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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.

Sports Online

The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Moving To New Studio

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021.

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Dan Le Batard Show

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is leaving its home at the Clevelander hotel on South Beach in Miami and moving into a new studio next year, according to a report from The Big Lead.

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021. It has remained the home for the show since Le Batard and John Skipper formed Meadowlark Media.

After a $50 million distribution deal with DraftKings was secured, the Meadowlark podcast network has grown in both reach and talent, allowing for an expanded studio space.

No immediate details were given on where the new studio space would be located.

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Sports Online

NSMA Announces Finalists for Awards, Hall of Fame

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

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The National Sports Media Association revealed its finalists for its national sportscaster of the year and national sportswriter of the year, and there are plenty of heavy hitters in the industry up for consideration for the NSMA awards.

Among the nominees for National Sportscaster of the Year include Al Michaels, Ian Eagle, Jim Nantz, Joe Buck, Kevin Harlan, and Mike Tirico. The full list includes Adam Amin, Jason Benetti, Joe Davis, and Mina Kimes.

For National Sportswriter of the Year, Adrian Wojnarowski, Ken Rosenthal, Nicole Auerbach, Pete Thamel, Pat Forde and Tom Verducci are among the biggest names. Candace Buckner, Katie Strang, Marc Spears and Wright Thomson round out the list of nominees.

The NMSA also revealed its finalists for the sportscaster and sportswriter Hall of Fame. James Brown, Joe Buck, Lee Corso and Tim McCarver are part of the sportscaster list, while Bill Plaschke and Ray Didinger appear among the names for the sportswriter hall of fame.

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

Winners and Hall of Famers will be honored at the NSMA Awards Weekend & National Convention held in Winston-Salem, N.C. June 24-26.

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Pat McAfee: Mentioning Brett Favre Scandal Is A Must

“We have to make sure that it’s mentioned every time that man is mentioned because that is a big deal that it happened.”

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While things may have quieted down a little bit with Brett Favre and his scandal involving misuse of public funds in Mississippi, Pat McAfee is going to make sure people don’t forget what the hall of fame quarterback is accused of.

On his show on Wednesday, McAfee said he thought of a way to mention the situation during Aaron Rodgers’ weekly appearance the day before. Rodgers in conversation talked about learning under Favre in the first years of his NFL career in Green Bay.

“My brain was literally like we’re in the holiday season. Brett Favre – what did he do,” McAfee said. “He didn’t just steal from the poor. Oh, he is the actual Sticky Finger Bandits from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”

Pat added that whenever the name Brett Favre is brought up on his show, it is absolutely necessary to remind folks about the scandal.

“We have to make sure that it’s mentioned every time that man is mentioned because that is a big deal that it happened,” he said. “Now obviously Brett Favre Enterprises is alleging that this is all wrong. And I can’t wait to hear BFE to drop Brett Favre Enterprises’ side of the story. And we will judge it accordingly.”

“Even though as a football player, he was an incredibly tough football player, good football player, did a lot of things,” McAfee added. “Certainly in the middle of stealing from poor people in Mississippi right now. Have to chat about that.”

Favre is yet to be charged with any crimes, but the state is currently investigating the matter. Early in the fall, Favre’s weekly appearances on local and national radio shows were halted in light of the initial fallout from the story.

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