2014 Fantasy Crime League: Final Standings, Season Awards

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Congratulations?
After much debate and conjecture, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell weighed all the evidence, circumstantial and (presumably) visual, and handed down the punishment:

Ray Rice would be suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season for his part in a violent incident with his then-fiancée/now-wife Janay Palmer a few months ago in an Atlantic City casino, an incident that included some disturbing surveillance footage of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator.

The Internet exploded, the media railed and Stephen A. Smith almost ended his career with a head-scratching, awful take on women's role in domestic violence.

Indeed, if any of this -- suspensions, reaction, relevance -- mattered for purposes of my NFL offseason Fantasy Crime League, the Ravens would have run away with the 2014 title.

But alas, those things don't count, and in a reversal of the 2013 Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers emerged "victorious."

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Raid Nets Stolen Weapons, Drugs, Tatted Mom

Categories: Crime

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Courtesy HCSO
Angela Garcia, 43
Stolen assault rifles are no joke, and the authorities take it seriously when they find out where those weapons might be. In the case of the Harris County Sheriff's Home Task Force and the High Risk Operation Unit, that meant forcing a mom and her 14-year-old son out of a house last Thursday when searching for both the missing rifles and the prime suspect.

Angela Garcia was inside the home in the 7600 block of Williams in the Woodland Trails West subdivision last Thursday, July 24 when officers arrived to serve a warrant searching for several long-barrel firearms stolen earlier in the week and the suspect in the burglary. Only problem is, Garcia refused to come out.

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Is Ted Cruz Ever Going to Learn New Tricks?

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Sen. Ted Cruz, he does what he does.

We must give credit where credit is due: Sen. Ted Cruz is the best politician around when it comes to getting himself into the news cycle. You want an opinion on the Ukrainian mess? He's got one! You want a soundbite on Israel? Well, he's got one of those too! He'll talk about the border crisis and he'll talk about pretty much whatever you need as long as it will get his name out there. He seemingly has an opinion on everything and he knows how to ask questions and express said opinion in such a way to get himself folded into the story itself. He's been at this game now since 2012, but it never ceases to amaze us how he pulls this stuff off.

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The Continuing CSN Houston Fiasco Makes Luc Besson Films Seem Sane and Logical

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CSN Houston makes Luc Besson films seem sane and logical.
Luc Besson's movies teeter on the edge of insanity. They're full of stylized violence, shouting, slow motion and visual effects. They're full of bright colors, big stars, fancy camera moves and flashy editing. Yet his movies usually make zero sense, appear to have no script, don't follow the rules of logic, and are usually huge, big-budget messes. But when everything meshes, his movies are joyous wonders to watch.

CSN Houston is, in many ways, the equivalent of a Luc Besson movie. The continued existence of the network borders on the brink of insanity. It's loud and messy, and features big stars trying their best to distract viewers, owners and creditors from the mostly inferior product. CSN Houston is failing and it's failing fast. It's what happens when Bruce Willis is cut from The Fifth Element for more Chris Tucker, and there's just absolutely no chance than Gary Oldman is going to pop up and pull it out of its death spiral.

Sometime this week the good folks at Comcast are supposed to find out the identity of the secret bidder for the bankrupt network currently known as CSN Houston. And by the end of next week, there's an actual chance that the people of Houston will know the identity of this entity. That's all, if of course, this so-called entity is still interested in the nightmare known as CSN Houston. And if it is, at what cost is it interested in the network?

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Updated: Breweries and Distributors Say Beer Fest's Organizers Owe Them $100,000

Categories: Spaced City

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Photo by Francisco Montes
Beer Fest, in happier times.
Updated (July 25, 10:33 am): An early version of this story attributed a quote to Geoff Marolda. It should have been attributed to Walter Gordy III.

Nearly two months after the fourth annual Houston Beer Fest, brewers and distributors say the event's organizers owe them more than $100,000.

Although an estimated 30,000 people poured into Sam Houston Park for the two-day festival in early June, the event's director, Timothy Hudson, said unforeseen problems, including staff theft, had delayed the payments. Hudson and others who helped promote the event have also blamed money woes on headlining entertainer Rick Ross's last-minute cancellation, an assertion that makes no sense. We feel Beer Fest's promoters are serving up a frothy pint of craft-brewed bullshit.

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Andre Johnson Reports to Texans Training Camp

Categories: Football, Sports

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Photo by Groovehouse
He's back. Thank God.
Numerous reports Friday morning indicate that Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson has reported to training camp and will begin workouts with the team. This comes amid much speculation that the disgruntled veteran had been present at NRG Stadium early in the week though his agent would not confirm it and reports from various media outlets stated this was not indicative of Johnson's imminent return.

Since the end of last season's 2-14 debacle, Johnson, who is under contract for two more seasons, reportedly has been unhappy with the team. The Texans dealt Matt Schaub to Raiders and fired head coach Gary Kubiak and while they did replace Kubiak with Bill O'Brien, someone that seems to now have Johnson's respect, they did not draft a high profile quarterback and head into training camp with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the presumed starter.

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Constructing the Perfect Five-Man College Football Coaching Wrecking Crew

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Sean is up for the challenge.
To say that the internet is the gift that keeps on giving implies that we're cool with all of its little trends, memes, and time wasters.

To be clear, there is plenty of repetitive, over-thought sludge that comes from our friend, the world wide web. Tebowing and flash mobs had their runs as general web nuisances, and don't get me started on whoever brought Gangnam style into the mainstream.

But occasionally, we get morsels of brain food that spark debate and evoke thought. To that end, of late, there seem to be a preponderance of salary cap style opinion purchase challenges (that's the best way I can describe them). In other words, "You have twenty bucks, here's five groups of mobsters categorized by city, each with his own price -- now go put together the most bad ass crew possible. GO!"

I don't know how it happened, I'm just glad it did. I love stuff like this. And with the college football season almost here, this is the latest....

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Just How Houston Are You? Sports Edition

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Just how Houston are you? Do you remember this team?
There was one of those stupid Twitter hashtags things about Houston this week, this one showing just how much of a Houstonian a person really is. I'm tired of writing about the depressing antics of the Houston Astros and CSN Houston, and I had to miss this week's CUSA Football Media Day in Dallas because of work issues. And frankly, I'm much too lazy to come up with something original to write about. So, with a sports theme, here's my version of #ImSoHouston...

1. ...that I remember when the Houston Rockets couldn't even sell out Hofheinz Pavilion.

2. ...that I remember Nolan Ryan pitching for the New York Mets.

3. ...that I remember what it was like to be awed by the best scoreboard spectacle in all sports.

4. ...that when I was a kid, the Houston Cougars played football in a major college football conference and went to major bowl games on a yearly basis.

5. ...that I recall Tal Smith when he was the beloved, recently deposed general manager of a playoff baseball team and not the guy who helped to destroy a winning franchise.

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Athlete Twitter #FF: Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid

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Via Twitter
Rookie Joel Embiid is becoming a Twitter star.
When you're the third pick in the NBA draft, there are a ton of expectations.

Even with the relatively mitigated risk of the rookie wage scale, fans in the city that drafted a player are expecting some sort of return on the team's investment in the player, and on their investment in season tickets. For young players, that can be a lot of pressure.

Now, when you're injured and can't help the team, that's a different kind of pressure altogether. Yes, it's important to heal properly, but eventually fans get impatient, especially in a cauldron like Philadelphia. What's a young player, especially one with, say, a debilitating foot injury, to do?

Well, so far, Sixers rookie center Joel Embiid seems to have found a solution.

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Updated: Gay Marriage Would Be Big for Texas Economy, Study Finds

Categories: Texas

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Photo by Jose Antonio Navas

Update: Christy Mallory, senior counsel at the Williams Institute, told us in an email that in 2009 the institute examined the actual economic impact of gay marriage on Massachusetts - $111 million over the first four years following legalization.

That's smaller than the number the institute estimates in its Texas study, but Mallory said Texas has more same-sex couples. Here's the concentration of gay couples in the United States broken down by county, plus some other interesting numbers about gay couples.

Original post: Gay marriage probably won't be legalized in Texas until the Supreme Court makes the state do so. We do have a governor who compared homosexuality to alcoholism, after all.

But according to a study by the Williams Institute, if gay marriage were legal here in the Lone Star State, it'd be quite the financial boom.

The institute, a think tank housed in the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law, released a study Wednesday estimating the economic boost gay marriage legalization in Texas could provide. According to the study, Texas gay marriages would add an estimated $181.6 million in spending to state and local economies over three years, a boost of $14.8 million in sales tax revenue.


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