Originally written on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Everyone has their outcast. The red headed stepchild of the group which ruins jokes, doesn’t cover their nose when they sneeze, and tries desperately to fit in while inventing new ways to fail at life. In the Boston sports media, that title has been fought for by Dan “Shank the Curly Haired Boyfriend” Shaughnessy and Ron Borges for years now with Shank usually coming out on top. He famously ripped the 2004 Red Sox a new poopshoot after their humiliating Game 3 loss to the New York Yankees in the ALDS, only to be called out by Kevin Millar after the Sox won the series. While Borges has been predicting doom and gloom for the New England Patriots since the minute after they won Super Bowl XXXVI, Shank did the complete opposite this week by claiming, “The 2012-13 New England Patriots just became the first team in NFL history to get back-to-back byes before advancing to the conference championship game. Could this get any easier?” If you didn’t see that quote until just now it really doesn’t matter. Because Arian Foster did see it. In fact, he made it his avatar on Twitter. Extra motivation? Hey Foster, you want extra motivation? Keep reading. I will continue to add quotes from Shank throughout this piece and subsequently rip both Shaughnessy and Foster at the same damn time. Why? Because I can. Because Foster – as big of a hipster he is – fell victim to a troll. And because I don’t appreciate Shaughnessy’s jinx factor here. The 2012-13 Texans? Pure frauds. The worst 11-1 team in the history of the NFL. These Texans have absolutely zero chance of beating New England here next week. And everybody knows that this is true. The worst 11-1 team in NFL history, Shank? I’m sure there have been worse. Did Peyton ever go 11-1? He had to have, right? Well that team would have been leaps and bounds worse. The Texans still have J.J. Watt. Even though he did as much as I did against the Patriots earlier this season, he is still a factor to consider. While I don’t respect Matt Schaub’s abilities to play quarterback, I do respect Andre Johnson as a receiver and a threat. Who I – as a Patriots’ fan – do not fear, is Arian Foster. Listen, Foster is a damn fine running back. Top five in the NFl no question about it. Probably the second best back in the league today for my money. But for all the crap this Patriots’ team received nationally all season long the one thing they have been able to do well is stop the run. Say what you want about their secondary, I’m tired of arguing it. Vince Wilfork and those linebackers will be ready, just as they were all season long, for any running back that comes their way. Those 400+ yards Foster has racked up through his first three playoff games? Yeah… Don’t expect that to go past 500. The Texans lost three of their final four games during the regular season. In the last seven weeks of the season, they had the 27th-ranked defense in the NFL. They had to go into overtime to beat the horrible Jaguars and Lions. Shank, we all know that defensive rankings mean diddly-squat. Every year the Patriots are ranked like 37th because of how many yards they give up. Yet they’re always right in the middle of the pack in points per game and toward the top of the league in turnovers. Since I usually completely ignore defensive rankings, I’m not going to pretend like I care about them now. Needing overtime to beat the horrible Jaguars? Well if you want to transitively compare, the Pats didn’t exactly whallop the Jags like they should have, either. A win is a win. Except for the win against the Lions. That was not a win. Justin Forsett was CLEARLY down and if it weren’t for Jim Schwartz’ foolishness, the Lions probably win that game. So if anything, the Texans are worse than you’re even giving them credit for being, since you think so lowly of them to begin with. But yeah, 68 points between the Lions and Jaguars? Do you have ANY explanation for that Foster? I know you don’t play defense and all. But MY LORD that’s unacceptable. Oh, and then there was the game in Foxborough four weeks ago, a game that Houston’s veteran wideout Andre Johnson characterized as “the biggest game in franchise history.’’ The boola-boola Texans wore their matching letterman jackets to Foxborough. They came out in an illegal formation on their first play from scrimmage. When the Patriots tried to keep them in the game — Stevan Ridley fumbled on Houston’s 4-yard line — Houston’s Kareem Jackson failed to scoop up the football. New England led, 21-0, after nine minutes. It was 28-0 in the fifth minute of the third quarter. It was 35-7 in the first minute of the final quarter. When it got to 42-7, both starting quarterbacks were lifted from the game. Shank uses phrases like “tomato cans” and “boola-boola” and wonders why he is the red headed stepchild of Boston. I mean, come on man! We’re out here hoisting banners and riding duckboats and you come to the table with this nonsense? When you’re trying to make fun of someone else it’s best to not give them free return jabs at you. That’s just common knowledge. But man, I forgot it was actually 42-7 at one point. That seven of course belonged to Foster who refrained from his celebratory bow in the endzone. Mainly since he can read and figured it wasn’t the time or place to be celebrating anything. Especially since it was actually the Texans biggest game in their decade long history – a game in which they blew in an epic manner. Phillips and head coach Gary Kubiak did what almost everybody does against the Patriots. They choked. The forget what got them to this level. They played on their heels, and let Brady carve them up like a medical school cadaver. No pressure. Total retreat. Total surrender. It’s as if Shank is trying to reverse jinx the Patriots. Like he was typing up his column and thought, “Gee, if I write like a total homer the people of New England will love me! Nothing can go wrong here! Such a sly fox you are, Dan.” I mean no one associated with the Houston Texans was safe in this article. From Watt to Kubiak to Schaub… really everyone BUT Arian Foster was mentioned in this article come to think about it. Hey Foster, why are you so hurt? Is it because you were left out of Shank’s tirade? Could that be it? You weren’t singled out so you were extra hurt and you want Dan Shaughnessy to remember your name next time? Well try rushing for more than 46-yards and then come talk to me. The weather is calling for clear and sunny on Sunday. There really are no excuses for whoever loses this game. On Saturday, the Texans staggered to a 6-point win against a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in 22 years. It was one of the ugliest games in NFL playoff history. Playing in the image of Marvin Lewis — the Cito Gaston of football — Cincinnati’s offense managed two field goals. Alright, Shank, now you’ve gone too far. What did Cito Gaston ever do to you? Would he not let you write his autobiography or something? Because from all accounts Cito is a standup guy. He did nothing to get compared to Marvin Lewis here. Absolutely nothing. But you are right about one thing. Six points over a mediocre Bengals team at home? Yeah that’s not acceptable for you to be so confident, Foster. I mean the SECOND after your Texans sealed that game against Cincinnati on Saturday you were already running your mouth about how you “owed [the Patriots] a little something.” Like, what does that even mean? Newsflash Foster: you STILL don’t play defense. Do you think Tom Brady has any plans of losing on Sunday with a chance to get a one-up on his childhood idol Joe Montana? Do you think Jonathan Joseph and a bunch of nobodies are going to be able to stop an even better offense than the one they were unable to stop a month ago? I know you saw the last meeting since, you know, you were there and all. But let me ask you something, did the field seem smaller to you? Did it feel like someone was missing out there? Oh, that’s right, it was because the greatest tight end professional football has ever seen wasn’t playing. And a one-armed Rob Gronkowski proved a little over a week ago that he’s still better than 99% of tight ends in the NFL. So what are you thinking? Is there a chance the Houston Texans come in to Gillette Stadium and upset the New England Patriots? Of course there is. It’s the playoffs. Literally anything could happen. Including *knocks on wood* a Brady injury, which I truly believe to be the only way the Texans will win this game. Let me take off my homer cap for a second and speak that real for a second. Do you think the NFL isn’t salivating over the potential Broncos-Patriots AFC Championship Game? Oh, you’ve seen it before? Well last I checked Hollywood just put out the 25th version of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and it came in #1 in the box office this past weekend. Brady-Manning pt. 15, in Denver, for a trip to the Super Bowl is EXACTLY what you, I, and everyone else on the planet wants to see. While you fell victim to the OG troll known as Shank this week Arian, let me tell you the one thing I cannot stress enough. The tomato cans are in place for a Patriots’ victory on Sunday. You better pray to the rain gods like the San Francisco 49ers did before they came to town. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long trip back to Houston. And if you do shock the world and pull off this upset, come find me in the stands. I’ll be there. You can laugh in my face and bow and do whatever the hell you want. But when you lose, I don’t want to hear any of your piddling excuses. THIS is the biggest game in the Texans’ history. It’s not even the biggest game in the last 12 months for the Patriots.
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