Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 6/15/12
Five things I'm thinking about this weekend while thinking, 'Yeah, LeBron James has had a good postseason, but let's see him do it with the flu.' 1. Something that seems true (and totally is): Kevin Sumlin is subtly trying to warn fans that moving to the SEC is going to be a bigger adjustment than they think. He spoke to the Touchdown Club of Houston earlier this week, and during a Q&A session noted that Texas A&M does not have as many of the big-and-fast types as a good SEC team does, and that Texas A&M is going to be in for a bit of an awakening when it comes to road games. "The size and speed combination in the SEC is unlike any other league," Sumlin said. "For whatever reason, there's some really big guys in this league that can run." In other words, don't be surprised if a team built in and for the Big 12 like, oh, we'll go with Texas A&M, loses the line of scrimmage most days. And then there was his commentary on road environments. "Our fans all the time say, 'I can't wait to get to the Swamp, I can't wait to get to Tiger Stadium,'" Sumlin said. "I said, 'Pshh.' I bet you'll have a different answer for me next year.... Guess what buddy, they're not going to be shaking your hand." 2. Something that doesn't seem true (but totally is): From the Texans' standpoint, re-signing coach Gary Kubiak is mostly without meaning. This is not a "vote of confidence" thing. This is a "somebody has to be the coach" thing. That's just the practical reality of the situation. Kubiak was entering the final year of his contract, and owner Bob McNair extended it so that Kubiak would remain the coach. It's as simple as that. This is not some projection of future success. It is not some kind of stabilizing gesture, beyond whatever stability is gained by reassuring everyone the Texans don't intend to part ways with Kubiak after this season. But was that ever in doubt? I'm not saying Kubiak doesn't deserve the contract. He does, and giving it to him was the right thing to do. But have you ever heard of a football coach getting fired before his contract ran out? 3. Something that is neither true nor untrue (but is fun to talk about): In perfect games, the balance between credit awarded the pitcher and shame heaped on the hitters is totally off. Let me be clear about this: I am not discrediting the remarkability of throwing a perfect game. I love pitching. I used to pitch myself. I have a robust appreciation for the art of it. Matt Cain deserves all the adulation he has received for going 27-up, 27-down against the Astros the other night. But, I mean, say it ain't so, 'Stros. You couldn't draw one walk? You couldn't bloop one single into shallow right? The Astros were sufficiently dejected about the whole thing, so I'm not criticizing their reaction to it. It just seems to me that when there are similar offensive failures in other sports, that offense receives a lot more criticism. When a football team gets shut out, for example, there are no fans of that team thinking, "Well, bummer we lost, but at least I got to see a shutout." It would be a lot worse in basketball. Imagine an NBA team scoring 60 points. Almost all of the attention is going to be directed and the woefulness of the offensive performance. Those are not perfect comparisons. I know this. A perfect game in baseball is a highly significant historical event. But it takes two. 4. Something that recently happened: Arian Foster tweeted that he would become a vegan, just not right now. "As soon as I'm done playing," he wrote. "Peace out to meat." There was a whole series of tweets about how Foster believed he "might be vegan," as though it is something that just happens to you, like catching the whooping cough. Say what you will about the merits of veganism as a diet or as a social statement, but whatever you think of it you have to admit that vegans tend to not be particularly introverted about their veganism. They treat it like a sort of gospel. It's not just a diet, it's an identity. However, I have never encountered someone who merely adopted veganism in spirit but still attempted to brand themselves as a vegan kind of person. Then again, I don't know anybody (except Foster) who would say something like this, either: "Uni-(one) verse-(a piece of poetry). Time isn't linear. We always were, and always will be. Good morning." 5. Something that is about to happen: Kelvin Sampson is going to shake his head and sigh. As of today, NCAA basketball coaches are allowed to send as many text messages sand make as many calls to recruits (who have finished their sophomore years) as their iPhones can handle. Social media are fair game, too. As Missouri athletic director Mike Alden told The Associated Press, the NCAA "recognized the evolving nature of communication with students." Which is another way of saying they weren't really stopping anybody anyway. All of this does a lot of good for Sampson, who is now an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets because he got run off at Oklahoma and Indiana for making hundreds of impermissible phone calls.
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