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John McClain, Legendary Houston Chronicle Sportswriter, Announces Retirement

For someone retiring, McClain plans to remain a prominent voice in the Houston sports scene through writing, radio, and Twitter.

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The term “end of an era” is surely overused — and probably misused, in many cases where it isn’t really suitable. But for John McClain retiring from the Houston Chronicle after 47 years at the paper, is there any other term that applies?

The man is an institution in Houston sports and is known throughout the country as an authoritative voice and trusted opinion on the scene, especially in regards to the Houston Texans and the NFL.

McClain announced his retirement on Thursday in a farewell column to Chronicle readers. With the four years he worked at the Waco Tribune-Herald while a student at Baylor, that makes a 51-year career in sportswriting, truly an achievement worthy of applause.

But rather than just take a victory lap and make that column all about himself, McClain generously thanks everyone who meant something to his career, fellow writers, editors, radio hosts, program directors, coaches, players, executives, and public relations directors.

His final pieces for the paper/website will be a mailbag column on Friday for Texas Sports Nation, the Chronicle’s vertical for premium sports content, and a Sunday column looking back on the 10 stories he remembers best from his career covering football in Houston.

Yet for someone retiring, McClain apparently plans to remain a prominent voice in the Houston sports scene. If you enjoy talking sports, it’s difficult to get it out of your blood. As he explained in his column, he’ll still contribute to the Chronicle when needed, as recently retired Dale Robertson and David Barron have also done.

McClain changed with the times to remain a vital voice. And he’ll continue to do so by providing commentary on the Texans and Astros on Twitter. And he’ll keep making weekly appearances on radio shows throughout the country, including Houston’s Sports Radio 610, Knoxville’s WNML, Las Vegas’ Raider Nation Radio KRLV 920, and Outkick 360.s

For more insight on what impact McClain made with Houston sports fans and the community, please read Brian T. Smith’s column on his colleague, with whom he worked on the Texans beat for two seasons. McClain often signed autographs for fans. Some showed appreciation for his work by paying for his meals.

“Some are lazy, entitled or take a special job for granted,” Smith writes. “McClain was the exact opposite of that. He knew how lucky he was and passed his fortune forward.”

Sports fans in Houston and throughout the country – on radio, podcasts, and Twitter — have had the great fortune of enjoying his work, knowing that they’d get an informed opinion with an entertaining accompanying dose of humor. Sports are supposed to be fun and John McClain showed that. Now he’s taking a much-deserved bow.

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Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State

“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”

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Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.

He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”

He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”

It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.

The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.

Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.

The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.

Others used the feud to create comedy.

Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.

The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.

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Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM

“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”

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A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.

“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”

The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.

The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports. 

“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts.  “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team.  They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.” 

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Dave Portnoy Offers Pat Beverley ‘Blank Check’ To Join Barstool

“Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

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Minnesota Timberwolves player Pat Beverley turned heads with his comments about Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.

Beverley told Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith on Monday that he thinks Paul is a “traffic cone,” due to his poor defense and that on nights he knows he’s playing Paul he’ll have a nice steak dinner and wine the night before. He said he’s in bed by 8 p.m. and doesn’t want to hear from his mom or girlfriend if he’s playing Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Pat’s comments got the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said Monday he liked Beverley so much that he would hire him to do a podcast for Barstool.

“If Pat Beverley is a Barstool fan and he’s watching this, he has a blank check. You name your price for a podcast, and we will hire you — no questions asked,” Portnoy said. “Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

Portnoy made the push to sign Beverley to a podcast deal as the company seeks to scale back the number of podcasts it produces. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini announced the decision to cut shows last week.

No word if Beverley has responded to Portnoy’s offer.

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