- Steve Etheridge, ESPN Playbook
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After five false starts and two delays-of-game in their opener against the Giants, the Dallas Cowboys are preparing for Sunday’s game with the Seahawks by blasting crowd noise at their practices. The aim is to prevent the skittish offense from being overwhelmed by the roar of Seattle’s notoriously loud fans, who, delirious from Ichiro’s curse, are certain to be noisier than ever.
Seems like a sound approach (Get it?!? Sound?!? Which rhymes with surround?!? Because they’ll be “surround”-ing players with noise at practice?!? Ha-ha!!!), but it’s one that could prove detrimental for teams preparing to play in completely different conditions.
Point in case, the Cowboys’ state-mates, the Houston Texans. Arian Foster & Co. will be making a road trip to Jacksonville to battle the Jaguars in a stadium quiet enough to hear Mike Mularkey’s comb-over rustle in the breeze.
So what do the Texans need to do to be ready for the Jags? Playbook has some suggestions.
• Play a scrimmage at Minute Maid Park before an Astros game. The dead stares of a few hundred defeated fans can be unsettling at first, but once you get used to it, it’s no more disconcerting than the mannequins at JCPenney.
• To get a feel for Blaine Gabbert’s footwork, have the defensive line run blitzes on a wobbly baby giraffe.
• The jaguar in their logo has a blue tongue. Try not to dwell on this too long, otherwise you’ll just get confused and upset.
• Lots of seats at EverBank Field are covered with tarps, so shroud a bunch of lawn chairs with blankets to reassure the players that there’s nothing scary hiding under the tarps -- just a shortage of devotion.
• Maurice Jones-Drew is their most dangerous offensive weapon, but his weakness is that he’s hungry for more money. Try tying a five-dollar bill to some fishing line to lure him away from the ball.
Anyway, sorry for saying all those mean things about your team, Jaguars fans. Remember all those cool things Mark Brunell did?
Those were the days.