Part of being a true fan of a team involves a stubborn refusal to understand that the other team has fans of its own who care about their team as much as you care about yours. Impossible! The other team is nothing more than Opponent. When you are watching on Sunday afternoon, all you want to know is: How do we kill these guys? Whom do we boo? Die, humans wearing different colors than the colors to which I have grown accustomed to cheering!
We are here to help. With a slight nod to Drew Magary’s Why Your Team Sucks series, we want to give you three people to scream at on the television every Sunday, peppering Cheetos flecks in every direction. The Jets play the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Here’s whom to boo on the Texans.
Andre Johnson: This is likely to be a dull game between two teams that emphasize defense, the run and field position. There’s really only one superior offensive talent on either team, and it’s this guy, a game-breaking receiver who’s so fast he actually won national track awards in college. (His 10.29-second 100-meter dash is pretty freaking fast, if not Usain Bolt 9.58-second fast.) Johnson, the lone game-breaker, could be the big-play difference between the Jets and the Texans. And he does it while being a completely classy guy, an extremely rare attribute for a wide receiver. If Johnson were brash and obnoxious, the Texans would have a higher national profile and more people would care about this game. So blame Johnson for fewer people coming to your viewing party than if the Jets were playing Terrell Owens and the Bills.
Matt Schaub: The Texans quarterback is expected by many to have a breakout season, justifying the two second-round picks the team sent to Atlanta for him. He’s generally a humble, likable fellow, not exactly the type to inspire the bile to bubble up, but we think we’ve found something. Schaub didn’t start in college until his sophomore year, sharing the duties with Bryson Spinner, before taking over the job full-time his junior year. The key to his success was a mind-meld with his coach, a former NFL coach who convinced Schaub he could play in the NFL if he just paid attention to his tutelage. That school was Virginia, and that coach was the infamous Jets coaching flop Al Groh.
Mario Williams: The guy the Texans took over Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Vince Young — wisely, it turned out — once filmed himself driving a Lamborghini at a terrifyingly dangerous speed. Williams apologized and said he would do what he could to overcome his addiction to cars. Like so many addicts, he replaced one addiction with another, this one considerably safer: Guns! From the New York Times: “He said he owns ten guns, including a .50-caliber Browning machine-gun rifle, a Desert Eagle pistol, and AR-10 and AR-15 rifles. … ‘I’m from the country, man, I’m big on that,’ Williams said of his interest in guns. … Williams’s mother, Mary, who owns thirteen guns herself, five of which are handguns, said she first taught her son to shoot when he was 8. She said her son handled guns responsibly. ‘It’s just something that he enjoys and I enjoy,’ Mary Williams said.”