Ryan Mallett Out For The Season With Torn Pectoral Muscle

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Photo by Groovehouse
Last Friday, talk around Houston in football circles was happy. It was optimistic. It was about opportunity.

At 5-5, you beat the Bengals at NRG Stadium on Sunday (something the Texans had gotten good at during the Andy Dalton Era, going 2-0 in two home playoff games) and now you're looking at back-to-back games against the Titans and the Jaguars, a gateway to 8-5.

That was the narrative. 8-5 would put the Texans firmly in the playoff hunt, and theoretically do so with a quarterback with a big league arm who would be 4-0 as a starter at that point, confident and poised. The world would be Ryan Mallett's NFL oyster.

(This is where the "vinyl record scratching" sound would be made on television, jarring us back into reality.)

Unfortunately, none of that is happening. This afternoon, the Texans learned that Ryan Mallett's torn pectoral muscle, which was reported last night after the game, an injury he played the entire Cincinnati game with, will end his 2014 season. He will have surgery and be placed on injured reserve.

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Catholic Charities Accused of Covering Up Years of Sexual Abuse by Employees

The family of a child who was abused by an employee at Catholic Charities has filed a lawsuit claiming that the charity has a long, troubling history of covering up sexual assault cases.

The family of the victim filed the lawsuit last week, naming Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and Carlos Valera, a former program coordinator at the charity who is now serving a 7 year jail sentence for child sexual assault, as defendants.

The lawsuit claims the organization has shown "willful disregard for the well-being of others" and has covered up abuse at the charity for nearly a decade.

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Bengals 22, Texans 13: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

Photo by Groovehouse
At this stage of the season, there are two different flavors of .500 (or around .500) football teams in the NFL.

There are the kind who have played hard schedules, have good quarterbacks, and have enough solutions on the roster to eventually win the 9, 10, or 11 games they need in order to make the postseason. Think San Francisco, Seattle, maybe New Orleans.

Then there are the kind who are still shuffling quarterbacks, getting contributions from a disproportionally small segment of the roster, and are basically a play here or a play there away from all of it falling apart. These types of .500 teams are generally held together with chicken wire, toothpaste, and J.J. Watt.

Yes, the Texans are the latter type. They proved that yesterday against the Bengals and showed the city of Houston just how fleeting relevance can be when your roster lacks any depth.

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River Science Expert Says Buffalo Bayou is in Good Shape

Categories: Environment

Photo by Max Burkhalter

G. Mathias Kondolf climbed up the muddy banks of Buffalo Bayou with a small smile on his face. Kondolf, one of the leading fluvial geomorphologists in the world (he's a river scientist) and one of the most vocal opponents to a method of river restructuring called natural channel design, was brought on by local environmentalists who are still hoping to stop the Memorial Demonstration Project from happening. Kondolf was brought to give his opinion on the state of Buffalo Bayou. Knocking the mud and river muck off his boots after a tour of the waterway on Friday morning, Kondolf's smile widened.

As both a leading river science expert and as one of the leading voices speaking out against the so-called natural channel design approach to rivers, Kondolf, a professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning at UC Berkeley College, is always getting invitations to come check out various projects across the country. He took the people with Save Buffalo Bayou, a nonprofit organization that is in opposition to the project, up on their offer to assess Buffalo Bayou because the Army Corps of Engineers has yet to issue their ruling on whether or not to permit the Memorial Demonstration Project. So there is still a chance to have an impact on what is happening, he says.

The Memorial Demonstration Project has been a contentious issue since it was first proposed a few years ago. Harris County Flood Control has put a $6 million price tag on the Memorial Park Demonstration Project. The City of Houston, the River Oaks Country Club and Harris County Flood Control have each chipped in $2 million.

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UH And Rice Survive The Weekend Weather And Prepare To Go Bowling

John Royal
What if they threw a football game and no one came?
TDECU Stadium was lifeless on Saturday morning. Perhaps it was the 11:00 kickoff (originally scheduled to kick-off at 2:00 and moved up by the threat of bad weather). Maybe it was the grey, dismal, overcast sky. Maybe it was the stadium that looked to be two-thirds empty. Maybe it was just that the uninspiring Houston Cougars were hosting a two-win Tulsa Golden Hurricane team. Whatever the cause, the quiet atmosphere was not aided by the Cougars struggling to defeat Tulsa 38-28.

The Cougars (6-4) secured a bowl berth with the win, but there didn't appear to be much joy afterwards with the thought. Head coach Tony Levine was more thrilled by the idea of more practice for his young players than he was with his team going to a bowl. The players were more concerned with hopefully improving the bowl game for which they'll be practicing. And seeing how the team struggled to put away an awful (2-9) Tulsa team, the concern should be less on bowl games and more about not losing to a winless SMU team on Friday.

"In the past seven years that I've been here, we averaged 10 freshmen [with playing time] every year," Levine said. "This year we're playing four. What that tells you is that we're starting to get the depth that we need, and by extending our season and playing into the end of December or early January, you get 15-18 more practice opportunities for these young guys."

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North Houston Is Getting Its Very Own DPS Mega-Center Because Standing in Line Sucks

Google Maps

We're pretty sure there has never not been a line at the Houston DPS offices. All of them.

Well, that may change come summer 2015, when the massive new Houston-North Mega Center opens at Dewalt Street and Veterans Memorial on the city's north side. The project, announced last week, will be the fourth mega-center for the Houston metro area, which already has mega-locations on Gessner in Houston as well as out in Richmond/Rosenberg and Spring.

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Texans Regress in Loss to Bengals at NRG Stadium

Categories: Football, Sports

Photo by Groovehouse
A.J. Green torched the Texans all day long on Sunday.
Oh, what a difference a week makes. Last Sunday, the Texans went into Ohio and whopped up on a Cleveland team with a new quarterback and a second string running back. This Sunday, another team from Ohio walked into NRG Stadium and put it to the Texans with essentially the same lineup, 23-13.

Many of the things that went so well in Cleveland failed the Texans miserably against the Bengals. Quarterback Ryan Mallett, who won praise from coaches, teammates and fans for his first game at the helm, struggled mightily with accuracy, perhaps due to a pectoral injury revealed after the game that could keep him out for several weeks. Alfred Blue, so effective last week replacing the injured Arian Foster, was stuffed by a Cincinnati defense that came in ranked 28th in the league.

In fact, the offense was so bad that it scored fewer points than the defense. It was only able to manage two field goals. Mallett had a particularly tough day going for 189 yards, many of those after the game was no longer in question, and one interception with no touchdowns. After the game, it was reported that Mallett was in treatment for quite some time after the game for an injured pectoral muscle, literally adding injury to insult.

The loss, while not mathematically knocking the Texans out of the playoff race, almost certainly ends the team's chances for the postseason. To make matters worse, there will be little opportunity for the Texans to evaluate Mallett if he is indeed out for several weeks and their record probably keeps them out of contention for one of the better quarterbacks in what could be a rather weak draft at the position. So, business as usual on Kirby.

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A New Baby Okapi Was Born at the Houston Zoo, and It Wants to Kill Us All With Cuteness

Categories: Whatever

Photos courtesy of the Houston Zoo/Stephanie Adams

In case you needed an absolute overdose of sugary cuteness today, may we present to you this baby okapi, the Houston Zoo's newest resident.

This as-yet-unnamed baby boy was born at the Houston Zoo November 6, and weighed in at about 40 pounds. He's the first okapi, or "forest giraffe," to be successfully born at the Houston Zoo, according to zoo officials.

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Houston Texans: Your Definitive Week 12 Rooting Guide

As a society, we've never been more advanced in the functionality we have at our fingertips. Unfortunately, that functionality (which is 98 percent a result of having an app for nearly EVERYTHING on our phones) has made us a little lazy.

As one example, Jimmy John's latest ad campaign touts how quickly they can deliver us a sandwich by pressing a button on our phones, for God's sakes! I do not want to leave this chair for my processed meats and gobs of mayonnaise...BRING IT TO ME!! Hell, even Starbuck's is catering to the craze, promising us that soon they will be able to deliver their overpriced swill right to your office (to those of you who think calling a small "Venti" somehow makes you sophisticated).

We've gone from a microwave society, where we wanted to be able to procure everything in life ourselves just way faster, to a "serve me" society, where we want everyone else to do the work for us and, oh by the way, "bring it to me"! This chair is too comfortable to leave!

Honestly, you people disgust me. (I was looking in the mirror when I typed that, to be clear.) And yet, I want to help you. That means YOU, Texan fans!

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Obama's Immigration Speech Was A Bittersweet Moment for "Dreamers"

Categories: Immigration

Brian Stauffer
A tinge of disappointment hung in the air at the MECA cultural arts center before the live-stream of President Obama's immigration speech began Thursday night. A small group of undocumented students and families had gathered to hear the long-awaited announcement that Obama would halt the deportations of some immigrants. But as details of Obama's executive action started to trickle out before the address, many began to slowly realize they have family who won't be helped.

Jorge Olvera, a graduate student at the University of Houston, fled violence in Reynosa with his parents and crossed into Texas when he was just 7 years old. The nagging threat of deportation lingered until two years ago, when Obama launched a program halting deportations of immigrants brought to the country illegally when they were kids. "I'd hoped the president would announce something tonight that might help my parents, too," Olvera said. "It looks like that won't happen."

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