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Old 09-29-2008   #1
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Default Optimism and Pessimism

I have recently been thinking about the teachings of the esteemed Doctor Pangloss and how they relate to the Texans. His most noted philisophical stance was Optimism. With apologies to the good doctor for oversimplification, Panglossian Optimism states that 'we live in the best of all worlds'.

We see this philosophy applied on the board in many ways. It is most frequently used now in defining the reasons the Texans are as bad as they are: Casserly, Capers, injuries, tough schedule, Mother Nature, etc. Because of all these influences, the current Texans are as good as they could possibly be.

There is another school of thought that is sometimes referred to by Doctor Pangloss's opponents as Panglossian Pessimism. I'll summarize this philosophy as 'since we live in the best of all possible worlds, things will never get better'. This also shows up on the board, usually in reasons why we can't replace a coach or player.

To me, the problem with both of these Panglossian philosophies is this: we aren't in the best of all possible worlds. The Texans should be better than they are.

These philosophies are also very passive. The team is what it is. Be happy. I disagree - it is time for the organization to exercise its collective free will and stop accepting its fated failures.
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Old 09-29-2008   #2
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

Fate is for whiners and the lazy. Figure it out and win baby!
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Old 09-29-2008   #3
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

And here I was thinking that my advanced French Literature classes wouldn't have any "real world" applications. And then you see references to the works of Voltaire on the Texans message board. Truly awesome
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Old 09-29-2008   #4
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

Runner,

You have more IQ in your farts than I have in my brain.

I feel so stupid because I have no freaking clue what you just said, but I am sure you are right. So...I agree with you.

Problem is this: Our owner is not one who is committed enough to justify the ousting of coaches when it OUGHT to happen. Heck, him allowing Capers & Co. the entire season was astounding in all aspects of thought.

Our gentlemanly owner is an obstacle. We have roughly 1 coach per four years to embrace and support. So, maybe in 2010 we'll see who McNair is rolling the dice with for another four years. It's like the election cycle.
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Old 09-29-2008   #5
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

At the end of the day, they play and we watch. My 'passion' for an entertainment form is now about perspective. Nothing I say or do in life has any relevance to the game on the field. I am powerless to alter something I care about.

They lose, we watch, and life goes on. I no longer let it affect my mood. The other side of passion must be apathy, because the other side of the coin has revealed itself this season. I walk away from the end of the games now and find something better to do with my time. I cannot manufacture giving a crap. This franchise has never earned the passion of fanatics, so why should I keep it burning when they continue to define insanity?
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Old 09-29-2008   #6
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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Runner,

You have more IQ in your farts than I have in my brain.

I feel so stupid because I have no freaking clue what you just said, but I am sure you are right. So...I agree with you.

Problem is this: Our owner is not one who is committed enough to justify the ousting of coaches when it OUGHT to happen. Heck, him allowing Capers & Co. the entire season was astounding in all aspects of thought.

Our gentlemanly owner is an obstacle. We have roughly 1 coach per four years to embrace and support. So, maybe in 2010 we'll see who McNair is rolling the dice with for another four years. It's like the election cycle.
A lot of posters in here will consider what you keep saying as negative, but it is pretty accurate.

Honestly, the way I see it I HIGHLY doubt that Kubiak would get fired after this season no matter how bad the team looks. Unless the Texans go like 3-13, I am almost certain that Kubiak will be here under Mcnair's coddling. He will most likely make a statement that he wants to see what Gary can do after one more year and then he will use your favorite word EVALUATE after the season and see where he is at that point. Remember, Mcnair gave Smith a n extension just after two years which I for one was not happy about. Not that Smith did a bad job, but I just thought it was to early for any extensions for anyone.

My only question is if the Texans were to have a 6-10 type of season or a 5-11 season and Kubiak was given one more season to turn things around and what if next season he was to go 9-7?? A lot of people in here and other Texans homers would be all talking about how Gary got this team completely turned around and that NOW he earned his extension because he brought this team to it's first winning season.

What do you think if that were to happen GP?
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Old 09-29-2008   #7
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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Originally Posted by GP View Post
Problem is this: Our owner is not one who is committed enough to justify the ousting of coaches when it OUGHT to happen. Heck, him allowing Capers & Co. the entire season was astounding in all aspects of thought.
They fired Palmer in 2004 after game 2, if I remember correctly. It's not beyond our FO to dispense of coaches during the season, just not common.
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Old 09-29-2008   #8
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
At the end of the day, they play and we watch. My 'passion' for an entertainment form is now about perspective. Nothing I say or do in life has any relevance to the game on the field. I am powerless to alter something I care about.

They lose, we watch, and life goes on. I no longer let it affect my mood. The other side of passion must be apathy, because the other side of the coin has revealed itself this season. I walk away from the end of the games now and find something better to do with my time. I cannot manufacture giving a crap. This franchise has never earned the passion of fanatics, so why should I keep it burning when they continue to define insanity?
I really enjoyed a lot of the game but find myself losing the passion. Same thing happened with the Astros last 3-4 years. A lousy first half of season and then roaring back in 2nd is exciting but really irks me when games are thrown away in the first half. I really like Texans football, but it does not take long now for my attention to wander. I use to make a sandwich taking 20 minutes because I did not want to miss a play or the re-play. It is not about the Ws but good solid play. I saw more of that Sunday than first 2 games.
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Old 09-29-2008   #9
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

Same here.

I watch just to see what ways we can devise to suck so badly.

I wonder "Will it be a bad game management decision," or "Our QB tossed to the ground every-other play," or "A last-second hurrah from the other team," or some other funny little craptastic delight that I haven't seen yet.

You develop, over time, an attitude of indifference as a coping mechanism to avoid the nagging anxiousness of letdown.

Now THAT was freaking smart, what I just said right there. Somebody make that a signature or something. Preserve it for future generations of Texans fans, please.

My dad always said I was a genus.
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Old 09-29-2008   #10
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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My dad always said I was a genus.
I may use that as a quote.
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Old 09-29-2008   #11
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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I no longer let it affect my mood. The other side of passion must be apathy, because the other side of the coin has revealed itself this season. I walk away from the end of the games now and find something better to do with my time. I cannot manufacture giving a crap. This franchise has never earned the passion of fanatics, so why should I keep it burning when they continue to define insanity?
Sounds to me like it has very much affected your mood. Maybe you don't walk around pissed for days or whatever, but the mood has been affected. Bandwagoners who give you crap at work or whatever. You might have learned to deal with it better, suppress the emotion, find something better to do to take your mind off of it or whatever, but the mood is changed.

And when they start winning, and they will, the mood again will be affected. Those same bandwagoners will be high-fiving at the water cooler. You'll put off mowing the grass like you did this past Sunday, after the game. Of maybe you'll mow with a little extra kick in your giddyup.

The team loses and we learn to deal with it....better I guess, as the losing mounts. When the team wins, we'll learn to deal with that as well, and we'll get better at that too, so we don't pee ourselves every time someone mentions Texans.

We're fans, short for fanatic. To be a fanatic IMO, you have to be a little insane. We invest a lot of time and for some of us, a lot of money in to this losing franchise, so yeah, I would call that insane. It's an investment no one is forcing you to make, but you make it because you're a fan. Insane right?

I'm a sports fan. The sports world around here is very much a part of my life, so the outcomes of the games does affect me one way or another. No, it doesn't mean much in the big picture, I don't kick puppies when the team loses or set the city ablaze when they win, but it does mean something. It's a part of my life. And when my team loses, I'll scream at the TV as I did this past Sunday. When my team wins, I'll feel better about the world.

That's just the way it is for this fanatic.
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Old 09-29-2008   #12
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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Sounds to me like it has very much affected your mood. Maybe you don't walk around pissed for days or whatever, but the mood has been affected. Bandwagoners who give you crap at work or whatever. You might have learned to deal with it better, suppress the emotion, find something better to do to take your mind off of it or whatever, but the mood is changed.

And when they start winning, and they will, the mood again will be affected. Those same bandwagoners will be high-fiving at the water cooler. You'll put off mowing the grass like you did this past Sunday, after the game. Of maybe you'll mow with a little extra kick in your giddyup.

The team loses and we learn to deal with it....better I guess, as the losing mounts. When the team wins, we'll learn to deal with that as well, and we'll get better at that too, so we don't pee ourselves every time someone mentions Texans.

We're fans, short for fanatic. To be a fanatic IMO, you have to be a little insane. We invest a lot of time and for some of us, a lot of money in to this losing franchise, so yeah, I would call that insane. It's an investment no one is forcing you to make, but you make it because you're a fan. Insane right?

I'm a sports fan. The sports world around here is very much a part of my life, so the outcomes of the games does affect me one way or another. No, it doesn't mean much in the big picture, I don't kick puppies when the team loses or set the city ablaze when they win, but it does mean something. It's a part of my life. And when my team loses, I'll scream at the TV as I did this past Sunday. When my team wins, I'll feel better about the world.

That's just the way it is for this fanatic.
I understand what you are saying, my friend, and it is very well written.

However, I have reached a point where I no longer have a passionate hope in my core being. This franchise has not earned that right. Of course I will still watch every second of every game and scare the crap out of my cat during certain plays and blown calls of away games, and I will continue to wear my Texans hard hat like I have since 1910 for every home game.

All of that goes without saying. It is the act of fanatics, borderline insane, crazy is as crazy does and all that jazz.

But...it's hard to describe...I just feel apathetic about it all these days. Almost like I'm numb inside about our team and I'm just going through the motions. It is the same way I felt during the low points of the Oilers, when they just produced bad teams. I still wore my colors, watched the games, but it was more entertainment than living passion.

So, until this franchise can actually pull it's collective heads out of it's ass - from the owner on down - it is just a an entertainment medium that I greatly enjoy being a part of.

Be honest...do you now go into a new season with true optimistic hope in your heart that we are 1) a winning team, 2) a playoff caliber team, 3) a team that has a chance to play in February?

At this 7 season juncture, I can't say that I blindly hope for any of the above. Of course, I hope, but it is more "hope for the best" than it is real expectations. And that's what it comes down to at the end of the day. We cannot expect greatness out of the franchise. We can only hope to expect a team that can be consistent week in/week out, and then hope for the best that we can actually win 9 games in a season. There is a big difference in those perspectives, and my reality is now firmly in the second one until fundamental things change about this franchise of ours.

Always a Texans fan, but I'm not going to lie, it's just a football game until they give us something to be passionate about. Earn it!
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Old 09-29-2008   #13
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I no longer let it affect my mood...
That's my current state, and has been since the early stages of last season's debacle.

I can't imagine that many folks will find the energy to get worked up over this issue, once real life starts to get really tough, really soon.

IMO.

edit: Gotta spread the rep...
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Old 09-29-2008   #14
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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I have recently been thinking about the teachings of the esteemed Doctor Pangloss and how they relate to the Texans. His most noted philisophical stance was Optimism. With apologies to the good doctor for oversimplification, Panglossian Optimism states that 'we live in the best of all worlds'.

We see this philosophy applied on the board in many ways. It is most frequently used now in defining the reasons the Texans are as bad as they are: Casserly, Capers, injuries, tough schedule, Mother Nature, etc. Because of all these influences, the current Texans are as good as they could possibly be.

There is another school of thought that is sometimes referred to by Doctor Pangloss's opponents as Panglossian Pessimism. I'll summarize this philosophy as 'since we live in the best of all possible worlds, things will never get better'. This also shows up on the board, usually in reasons why we can't replace a coach or player.

To me, the problem with both of these Panglossian philosophies is this: we aren't in the best of all possible worlds. The Texans should be better than they are.

These philosophies are also very passive. The team is what it is. Be happy. I disagree - it is time for the organization to exercise its collective free will and stop accepting its fated failures.
Id like to take the liberty of re-phrasing the bolded part, if I may:

Quote:
I disagree - it is time for the fan base to organize and exercise its collective free will and stop accepting its fated failures.
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Old 09-29-2008   #15
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

I believe we are past dialogue on Optimism and Pessimism and are stationed in an apathetic purgatory. Kind of reminds me of the scene from Kentucky Fried Movie:

Quote:
Loo: And who are they?
Dr. Klahn: Refuse, found in waterfront bars.
Loo: Shanghaied?
Dr. Klahn: Just lost drunken men who don't know where they are and no longer care.
Prisoner #1: Where are we?
Prisoner #2: I don't care!
Loo: And these?
Dr. Klahn: These are lost drunken men who don't know where they are, but do care! And these are men who know where they are and care, but don't drink.
Prisoner #3: I don't know who I am?
Prisoner #4: And I don't drink!
Dr. Klahn: Guards! (move prisoners) Do you care?
Prisoner #5: No.
Dr. Klahn: Put this man in cell #1, and give him a drink.
Guard: What do you drink?
Prisoner #5: I don't care.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076257/quotes
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Old 09-29-2008   #16
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

I always try and realize at the end of games like the first two when I am crushed by an uninspired efftort that at the end of the day the worst thing in my life is I am a die hard fan of a bad football team.

Lifes pretty damn good for me!

Like everyone else I wanted and needed a win from the Texans in the Jags game and am pissed at some of the silly mistakes. I had a feeling we might only get 1 victory in the first 5 games due to the tough schedule so I am going to hang my hopes on the fact we looked better this week and due to the Baltimore game being moved are not 0-4 at this point. After what Baltimore has done so far I can honestly say I misjudged them badly and their D might have crushed what was a Texans offense with little or no confidence.
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Old 09-29-2008   #17
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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I believe we are past dialogue on Optimism and Pessimism and are stationed in an apathetic purgatory. Kind of reminds me of the scene from Kentucky Fried Movie:
I give you Voltaire and you give me Kentucky Fried Movie?


Uhmmm...nice segue.
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Old 09-29-2008   #18
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what is it...to be....fan?
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Old 09-29-2008   #19
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

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Originally Posted by TexansLucky13 View Post
They fired Palmer in 2004 after game 2, if I remember correctly. It's not beyond our FO to dispense of coaches during the season, just not common.
Yes they did. Of course they told Capers to fire him during the off-season or his head would be on the block too. He didn't, and it was.

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Old 09-29-2008   #20
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Default Re: Optimism and Pessimism

Talking of pessimism, I'm not too sure about that W that I had chalked down against Baltimore a few weeks ago.
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