What if Bob McNair had hired Bill Cowher on Monday? Pause a moment to wrap your mind around that thought.
Cowher's presence would have changed everything around the Texans. He would have brought credibility to a franchise that virtually has none. He would have brought expectations, too.
Tickets would be coveted, merchandise would fly off shelves and Houston would be a football town again. Those empty seats at Reliant Stadium would be filled at kickoff, and the Texans wouldn't have to pump fake noise into the building.
Inside the locker room, there'd be a different attitude. Excitement? Absolutely. Fear? Yes, certainly. That's part of the deal around many successful NFL teams.
Losing no longer would be tolerated, and a new culture would be born. Fans would be counting the days until training camp.
Franchises have very few chances to hire someone capable of transforming an entire organization, but the force of Cowher's personality and his drive to succeed would have done just that.
When one NFL general manager was asked several years ago what made Cowher successful, he offered a brief assessment.
"Winning is the most important thing in his life," he said, "and by the end of the week, every player on his team understands it had better be the most important thing in their lives, too."