November 14th: A Day Full of Suck

by JG

What are three things that were dealt a crushing blow yesterday?

If this was a game of Jeopardy, and your answered (questioned?) the above, you would’ve won! But also, that wouldn’t have made any sense. Partially because Jeopardy is filmed months in advance, and partially because I’m quite sure that Alex Trebek doesn’t have a fantasy football team. Since it seems that what began as a clever way to start my post no longer makes any sense whatsoever, I will carry on.

Within a few hours of each other last night, these three things, unimportant in life’s grand scheme but very important for my short-term entertainment, all got for lack of a batter word, screwed. Let’s discuss each individually, because it’s my blog, and I need a space to vent.

I’ll start with the least significant, my fantasy football team. It’s more or less the same as the one shown here. If you know anything about fantasy football, or well, football in general, you can tell I’ve got a decent team. Or at least, I did until yesterday. All three of my starting receivers, ranked in the top ten just days ago, had horrendous weeks. Yesterday I also heard that Matt Cassel, the starting QB for Dwayne Bowe and the KC Chiefs, may be out for the year. My only hope going into last night’s game was for my quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, to have a huge game without the help of my opponent’s James Starks or Jordy Nelson. Nelson had two TDs. In retrospect, one measly little fantasy week is nothing. ESPECIALLY if you compare it to the next two things.

Since we’re already talking about sports, I suppose I should get to the difficult part. Difficult for me, at least, because there’s a very real chance that the glorious human being above in the white jersey, Texans QB Matt Schaub, may not play another down this season. While I’m not sure if the injury occurred during this exact hit, I feel like it still represents how most Texans fans like myself now feel. Per Adam Schefter, it’s a lis franc injury, and he’s most definitely done for the year. According to other reports, he’ll be going for second (and third, maybe fourth) opinions over the next few days, and hope cannot truly be given up unless he gets put on IR. I already said I don’t think that’ll happen, but regardless, with the chance that he could be out for an extended period of time, you’ve got to look at alternatives.

The Texans end their schedule like this: Bye Week, @ Jacksonville, vs Atlanta, @ Cincinnati, vs Carolina, @ Indianapolis, vs Tennessee. Andre Johnson should be back for Jacksonville, and safety Danieal Manning could be back in a couple of weeks. That helps. The dynamic duo of Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and the shockingly top-ranked defense could help as well.

As for the quarterback… Matt Leinart, from this moment forward, is the team’s starting quarterback.

Sorry, I needed a few minutes after writing that. It was tough to process at first, but I still remain optimistic. To explain why, look at each game. Leinart should be able to handle Jacksonville. That leaves the Texans at 8-3. Pessimistically assuming losses to the Falcons and Bengals, the Texans could find themselves at 8-5 heading into the final stretch of Carolina, Indy, and the Titans. None of those final three opponents seem too pressing, given Houston’s ability to run the ball AND defend, and even Matt Leinart should be able to hold off Carolina and Indianapolis.

By week 17, I expect the Texans to either have already clinched the division, or at least to be one game up on the Titans. And that’s WITH Matt Leinart as the starting QB going forward. Let’s assume the Titans win Week 17, for argument’s sake. Ignoring all other games, the head-to-head matchup will be tied, Houston will be 3-1 in the division, and Tennessee will be 2-2. Assuming both teams take care of business in their final matchup with the Colts, as they should, they Titans will still be one game back. Give them the victory vs Jacksonville, chalk it up as a loss for Houston, and both teams end the season with a 4-2 divisional record. The next step is “common games”. Throwing out the tied divisional record, this is basically the AFC North and NFC South games. The Texans are 3-2 and still need to face Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Carolina. Tennessee is also 3-2, and still needs to face Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans. That’s yet another thing that has be confident on the Texans playoff chances. All they need to do to make the playoffs is Finish with at least the same record as the Titans, handle the Colts, and not have Tennessee get lucky versus the NFC South. I can actually see Tennessee losing all three of those games, but, for arguments sake, let’s say they only get the Tampa win and Houston only gets the Carolina win. On we go. Conference record. If we assume everything I’ve previously said, the Texans 6-2 will become 7-5 while the Titans 4-4 will become 7-4. Do I think the Titans could win in Week 13, in December, at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium? Not in the slightest. So even then, they remain even. After that tiebreaker, it starts getting too hard to predict (strength of victory/schedule, etc). My point is, I don’t think it’ll have to get this far, because even if you give the Texans losses versus Atlanta, Cinci, and Tennessee, that 10-6 record should still get them in.

I haven’t even talked about Matt Leinart, and just spent a huge paragraph focusing on hypotheticals and technicalities. Bill Barnwell wrote a great piece on him for Grantland, and he does a far better job on explaining Mr. Leinart than I could ever do myself. Read that, and feel more confident in Leinart’s ability to succeed. On to the next one.

Last night a friend called me and said “Sorry”. I replied back; “Why, because of Matt Schaub” and he goes; “that, and Community getting cancelled.” My draw dropped. I whipped out a computer the second I got home and started doing some research. It turns out the show was not actually “cancelled” as much as it was “temporarily benched”. NBC’s been suffering in the ratings, and they decided to shake up their winter lineup. 30 Rock, which was gone from the fall lineup due to Tina Fey’s pregnancy, will take over the Thursday night 8PM slot. I can’t argue with that, the show’s won countless (actually, 10) Emmy Awards. Parks & Recreation and The Office are both outperforming Community in terms of viewership I believe, so it makes sense that they stay. So which show is essentially taking Community‘s spot? Up All Night, starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett. I’ve watched the show a couple of times, and while I don’t love it, it’s actually pretty funny. It shifting over from its original night is not what is really pissing me off, but the two shows NBC now plans to run on Wednesday night, Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea?.

The latter is a new show, based on a book by Chelsea Handler, starring Laura Prepon in the titular role. NBC wants to try something new, figured Chelsea Handler’s success could help the series, makes sense. But you know what doesn’t make sense? KEEPING WHITNEY ON THE AIR.

While I’m not sure about exact viewership numbers, the show itself is horrible. The only reason it’s surviving, in my opinion, is because people are too lazy to get off their couches after watching The Office. The show is so laughably unfunny (ironic use of that adverb, I know) that I would rather watch Ashton Kutcher in Two And A Half Men. Another reason people watch it? Because it stars an attractive quirky woman who is extremely sexual. If Annie Edison (Alison Brie) were to slut it up and act as one of the major characters instead of part of an ensemble cast (an awesome one at that), maybe Community would’ve been saved. Community is one of the finest written shows on television, and no blog post I could ever write could do it justice. Buy the DVDs, borrow them from a friend, and you’ll see why.

While the show is not actually cancelled, I’m still shocked and appalled at NBC’s decision. There are talks about it coming back during the summer, and if that happens, and it does well, potentially a fourth season. Most Community fans would likely be satisfied with four full seasons (not “six seasons and a movie! as the joke, based on a Community reference, goes), because when a show centers around people attending a college, any more would just seem off.

I  think that is just about enough ranting for now. I don’t know nearly as much about the television industry as I do about other subjects, but thankfully, I have a friend who does. In fact, he runs a pop culture blog, and once I told him the news, he said he’d blog about the whole Community situation very soon. He doesn’t tweet much, but follow him (@PoP1010Blog) for updates, or follow my personal (@JGewurz) or blog (@JamalgeNetwork) accounts for news. Stay tuned, because as more information gets out, we’ll know more about the future of the series.

Hope you enjoyed my long, often irrelevant, #firstworldproblems rants. I promised myself I’d never use a hashtag outside of Twitter, but some people will get the joke. Cheers.

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