Making My List

December 1, 2003
Making My List

by Keith Weiland

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Nope, that’s not the sound of me calling the play-by-play of the latest Paris Hilton documentary short film. It’s just me getting all jolly thinking back through the year that was 2003, looking for my special egg nog.

Lotsa stuff went down over the past few months. Too bad I missed most of it. After that horrible Columbia disaster, I guess there was this war with Iraq. Then something about a big blackout in August.

I dunno, I guess I blacked out myself from all that depressing news somewhere along the way. What with all my attention focusing on football and pop culture, life outside of my little world is merely a speed bump on my way to TiVo.

Well, I mentioned I missed most of it, not all of it, so as the self-proclaimed expert on everything I think I know, I figured it would be my pleasure to share with you, gentle readers, my list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice in 2003.

So, without further ado, I bring you these good and not-so-good tidings…

Nice: The NFL Network. Since its debut on DirecTV one month ago, I’ve not been able to get anything done. It’s the one channel where I don’t even have to mute the commercials.

Nice: Rich Eisen. Not only does this lucky bastard get paid to talk sports for a living, he’s the centerpiece host on the NFL Network. Oh, and he’s also dropping one-liners on VH1’s I Love the 80s series. As the NFL net’s tagline says, it’s good to be Rich.

Naughty: Jeff Posey. He took the first offer he got from the Bills, then busted David Carr’s shoulder in his first game against his former team. Posey, you broke my heart. You broke my heart!

Naw-taaaaay: Paris Hilton. From hotel heiress to internet queen. Plus, she soiled Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher along the way. Would saying she’s had an up-and-down year be in bad taste? Yeah, I thought so. It’s okay. I had Subway.

Nice: TiVo. Live television is left now only for the unitiated. There is nothing sweeter than watching an hour’s worth of television in forty minutes, then instead of doing something useful with the extra time, watching twenty more minutes of crapola.

Naughty: Scott Weiland. The Stone Temple Pilots are no more, but not without first releasing a “Best of” CD of course. Scott, bro, your body should be your temple, not your medicine cabinet.

Nice: Family Guy. First, the Cartoon Network re-airs episodes of this brilliant, but cancelled Fox series. My TiVo is pleased. Now there’s word of another 35 new episodes to begin airing in 2005. Well this is positively delightful! It’s like someone stabbed Mr. Bubble!

Naughty: Steroid Abusers. There’s far too many to list here, but all of them suck. After getting busted for THG, Bill Romanowski was overheard prepping for a press conference saying, “I said I wanted the blue pill, not the red one!”

Nice: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Speaking of steroids… I haven’t bothered to see his latest Terminator flick, but his successful stint running for governor gave us all one more reason to poke fun at Californians. Too bad they’re too important for chumps like me to be paying any attention.

And Now For Something Completely Different: With the college football season winding down, it’s time to introduce a new closing segment for this column. Below I’ve created yet another list, this time of my top ten prospects for the upcoming draft.

Now, before you get all Mel Kiper on me with your poofy hair and fancy access to a computer, know that this list is not intended to be a mock draft, nor is it even supposed to be a list of the ten best college players. It is simply the ten players I think the Texans should have they’re eyes on in the first round next April.

Look for Eli Manning, Roy Williams, and Kevin Jones elsewhere (actually, you can check out their profiles in The War Room). You won’t see top guys at these positions donning the Steel Blue next fall, so you won’t see them on my list.

So, from the home office in The Woodlands, Texas, here is tonight’s Top Ten List (* indicates underclassman):

Vince Wilfork    

1. Vince Wilfork*, DT, Miami. 6’2″ 345. A double-team waiting to happen in the NFL. Nice quickness for a big man. Maybe too big? Nah, just wait until he gets into an NFL weight training program.

Robert Gallery    

2. Robert Gallery, LT, Iowa. 6’7″ 317. This just in… the Texans still need a franchise left tackle. Gallery is phenomenal specimen that would allow Chester Pitts to finally shift to left guard.

Sean Taylor    

3. Sean Taylor*, FS, Miami. 6’3″ 225. Arguably the best athlete in the entire draft, assuming he declares. Taylor is the type who has enough athletic ability to make an immediate impact, too.

Tommie Harris    

4. Tommie Harris*, DT (DE), Oklahoma. 6’3″ 287. Harris would make for a fearsome end in a 3-4 system. Plenty strong to take multiple blockers, he has the necessary quickness to rush the passer.

Shawn Andrews    

5. Shawn Andrews*, RT, Arkansas. 6’5″ 371. A punishing run blocker who would be the long-term answer at right tackle for the Texans. Weight is a minor concern, but he’s light on his feet.

Randy Starks    

6. Randy Starks*, DT (DE), Maryland. 6’4″ 312. Plays smaller than he’s listed, but that’s a compliment to his pass rush ability. Another athletic mishap, he can stuff the run and tackle, too.

Marlin Jackson    

7. Marlin Jackson*, DB (CB), Michigan. 6’1″ 190. Misused as a safety for the Wolverines, his stock has slipped some. Part of the blame is due to nagging injuries. Rarely challenged as a shutdown corner.

Derrick Strait    

8. Derrick Strait, CB, Oklahoma. 5’11” 194. Aggressive playmaker who is likely the top senior corner available (sorry Nathan Vasher). Strait is playing some tight coverage this year.

Chris Gamble    

9. Chris Gamble*, CB, Ohio State. 6’2″ 180. An instinctive player who could just as easily be a big-time star as he could be a big-time bust. Raw and easily fooled, Gamble is still worth the, ahem, gamble.

DeAngelo Hall    

10. DeAngelo Hall*, CB, Virginia Tech. 5’11” 201. What? Another corner? Sorry, but speed kills, and Hall has plenty of it.

Keith Weiland has wondered why the heiress to the Motel 6 fortune isn’t getting any press.