Boom goes the thunder. Enter a brave new world of Houston football!

A clap of thunder about 2 o’clock this morning sharply transferred me from Dream Land into the here and now.

I immediately rose and went to the window, as I always do, to see the rain coming down in buckets. It’s called “drought behavior.” Shortly after listening to the torrential rain and various booms of thunder, the electricity flashed momentarily. It wasn’t enough to stop the alarm clock but a “beep” did warn me that my sleep apnea CPAP machine had stopped. Pushing the button to restart Mr. CPAP, I momentarily wondered whether I should get up and set the alarm on my cell phone as a hedge against a longer lasting lapse of electric power. I said: “ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz … ”

No matter how crappy my day was otherwise, I eventually and fully woke this morning to a new world. The world into which I had awakened had never before came forth with a Houston Texans playoff win. But lo and behold, Bevis and Butt-Head, here we were.

Although I half-assed picked them to win during a post last week I was really kind of doubtful as to the reality of such a feat. Sure enough, the Texans beat the Cincinnati Bengals 31-10 with air connections, ground-pounding  and defensive moves combining the two.

Andre Johnson rightly — as he is greatness and has been with the Texans for a long while — scored on a 40-yard pass play in which he made Bengals DB Adam “Pacman” Jones look like “Old Man” Jones. Pacman showed his great sportsmanship by storming off the field and shoving his defensive coach when the latter tried to say something to him. What a class act, that Pacman. Maybe it’s time for him to get serious about that hip-hop career.

Tailback Arian Foster, as was superbly described by CultureMap Houston’s Chris Baldwin, had the “Texans’ logo shaved into his head like a high school kid getting pumped up for the big homecoming game. It’s a move that delights his teammates, bringing a bunch of pros back to when they played the game for fun.” Foster infected the fans with that fun by scoring twice including a beautiful 42-yard run that brought a flashback of big man Earl Campbell from the “Luv Ya Blue” days.

Rookie J.J. Watt — an associate of Buckingham U. Badger during his college days at Wisconsin — looked as graceful as a ballerina when the defensive end leaped for an interception from Bengals QB Andy Dalton and ran the 29 yards for a game-changing touchdown.

It brought me a little happiness to see the Texans, who were battered, bruised and beat-up this year, pull off this impressive win. But I suppose that is just my fan-dom showing. Oh what the hell.

The Oilers Texans have their work cut out for them in the next go-round with the Ravens in Baltimore. The Birds beat them up pretty good when they last met, which was in Houston. As seemed to be the case last week, a lot of the sports talk people I sometimes hear on the radio have already written off the Texans. Yet it really doesn’t matter because even if they were somehow to pull off a conference championship or, God forbid, a Super Bowl win, they won’t get the respect they deserve. That’s just the way it goes if your radio or TV market isn’t named New York, or Dallas. Or if you are trying to be the “anti-homer” station.

It is wishful thinking but I pick Houston 20 Baltimore 19.

My other picks:

Denver 28

New England 21

LBJ has one last miracle in him.

Green Bay 35

New York Giants 20

Looks like a Manning won’t be going to the Super Bowl this year.

New Orleans 35

San Francisco 10

As long as Drew Brees ain’t hopped up on that cough medicine he advertises, the Saints look good. Just kidding about the cough medicine.