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The Two-Day Hangover: There Is No Pain, You Are Receding

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Spoiler alert: Thomas catches the ball.
Spoiler alert: Thomas catches the ball.

Here's the thing: I sort of expected it.

The last :35 seconds of the Texans game, I mean.  Joel Dreessen's offsides penalty that pushed the Texans back out of field goal range.  The pass over the middle to Dreessen, with the Texans out of timeouts, which would have been the last play of the game ... had Dreessen not fumbled.  The fumble.  A quick-and-easy 10 yard pass to the sidelines for Garrard that left the Jags a little too far out for a real Hail Mary.  Antonio Smith's offsides penalty that moved the line of scrimmage juuuuuuust close enough that Garrard could hit the endzone.  Glover Quin batting the ball straight back into the trailing Mike Thomas' arms.

Tim asked me after the game what the odds of that particular chain of events occurring in precisely that sequence was, suggesting it had to be one in a billion at least.  He's probably right, too; I can't say that I expected that chain of events.  No one would.

Still, I expected a dumb play that would run out the clock, with the Texans losing in overtime.  I expected a pick-six as Schaub forced a ball to the sideline because he was out of timeouts.  Once Jacksonville had the ball, I expected an 8-yard pass that turned into a 60+ yard touchdown when Glover Quin and Zac Diles and Glover Quin (again) missed tackles.  And once Garrard let loose that final pass, I expected pass interference to be called against Houston -- probably Glover Quin, who played the worst game I've ever seen him play -- with the Texans subsequently unable to stop the obvious Garrard keeper on first-and-goal from the one.

Point is, I expected something.  Which is why, when Thomas caught the ball and everyone was momentarily shell-shocked, I didn't yell.  I didn't scream.  I didn't throw the remote, the dog, or the daughter across the room in a fit of rage.  I just shook my head and turned off the TV. 

Now I've got that feeling once again / I can't explain / You would not understand / This is not how I am / I ... have become ... comfortably numb

Very Last Things First

I realize that, in a Hail Mary situation, defensive backs are taught to knock the ball down.  I don't have a problem with that strategy.  What I do have a problem with is Quin batting the ball straight back into the field of play, directly into the chest of Mike Thomas.

Hail Mary plays almost always have one wide receiver who trails the play just slightly, looking for a carom or, yes, a batted ball.  As you can see from this clip, Thomas lined up in the slot and the play called for him to cut behind Mike Sims-Walker.  (The middle receiver is TE Marcedes Lewis, who also seems to purposefully trail the play, but Thomas' route behind Sims-Walker's is much more pronounced.)

The Jags were correctly assuming that one leaping Jags WR and any number of leaping Texans DBs would result in a carom, and, rather than add another set of Jags WR hands to the scrum, they elected to put two players in position to make a play on any tipped ball.  Great playcall, really.

However, the reason we're talking about it today is not because it was a great playcall as much as because Glover Quin, despite being the only person making a play on that ball and having no real interference to do with the ball whatever he wished, chose to bat it back into the field of play rather than ANY other direction.  (Asking any Texans DB to realize the situation and intercept that ball rather than bat it away is a fool's errand.)  We're also talking about it because Quin's version of batting the ball "down" involves batting it at a 40-degree angle relative to straight downward.  I think you can chalk both of those up to poor coaching to a large extent.

Texans Football: Exciting Stupidity Since 2002!

And Now, Far Too Many Words About Denard Robinson

Here's the list of the ten best rushing seasons by a QB in D-1 history:

Player School, Yr Yards YPC TD
Beau Morgan Air Force, 96 1,494 6.64 18
Stacy Robinson NIU, 89 1,443 6.47 19
Denard Robinson Michigan, 10 1,417 7.4 12
Jammal Lord Nebraska, 02 1,412 5.63 8
Brad Smith Missouri, 03 1,406 6.63 18
Chris McCoy Navy, 97 1,370 5.57 20
Pat White WVU, 07 1,335 6.78 14
Dee Dowis Air Force, 87 1,315 6.78 10
Brian Mitchell UL-Laf., 89 1,311 5.53 19
Brad Smith Missouri, 05 1,301 5.68 16

Robinson still has two (probably three) games to play, meaning that even the all-time NCAA (not just D-I) record of 1,844 by Jayson Foster, Georgia Southern University 2007, is within reach.

For that same list of ten above, here are their passing yards (of the people I could locate -- good luck tracking down obscure, pre-1990 college stats) in their listed season:

Morgan -- 1,210
S. Robinson -- ???
Lord -- 1,362
Smith -- 1,977
McCoy -- 1,203
D. Robinson -- 1,814
White -- 1,724
Dowis -- ???
Mitchell -- 1,966
Smith -- 2,304

Perhaps the most telling stat for measuring Denard's greatness is this: despite having a defense that ranked 114/120, Michigan has seven wins and will go to a bowl game.

The Amobi Okoye Report, Written Especially for Timobi McOye

Since Week 3, Amobi Okoye has more sacks (2) and tackles (23) than does Mario Williams (1.5, 12).  Also, if Amobi isn't screwed out of the half sack that the official NFL game shows for him against San Diego, that sack disparity would be 2.5 to 1.  Yikes.

I mention this for two reasons.  One, it entertains me, and that's really the entire purpose of this column.  Two, I think that kind of underscores just how invisible Mario has been post-Redskins game.  For the life of me, I can't figure out why he's been so lackluster, either.

Oh, I suppose there's a third reason.  With all the Amobi hate out there, I figure people don't notice when he's playing pretty well.  I thought he looked solid against San Diego last week, though the stat sheet doesn't reflect it, and he played well this week, too.  In addition to the sack, he had two hurries (one of which would have been another sack with even a slightly below average secondary behind him), had a tackle-for-loss late in the second half, and just generally did his job.


Number of tackles by Glover Quin against Jacksonville.


Number of plays where Quin's actions resulted in Jacksonville TDs.  In addition to the Q-Tip, Quin went entirely the wrong way on Zach Miller's TD, cutting in when Miller cut out.  Then, when Quin recovered and tried to tackle Miller, he failed, and Miller was off to the not-overly-fast-TE races.


Number of wins the Texans have in the last month.


Number of running backs with more rushing yards than Arian Foster, with more rushing first downs than Arian Foster, that I love more than I love Arian Foster, and who speak pterodactyl more fluently than Arian Foster.


Number of players with more rushing attempts than Arian Foster.

The Bible Says Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone, So I Cast That Mutha!

All of the talk about plot holes in the Terminator franchise due to time travel got me thinking about movie screw-ups generally.  Much like how out-of-place apostrophes appear roughly seven-feet-tall to my OCD brain, plot holes in movies bug the ever-lovin' crap out of me.

Now, I'm not talking about editing errors, where a cigarette is the wrong hand after the camera switches or (if you were watching Boardwalk Empire this past Sunday) where billiard balls inexplicably move all over the table and have no continuity between shots. Those, I notice, but they don't bother me. Much.

No, I am referring to things that make the plot of the movie fall apart or, at the very least, undermine something important in the film.  So my brother and I came up with a list of all the big plot holes we could think of, and then I narrowed it down to the Top 5 (and I excluded any time-travel holes).  In reverse order they are:

5. The Sixth SenseThe hole: Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is apparently completely different from every other tortured soul / ghost.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't every other ghost in the movie sort of wander aimlessly, most reliving their deaths or suffering in some other way?  I'm thinking of the people hanging in the schoolhouse, the guy on the bike, the sick girl...none of them apparently did anything other than suffer.  Crowe, however, just goes on about his life, wholly oblivious to the fact that he's dead.  In fact, if I am recalling correctly, most of the ghosts who died in some way that disfigured them remained disfigured, yet Crowe doesn't have a constant, non-healing, bloody gunshot wound.

4. Gremlins.  The hole: it's always "after midnight".  Of the three rules for taking care of Gizmo, "no bright lights" and "don't get him wet" were pretty straightforward (though they would eventually lead to a stinky, agoraphobic mogwai, I imagine).  But the whole "don't feed him after midnight" is just awful as a plot device.  For one thing, there was no explanation of when it was ok to feed them again.  I mean, today is technically "after" every single midnight of every day since the Earth started rotating.  I assume you have to be able to feed the mogwai at some point.  Additionally, mogwai are pretty clearly not native to the Eastern United States, so should we use NYC time to gauge midnight or the timezone in the mogwai's native country?

3. Minority Report.  The hole: seeing the wrong future.  So the precogs could see the future, which allowed them to know ahead of time that someone was going to kill someone.  Except, with one exception (I think), the murders never took place because of the precogs' ratting out the would-be killers.  Instead, every one of those "murders" they saw actually ended with the "murderer" being arrested.  Shouldn't the precogs have seen the arrest, since that was the actual future that was to occur?  (Also, a related flaw: the whole "echo" loophole, where you could kill someone in a manner that looked exactly like a previous murder, and the precogs would assume it was an echo and would delete it?  Sounds all well and good, but there would still be a ball with your name on it that popped out of the machine, no?)

2. Terminator Salvation.  The hole: Skynet is stupid.  This plot hole has nothing to do with time travel, at least not directly, so I'm not cheating here.  In Salvation, Kyle Reese (who, remember, is John Connor's dad) gets captured by Skynet.  Through Terminator-vision, we see "Identified: Kyle Reese," so Skynet via the Terminator definitely knows that they've got Connor's dad.  We also know, from the first film, that Skynet understands sending a Terminator back in time and killing Sarah Connor would erase John from existence.  They apparently even understand this vis-a-vis Reese, as they have him higher on their "People To Kill" list than John.  Yet, once he's been captured and identified, they put him in a room and use him as bait to lure John so they can kill him.  There is absolutely no reason for this, nor does it make any sense given what we know about how ruthlessly the Terminators go about killing people.

1. Citizen Kane.  The hole: If a trees falls in the forest.... I put this one at #1 because of how many people consider it the greatest movie of all time.  In case you haven't seen it, an old rich dude dies and whispers "Rosebud" as his final word.  Newspaper reporters get all a-twitter trying to figure out what Rosebud means.  Turns out, it was his sled (Spoiler Alert!).  Whatever.  The problem is that NO ONE WAS IN THE ROOM TO HEAR HIM SAY "ROSEBUD," SO THE ENTIRE PLOT OF THE MOVIE MAKES NO SENSE.  It is not until after he whispers (WHISPERS) the word and drops a snowglobe that bounces down two steps before shattering on the floor that Kane's nurse comes in.  And I don't buy the idea that I've heard some people offer that she was standing right outside his door and heard him say it.  For one thing, if her job as his nurse required her to sit right outside his door, I imagine she'd quickly learn to tune out the mumblings of a dying old man.  For another, the house was ridiculously huge and ornate, with marble floors and walls and whatnot, and the room was large enough that (by my count) it took the nurse six full strides to make it from the thick wooden door to Kane's bed.  I sincerely doubt that Kane's whisper is going to float across that room, through the wall/door, and remain audible for anyone to decipher.

Not Sure If You're Aware But...

Andre Johnson is on pace for 92 catches, 1388 yards, and 7 TDs.  Those numbers would represent his lowest catch total in a full season since 2004 and his lowest yardage and TD output in a full season since 2006.  Last year, only 7 WRs had more than 92 catches, only 1 (Andre) had more than 1388 yards, and only 13 had more than 7 TDs, yet I think we'd all kind of agree that those total would represent a down year for Andre.  THAT'S how good he is.


I was having a conversation with someone the other day about cosmology when the topic of dark matter came up.  (Wow, that sentence looks even geekier in print.  Whatever.)  My friend expressed disbelief in the existence of dark matter or dark energy, saying that those seemed like ideas scientists used to explain things that they didn't understand.

I attempted to explain how both dark matter and dark energy, while not totally understood, had certain specific characteristics that were observable.  I then veered off into a tangent about General Relativity and, before I could get back on topic, my friend had sort of glazed over and tuned me out.  It happens.

ANYWAY, I went searching for someone who could explain the whole concept more effectively than I could, and I think Ethan Siegel pulls it off nicely.

[A]ll I need to do is start with two very well-supported assumptions, and you can demonstrate to yourself that the matter in the Universe must be mostly, but not completely, made up of dark matter.

The first assumption is that the Universe follows Einstein's General Relativity as its law of gravity.

The second assumption is that the Big Bang picture of the Universe works.


But dark matter doesn't get pushed by radiation, and so if the Power Spectrum doesn't have these features, the Universe must have more dark matter than normal matter!

But -- and here's the most convincing part -- if you design your Universe with about 70-75% dark energy, 20-25% dark matter, and about 4-5% normal matter, you get predictions that match up perfectly with our observations!

The article has lots of pictures, too, for any Aggies in the house.

The Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer Inexplicable Decision Of The Week.

Much like the decision to name a child "Marijuana Pepsi," the decision to throw to Joel Dreessen over the middle with no timeouts and :16 seconds on the clock (when the ball was snapped) was baffling.  If you are even going to have Dreessen run that route, it has to be in the capacity of drawing defenders away from the sidelines; it can't be as option 1, 2, 3, or 3298203 in Schaub's progression.

As if that pass wasn't irritating enough, Dreessen went on to fumble, but I don't think that fumble renders the complaining about Schaub's decision moot.  Especially when he did the same sort of thing against Indianapolis on Monday Night Football.  Knowing full well that Houston needed two scores, the Colts went into a full prevent and purposefully left the middle of the field in front of the deep linebackers wide open.  They were daring Schaub to throw there and waste clock, and Matt did not disappoint, throwing into the open middle multiple times as precious seconds ticked away.


Was anyone else a little surprised that the Cushing experiment at MLB was so short-lived?  I mean, we're talking about a coaching staff that stuck with Petey Faggins at least two years too long, and they continue to stick with Zac Diles and Eugene Wilson.  Yet Cushing has one game -- ONE -- at MLB and, when he's not immediately the greatest MLB on the planet, he gets moved back?  Weird.

Not that I particularly care, mind you.  I'm well past caring about Frank Bush's decision-making.  It is what it is: 95% asinine, 4% lucky, 1% electrolytes.  Besides, any decision that gives me more time to make references to Lyndon Veins Johnson and the Bitchephant can't be all bad.

(I realize that that last sentence only makes sense if you were a reader of DGDB&D.  Sorry.)

TXT MSGS Of The Week

Shake, commenting on the music choices in Jacksonville.

Why were they just playing Sweet Home Alabama in the Jacksonville stadium?  Is there no Sweet Home L.A. song available?

beefy, following Schaub's first-down scramble

Troy Aikman, Brad Johnson, and Peyton get together to make fun of Schaub's athleticism and escapeability.


Tasker: "We'll see if they can still keep running after halftime adjustments." Obviously hasn't done his research. Frank Bush doesn't make adjustments.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.