While the Houston Texans were struggling mightily against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night at Candlestick Park on NBC, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were having a laugh at Matt Schaub‘s expense.
I know that the Texans had done very little to impress at this point, having not scored a touchdown since the second quarter of last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Even so, where’s the line when it stops being funny and instead becomes kicking a broken man when he’s already down?
Schaub is not in a good place mentally. Last week, someone deleted his Twitter account (even though it was hardly ever used anyway), and Schaub’s passes shot over the head of Andre Johnson at several points tonight. Even so, that’s no excuse for Michaels and Collinsworth to have the conversation they did in the middle of the broadcast right before half ended.
“You’re my odds-maker here,” Collinsworth said as the Texans faced a first-and-10 on their own 31-yard line. “Who has the better odds of scoring here?”
“Good question,” Michaels says, laughing. “I’m going to say … the Texans. 53-47 (percent).”
“A tight one,” Collinsworth said. “There you have it,” Michaels said.
I work as a sideline reporter and general sports guy for a radio station here in Texas, and while doing high school football commentary, we’ve repeatedly been told to not personally attack any athletes that are competing on the field, or to make any explicitly biting remarks about the coaching. Why don’t we extend this courtesy to professional players as well?
I’m not arguing that every player doesn’t deserve a good-natured jab every now and then, but kicking a good man like Schaub when he’s down is just too much. Even though he’s struggling, he’s absolutely giving all he has every week.
I can’t explain why he’s struggling, but it certainly can’t help him get out of his funk when people are calling for him to lose his job and burning his jersey in the parking lot (probably a fire code violation, by the way).
I do agree that it might be time for a change of personnel here for the Texans, but we’re only contributing to his downfall by continuing to lay it on even though he’s probably more aware than anyone of how much he’s messed up. It’s time now for everyone to sit back, remember that this is just a game, take a breath and then move on from Schaub to T.J. Yates or someone else.
Let’s remember how much good Schaub has done for the city of Houston, and thank him for that before we completely burn these bridges. Otherwise, his downfall will rest on our conscience.