Fan Fighting League! Niner Fan on Niner Fan Bathroom Violence (w/ VIDEO)

For decades, it's been largely agreed that the least safe place as a road team fan to go see a game is Oakland Coliseum. But is that actuality?

Yes, the sea of black and silver sets an intimidating backdrop, and the gaggle of societal misfits in their face paint and spiked shoulder pads is downright scary, and the Raider logo itself has ties to gangs going back to their days in Los Angeles. If this were a branding course, these things would all point to a brand built around violence and instilling fear.

But I can say, having been to both a Niners game and a Raiders game in the same evening last year, I was much more uneasy in Candlestick Park during daylight than I was Oakland at night.

The Niner crowd has a lot of bad dudes, as evidenced by their practically weekly appearances in my Fan Fighting League YouTube recaps. And honestly, you knew this one was just a matter of time....

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NFL Bye Week Crime Follies: Vikings and Dolphins Both Get Tased

As many of you know, during the offseason months of the NFL calendar, I run a little thing in this space called the Fantasy Crime League.

It's basically a tongue-in-cheek (but unfortunately, frequently updated) tip of the hat to the amount of trouble that some NFL players get into with too much time on their hands. Every season, I run with it as an offseason meme, and every season, like clockwork, a few dozen jackasses fill the police blotter, some with trivial, blip-on-the-radar-type stuff (think the occasional bar fight or disorderly conduct), some, well, worse than that (Aaron Hernandez being the obvious extreme example).

The prevailing message is clear -- a small percentage of NFL players are really, really dumb, if not sociopathic.

Unfortunately, the .01 percent of bad apples have continued to spoil it for the bunch into the regular season, and the league is so inept at punishing them that it's become a huge story that has overshadowed actual football. So you would think that players would be extra-cautious during their bye weeks in season.

Alas, stupid is stupid year round, and idle hands are the devil's workshop. How else do you explain these two specimens over the weekend?

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Zapruder Analysis of the Craziest College Football Saturday Ever

Katy Perry's GameDay appearance set us up for one hell of a Saturday..
ESPN's College GameDay, the gold standard for all sports studio shows and maybe all sports shows period, took its road show this week to Oxford, Mississippi for the most important game in the recent history of Ole Miss football.

The Ole Miss Rebels, sitting on the cusp of the AP top ten, at number eleven in the country, were taking on the third ranked and universally reviled Alabama Crimson Tide (and actually Bama was number one in the coaches poll, but most of the coaches are idiots so we recognize the AP poll as the measuring stick in this space) in a shot at catapulting themselves into the College Football Playoff conversation.

As ESPN does every week on GameDay, they have one celebrity join the crew to help make predictions on all of the games that day. Usually, that celebrity a) knows at least something about football and b) has some sort of affiliation with the school hosting the show that week.

But Ole Miss? Who do you go get for Ole Miss? Exactly. Other than one of the Mannings, we all have no idea who you go get.

So ESPN shattered the mold into a thousand pieces on Saturday. They went and got musical phenom Katy Perry, whose affiliation with Ole Miss is that she was in town to watch the game because her manager is an Ole Miss alum, and whose football knowledge is ostensibly zero.

It went like this....

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Cowboys 20, Texans 17: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

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Monica Fuentes
Well, it's been a while since we had a game like that to invest in here in Houston.

No, I'm not talking about a mere loss by our NFL team. We had 14 of those last season, and already had one a couple weeks ago against the Giants. I'm talking about a gut punch loss, where the emotional investment went beyond merely slipping on your J.J. Watt battle red jersey, drinking beer, and watching the game with a few friends.

Sunday, for reasons both geographical (suck it, Dallas) and empirical (where did you come from tied-with-us Indianapolis Colts?), that game mattered more than any game had around here in a long while, probably going back to the Seattle/San Francisco back-to-back season killers in 2014.

And after nearly 68 minutes of arduous and ultimately pulse-quickening football, and a 20-17 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys, there are two things we can unequivocally say about the 2014 Houston Texans:

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College and Pro Football: This Weekend's Best Bets

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Joel Kramer
A 5-1 week of prognosticating is like an elite quarterback in the NFL. It can cover up a lot of future mistakes.

Two weeks ago, I put up a nice 5-1 week, and began feeling pretty good about myself, like maybe I was turning the corner and shaking a slump that had gone back to the end of the 2012 season. I actually finished last weekend, thanks to said 5-1 mark, with a 13-11 mark for the 2014 season thus far.

Nothing to go pitching my own handicapping show with, but an overall positive winning percentage, making money even after backing out the juice.

So naturally, I stifled my own momentum worse than Blaine Gabbert facing a six man blitz package, going 2-4 last weekend. Still, I sit at 15-15 overall on the season. Yes, thanks to the masking agent that was 5-1 the week before, 2-4 didn't totally snow me under on the year.

I'm still at .500. And now I need a pep talk this week, something edgier than Apollos Hester's "believe in yourself" smile factory from last week.

Instead, let's burn some boats!!!

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Three Years Later, Did the Texans Win or Lose the 2011 NFL Draft?

Photo by Groovehouse
The Shiloh Keo Era ended earlier this week. I think most of us could see that coming, what with Keo only being healthy for like one day this entire 2014 preseason and regular season. (To be fair, it was a very productive day, as he had 11 tackles in the final preseason game to temporarily save his spot on the 53-man roster.)

When I think back to Shiloh Keo's time in Houston, I will remember two things:

1. He was a celebrity guest at a station event of ours earlier this year and played poker with listeners for hours. I have no idea how good or bad he was, but he seemed like a cool dude.

2. He was the star of J.J. Watt's first celebrity softball game two years ago, making a circus catch in center field to save the game then hitting a walk off home run in extra innings. Without a doubt, Shiloh Keo was a much more impactful slow pitch charity softball player than he was an NFL safety.

But Keo's release also got me thinking about the 2011 Texans draft class, and the fact that five of the eight draft picks from the 2011 class are no longer with the team. To refresh your memory, here is that class of Texans draft picks (bold are still with the Texans):

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Assessing This Week's Houston Texans "Bottom of the Roster Shuffle"

Charles Kim
Whole lotta shufflin' going on
Since the time this team started up preseason in late July, the Houston Texans roster has been constantly in motion, with revolving doors built around almost every spot below the starters on the depth chart.

Throughout the preseason, training camp and the first few weeks of the regular season, the Texans had the first pick in the waiver selection order, and took frequent advantage of it, most notably coming away with immediate contributors like wide receiver Damaris Johnson and cornerback Darryl Morris. But contributing bodies can come from many places, such as a returning Danieal Manning (returning meaning "coming back from Cincinnati" and now returning meaning "returning kickoffs") and a wide load nose tackle in veteran Ryan Pickett.

General manager Rick Smith has often said that the Texans' roster is a "living, breathing thing," and in 2014 this organism is clearly not afraid of massive amounts of Botox, makeup and, perhaps by about Week 9 or 10, significant dosages of medication.

We shall see. For now, this week was your standard Texans 2014 week, with lots of tweaking, moving and shaking at the bottom of the roster.

Let's assess:

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2002 Houston Texans Made Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Cry (w/ AUDIO)

It's finally here! Cowboys and Texans! HELL WEEK!

Because of the very methodical, easily forecast manner in which the NFL formulates its schedule (we literally know whom the Texans are playing and where they're playing in 14 of their 16 games from now until the next time the league expands or realigns), combined with the fact that the Houston Texans are in the AFC and the Dallas Cowboys are in the NFC, the two teams only square off in games that count every four years.

Yes, that blows.

Potential for parking lot knife fights between fan bases notwithstanding, it would be so much more awesome if the two Texas teams played every year or at least every other year. It would be fun if the Cowboys came to Reliant once every two, three or four years, instead of once every eight years even if it was allegedly a bunch of rabble-rousing Cowboys thugs who single-handedly caused the new "you must have a wristband or ticket" rules to tailgate outside NRG Stadium.

Indeed, NFL life would be more fun if our in-state rivals played the Texans enough to, y'know, feel like actual rivals.

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Fan Fighting League: Syracuse Squares Off With Notre Dame!

I attended the University of Notre Dame from the football seasons of 1987 through 1990. During that time, I saw a Heisman Trophy winner, a national championship and a lot of really good football.

In my student lifetime there, I attended every home game and sat in the student section, and since graduating, I've attended at least a few dozen more home games and sat in the regular civilian areas. So I can say, with a massive amount of experiential equity, that Notre Dame is largely (compared to other major college football crowds) a wine-and-cheese kind of crowd.

Yes, the House That Rock Built can get loud, even disruptive, under the proper circumstances, but it's never somewhere that you're fearful of engaging in any hand-to-hand combat.

Put it this way -- in what's easily been between 50 and 60 games in the stadium, I've never seen an actual fistfight, which is an astonishing streak for that much major college football, until you realize that people at Notre Dame games who get drunk are generally more the jovial or frustrated kind of drunks, not the belligerent kind.

So that's my preface for the next chapter in the 2014 Fan Fighting League -- a short donnybrook at the Notre Dame-Syracuse football game last Saturday night.

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The Texans' Toughest Opponent May Be Under Their Feet

Photo by Groovehouse
Jadeveon Clowney told teammate J.D. Swearinger he hurt his right knee when he landed in a "hole" in the NRG Stadium turf.
With about three minutes to go in the first half of the season opener between the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins, the Redskins faced a daunting third down and 16 yards to go.

The sellout crowd in NRG Stadium was already abuzz from DeAndre Hopkins's 76-yard touchdown just minutes before, which gave the Texans a 7-6 lead, but now it was time to feast, with third and long for the opposition being the proverbial dinner bell for all-everything defensive end J.J. Watt and rookie beast Jadeveon Clowney to inflict pain and unleash hell on Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Watt and Clowney, Clowney and Watt. For Texans fans, on this and every Sunday going forward, third and 16 would be the main event. Third and 16 was why they had endured a 2-14 season that yielded the right to take Clowney as the top pick in the NFL Draft.

Third and 16 was the Texans fans' raison d'ĂȘtre.

Griffin dropped back to pass and was promptly tattooed by Watt just as he got rid of the ball, an innocuous nine-yard completion to running back Roy Helu that would bring up fourth down.

In what should have been an equally innocuous attempt to jump up and knock the pass down, though, Clowney landed awkwardly and immediately grabbed the outside of his right knee. All of a sudden, third and 16 wasn't nearly as much fun.

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