Finally, Gary Kubiak Is Right. It's on Him.
In between not one but two live NFL games on Sunday night and one cross-country flight on Monday, I had plenty of time these last couple of days to think about the current state of the Houston Texans.
Photo by Groovehouse Time to trade in your ride, Kubes.
And as they sit amid the charred, barely recyclable remnants of what was, at one time, viable Super Bowl aspirations, still one of the most talented teams in the league but completely and hopelessly stuck in first gear, I think it boils down to this:
Imagine, if you will, that you own a car. It's not a souped-up sports car or a rugged SUV, it's just one of those four-wheels-and-an-engine jobbies whose sole purpose is to make sure that you get to work, get the kids to soccer practice and go buy a few groceries. If it successfully gets you to your destination, it's done its job.
You're basically driving, like, a Dodge Caravan. With me so far?
Okay, now imagine that one day, this Dodge Caravan, which has been sufficient enough for you the last seven years, all of a sudden breaks down in traffic. Conks out, damn near causes a 12-car pileup. And not just in the turn lane on an intersection in, say, Memorial, but in the middle lane of the 610 Loop in the middle of rush hour.
Your friends would probably say, "Man, Gary, that sucks. Oh well, you probably got about as much out of that Dodge Caravan as you could. Might be time to junk that thing. Hope you're okay, bro."
In other words, that minivan blows. We feel for you; it's the car's fault.
Now imagine that the following week it happens again at the worst possible time. The Dodge Caravan busts a water hose and overheats right in the middle of two lanes on the Hardy Toll Road. Maybe your friends say, "Damn, Gary, twice in two weeks! That's the worst luck anybody could have with a minivan! That thing blows. I'd try something new, if I were you."
In other words, it's still the minivan's fault.
Now imagine for the third consecutive week, you're driving the kids to a really important game (against a team hypothetically called the "Seahawks"), and the electronics on the Dodge Caravan (which neighbors are now ridiculing you for having even more than they normally would for having a Dodge Caravan) completely shit the bed, the cruise control won't turn off and you hit a car in the oncoming lane (a car driven, coincidentally, by Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks).
Your friends are, at first, worried that you're okay, and they begin to openly wonder why you're still driving that thing. In other words, yeah, the car fucked up royally, but damn, man, this thing is putting you in harm's way. Stop being a fool, Gary!
Now imagine for the fourth consecutive week that you're pulling out of your driveway, and before you even get into the street, the engine explodes and you're sitting in a minivan that is on fire (with all of your neighbors, coincidentally dressed in 49ers jerseys, pointing and laughing at you).
Four straight weeks the Dodge Caravan has royally screwed you. Four straight weeks.
Now your friends say, "Dude, what the hell are you doing? Get a different fucking car already! Sure, it'll be costly. Sure, you're attached to the ol' Dodge Schaubavan...I mean, Caravan, but shit, you've got a family to think about! You've got kids, good kids, 52 of them, to think about!"
In other words, now you're the idiot, Gary, for getting behind the wheel of what is clearly a mobile chamber of death.
Here's my point (in addition to making fun of grown men forced to drive minivans)...
With every failure, someone is to blame. As messy and uncomfortable as pointing that out can be at times, it's just a fact. Nothing is totally random, bad things are usually preventable.
In football, for better or worse, the quarterback often gets a disproportionate amount of the blame when things go wrong (and likewise, credit when things go well), but make no mistake, Matt Schaub was to blame for each and every one of those four pick sixes that he's tossed the last month of this downward spiral of a season.
ALL OF THEM.
However, there comes a point where you have to accept that the continually failing entity, the rightful target of blame to that point (in this case, Schaub), is just that -- that entity is failing, and to continue its use is not only the definition of insanity, but unfair and irresponsible to those who rely upon you for sound decision making.