Free meals for vets; Pick your fave Texans goat.

 Some national corporation are thanking veterans this year by putting their money where the veterans’ mouths are.

 But showing appreciation for those who are serving or who have served this year will not be limited to free dinners from Golden Corral on Monday,  November 16, and Applebee’s on Wednesday evening (Veterans Day).

 Lowe’s is offering a 10 percent discount on in-store merchandise up to purchases of $5,000 from Nov. 6 through Veterans Day. This is according to media reports I have seen. I saw nothing on their Web site about it. I would call first and ask if interested. Home Depot is likewise offering a 10 percent discount through Veterans Day. Check the Web site article for lists of limitations.

 I am unsure how long any of these corporations have shown their appreciation for veterans other than Golden Corral. The buffet and grill restaurant has held the Veterans feast for the past eight years. Their Web site notes they have served more than 2.1 million meals to active duty military and veterans during these occasions.

 Applebee’s requires some kind of proof of service such as a picture of the veteran in uniform, military or retired military ID card, DD-214 or veterans organization card. Their list doesn’t include a VA patient ID card, so I wouldn’t count on that getting you a free dinner. Applebee’s is also offering a limited number of items on their menu for the gratis meal — six to be exact — but they all look pretty good.

 Golden Corral does not require proof of ID. I still would take some though. You never know if your waiter understands the rules and having your papers in order might avoid having to get a manager and making a scene. I have been only once for Golden Corral’s meal, a couple of years ago, and I wasn’t asked for an ID.

 A number of other restaurants and businesses are giving free or discounted meals or merchandise across the country including, or did so over the weekend. Some of these also honor those uniformed folks serving in public safety such as police, fire and EMS. You just need to check around and see, I suppose, because I don’t have a full list. I wish I did.


  Disappointing would be an appropriate word to describe yesterday’s Houston-Indianapolis game.

  The Texans came in with a respectable 5-3 record for the first time in their history against the undefeated Colts. Still, there was no way the Texans could beat Indianapolis, right? Well, even though they weren’t throwing hand grenades or playing horseshoes, they almost pulled off an upset. Even more, the Texans should have won this one.

  A big examination was taking place on Beaumont-Houston’s ESPN Radio, the Ticket, this afternoon, as to the blame for the Texans 20-17 loss to the Colts. It was a controversial fumble at the Colt’s one-yard line by Houston running back Ryan Moats, said some. It was flat out turnovers and stupid penalties, said others. It was kicker Kris Brown, still others said while you could almost see heads nodding through the many radio receivers throughout the Houston-Beaumont area.

 Brown could easily be seen as the goat that ate the chance to knock off the Big Dog Colts. The Colts saw their lead cut to a narrow margin at the end of the first half when the Texans’ kicker perfectly nailed a 56-yard field goal. Brown, coming into the game, had a perfect extra point record and he left with that intact at 25-for-25 upon leaving Indy. He wasn’t exactly Mr. Automatic with 9-for-13 coming into the game but neither was he Mr. Aromatic. That path to Mr. Smelly quickly changed in the estimation of some Texans fans when Brown had a chance to send the game into overtime. 

 But just as plane crashes hardly ever have one cause, neither do lost football games. Somehow the clock quickly ticked off until it was stopped at one second — amazing in itself that Houston didn’t lose because of poor time management. Brown seemed like a sure shot for a 42-yarder to tie after kicking one a very respectable 56 yards. However, the ball went up and up and just freaking missed the goal with a veer to the left.

  Well, Coach Dan Kubiak thought his team did okay considering they were playing Peyton Manning’s Colts. I have to say I feel the same way although, as I mentioned before, I am very disappointed.

 As for one goat. It wasn’t Kris Brown. It wasn’t one play. It wasn’t the refs. It wasn’t Moats’ fumble. It was all of those wrapped up with penalties that were just dumb, though as I have noted  here before I sure as hell couldn’t have done better.

 The Texans now are neither down nor are they out. They have to play the Colts again at the end of this month and beat them. They have to beat the Titans again the week after next week’s bye. That theoretically should be easy against a now 2-6 team that only picked up its second win just yesterday by beating the equally lackluster 49ers. But theories are like a**holes, everybody’s got one and every once in awhile something goes wrong with them. Then you got your Rams, Seahawks, Jaguars and Dolphins in no particular order followed at the end by the Patriots. The Patriots. Yes.  Uh-huh.

 So the Texans can still make the playoffs. Hell, they could go to the Super Bowl. I mean anything can happen and does happen in football, just look at Terrell Owens or John “Sandy Baby” Riggins — remember the latter’s drunken encounter with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor? Perhaps those aren’t the best examples.