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Texas Governor Talks Football With Clay Travis

“Overall, Abbott conveyed a more cautious tone about the return of football than Travis’ previous guests.”

Jacob Conley

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As of late, Clay Travis’ Outkick The Coverage program on Fox Sports Radio, has sounded more like something you might see on the Fox News television network. That’s because, in recent days, Travis has interviewed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and President Donald Trump.

The parade of politicians continued on Thursday morning when Travis spoke with Texas’ Republican governor Greg Abbott. The pair discussed a variety of topics in the nearly 30 minute segment, but the main focus was football, both college and prep, in the Lone Star State. 

Overall, Abbott conveyed a more cautious tone about the return of football than Travis’ previous guests, including the possibility of playing games with no fans in attendance.

“While the financial aspect has to be considered, the top priority is the health and safety of the players,” he said. “We saw what can happen when you have large gatherings, so the attendance might not be as robust. We may not have any fans at all. I’ve talked to the players, and while they like having fans there, the most important thing for them is playing the game. It’s like the NBA or the MLB, once that tip or first pitch happens, they all play for the love of the game… The key word is flexibility. While I think we can determine now that it is safe to play games, we will have to wait and see how many fans can be in the stands.”

Abbott says that he and many Texans underestimated COVID and he does not want to repeat those mistakes. 

“The Corona Virus is not going to wane,” Abbott said. “It is not getting weaker. It can still be transmitted and its life span is still the same. But what has happened in Texas is, we have a better understanding of it and better control. We saw a spike in Texas in early June because we thought we had COVID defeated and let our guard down. We did not.  Now we have gotten a better grip on things and the numbers have started to trend downward again.”

Along with college football, Abbott addresses the state of high school football.

 “High school football is not a sport. It’s a religion in Texas. We are the home of Friday Night Lights,” Abbott continued. “As we began summer workouts for high school football, we had players transmitting COVID-19, players testing positive, so some areas of the state have decided not to have a season. Some are planning modified schedules, others are planning full schedules. That’s something we have to grapple with, but we also know that football, and all sports, are vital to the well-being of the student.”

As for college football, Texas is home to five Power 5 programs throughout the Big XII and SEC. Both conferences have decided to play football this fall. Abbott applauds the decision.

“Listen, I’ve talked to all kinds of university administrators, from presidents to athletic directors to coaches,” Abbott said. “But the most important group I have spoken with are the student-athletes themselves. They want to play. They have the option not to but 99 percent want to play, and most importantly, they feel safe with the protocols   that are in place. If the student-athlete feels safe, they should be allowed to play.”

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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