lingered as Buffalo opened its voluntary workout sessions this week were not apparent from Allen or coach Sean McDermott, who also addressed reporters for the first time since Diggs was traded.

“Stef’s a great player, really enjoyed our time together. Won a lot of games and he was a huge factor in winning those games. We’ll miss him,” McDermott said. “You never replace a player like Stef Diggs, and we wish him well.”

Allen turned his focus to the future and a Bills team that spent much of the offseason retooling an aging and expensive roster.

Aside from trading Diggs, salary cap restrictions led to Buffalo cutting respected center Mitch Morse, the breakup of a veteran secondary that had been together since 2017, and the team unable to afford re-signing No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis.

“I don’t think it’s a wrong thing or a bad thing to get younger,” said Allen, entering his seventh NFL season. “I think it’s an opportunity for myself to grow as a leader. And to bring along some of these young guys and new guys that we’ve brought in to our team. And that’s an opportunity, frankly, that I’m very excited about."

Despite the departures, the Bills offense is not exactly lacking even though general manager Brandon Beane is expected to target selecting a receiver with his first pick — currently 28th overall — in the draft next week.

Receiver Khalil Shakir enters his third year and tight end Dalton Kincaid enter his second following promising seasons. Buffalo also added veteran experience in signing free agent receiver Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins.

While Beane acknowledged the Bills lack a true No. 1 receiver, he noted there’s less urgency to fill that spot now than in 2020 because of how much the offense has developed under Allen.

“Now that Josh has ascended to the player he is, is that a requirement? I don’t think so,” Beane said.

Diggs’ role also began diminishing in the second half of last season, which coincided with Joe Brady replacing Ken Dorsey as offensive coordinator. Brady placed an emphasis on adding balance to a pass-heavy attack and getting more receivers involved, which led to an uptick in production for Shakir and Kincaid.

While Diggs’ numbers dropped, Buffalo’s win total increased.

With the Bills at 6-6, Diggs ranked third in the NFL with 83 catches, seventh with 969 yards and tied for third with eight TDs receiving. Buffalo then closed the season with five straight wins in which Diggs combined for 24 catches for 214 yards and no scores.

”(Diggs) meant a lot. You look at the statistics, they don’t lie,” Allen said, in referring to Diggs topping 100 catches and 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons in Buffalo. “I don’t get paid to make changes on the team. I get paid to be the best quarterback that I can be and try to lead the guys on this team.”

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