NCAA Elite Eight: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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thinkstock.com, Monica Fuentes
When you write the many, many thousands of words that I do here all year long, you stumble upon concepts that become part of your writing "brand," and I suppose that "4 Winners, 4 Losers" is one of those things for me.

I originally started using it as an easily consumable way for Texans fans to process exactly what they saw, both with the Texans and around the league, on Sunday. Bulletized lists are easy brain food on a hungover Monday. Slowly, I've started using it for other sporting events and the occasional pop culture phenomenon.

So, of all the "4 Winners, 4 Losers" posts I've done, in theory the one about the Elite Eight should be the most straightforward one, right? I mean, by definition, that's exactly what the Elite Eight yields -- four winners and four losers. But it's never that simple. There are layers, there is nuance, and that's what I'm here to decipher.

Or try to, at least. Let's give it a go....

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Fantasy Crime League Update: Saints CB Dixon Nabbed for Resisting Arrest

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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I have the good fortune of being able to say that I've never been arrested. It's nothing I go around bragging about. To me, being a law abiding citizen is merely the cover charge to get into the club of good human beings. It's no reason to stump for VIP human being status.

But my lack of tussles with law enforcement leaves me without a personal barometer for exactly what constitutes "resisting arrest." This much I do know -- it would seem that to be resisting arrest you have to be getting arrested for something.

That's what makes Saints cornerback Brian Dixon's dustup with the law so perplexing. Courtesy of the Baton Rouge Advocate, here's the detail of this offseason's latest Fantasy Crime League entry:


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Jadeveon Clowney Feels Good About How His Knee Is Healing

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher
Is it a bad thing that we are nearly a year into Jadeveon Clowney's tenure as an employee of the Houston Texans and it still doesn't feel like he is actually a real person? Like he's some mythical creature (with one horrific knee)?

With just a few dozen plays under his belt as an NFL player, Clowney feels more like a unicorn than he does an edge pass rusher, so any news of his recovery from microfracture going swimmingly has to be tempered by remembering just how snakebitten Clowney has been since being selected with the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

So with that disclaimer out of the way, we open this week with news of Clowney's speaking for the first time publicly (into microphones, at least) since last November!

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Wrestlemania 31 Preview and Predictions

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Simon Q via Flickr
You can measure how far we've come technologically as a species since 1985 in a number of ways.

You can look at medical advancements and our ability to treat certain diseases or heal certain injuries. You can look at transportation, and how much easier it is to get from one place to another quickly and efficiently. You can look at communication and how technology allows us to convey messages electronically in seconds while actually seeing the recipient on a TV screen!

Hell, we don't even need to wait for nudity to arrive in the mail anymore! (Is Playboy still a thing?) The interwebs serves it up to us within seconds! WHAT A WORLD!

However, I'm an old soul, and for me, the advancements of 30 years can be summed up in one nuance...the way in which we consume Wrestlemania.

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March Madness 2015: Friday's Sweet Sixteen Best Bets

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Monica Fuentes
Hey, Houston, I don't know if y'all were aware, but the next round of the most widely watched basketball tournament in the world is about to take place right here in our own backyard....

I'm being cute. I'm sure you all knew this. (I think.) You just don't appear to be all that into it. Al least, that's what ticket sales for the NCAA Regional at NRG Stadium this weekend would seem to indicate.

According to data from Seatgeak (courtesy of the Houston Chronicle):

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10 Reasons the Texans Should Be on Hard Knocks

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Eric Sauseda
So the rumor mill was spitting out information last week that the decision makers behind Hard Knocks, HBO's voyeuristic peephole into training camp life in the NFL, had the Cleveland Browns in their sights as the subject for this summer's edition.

I'm guessing there were some pretty formulaic reasons behind that, 98 percent of them centered around one Johnny Football. He's getting out of rehab! He's battling for his football life! All his celebrity friends have ditched him! Hey, I get it. Nobody likes a good train wreck more than I do (one of the many reasons I love myself so much!).

But honestly, does the Johnny Football story really have five weeks' worth of content? Does it really have any legs aside from the two that will take Johnny to and from the building every day? What if he truly is rehabilitated from his alcohol addiction and is snuggling with his playbook every night?

Worst season of Hard Knocks ever, right? So I ask you this...why NOT the Texans?

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March Madness 2015: Thursday's Sweet Sixteen Best Bets

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Monica Fuentes
I admire confidence. I despise stupidity. And I have no idea what category West Virginia freshman Daxter Miles' "guarantee" of a Mountaineer win over Kentucky falls under. I do know that I'm glad it happened, as it added some juice to an otherwise potentially juice-less game.

In case you missed it, Miles was asked a question about his team's upcoming opponent in the Sweet Sixteen Midwest Regional, and here's what he had to say:

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Brock Lesnar Announces He's Staying With WWE

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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YouTube
Even though it's flagship show is the most watched show on cable television, WWE has always had to work to get coverage in the mainstream. Oftentimes, when it does happen, it's because WWE will inject some mainstream star into their universe, the perfect excuse for high brow cable like ESPN and CNN to "cross over" and acknowledge "sports entertainment."

Back in the day, Hulk Hogan was once on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but that was because he was partnered with Mr.T and Cyndi Lauper as the key players at the first Wrestlemania. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin wound up on Sportscenter one night back in 1998, but that was because he was tussling with Mike Tyson.

Donald Trump, Pete Rose, Floyd Mayweather, Snooki. All of them athletes or celebs whose magnetic attraction pulled the mainstream spotlight to WWE for a minute or two.

That's what makes Brock Lesnar's appearance on Sportscenter Tuesday night so significant. There was no garden variety celeb taking Lesnar along for the ride. Brock Lesnar was the star.

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Free Agency 2015: Texans Re-Sign Inside Linebacker Akeem Dent

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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houstontexans.com
An underrated subplot of the Texans' last two off seasons, 2014 and the current one in 2015, has been their ability to somehow flip their discarded quarterback into actual NFL transaction currency. Instead of Matt Schaub, T.J. yates, Case Keenum, and Ryan Fitzpatrick being NFL garbage, the Texans were actually able to convince teams they were NFL recyclables.

Schaub was legendarily traded to the Raiders for a sixth round pick (which was eventually used on running back Alfred Blue), Keenum was flipped for a conditional late round pick in 2016, as was Fitzpatrick.

The only discarded quarterback they moved for an actual player was Yates, who was traded to Atlanta for inside linebacker Akeem Dent. Affirmation that this was a deal the Texans feel like they won came Tuesday when they chose to bring back Dent next season on a two year contract.

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J.J. Watt Restructures His Contract, Opens Up $8 Million in Cap Space

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Groovehouse
It goes without saying that this has been the Texans' most active offseason in free agency since the lockout-shortened offseason of 2011, when they signed Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning within 24 hours of each other.

They've re-signed cornerback Kareem Jackson, tackle Derek Newton and quarterback Ryan Mallett. They've brought in newly signed free agents in safety Rahim Moore, wide receiver Cecil Shorts and nose tackle Vince Wilfork.

All of this was done courtesy of a very un-Texan-like $30 million in cap space, opened up in large part through the releases of veterans Andre Johnson and Chris Myers. Heading into this morning, the Texans had whittled that down to about $3 million in cap space.

However, if you're looking for the telltale sign that the Texans are not done shopping yet, it came this morning.

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