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Monday, February 06, 2006

Vince Young v. Reggie Bush--It's Not Just a Football Decision

When the Texans crapped the bed one final time against the 49ers on 01/01/06 and put the nightmare that was the 2005 campaign to rest, there was no way they could know the headache they'd created for themselves. At the time, everyone was elated that Reggie Bush, a modern day Gale Sayers according to many pundits, would be a Texan. But a mere three days later, Vince Young changed everything with his legendary performance in the Rose Bowl.

At the outset of this discussion, allow me to say that I am far from impartial on the Bush v. Young debate. I graduated from the University of Texas, and am completely certifiable when it comes to Horns football. Indeed, I am proud to say that I have spent most fall Saturdays for the past three seasons nattily attired in a burnt orange skull cap. While I pulled it off as well as someone of my ilk can, I looked ridiculous. Perhaps that fashion sense directly contributed to me remaining a bachelor. But it didn't (and still doesn't) matter. Jesus in Cleats wore a skully, so I did too. Thus, consider this analysis with several grains of burnt orange salt.

As anyone who has kept up with the situation knows, drafting VY necessarily translates into an indictment of David Carr, which may or may not be fair. ***NOTE--Personally, I'm not a huge Carr guy anymore (I just don't think he's a guy his teammates will follow through a wall), though I do think he will be a successful NFL QB somewhere.*** Nor will VY be able to cure the complete and total lack of an offensive line (Chester Pitts aside) in Houston. While Vince is as close to Superman as anyone I've ever seen, he can't erase the personnel disasters that are B. Joppru, P. Buchanon, T. Hollings, etc. No one should think that Vince becoming a Texan will transform the team into a playoff contender overnight. It won't. In fact, I think he'd best be served holding a clipboard for a year before taking the reins of the offense.

But what VY will transform, however, is an entire fanbase. Whether to draft Vince is no longer a football decision. It's a marketing mandate. Imagine the number of Texas Exes that will become ardent fans (and possible season ticketholders) if Jesus in Cleats becomes a Texan. Imagine the number of Houstonians that will begin to take an interest in the Texans because their hometown boy is under center. Imagine the plethora of #10 jerseys that will fly off the shelves, both in Houston and nationally, once Vince holds his up for the first time at the April press conference.

Alternatively, imagine how many existing season ticketholders will decline to renew their tickets in disgust after what they perceive to be another ruined draft at the hands of Texans management. Now, I like Reggie Bush. I think he'll have a good career. Whether he's Marshall Faulk, I don't know. But I do know that he will never be embraced like Vince Young in Houston. He'll never be the local hero. And God forbid Vince becomes a star in Tennessee for the Titans. The old Oilers with a Houston legend at the helm? The very thought makes me want to honk in my skully. That's why, when all the off-field factors are considered, there really is only one choice. And it's why I think Vince will be a Texan.

5 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

Nice work. My official position is simply, "Don't Draft Bush." I smell Desmond Howard, and Gary Kubiak's offense has made 1000+ yard rushers out of plenty of mid-to-low round draft picks.

I'm not a Carr guy, either, but I don't think that it's idiotic to keep him. The ONLY bad move that the Texans can make is to draft a scatback with the #1 pick overall. Either take VY and strap your franchise to his impressive shoulders, or deal this pick for as many #1 and #2 picks as you can get and build accordingly.

One other note: the $ repercussions, at least from an apparel standpoint, of drafting VY are somewhat muted by the fact that all 32 NFL teams share equally in all apparel sales per the last CBA. Of course, if they did not have a CBA for the 2006 season, I'm not sure what impact that would have on revenue sharing. What if the Texans got all those revenues for 1 year if no new CBA was signed? Think that would change Bob Mac's mind?

Tue Feb 07, 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

One other note. I'm not convinced that Texans fans will become infinitely patient simply by the team drafting VY. This city quit on the Texans about 3 weeks into the 2005 season. Maybe that means that you HAVE to change your plan completely and take VY, but if for some reason VY stumbles early and the team struggles, are we sure that those same Horn fans who wanted Mack Brown's head on a stick for the past 3-4 seasons when OU was whipping him badly would not just as quickly cut bait on the Texans?

Put it this way - I'm not so sure that they would not, which is why you have to 99% ignore the fans' wishes when determining your course of action with this #1 pick.

Tue Feb 07, 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

I don't see VY as some kind of antidote to fan restlessness; I figure people will tolerate another subpar season next year if VY paces the sideline (complete with cries of "Let him play!" from idiots like me), expect improvement in his first full season as a starter (e.g., 7-9 or so) in 2007, and demand Carson Palmer-esque success in the 2008 season. No matter who the Texans take, H-town is a bandwagon sports town. In other words, expect plenty of good seats to be available at Reliant next year. Kubes and VY will get a grace year in 2006, but then people will want to see marked improvement. The good news, from the organization's perspective, is that they could trot Snoop Dogg's Pop Warner team out there next year and win more than two games.

You're dead on about Kubes and Bush. If there was ever a guy that could get away with passing on a RB with the first pick, it's Denver's former offensive coordinator. I'm pretty sure Shanahan & Co. could make The Artist Formerly Known as Curtis Enis a 1,200 yard back in that system.

Tue Feb 07, 09:49:00 AM  
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