Merril Hoge Hates Everybody Including Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Let's see if Hoge is as right about Texans' potential first picks as he is about adjusting his tie.
I do a couple hours of radio each week with John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, who is about as dialed in as any beat reporter is for their local NFL team.

McClain is highly informed and not afraid to openly discuss what he knows, and his on-air and in-writing speculation of late have said that the Texans will take either South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Clowney and Manziel obviously are two very different players serving very different needs, and both (like every player in this draft) have their warts, but I think it's hard to find anybody who thinks the Texans' draft would be a failure at the top by picking one of these two.

Well, we found someone who thinks that. Say hello to ESPN's Merril Hoge, kids.

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If Google Elected Athletes to Office, the President Would Be...

Photo by Keith Allison
Bro hugs, it's what sports is all about.
Before computers ruled our lives, before the internet connected everyone to everything, relevance was a far more subjective attainment. Stardom was a feel, degrees of which were debatable.

Nowadays, with our ability to measure the relative joy in/admiration for/tolerance of almost anything thanks to Internet analytics, we have measures for relevance. Things like web hits, Twitter trending topics, Facebook "Likes." Self esteem used to have no statistical measurement. Now, it has Twitter followers.

These measurements have become incredibly handy in sports (especially in the content driven part like radio and blogs), as we can truly see in numerical form which athletes/personalities are moving the needle.

To that end, how about this latest bit of data?

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Getting Gluttonous With 100 Peeps In Two Minutes

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Photo by Christopher
So, this gorging on Peeps thing is a national pastime.
YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. The Mount Rushmore of viral fame-spawning mechanisms.

Never has "getting one's 15 minutes" been easier, never has notoriety been more accessible, and never has the bar been lower for what qualifies as "newsworthy." Making news doesn't require greatness, just an iron stomach.

Just ask Matt Stonie.

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Texas Cop Tripping High School Kids Is Kind of a Jerk (VIDEO)

Categories: Game Time

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Gives another meaning to the word "trippy."
At a young age, we are taught in elementary school that the police are our friends.

When our impressions of good and evil are in their formative stages, around kindergarten, we are shown pictures of firemen, doctors and police officers (also Johnny Bench) and taught "GOOD." We are shown pictures of robbers, thugs and bullies (also David Schwimmer) and taught "BAD."

As we grow and evolve, hopefully our experiences with law enforcement are decidedly positive, and we see them still as dutiful and brave first responders, and rarely see them as overbearing authority figures.

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Texans Tracker: Peter King Gives Us the Most Absurd Update Yet

Click to see updated Texans Tracker
If this were every other year, we'd be around 48 hours away from the NFL Draft, with all of the conjecture, smokescreens and posturing set to expire this weekend.

But it's not every other year. It's 2014, and in 2014, where the draft has been moved back two weeks so the NFL can usurp more of the calendar because of a Radio City Music Hall scheduling conflict, we are going to get even more baseless speculation and anonymous sources whether we like it or not.

Up until now, my personal favorite euphemism for anonymous sources had been "people around the league," as in "people around the league believe the Texans will draft a human being."

But Peter King destroyed "people around the league" on Monday in his weekly column.

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Roddy Piper Turns 60: The Five Most Important Piper's Pits

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Photo by Have_Mercy
Recalling those infamous forays into Piper's Pit.
Who's your favorite player?

For traditional sports, the answer to that question for most people is pretty easy. You know who your favorite football, baseball, or basketball player is, and you know the reasons why. Their career is a collective body of work that defines them, and your love for that athlete is usually for the totality of his work.

Professional wrestling is just different. It's sports entertainment, where the "players" are actors as much as they are athletes, so to answer the question "Who's your favorite wrestler?" is a little more complex.

At least, it is for me.

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NBA Playoffs Opening Weekend In Viral Video Form

The first weekend of the NBA Playoffs is in the books, and Game 1 of every series has been played. If you're a hoops junkie, you have another seven weeks of this to look forward to.

If you're the spouse of a hoops junkie, you have seven weeks to find a good divorce lawyer. You've been warned.

The theme of this first weekend is "the dogs were barkin'!" On Saturday, three road underdogs pulled the straight up upset, including an 8 seed beating a 1 seed in Indiana, with the Hawks beating the Pacers in a game that wasn't even close. (Seriously, the worst 8 seed in recent memory meeting up with the worst 1 seed in recent memory. The only thing that makes this potentially watchable is the possibility of Roy Hibbert punching a teammate during the game.)

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"Delino DeShields, Jr. Hit In The Face With 90 MPH Fastball" Twitter Montage

Photo by Sam Ballew
DeShields took it like a champ.
I like to be out in front of this blogging process early in the weekend, and have a post or two in the bag ready to go Monday morning by the time I'm done with breakfast on Sunday. That process requires staying on top of the action throughout the day on Saturday.

So Friday night, word began to spread about Astros blue chip prospect Delino DeShields, Jr., in a Double A game for the Corpus Christi Hooks, getting beaned in the face by a 90 miles per hour fastball in the seventh inning.

Because it was a Double A game in Corpus Christi, you'd have a better chance of finding a Tim Tebow sex tape upload than you would footage of poor DeShields' getting plunked, but with social media, the pictures of the carnage began to leak out later that night.

Predictably, it wasn't pretty....

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2014 NBA Playoffs: Rockets-Blazers Preview and Predictions

Categories: Game Time, Sports

It all begins Sunday. Fingers crossed.
After six long months, now comes the payoff.

From about the time that Yao Ming's feet stopped fully cooperating, through every single minor trade to flip a couple second round picks into a reserve player that could then be mixed into another trade for an eventual asset to land a superstar, through a league aborted trade for what he thought was that superstar (Pau, we barely knew ye!), and eventually through a meticulous recruitment that landed Dwight Howard, Daryl Morey has assembled this Rockets team for April.

And May. And June.

We hope.

And it all begins Sunday at Toyota Center, and all things considered, when you scout the West from top to bottom, and factor in all that went right and wrong for the Rockets this season, things line up as well as one could hope for a postseason run.

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Five Roles in the Sports World for Game of Thrones' King Joffrey

Categories: Game Time, Sports

If he was a little taller, his jumper would be nice.
[SPOILER ALERT] Is it safe to openly discuss the last Game of Thrones episode now?

On Sunday, we finally got the moment that we've all been waiting for -- King Joffrey bit the dust, and thankfully for many of you that wanted him to suffer, suffer he did.

I don't know what the "spoiler" rules are in this day and age of social media and DVR proliferation. Each Monday, we've started doing a Game of Thrones recap segment on my radio show where we assign sports style power rankings to the main stars, and it appears (based on numerous angry text messages to the show) that Monday may be too soon after a Sunday show (although we do give ample warning prior to the segment).

But Joffrey is indeed gone, and he ain't coming back. For what it's worth, and since this is technically a sports blog, here are a few sports roles where it would be acceptable to reprise Joffrey's role:

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