Jermaine Every's Every-Thing Sports

Time for Texans fans to face reality

Bill O'Brien is not good at his job. But he is not going anywehere. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Last week, I wrote about NFL fans freak outs after week one of the season. We’ve heard reactions of fans, as well as some in the media, that are upset about Texans’ coach Bill O’Brien and some of his awful decisions. But he was extended four years to mirror the five year deal new general manager Brian Gaine was signed to. They’re not going anywhere. Jadeveon Clowney is up for an extension soon, or he may be franchise tagged, or he could be dealt (highly unlikely, but a possibility nonetheless). Deshaun Watson is here to stay for the next four years whether he fulfills his potential under O’Brien or not. JJ Watt has done enough on and off the field to earn carte blanche status and will most likely retires a Texan.

I say all that to say this: it’s time to grip reality if you’re a Texans fan. This team most likely won’t be going to the playoffs this year as most have hoped. Teams starting their season 0-2 have about an 11% chance of making the playoffs. Since 2007, only 10 of the 91 teams with that record after two games have done so. This is a fact, not hate. They’ve shown very little in the games against the Patriots and Titans that have spoken to an easy turnaround this season. But, there’s always hope.

Watson has only eight starts so far in his career. Watt has had flashes of his former Defensive Player of the Year self. The run game has been a surprising plus considering the offensive line talent. Clowney has to show he can stay healthy and can be the player he thinks he is when he says he wants Aaron Donald/Khalil Mack money. Someone needs to put an APB out for Whitney Mercilus. I’m worried because they say he’s been playing, but I haven’t seen him. Will Fuller V showed what he can do against the Titans, but he too has issues with staying healthy and playing consistently just like Clowney.

The one thing that continues to put a damper on things is O’Brien’s coaching and play calling. He continues to make mistakes managing the game and calling plays as if he’s a first year coach with no prior experience. He needs someone to tear into his ass and light a fire under him. As arrogant as he can be, he’s equally stubborn. Failing to see one’s own faults can be blinding. Get an offensive coordinator and allow him to call plays, or get an assistant coach to be an ombudsman. Something has to give. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result.

Bob McNair has shown in the past he’s willing to give head coaches and general managers a very long leash. Whether it’s being too cheap to make a change, too dumb/proud to admit a mistake, or too loyal to pull the trigger, he’s shown he won’t make any drastic changes. I attribute this to being reactionary instead of being proactive. Too often this organization waits until it’s too late to make these kinds of decisions. Other times, McNair has been too quick to make poor decisions (ex: not firing Kubiak after 2010; extending Matt Schaub, Brian Cushing, O’Brien, and others).

Bottom line: there’s too much this team needs to go right for them to succeed. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but it seems the opposing factors are mounting very quickly. I’m a natural born optimist, so I do believe they can turn it around. The more I see performances like Sunday, excuses from O’Brien, and the saltiness in post-game pressers, the more I believe this team is in a funk it can’t pull itself out of.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
This is getting out of hand. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Allsport/Getty Images.

Dr. Rick warns his patients, young homeowners who are turning into their parents, you can expect to pay more for snacks and drinks at a movie theater. It's the same deal at a professional sports venue. Three years ago, I put a down payment on a cheeseburger at Toyota Center ... I still have three more payments to go before I get it.

But this is ridiculous. The PGA Championship, the lesser (least) of golf's majors, is charging $18 for a beer, a 25-ounce Michelob Ultra, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. It's $19 for a Stella Artois. You can buy a six-pack for less at the supermarket. Aren't there laws against price gouging, like during a hurricane? Isn't Tulsa where the Golden Hurricanes play? Get FEMA in here. Did tournament directors get together and ponder, how can we piss off our fans? Sure, it's Tulsa and there's not much else to do, but that's no excuse.

Charging $18 for a beer makes the concession stands at Minute Maid Park look like a Sunday morning farmer's market. A 25-ounce domestic beer during an Astros game is $13.49. A 25-ounce premium beer is $14.45. Yeah, that's high for a beer, but at Minute Maid Park there are lots of hands in the till. Aramark wants to make a profit, the taxman has big mitts, and the Astros want their cut, too. Look, you want to sign Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to an extension or not? Then drink up and don't complain. Some quiet grumbling and head-shaking is permitted, however.

You know the PGA Championship is charging too much for a beer when even the rich pampered players take notice. "18 (!!!!!) for a beer ... uhhh what," former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas tweeted. "Good thing I don't drink a lot."

Like he will be in line for a beer at a public concession booth, anyway.

Of course there will be fans sneaking in beer in baggies strapped to their ankles, like stuffing your pockets with store-bought Snickers before going to the movies. It doesn't have to be this way. The Masters, the most prestigious golf event, charges only $5 for both domestic and imported beer. I know it's a gimmick, part of The Masters mystique along with pimento sandwiches for $1.50, but still it's a welcome gesture. You never lose when you treat the public fairly. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in Atlanta, Falcons owner Arthur Blank insisted that food vendors charge the same inside the stadium as they do at their regular restaurants. Same thing when Denver International Airport opened, fast food restaurants couldn't jack up their prices to their captive customers. Here? There needs to be a loan window outside the Cinnabon booth at Bush-Intercontinental.

Except for the Masters in Augusta, golf's majors aren't tied to a city. A major comes to a city maybe every few years or in most cases never. There's no need to ride into a city like the James Gang, rob the local bank, and high tail it out of town. Golf should be the last professional sport to stick it to fans. While the game has made strides to open its arms to lower-income youths, golf remains an elitist, extremely expensive sport for regular folk. Equipment is expensive, private courses are exclusive and country clubs are exclusionary. Public courses are less expensive but still expensive and crowded. Plus there's never been a professional sport more dangerously dominated by one person than golf. I can imagine network executives on their knees praying that Tiger Woods makes the cut and plays on weekends. Otherwise, TV ratings go straight into the toilet, you know, like whatever team Mattress Mack is betting on. (I joke because I love, and frankly a little scared.)

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome