Thursday, November 25, 2010



Written by: Mike in DA
Date posted: 11/25/2010



On this Thanksgiving Day, the Peanut Gallery thanks all of the local sports talk hosts for continuing to provide dozens of flubs per week.

On this Thanksgiving morning show on SR610, Brien Straw brought up the names of Paul Hornung and Alex Karras with regard to the traditional Turkey Day game in Detroit. He asked Barry "I Know Everything" Warner in what year were Hornung and Karras suspended from playing in the NFL. As expected, Barry was wrong. It was 1963, not 1964. Close is only good in horseshoes and grenades, not flubs. Look it up, if you don't know or you're not sure. That even goes for "know-it-alls".


First, the good news, as the NFL Network (NFLN) is presenting the Jets-Bengals Thanksgiving night game without announcers! No Joe Theismann! No Matt Millen! No more idiotic arguments and foolishness.

Here's the bad news. The announcer-free telecast happens on Saturday night, when NFLN will broadcast the game through the audio of players and coaches only. It sounds like a great idea, but if you actually want to watch the game live, you’re out of luck. Tonight, if you're going to watch the game, in addition to the turkey hangover, you'll have to listen to Matt Millen and Joe Theismann.

Announcer-free games have been done before and they’ve never really been much of a success. No matter how bad you may think the announcers are, the majority of football fans prefer to listen to them rather than be without any. It’s the same with our local sports talk radio. No matter how unknowledgeable, rude, arrogant, egotistical, etc., some of these local sports talk hosts are, sports fans prefer to listen to them than not.







The following is an e-mail from HMW’s Craig Shelton that was sent to SR610 Program Director, Gavin Spittle, about 10 days ago, regarding the on-air antics of the sometimes funny, but often out-of-control Josh Innes. Craig has not received any response as of yet:

"Good morning. Gavin as you know I never e-mail you regarding what your guys do on air, if you guys think that's good radio, fine man. I have to say though Gavin, Josh is just too far out there for a "sports talk" format in "this" city. Josh Innes is 90% 80's pop culture and 10% sports talk.

He's got it backwards, he squeezes the sports in with his personal agenda, instead of squeezing the foolishness in around the sports. Gavin, he spends too much time entertaining "Josh" and that's not making for good radio, especially in football season. No one cares about Josh's personal life. I know you have to have your guy's back and I get that, but I will be focusing on this show because I believe its a disservice to your listener base.

Also, I've contacted three organizations including a women's group among others to observe your morning show and Josh's show, after receiving some troubling e-mail complaints last week and in recent prior weeks. The e-mailers’ concerns are out of the range of what HMW was established for, so I recommend the e-mailers contact you and the organizations I recommended.

Think about it this way Gavin. If Josh receives so much negative feedback that he himself acknowledges (over and over everyday on his show) why is that? It's because it's not what folks are expecting to have delivered on a SPORTS TALK radio station! No one cares about 80's pop culture when our damned NFL and NBA franchises are dying right before our eyes. Gavin it's just not a good mixture, Josh and Houston sports talk airwaves. Thanks for your time, man.” END.

The following e-mail was sent by HMW’s Lamont Mann to SR610’s Gavin Spittle following a recent Texans’ loss:


I think it's very unprofessional of your employees to avoid my call during the "Gary Kubiak Show", but this is not the first time I have heard of this. "Larry in Stafford" pointed out that this very action has happened to him with The General and Kubiak, so now it's becoming a reputation that 610 is avoiding certain callers for certain guests. That's cool, but I will make this known by any means. I was in cue and approximately 6 to 7 callers were taken before me.

How can Rich (Lord) and Robert (Henslee) sign off by saying it's pretty "stand up" of Gary Kubiak to take each and every caller and face the music when they are clearly avoiding calls. Is that considered a lie by your standards? I will be the first to make it clear when Kubiak is released, 610 AM protected him.

Thanks, lm END.


Last week, the Peanut Gallery mentioned the Colin Cowherd TV show that will be on CBS-TV next year. The latest from Tinseltown about the upcoming CBS sitcom is that it is tentatively called "Grounded for Life".

That sounds like a flashback to the network's unsuccessful attempt during the 2004-05 season to do a similar treatment on the "life" of ESPN's Tony Kornheiser called "Listen Up," starring Jason Alexander as "Tony Kleinman." That somehow lasted 22 dull episodes.

In USA Today recently, Cowherd said of his show, "it won't be autobiographical" and the main character will "probably just be a talk-show host, like `Frasier.'" Why not just add a pair of irritable cranky parents who live down the street and an asshole of an older brother who lives with them and call it "Everyone Puts Up With Colin's Shit?"


Now that the Miami Heat have lost seven games out of their first 15 games, Lakers’ coach, Phil Jackson, recently said that the Heat might need to consider a coaching change to Pat Riley. The Heat did this several years ago nudging out Stan Van Gundy after a slow start and Riley took the team to the NBA Championship. Back then, the excuse was that Van Gundy had resigned to spend more time with his family. Well if the Heat do the same thing this season, maybe Riley will announce that current coach, Eric Spoelstra, who is single, resigned because he too wanted to spend more time with Stan Van Gundy’s family.



One of the urban legends we’ve heard for years is the one about LouGehrig/Wally Pipp. Just in case you're not familiar with it, the term "getting pipped" or "pipped" came from the name of a former New York Yankee first baseman named Wally Pipp (1893-1965, pictured), who is now best remembered as the player who lost his starting role to Lou Gehrig at the beginning of Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games.

The most recent local sports talk host to mention it was Charlie Pallilo on Tuesday afternoon’s (11/23) show on SportsTalk 790. Charlie said that Pipp had a headache that day and did not play and Larropin’ Lou took over for him and the rest is history. That never happened, though it sounds like a great story and is used as an example as to why not to call in sick to work because you may end up losing your job like Mr. Pipp did.

Hey Charlie, get your facts straight, but then again your listeners will believe any crap you spew out there because you’ve conditioned them to do so, whether the information is right or wrong. That’s why you’re the highest paid sports talker in Houston. 

On June 1, 1925, the Yankees lost their fifth straight game and found themselves in seventh place (15-26), 13.5 games out of first place behind the Philadelphia Athletics and just a half-game ahead of the last place Boston Red Sox. Of course, it didn’t help any that Babe Ruth was hospitalized the first month or so of the season with the “bellyache heard ‘round the world” (aka "syphilis?").

The Yankees had won the AL pennant in 1921 and 1922, but lost to the New York Giants in the World Series both times. After moving to Yankee Stadium in 1923, the Yankees won their first World Series and came in second place in 1924. Over those four years, Pipp hit .296, .329, .304, and .295 with RBI years of 97, 90, 108, and 114, respectively, but his homer output was in the single-digits each of those years for a four-year total of 32.

However, in 1925, the Yankees were slumping and attendance was down by about one-third vs. the two prior seasons at the Stadium. Gehrig had a breakout year at Eastern League (A) Hartford the previous season by hitting .369 with 37 homers and a .720 slugging percentage. So in 1925, the Yankees brought Lou back up after two cups of coffee in 1923 and 1924 with the team. He was originally to be used as a back-up first baseman and outfielder. He started the season off slowly himself and was hitting in the low .200’s when he got his big chance to play full time.

Pipp started the season off fine by hitting .300 after the first month or so. He then went into a tailspin, and was hitting .244 at the end of play on June 1 with the Yankees at 15-26, a half-game out of last place. On June 2, Manager Miller Huggins (pictured) decided to shake things up and made three lineup changes. Pipp was removed from the Yankees' starting lineup and replaced with Gehrig. Also, catcher Wally Schang was replaced by Benny Bengough and shortstop Everett Scott was replaced by Pee Wee Wanninger. (FYI - Scott was shortly traded thereafter to eventual pennant-winner Washington.)

While the story over the years said Pipp sat out the game due to a headache, he, Schang, and Scott were actually benched in order to "shake up" or “reinvigorate” (NY Times term) the slumping lineup. A month later, Pipp received a skull fracture when he was hit by a batting practice pitch from Charlie Caldwell, an event that had also been mistakenly linked to his initial benching. Pipp eventually ended up hitting .230 in 1925 and was later traded to the Cincinnati Reds before the 1926 season. (FYI – Caldwell with a 16.88 ERA in 2.2 innings was farmed out almost immediately and never heard from again in the majors.)

The rest is history, as fourteen years later, Gehrig had played 2,130 consecutive games. In a few instances, Gehrig managed to keep the streak intact through pinch hitting appearances and chance timing; in others, the streak continued despite injuries. For example:

1. In 1933, Gehrig was thrown out of a game, along with manager Joe McCarthy, but he had already been at bat, so he got credit for playing the game.

2. In 1934, Gehrig suffered a bad back and had to be assisted off the field. In the next day's away game, he was listed in the lineup as "shortstop", batting lead-off. In his first and only plate appearance, he singled and was promptly replaced by a pinch runner.

3. The streak was also helped when Yankees' GM, Ed Barrow, once postponed a game as a rainout on a day when Gehrig was sick with the flu—even though it was not raining.

As you may know, Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games played stood until September 6, 1995, when Cal Ripken, Jr. broke it.

Though it never really happened, the Pipp legend is a good allegory for the work ethic: Skip a day of work and you may suffer the consequences. Nearly everyone has a fear that the boss will find someone younger, quicker, cheaper, and better to do his job and then dump him/her. No one wants to find out just how replaceable he really is, particularly ballplayers, who have short careers in the first place.

The Satchel Paige maxim—"Don't look back. Something may be gaining on you."—is just another way of saying, "Don't look now, but Gehrig is coming off the bench."

But the Pipp story is not just about people losing their jobs. It is a story of bad timing and opportunities missed, or, from another perspective, of good timing and opportunities seized. It has to be the right time and the right place and it has to be coupled with production. If Gehrig doesn't hit, Pipp returns to first base and Gary Cooper never gets to make the 1941 movie.

We all get “pipped” at some time in our lives, whether it's over a girlfriend, a job opportunity, a part in the school play, or as a sports talk host. It's just that when it happens to baseball players, they hear that name - "Wally Pipp".



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