2018 CFP National Championship: No Asterisks

I still think about the 2010 BCS National Championship: Texas vs. Alabama. The Longhorns came in as underdogs, but the game started well for them. They held Alabama to a three-and-out, got the ball back, and drove down to Alabama’s red zone. Then UT quarterback Colt McCoy injured his shoulder after a tackle from Marcell Dareus. True freshman Garrett Gilbert took over for McCoy.

The drop-off from McCoy to Gilbert was steep, but Texas was able to stay in the game. With 3:04 left in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns were down only 21-24 with a chance to win it all. I thought the Horns would drive down the field and lift the crystal football. Instead, Gilbert fumbled, and Alabama recovered and scored a touchdown. Continue reading 2018 CFP National Championship: No Asterisks

Dave Chappelle: The Bird Revelation & The System

You can tell them anything if you just make it funny.

–Bo Burnham, Make Happy

The Introduction

Don’t explain the joke. That is the first rule of comedy, but this essay will break that rule by explaining what makes Dave Chappelle’s fourth Netflix special so great.

However, such explanation is fine because The Bird Revelation is not actually meant to be funny. Chappelle starts the special by explaining:

Sometimes the funniest thing you say is mean…I say a lot of mean things, but you guys gotta remember I’m not saying it to be mean. I’m saying it because it’s funny. And everything’s funny ’til it happens to you.

The Bird Revelation has numerous serious rants where the tension builds up, and the audience nervously waits for Dave to throw in a joke to break the gravity of what is being discussed. However although the previous special Equanimity is less serious and more outright funny, TBR still has plenty of laughs. The bit about OJ Simpson trying to kneel during the national anthem is especially memorable.

Yet while the topics discussed are funny to the audience, they are not humorous to Dave because he has experienced them. Jokes about dead babies and AIDS are not as easy to make or hear after you have personally had a miscarriage or an HIV diagnosis. Dark humor is better not when it aims to be controversial for controversy’s own sake but rather when it comes from personal experience. “Offensive” comedians like Anthony Jeselnik are talented and witty, but their work sometimes lacks a sense of authenticity. Continue reading Dave Chappelle: The Bird Revelation & The System

Learning to Hate Jacksonville

In week 10 of the 2010 NFL season, the Houston Texans experienced one of their most ridiculous losses in franchise history. With the game tied in Jacksonville, Jaguars QB David Garrard threw a hail mary from midfield that was deflected by Texans safety Glover Quin. The game should have been over.

Except, the ball got batted into the hands of Jags receiver Mike Thomas. Jags win.

Despite the ridiculousness of the situation, losing to the Jags did not really hurt. This is the sort of loss that is commonplace as a Texans fan. The next week Houston would completely destroy their season by letting Mark Sanchez drive 68 yards with 59 seconds left on the clock to score a game winning touchdown. Distinguishing between all the horrific losses is difficult. Yet it is never easy to lose to a rival in your division.

The intra-divisional hatred in the AFC South does not match up with others like the NFC East. Cowboys and Giants fans will murder one another. But there is still plenty of animosity in the AFC South.

The Tennessee Titans will always be loathed by Houstonians for turning their back on the city. The former Houston Oilers left in 1997, and Bud Adams became a persona non grata inside Texas. Even drafting Houston-born hero and UT legend Vince Young was not enough to lessen my hatred for their franchise.

For years, the Colts have humiliated the Texans. The Texans did not beat the Colts until their 10th meeting, and it was not until 2015 that they finally won in Indianapolis. When the Texans franchise began, the Colts were led by future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. They had one bad season then got to draft another incredible quarterback in Andrew Luck. Life is not fair sometimes.

But then there are the Jags. You never like your division rivals. But I would never have compared my hatred of the Jags to the way Jets fans hate the Patriots. And if someone besides the Texans had to win the AFC South, I would have preferred it to be the Jags.

Until they actually won the division this year. Along the way to their first division title, the Jags stomped the Texans 29-7 and 45-7. And having the less-than-stellar Blake Bortles under center while doing it only makes it hurt more.

I now realize my lack of hatred towards the Jags was just condescension. Although the Texans do not have a great history, at least we were not the Jags. But now that the Jags will be in the playoffs this weekend, that defense no longer works. At least Cleveland is still a worse franchise than Houston.

Nobody likes Patriots fans because they are so condescending. Every time I listen to the Bill Simmons Podcast I have to hear how New England is not a good team this year, and their defense is atrocious even though they finished the regular season with a 13-3 record. When New England beats your team, you will frequently hear how “you guys are going to be scary next year”.

Now I realize though that I have been doing the same to Jacksonville fans. A lack of hatred is a lack of respect. From here on out, all I have to say is fuck the Jags. Good luck this weekend.