Tuesday, July 22, 2014




Written By: LM

Currently, I've been actively listening to Sports Talk 790 In The Trenches and Sports Radio 610 Mad Radio.  Currently I'm digging both shows.

MAD Radio, I get intellectual well though out takes.  Guilty, Mike Meltser has grown on me.  There was a time, I thought he was too robotic but once you get pass that, Mike will give you the debate you want. Seth Payne uses his intellect as humor. 

In The Trenches is one of the most local interactive shows.  I will not front, there was I time I thought the volume of callers was a direct reflection of not preparing a show but then I thought, Talk Radio is about the fans too.  Greg Koch and ND Kalu gets it, they realize Sports Talk includes the fans and they go out of their way to be inclusive.  Just today, I heard Lance leave an annoying caller on hold for almost two hours.  Lance was clearly making an example out of him. The annoying caller bled over to In The Trenches and they allowed him to speak.

That's what talk radio is, good, bad boring calls/takes should all be heard.  I am guilty of saying ban certain callers with dumb ass takes but at the end of the day, its more fun to crack jokes on their takes.

Rather you like it  or not, In The Trenches promote their fans.  They are not reading anonymous texts and they actually take phone calls and dialogue.  In the Trenches also allow topics to marinate before moving on.  They actually can see a topic with traction and they stick with it. 

MAD Radio change topics every damn segment.  Good luck if you are a caller to MAD Radio.  If you are lucky enough for them to hug a topic for two segments, you may get in on a topic but do not expect dialogue.  If you call, they will allow you to make your take then get you off the vine and respond to your take when you are off the phone.  Seth and Mike seem more comfy amongst themselves like most of Houston Sports Talk Shows these days.

In The Trenches are more intimate with their audience than MAD Radio.  Both shows are solid but In The Trenches is "down home" "down to earth" and loose with their audience.

All in all, In The Trenches value their audience's input.


Saturday, July 19, 2014



Written By: LM

Sports Radio 610s Program Director Ryan McCreeden created a challenge amongst the shows.  For five consecutive days, each show had to compete in a challenge.  At the end of the week, which ever show won would be compensated with a day off.

Some of the challenges were typical College Frat Boy pranks but others were gay.

Wednesday, while the 610 Host challenge was in full swing, Brien Straw and Paul Gallant of the Night Show talked about two hosts from Boston that berated Erin Andrews.  In the audio below, you will hear Brien Straw say the Boston show is reaching and pulling stunts.

Check this out on Chirbit

Brien was correct however I couldn't believe he said it in a week:

Sean Pendergast is getting his back waxed.  Nick Wright sucking Dorito Dust off of John Lopez's finger.  Ted Johnson and Sean Pendergast sharing a pretzel, mouth to mouth with practice wrapped around their face.  Paul Gallant and Brien Straw licking something off one or the other's neck.

None of the challenges actually appeared as disgusting as verbally described on the radio but they were going for "shock" value. 

What Program Director in a genre dominated by men, actually thinks this is a good idea, Ryan McCreeden, that's who.  Since McCreeden has been Program Director, some of the hosts have made jokes about him being gay or having a dark-side and even this week, some of the hosts were questioning his games.

Easy, is to say Sports Radio 610 is gay but it's much more.  They are mocking "gay" and will be the main ones that crush others who say one word.

It's clear that Sports Radio 610 is also trying to recreate the environment Josh Innes created at 610.  I thought I was the only one that noticed, but Mannifresh picked up on it as well as he mentioned it on his show.  The problem they are up against, Josh Innes was predictably unpredictable and all of these goof ball antics are not.

As far as the hosts, what can I say?  If your boss wants you to perform weirdo acts, its not like you can actually say ummm, NO I will not do that.  I'm curious, what if Ryan McCreeden asked the hosts to dress up as Black Face would they?  Of course they wouldn't because they know it's not cool but they have no problem at all joking about gay.

 I am glad no other stations in town are scraping the bottom of the barrel for show content. "It's a slow time in sports" is not an excuse.  Since Gavin Spittle's departure, Sports Radio 610 has dropped off big time in terms of entertainment.  Sports Radio really needs the Texans to return in a hurry or these Ryan McCreeden may just have them performing sex acts on air because Sports Radio is WILD AND WACKY.

Brien Straw, did Sports Radio 610 "reach" or "stunt" this week or is it routine workplace behavior?


Thursday, July 17, 2014




Craig Shelton

It would stand to reason with the ratings success of former NFL players, ND Kalu & Greg Koch, on their show "IN THE TRENCHES" on Sports 790, the think tank at CBS Radio/Sports Radio 610 (610) would have learned a competitive lesson.

Kalu and Koch bolted for greener pastures at Sports Talk 790 (on the west end of the AM dial) after they became discontented with the lack of opportunity at 610 to expand their careers beyond spot appearances as guest hosts and weekend broadcast hosts. Under former 610 program director, Gavin Spittle, Kalu & Koch were not viewed as viable options (as a tandem) to host a prime time show together. Spittle believed in a "point guard - two guard" system with his talent casting system. Spittle viewed both Kalu & Koch as two-guards who'd be better fits cast alongside a "setup man" the likes of a Mark Vandermeer or to a far lesser degree, a guy like former CBS Mad Radio host, Brad Davies.

Gavin Spittle's scouting report on Kalu & Koch was accurate in theory, but it failed to account for the X Factor in entertainment likeability.

ND Kalu & Greg Koch aren't enjoying the success that they're enjoying because they're awesome radio professionals. Kalu & Koch are Houston's highest-rated sports talk show because they're former NFL players who happen to be really likeable guys that cater to their listener base.

You can't account for those attributes in annotated charts or graphics. They don't teach likeability at Syracuse University's School of Broadcast Journalism.

Purely for purposes of full disclosure, admittedly, I'm not a guy with the tough guy-street cred cache, that some noted local sports talk hosts enjoy. If I did enjoy such respect in the dark and ominous community of the gambling underworld, as Tony Soprano-like figures in the Houston's sports talk sphere command, guys like Sean Pendergast, Nick Wright, and noted Mafia hit man, the notorious Matt Jackson, I'd bet my money on former Texans first-round draft pick, Travis Johnson.

Johnson's tenure at 610 mirrored that of ND Kalu, Greg Koch, Ted Johnson, and Matt Murphy, all ex-NFL players. Of all the former ex-NFL players to get a start at radio via Sports Radio 610, only former Texans, Seth Payne and Travis Johnson, were obvious no-brainers for future success at an accelerated rate.

From the first moment Travis Johnson took the mike in evening drive as a guest, his every word was "must listen radio."

Over Travis Johnson's first couple of months making guest appearances on 610, Johnson was heard on average approximately 20 hours a week. That frequency on air coupled with Johnson's polarizing personality, made it easy for Johnson to quickly become "appointment radio".


According to information we've obtained at HMW, Travis Johnson was ultimately cast in the same box as Kalu & Koch, in that he's viewed as a power hitter more so than as a Jose Altuve-type table setter. The same for former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson. That assessment from 610's program director would preclude any optimism related to there being a possibility of a "Johnson & Johnson" show to challenge the Kalu & Koch beast on SportsTalk 790.

It's safe to say that was a bone-headed miscalculation by the Sports Radio 610 think tank not to take a run at Sports Talk 790's NFL player pairing with a pairing of their own ebony & ivory NFL duo in Travis Johnson & Ted Johnson. Instead, the decision to pair Ted Johnson with Sean Pendergast and Rich Lord was made, which made about as sense as the decision to hire Matt Murphy made. There's just no measurable upside to either decision.


Sources tell HMW that the 610 pay scale calls for time-and-a half rates to be paid to part-time talent like Travis Johnson. Going under the assumption that this information is accurate and the associated numbers we received are correct relating to Johnson, had Travis Johnson maintained his time-and-a-half rate, he reportedly received during the period he averaged 20 hours a week on air, his annual rate would have been in the six-figure range, had he received the same rate of pay over a 5-day work week. Hosts are paid for 6 hours who host 4 hour shows, to compensate for show-prep time. That may explain the massive drop off in hours we eventually began hearing Johnson on air after his first two months with CBS.


When it was all said and done, all Sports Radio 610 offered Travis Johnson, according to our information, was a once-a-week show on Sundays for three hours. This did not sit well with Johnson according to our information.

Reports say Johnson was told he'd be cast in a larger role.

Interesting enough, Sports Radio 610  found a role of advancement for Ted Johnson as the third wheel in evening drive on "THE TRIPLE THREAT,"  but according to our information,  never bothered to speak to Travis Johnson about the opportunity to fill the position when Ted Johnson moved to evening drive opened up.

Only time will tell if Sports Radio 610's alleged snubbing of Travis Johnson is a mighty George Springer-like swing connecting on a fastball over the plate,  or another untimely Chris Carter missed swing at a breaking ball in the dirt?

I'm betting on the latter (keep your eye on Travis Johnson and Sports Talk 790).

Monday, July 14, 2014


Written By: LM

It's amazing we can have knock down drag out fights about
  • Washington Redskins Logo
  • Donald Sterling's Recorded Comment
  • Wiley Cooper's rant
  • Tiger Wood's Boot Calls
 All  of which are non local stories.  The following stories commanded Sports Talk Radio for whole shows but low and behold when there is a local story involving a local sports star, the media pick and choose their fights.

Over the weekend, Houston Rockets Super Star Center Dwight Howard tried to help a cause by tweeting #FreePalestine.   A fan asked Dwight Howard to bring awareness to what's happening in Israel.  Dwight Howard tried to help by tweeting a hashtag and erasing,

By erasing the tweet, Dwight managed to unite Jews and Arabs in hating him.  Below is the Dwight Howard's series of tweets.

I understand that the Houston Rockets were involved in a High pressure Free agency and naturally that would be the lead story however TMZ, Deadspin and Black Sports Online covered the story but not Houston Sports Media collectively.  Of all the local sports radio I listened to, Sports Radio 610 Triple Threat (Sean Pendergast and Ted Johnsons) was the only show I heard hit the story late in the 5 O clock hour (5:45 PM).

Houston has a nice size Middle Eastern and Jewish population and I know for a fact there was some reaction (searched out Dwight's name on twitter) so the local media cannot say it was not a story.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey appeared on Sports Talk 790 and Sports Radio 610 and not one question about Dwight Howard's comments.  I guess I have to keep in mind that Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander is Jewish.

Is this a case of Rockets Free Agency being larger than a childish Dwight Howard comment or local sports media trying to bury a story? 

Media Credentials come at a premium.  I've heard whispers of Houston Rockets being more sensitive than the Houston Texans and I've questioned that but after thinking how Houston was all over Arian Foster's lovechild case and damn near nothing with Dwight Howard's #FreePalestine comment, I wonder.


Dwight Howard was trying to help without knowing the magnitude of choosing sides in a war that's beyond most American's comprehension.  I even tweeted Dwight Howard that I thought it was silly.

However, it still amazes me what the media deem as "news" and not news.  I've said for the longest, the media makes news they don't report news.  In this case, we are dealing with a case of media not versed in what's happening in Israel and therefore they do not want to open themselves up to that discussions.

Mooney-shot was a caller to Fred Faour and AJ Hoffman's show (The Blitz) in the 5 O Clock Hour.  The caller had a well thought out take about the Rocket's Free Agency and Daryl Morey.  At the end of his ca'l, he ended up by saying he liked Howard's Twitter Comment.  Thought it was quite telling that Fred Faour of partial Middle Eastern decent didn't address the comment.  Neither did, they addressed his sports points.

The purpose of this blog is not about what side are you on Jews are Arabs but the media's convenient approach to stories.  The truth is, no one in the media wants to talk about Arabs or Jews.   #SmartMove


Friday, July 11, 2014


Written By: LM

Thursday, Morning Lance Zierlein (Proper Gentlemen of Sports 790) dropped a mild bombshell.   Lance shared with his audience that  (a friend/insider/buddy) there are players on the Houston Rockets that thins James Harden is a party boy and cares more about his touches.   Lance alluded to players around the league are hesitant to play with Rockets because of Harden.

Lance, STOP GOSSIPING!  This is nothing more than gossip and I'm surprised a personality of Lance's caliber would put himself out there like that, but I continued to listen.  Lance went on to cross compare James Harden to Johnny Manziel on their personal lives.

I am not questioning the validity of Lance's story but I know it's gossip.   I'm sure fans will eat it up but to me "who cares what some players think about James Harden".


If it's not Dwight Howard, who cares? One of the reasons this story is odd, Dwight Howard just left a shaky situation with a player he didn't particularly care for in Kobe Bryant.  Dwight Howard was the biggest Free Agent in 2013 and he signed with the Rockets.


As far as other free agents (Non Rockets), how much of a sample size are we talking.   James Harden is a 5 year player, 2 as a Franchise Player with the Rockets, exactly how many players have the Rockets tried to acquire since Harden as been a part of the Rockets?  Name me all these players that have turned the Rockets down since Harden has been on the roster.

But lets look at players with histories
  • For years I've heard that Michael Jordan was a prick with a gambling problem
  • Kobe Bryant threw salt on Shaq during his rape case
  • Tony Parker rumors of banging out a teammate's girl
and more,

It's gossipy and I highly doubt free agents are taking player's personal lives into consideration before signing with a team.

Below is Lance Zierlein's revelation of an "inside guy's" take on James Harden

Check this out on Chirbit

Lance Zierlein on James Harden

The culture is changing and more media types are going tabloid.  It is what it is.