HOUSTON -- Exactly who do these Houston Texans think they are ... the Dallas Cowboys?
The team always overshadowed by the Lone Star State's more visible franchise has become much more noticeable. Most of the Texans' headline-grabbing has happened for all the wrong reasons, mind you, but in today's Twittering tabloid world, it has led to much more attention.
There have been issues with discontent, rogue player behavior, steroid implications, Tweet-troversies and stars reaching higher levels.
In other words, almost overnight the Texans have become a relevant NFL team by stirring the pot and creating national buzz. Can the franchise's first playoff berth be far behind?
Since the start of last season, here are some of the eye-catching headlines the Texans have made:
• Franchise cornerback
Robinson made matters worse and alienated fans by saying the message was in protest of getting franchised, rather than having his contract extended. By getting franchised, Robinson earned a $10 million salary. He also ticked off fans by saying, "... this is what we're here for. It's to get paid."
At season's end, the Texans released Robinson, who ultimately was signed to a free-agent contract by the Atlanta Falcons after a mediocre year.
• The good news was quarterback
• After a 20-17 home loss to the Tennessee Titans, the club made a bizarre, far-fetched excuse for rookie linebacker
• Cushing also won the Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year honors. And he did it twice, sort of.
After the season, the league revealed that Cushing tested positive for the banned substance hCG during random drug-testing, spiraling the organization into the NFL's biggest drug scandal since
• In the midst of the re-vote, Cushing had a jaw-droppingly strange press conference during which he denied any improper drug use. He also said hCG was present in his system perhaps because of "tumors." And he played the entire 2009 season believing he might have tumors.
Several medical professionals have since said that testicular cancer would be the most likely way hCG levels could elevate in men, and the levels would stay elevated for subsequent tests. Cushing did not test positive for hCG in subsequent NFL drug tests. So, he either magically cured tumors and elevated hCG levels, or there were severe holes in his story.
• Finally this week, the Texans best player, All-Pro receiver
Also, the Texans have several notable contracts that, from a business perspective, are more pressing -- namely 2006 No. 1 overall pick
Things definitely are getting interesting in Houston, finally. For a team that didn't even play its first Monday Night Football game until its seventh year of existence, a controversy-filled year is not exactly a bad thing.
The Texans must be on their way to contending, right? After all, they finally are experiencing the same headaches and issues that the big boys experience. Most notably, they're stealing pixels and airtime from the rival Cowboys, who reside up Interstate 45 about 200 miles.
Oh, by the way, Houston plays Dallas in 2010. The Texans also will play three prime-time games in 2010, including a pair of Monday night games. Even HBO's
The Houston Texans are stirring things up so much you simply cannot ignore them. What's next, owner