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Friday, December 08, 2006

Jesus In Cleats Returns: Pre-Game Thoughts

The moment I've been dreading for almost eight (8) months is finally upon us. Native hero Vincent Paul Young, Jr. returns to his hometown to compete against the hometown team that shunned him after he won a national championship at the state's flagship university. Oh, and he's leading the team that left Houston for Nashville to boot. In a season that has been short on big games and national stories concerning the Texans, this is the exception to the rule.

The Chronicle has hosted quite a debate, more or less led by the great John McClain, about how fans should treat Vince's return. McClain has written extensively on this subject; I'm not going to link to all of the stories he's penned, but rest assured they are easily found or linked to at his blog on the Chronicle website (http://blogs.chron.com/nfl/). McClain thinks that anyone who roots or cheers for VY isn't a true Texans fan. While I appreciate his stance, I don't agree with it. Vince brought the State of Texas its first college football national championship in thirty-five (35) years. He became the face of a national program, a city, and a state. He gave me the most joyous sports-related moment of my young life in Pasadena, California on January 4, 2006. His postgame dance during the trophy presentation is one that every Texas fan should attempt to recreate at some time in his life. So I'll be damned if I'm not going to cheer for him. That doesn't make me any less of a Texans fan. But does that mean I'm cheering for Bud Adams or the Oilers? Hell no it doesn't.

I will stand, clap, and yell for VY in pre-game introductions. I owe him that.

I will sit silently when/if Carr is introduced. Not because I'm not a Texans fan, but because he has given me nothing to cheer about for several weeks. As much as I might want to, I won't boo him.

Will I cheer for every Vince run, pass, or TD? No, I will not. I will merely sit in my seat, crestfallen, as I dream of what could have been had Houston drafted him.

For that matter, will I cheer for any Titans play? Absolutely not. They are owned and operated by Bud Adams, this city's version of Art Modell. You know, if we were Cleveland. Which we might as well be, what with the horrible football team and all.

Will I continue to cheer for every Texans play? Without a doubt. As much as I'd like say I can sit ambivalently and protest the direction of the franchise with my silence, it's just not in me. I'll be as ridiculously excited as I always am after a DeMeco hit, a Mario sack, or an Andre catch. I can't help that. It's in my soul. And thanking Vince for all that he's done for my fanaticism with some cheering before the game does not change that devotion one iota.

Plus, I honestly do believe the Texans are on the right track. McNair & Co. might have screwed up by passing on Vince, but Mario Williams is a helluva consolation price if they did. Additionally, the 2006 Draft gave us DeMeco Ryans, Eric Winston, Charles Spencer, and Owen Daniels. That's five (5) likely starters pulled from one draft. As much as I'd like to see Vince Young wearing a Texans uniform while making the opposition miss for the next ten years, I will state that I'm happy with the direction of the team.

That said, we're going to lose. It'll probably be close, but I fully expect VY to account for a minimum of 300 yards of total offense in leading the Oilers to victory. The Titans are essentially playing a home game on the road by virtue of their QB; the cheers for him will actually provide the visiting team with an edge. You don't see that every day, and I think Houston's favorite son will reward that lovefest with a win. I hope I'm wrong.

4 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

Every time I've ever doubted J.I.C., he's shown me the foolishness of my ways. However, I'm daring him yet again this weekend. The Texans are certainly painful to watch, for the most part, but they're also quite unpredictable, and their defense is improving weekly. Therefore, I'm predicting a brutal defensive struggle, with Vince having an off day and the Texans winning 13-10 in a bloodbath. The Play of the Game? Mario Williams forcing J.I.C. to fumble deep in his own territory in the 4th quarter, leading to the game-winning Kris Brown FG. I might head to the Yellow Lot tonight to start preparing for gameday.

Fri Dec 08, 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really hope you're right. But we're talking about VY. With something to prove. In H-Town. This doesn't end well for the Texans.

Fri Dec 08, 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous justin tyler said...

IT is going to be a fun game. I am an Austinite, and I have been a Texans fan for the last four years, until recently. It was fun for a while, to cheer for a team besides the Cowboys. But now I am pulling for the Titans. I hope to see a lot of burnt orange and baby blue Sunday. I will catch it on the TIVO.

P.S. When I visited Galveston in early September, all of the malls had displays with VY jerseys. (Not so much D.Carr, M. Williams, or A. Johnson.) Is this still going on? Man, not picking VY was like going to war in Iraq. As an ex-Texans fan and an American, I hope that both these decisions turn out for the better.

Fri Dec 08, 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

"Not picking VY was like going to war in Iraq." Wow - I'll refrain from editorializing, but that's a pretty ignorant thing to write.

Sat Dec 09, 09:39:00 AM  

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