Pendergast Classic Rewind: How the 'Rosencopter' Era Prepared Texans Fans For 2020

Sean Pendergast
May 15, 2020 - 5:53 am

(SportsRadio 610) -- OCTOBER 5, 2008 — COLTS 31, TEXANS 27

In a world where it feels like there is massive disagreement on almost anything these days, I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a gigantic drag.

Between Kobe Bryant dying, the COVID-19 showing up on our front lawn, and the subsequent collapse of everything economic, 2020 has sucked. Add in the gigantic kick in the balls locally of DeAndre Hopkins getting traded, and frankly, I may not finish this article without killing myself.

So, you may ask, “Why in the hell are you bringing all of this up NOW, Sean?” Well, faithful 610 follower, I bring it up to remind you that, if you were here in 2008, then you were actually uniquely prepared to deal with 2020.

Think about it — Hurricane Ike thumped our city right in the middle of a recession, forcing the Texans into a Week 2 bye week and an 0-3 start to the season.

So today, I review the DeAndre-Hopkins-trade-sized kick in the junk from that fateful year of football — the Rosencopter game.

Yes, that game where the Texans held a seemingly safe and insurmountable lead over their arch-nemesis, the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning, who they had managed to compile a 1-11 record against coming into that Sunday afternoon.

It all played out so perfectly for about 55 minutes… then? KABOOM!! Sage Rosenfels proceeded to piece together the worst four minutes of individual football in franchise history, with three turnovers in the last four minutes, including the infamous one…..

If you want to watch the entire game — and honestly, the first 56 minutes are delightful! — here you go….

For now, here are my observations:



1. The very first shot of the stadium is a reminder as to just how dire the times were — an open roof at NRG (then Reliant) Stadium! Of course, back in 2008, the roof was open because Hurricane Ike pulverized five of the glass panels. The Texans had to cancel their Week 2 home game against the Ravens and move it to Week 10, so that season they started out with three road games and a their bye week burned up by mid-September. This was their HOME OPENER in OCTOBER! Like I said, screw you, 2008!

2. If you recall, this was early in Matt Schaub’s second year with the team. The Texans had traded two second round picks to Atlanta for Schaub prior to the 2007 season, and gave him a pretty hefty contract — 6 years, $48 million. He rewarded the team by going an oft-injured 4-7 in 2007, which made backup Sage Rosenfels the most popular figure in town. (Rosenfels went 4-1 in five starts.) Schaub was missing this game with a mysterious intestinal ailment, so Rosenfels was getting another opportunity to show what he could do. It’s a fantastic “what if” to think about — if Rosenfels just slides instead of helicoptering, does he keep the job? We will never know. What we do know is that any semblance of mass support Rosenfels may have had died a swift death on that afternoon.

3. There was a Roger Goodell sighting in the booth in this game. The freaking guy looks exactly the same! My favorite part of this appearance is the softball-setup question about player safety from Dan Dierdorf (yeah… him), literally two plays after some Colts safety went headhunting on Owen Daniels with no flag thrown by the refs.

4. This game took place during the "budding seeds” portion of the brief Steve Slaton Era of Dominance. It’s crazy to watch the shifty, lightning quick version of Slaton in this game. John Harris and I used to do a biweekly radio hit with Slaton that season, and by December, his body was murdered. So that offseason, he clearly had a goal of beefin himself up. Problem was he came back like 30 pounds heavier and looked like a quicker, shorter version of Ron Dayne. It was not good, and he was done shortly after that.

5. I will say this — if Ahman Green could have stayed healthy, that might have helped Slaton, and taken some of the workload off of him. Green actually looked good in this game, but still, one of the worst signings in Texans history.

6. How about a young Kyle Shanahan, then the offensive coordinator for the team, being shown on the sidelines! Dierdorf actually nailed his assessment of Shanahan, saying “this youngster has a very bright future in this league.” DING DING DING!

7. Also, how about a young Duane Brown getting repeatedly baptized by Dwight Freeney! This was Brown’s rookie year, and it was very odd and disconcerting to watch just how overwhelmed he was in this game. Obviously, things got much better for Brown, one of the only players from this game still playing in the league.

Again, screw you, 2008!

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