12 Things In Houston '93 You'd NEVER See Today
We heard about Bob McNair's making a rare appearance at a team meeting on the heels of Gary Kubiak's firing earlier this week. The players said they appreciated his personal touch, and they're excited to go out and win these final three games. It sounds like the exact opposite of Bud Adams' meeting that's referred to in this movie, where he basically told the team at the beginning of the 1993 season (keep in mind their last game had been the January 1993 playoff debacle in Buffalo) that if they didn't win, he'd have to break the team up.
(Of course, as we learned later, the team was so ill equipped to deal with the pending arrival of a salary cap when it came about the following season, it was probably headed for a breakup of some sort anyway, win or lose. But hey, whatever works, Bud.)
It was also at this point in the documentary that we were introduced to my favorite character in the whole show, Steve Underwood's Mustache (see above).
(Frankly, the mustaches in this film deserve their own post.)
I know I always say that things feel a little bit too comfortable over on Kirby with the Texans, but I think Bud may have amped up the discomfort (and triggered the dysfunction) a little too far. Maybe.
Historically, I guess if professional pressure were a thermostat, Houston football has been either set at 91 degrees (Oilers) or a comfy, cool 68 degrees (Texans). Why can't somebody come in and set it at like 77? Just cool enough to be able to live in it, but warm enough to where you want to do something about it.
5:45 -- Bud's hiring of Buddy Ryan
The hiring of Wade Phillips always felt like a Bob McNair thing in 2011, like Gary Kubiak would have ridden Frank Bush to his ultimate coaching demise if he could have, but Bob stepped in for Gary's own good (As it turns out, Gary just took the long way to said demise, riding Joe Marciano instead). We don't really know because the Texans run their show more buttoned down and behind closed doors than the Oilers did. (I think strip clubs ran their show more buttoned down than the Oilers did.)
Buddy Ryan basically got hired in the middle of Jack Pardee's coaches show without Pardee's input! So there's that, not to mention that...well....Buddy Ryan....brash, bombastic, a lawn sprinkler of conflict....guessing he's "not Texans worthy." Yeah, this would have had a zero percent chance of ever happening with the Texans. (This primarily bums me out because I'm a big fan of Rex Ryan and think that his attitude is precisely what this group needs. He's outperformed the talent level of his team every year in New York. Don't blame the kid, Bob! Rex didn't pick his parents!)
13:10 -- Blitzing in practice, Buddy Ryan's running defenses not on the practice card
First, forget about the fact that we were seeing a ton of hitting in practice on a regular basis (in shoulder pads that looked like aircraft carriers), but Buddy Ryan was basically turning the practices into de facto games. When you consider that the team admits they got along on and between both sides of the ball before Ryan got there, and that every practice and really the whole season turned into a WWE pay per view after Ryan got there, Buddy Ryan was either the greatest heel or the best unwitting wrestling promoter in league history.
20:30 -- Ernest Givins firing back at Ryan
Almost the epilogue to the last bullet point, the hatred in practice eventually spilled over into the games, with Ryan's constantly calling Kevin Gilbride's run-and-shoot offense the "chuck and duck." Givins did not take kindly to it, moped on the sidelines, then lashed out on television (curse words included). It was at this point that I think my man Kevin Cooper (media relations guru with the Texans) would have started sniffing glue heavily if he were running P.R. for those Oilers. (I say "sniffing glue," but that was more of an 80's thing, right? What was the drug of choice in 1993? Cocaine still? Heroine? Free basing the stuffing inside Beanie Babies?)
23:00 -- Warren Moon's benching
Credit Jack Pardee, unlike Gary Kubiak, as uncomfortable as it made him feel, as much as he didn't want to do it, he voluntarily shook up a 1-4 team by benching a Pro Bowl quarterback whose skills and resume dwarf anything Matt Schaub has done in his career. It didn't take a knee injury to make that change either, again unlike Kubiak's "decision" to go to Case Keenum. Granted, Moon was right back in the lineup in short order because of a Cody Carlson injury, but the players in the documentary (Spencer Tillman, specifically) say it was a different Warren Moon, a more forceful Warren Moon. In other words, benching Moon made him better. Credit Pardee, credit Moon.