AFC South: Conan O\'Brien
I’m sure we’ll get a couple good moments out of the hour. But he’ll be coached quite a bit, and no matter how good an interviewer she is, I expect we’ll see him guarded.
The announcement of his appearance, however, had me reminiscing about Peyton Manning’s excellent appearance on Saturday Night Live and contemplating who from the AFC South I’d like to see on what.
I think we’d get pretty honest looks at these four if they were booked on these shows.
Jaguars’ receiver Mike Sims-Walker on "Millionaire Matchmaker:" He’s heading for free agency after making a $1.101 million base salary in his fourth season. I don’t know that he will make the sort of money he’d like going forward, but he qualifies. He tweets a lot about a less-than-satisfying dating life.
Colts punter Pat McAfee on "Last Comic Standing:" Dude is funny. His Twitter account is @PatMcAfeeShow and his little bio ends with “Follow me so we can make sweet sweet Twove.” I’m unsuccessfully scouring the Interwebs to find when he talked about doing stand-up. But if he didn’t, he should have.
Houston receiver David Anderson on "Conan:" The Texan is a big fan of the big redhead with the big hair. He’s celebrated touchdowns with O’Brien’s string dance. Anderson didn’t have the profile to make it on The Tonight Show, but now that Conan is backed by The Basic Cable Band, maybe a couple more TDs and dances could get him there?
Titans right tackle David Stewart on "Ted Nugent: Spirit of the Wild" (on The Outdoor Channel): Stewart is as quiet a guy as you’ll find in an AFC South locker room. Give him an opportunity to provide a one-word answer and he will provide one. But give him a chance to talk hunting, and apparently he opens way up. I’d watch.
HOUSTON -- A couple quick thoughts on the Texans before I wrap-up my three days in Houston and head back to Nashville:
The second running back: This team wants Chris Brown to step up and be a healthy second back to complement Steve Slaton. But it's hard to count on Brown for a full season. He missed all of last year because of back issues and missed 26 of 80 games in five years in Tennessee.
Experienced guys did not work in these three days of practices. In one team period Wednesday, I saw evidence of equal opportunity shots for four guys as they all got touches. Ryan Moats and undrafted rookies Arian Foster and Jeremiah Johnson are the primary candidates. It's hard to distinguish one of them from the others, and Johnson is just getting started after a late graduation for Oregon. I saw Clifton Dawson involved, too, but he's not being mentioned much.
Look too for the possible addition of anyone let go by Denver.
The breakout year: Guys who've been around know the Texans have been picked by some the last two years as a breakout candidate, and both years they wound up 8-8. Guys like Andre Johnson and Amobi Okoye talk about a hungry team, but seem to strike just the right tone when asked why they are more believable as a playoff candidate than in years' past. They say they have to go out and do it for people to trust the idea.
Kicker in the house: I wrote a news story about Kris Brown's contract extension that you can see here. The big emphasis on offense is on reducing turnovers and producing more in the red zone. The Texans want Brown around through 2013, but they'd love to call on him significantly less for field goals, and a lot more for extra points.
Bromance: David Anderson's affection for Conan O'Brien is a little scary. I'll revisit this down the road, but O'Brien's got to have Anderson on "The Tonight Show."
Tweeters: I talked to 14 different people in interview settings by my rough count, and continued my quest to provide you with Twitter accounts to follow. You already knew about Eric Winston, of course. He's "ericwinston."
Found only two more here:
Johnson says he isn't very linked into his, but offered up "johnson80."
Slaton is "ThaDoubleS."
And if you're not with the AFC South Blog on Twitter, you're against us. So please follow "afc_south."
The goofy Anderson has taken his affection for O'Brien's string dance to a new level with this video for jocklife.com.
I'm going to let it speak for itself and just say this -- I'm awfully glad the Texans matched the offer sheet Anderson signed with Denver.
Late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien was all fired up when he saw the touchdown dance David Anderson did following a six-yard catch in the second quarter of Houston's win over Cincinnati.
"That's my string dance," O'Brien said with glee Monday night on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on NBC. "I've been doing that for years."
Anderson cocked his hips side to side in conjunction with hand movements that made it look like he was pulling strings to make it happen.
"He even cut the string when he was done," O'Brien said. "Unbelievable. So I was thrilled. I'm riding pretty high."
Then the CBS broadcasters killed it for O'Brien.
"He was wide open, but Steve I think he needs to work on that touchdown dance," play-by-play man Gus Johnson said.
"I don't like the dance," Steve Tasker responded.
O'Brien was crushed.
"What the hell was that all about? Thank you very much," O'Brien said, before unleashing his updated version of the dance. If you missed it, you could probably find it on YouTube.
The Texans media relations department just hooked me up with Anderson, who said he was absolutely paying tribute to O'Brien and actually saw O'Brien's show when he used the clip of the touchdown and dance.
"I actually saw it live, because that was after 'Monday Night Football,'" Anderson said. "All my roommates were asleep and I was just sitting on the couch. I was like, 'Maybe if he says something about it, it might be tonight.' I was like, 'Everyone wake up!' But no one woke up. They were all screaming at me to shut up, they were trying to sleep."
"I'm a big fan, I've been watching Conan since high school easily, a lot in college and I still watch him a lot."
I asked Anderson what he's say to O'Brien about it if he could speak to him directly, hoping the AFC South Blog might be able to function as some sort of liaison.
"An obvious plea to do it live," Anderson said for starters. "I'm not quite sure. Does he want me to try anything else? Does he need any future dance moves?
As for Johnson and Tasker -- Anderson said they didn't get it.
"If you've seen it, it's obviously pretty humorous, I think," he said. "If you just think I am doing that on my own, then it's obviously pretty silly."