At the 2008 Texans Draft Luncheon, an annual event at the Westin Galleria that gives fans a chance to hear general manager Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak discuss the draft in person, several team awards were handed out, including MVP honors to DeMeco Ryans.
But we'll get to that later (we'll have extensive coverage of the luncheon up on the site tomorrow).
For now, check out this nugget from Kubiak when talking to fans about the upcoming season. This alone was worth the price of admission, whatever that price may have been (I either can't remember or can't say for discretionary reasons; you decide):
"Something happened on Sunday when I was sitting in the draft room, and (Smith) doesn't know about this and I haven't had time to talk to our players about this," Kubiak said, "but, you know, as we sit in the draft room, we have the TVs just like y'all do at home. We've got them all over the room. So we're watching Mel Kiper and we're watching, we're listening to everything so if we catch some scoop that might help us, it's a good thing. We're watching the TV set just as well as anybody else.
"Well, anyway, Sunday, as the draft was winding down, we had made one of our last picks and the experts were talking about our football team. And they were talking about the good draft. They were talking about the positive things that have happened over the course of the last couple years. And then the last statement to come out of this guy's mouth, which I'm not going to give you his name (blogger's note: his name is Mel Kiper, Jr.), he said, 'They are celebrating the best season in Houston Texan history right now.'
"Well, what I want to tell you today at lunch is we are not celebrating. OK? There has been no celebration. If there has been, I wasn't invited. OK? Alright? We're going to celebrate when we achieve our goal, and our goal is to become a playoff football team that has a chance to win a championship some day. That's when we'll celebrate. You know, in the past couple of hours I was out watching the players run and I'm sure had they heard that remark, too, they were not celebrating today. They were working."
As has been Kubiak, and his entire staff, all offseason long.
I remember Kiper saying this during the draft, and I also remember feeling at least slightly upset at what certainly seemed like a backhanded compliment for our improving football team. Glad to see Kubiak clear the air on that one.
- Nick Scurfield