Happy Hanukkah and mazel to our beloved Jewish readers.
Merry Christmas to the rest of you scoundrels. I hope you find some peace and rest this holiday season.
Roll call if you’re in the office today: show of hands? Just me. Aight. Let’s talk shop.
DOPE MAKES YOU SLOWLY. Old news at this point, but Speedy Noil got popped for weed again. The talented, embattled junior just can’t get out of his own way. I’m not going to discuss the idiotic, Puritanical ways we deal with weed in this country. The frustrating part of this ongoing saga is his inability to put his team first and follow basic rules. Coaches put in place their own sets of rules to build program discipline and get buy-in. Some of these are kind of arbitrary - wearing coat and tie on game days (something I wish A&M would adopt) to obvious - don’t get fucking arrested. Getting 18-22 year old young men to sacrifice and put the team above self is no easy feat for coaches. From my limited vantage point, I think Sumlin really wants to help Speedy beyond football. He seems invested in his growth as a person and his options for after football - a reality that Speedy might have to face much sooner than his abilities should warrant.
Speedy is out for the Texas Bowl and his status for 2017 is murky at best. I hope he shakes his personal demons and puts together a plan to have a killer senior year on and off the field.
SCREWSTON. If you have not done so already, do yourself a favor and read Spencer Hall’s stellar piece on Houston. It covers the peculiar nature of the oft-misunderstood city as well as the dynamics of the U of H football program. I live in Houston. I fucking hate it and kind of love it. Houston drives me absolutely mad sometimes. I openly resent the people who thought settling in this sweat swamp was a capital idea. The lack of zoning is hideous. Most everything - the McMansions, the strip malls, the football stadium - is made out of shitty, characterless design and materials that have the lifespan of a lazy bulldog. It so often feels like there is no forethought put into anything.
But I’ll tell you this - ain’t no one in Houston going to get in the way of you living your life. As a staunch believer in liberty for the individual, Houston kicks ass. This city is open for anyone to do what they want and make something of themselves. Shit gets done in this city. The people are great. The food makes me giggly and fat. ANYWAY, I defy you to find a better summation than Hall’s:
There’s all these people around me, and then there’s not. Driving around Houston during the day is your standard exercise in Sun Belt transit frustration, all blinding sunshine off car hoods, missing and nearly missing exits to one node of the city’s web of nerve cells or another. At night, it blazes in patches of half-lit buildings and brutally illuminated gas stations. When it goes to sleep, it flickers like the EKG of a brain in between dream cycles.
Houston shook Enron off like a massive accounting error. The economy kept on pumping along through a time when most of the country was in a jobless recovery and/or recession. When you think about the skyscrapers of Houston’s skyline it is hard to not think of them as oddly shaped barnacles riding the back of an enormous, sweaty beast so big you don’t even realize you’re standing on it.
Just read the whole damn thing for more of that good stuff.
ROLL YULETIDE. As I mentioned above, I speak for GBH in wishing you a Merry Christmas. We probably don’t love all of you, but Jesus does. Hugs.