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Texans Bring A Dose Of Pessoptimism

By ROGER DUNLOP, SportsRadio 610
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Texans return man Keshawn Martin is tackled by Sam Shields of the Packers . (credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Texans return man Keshawn Martin is tackled by Sam Shields of the Packers . (credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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PESSOPTIMISTThe fan who chooses to focus on all that can go wrong for their team– that way they are never disappointed in a loss and always pleasantly surprised at a victory.

You know me, I’m the one by the water cooler telling you that the Texans should win their next game, but the opponent this week is strong up the middle, can pass the ball like Montana to Rice and apparently has an equal to Jim Brown in the backfield. The opponent’s defense looks suspiciously like the 1985 Bears.

I want the Texans (or any team I call my team) to win but if I remain pessimistic there is less heartbreak. Optimism is for those who refuse to face the slap of reality coming around the next corner.

As a Houston (birthplace of pessoptimism) pro team fan for most of my 53 years – history, futility and inevitability have provided me the fuel to become the ultimate pessoptimist.

The Texans are now 5-1after a bad loss to the Packers at home. The Texans still have the best record in the AFC and have yet to show anywhere near 100 percent of their capability. The Texans are winning with style and have made a strong case for being considered the most balanced team in the NFL.

In spite of their current standing, consider the following pessoptimistic concern about the 2012 Houston Texans, confirmed by focusing on a somewhat obscure stat to justify worrisome thoughts of the team in red, white and blue……

In the true spirit of pessoptimism – the following NFL all-time stats should feed any Houston Texan fan a healthy dose of pessimism along with just enough optimism to say maybe it does not matter when a team is as good as the Texans.

  • At this writing, the Texans are 5-1 and absolutely dead last in the NFL on kick returns with an average of 18.5 yards per attempt.
  • Only one team has won a Super Bowl and finished last in kick returns during the regular season. The New York Giants finished tied for 27th and last place in kick returns in the 1986 regular season with the Tampa Bay Bucs. The NFL had 28 teams at the time.
  • Thirty-one out of the forty-six Super Bowl champs have finished in the top fifteen in regular season kick returns.
  • Only 8 Super Bowl champs have finished twentieth or lower in regular season kick returns.
  • Optimistically, 5 of those 8 have been Super Bowl champs in the last eleven seasons.
  • Pessimistically, 6 of the last eleven Super Bowl champs have finished in the top 10 in regular season kick returns. Since expansion to thirty-two teams, no Super Bowl champ has finished thirtieth or lower in regular season kick returns.

None of this says the Texans will not win the Super Bowl this year. Most of the season remains and steps have been made to improve the Texans kick return game. Rookie Keyshawn Martin is now the Texans kick return specialist. Martin proved himself again and again at Michigan State as a returner and was an improvement for the Texans in the game against the Packers. It is probable this change will result in a hike up the stat ladder in kick returns for the Texans, but I will continue to be pessoptimistic about their ultimate destiny.

For all fans, whether they be cynic, blind faithers, babblers, homers, haters, casual, relentless, coachers, or the great unwashed band-wagoneers.  Please know there are pessoptimists out there, knowledgeable enough to carry the angst that there are ways any opponent can beat our team, caring enough to really hope it does not happen, and perverse enough to feel just a touch of satisfaction when our worst stated fears come true.

One last thing, in case your number one team is the Texans and you are absolutely certain they are going on to become NFL champions this season, please consult with your nearest pessoptimist. They will tell you this for certain:

No matter how excited you are about the 2012 Houston Texans – keep in mind a football is not round, it bounces funny.

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