Time to Scream, Houston

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October 28, 2006
Time to Scream, Houston

by Keith Weiland

Been seeing some hockey masks around Reliant Park lately? Since the post-draft hiring of general manager Rick Smith in June, he and head coach Gary Kubiak have not been shy in addressing the team’s weak and meek with fervent execution. In fact, the two of them have been knocking off veteran players with such glee and efficiency to make even Stephen King blush.

Need examples? Cue the scratchy violin music, turn up the random TV static, and grab yourself some popcorn because it just passed midnight.

Shortly after the opening credits, the Denver duo paired up to slash Todd Wade, an underperforming right tackle recovering from injury. Okay, he was a meaty and satisfying offing that most of us saw coming from a mile away, but those big brawny jocks are always among the first to go in horror movies.

But then, oh, the camp scenes. Surely running back Domanick Davis was having some randy camp sex in the woods, because he didn’t make it out to the regular season alive. The South Denver Slashers mummified Davis and his sore knee to the injured reserve, and it isn’t certain that the team’s career rushing leader will ever find a way to unwrap those bandages again.

With the taste of blood fresh on their lips, Smith and Kubiak next sunk their fangs into Seth Wand, the precocious left tackle that never matured into his potential. Wand’s disappearance would later turn Reliant Stadium into something of a haunted house, as his replacement Charles Spencer was felled by a broken leg two weeks into the season, making Wand the biggest ghost ever (partially) seen.

After banishing Wand to the attic, Smith and Kubiak continued with the bloodfest, goring overpaid defensive tackle Robaire Smith. Like any good horror sequel, Smith returned to the NFL scene as one of those Titans zombies. Here’s hoping he doesn’t keep feeding on the warm brains of Texans players actually making a positive contribution on Sundays.

Speaking of the undead, cornerback Phillip Buchanon was the latest corpse courtesy of Smith and Kubiak. Hey, that’s just what you get for being such a tease, P-Bust. At least the producer didn’t make you flash your breasts on camera before your demise.

If I were a Texans player still limping around Reliant Park with so much as a hangnail, my pants would reek of urine. (Are you reading this, Jerome Mathis?) If I could look at my paycheck and smile at how much I’m getting for how little I’m actually doing, then I would know to never pick up the phone at home alone, and for godsakes, I would know to never take another bath or shower. (This means you, Morlon Greenwood.)

Who knew our quiet little Houston town was going to turn into Crystal Lake so quickly? Or that Smith and Kubiak would become the new Freddy and Jason, a pair of grim reapers wielding sharp blades and a sharper sense of roster management? With a team chock full of worthy victims, a little nightmare on Kirby Street has actually been a welcome production.

Keith Weiland finds discussions of horror movies clichés as clichéd as the movies themselves these days.

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