Friday, September 9, 2011

My Favorite Houston Sports News Personalities

John Marine | 9/09/2011 11:56:00 AM | |
(UPDATED: December 11, 2011)

This post is a spinoff of my favorite Houston on-air personalities. Here, the focus is on Houston sports news. So this pertains to TV and radio regarding Houston sports. I'll pay respect to a number of personalities here. The focal point is on those who cover or have covered Houston or Houston-area sports. The blog post is a spinoff of my post regarding my favorite Houston TV news personalities.

How This Post Works:

You will see personalities featured based on the kind of sports usually covered by them. In this initial post, no links to any official websites will be posted. I may offer links to official websites in updates should I find any. I will surely edit this post as need be to make any edits or add more content.


DEC 11 2011 - simple edits made

--- Houston Rockets NBA Broadcast Team ---

I love Rockets basketball, but I equally enjoy the commentary of this three-person crew of Bill Worrell, Clyde "the Glide" Drexler, and Matt Bullard. They are basically the reason I watch NBA basketball on TV (besides seeing my Rockets in action, of course).

Bill Worrell.

There's never a dull moment when Bill Worrell comments. He's the play-by-play announcer for the Houston Rockets. He used to do reporting for the Houston Astros (though I was too young to recall hearing/seeing him). Bill basically makes watching Rockets basketball on TV fun. His voice is great as well as his insight. And as I mentioned, there is NEVER a dull moment with him covering Rockets basketball. Not one game passes where I haven't laughed at anything he's said or mentioned.

Clyde "The Glide" Drexler.

I'd love to see the day when the Rockets win their third NBA championship some day. Clyde usually does analysis for Rockets home games. His insight and commentary is always insightful. So is his humor. Us Rockets fans, of course, owe him a debt of gratitude of helping my favorite NBA team get itself another NBA championship. His insight during Rockets' TV broadcasts is incredible. Equally special is the fact that Clyde Drexler played for the awesome Phi Slamma Jamma for the University of Houston back in the '80s in addition to having a great NBA career.

Matt Bullard.

Usually doing "Rockets Live" and sometimes blogging on air, former Rocket Matt Bullard does the road game analysis for Rockets basketball. His insight, comments, and humor are all witty and insightful. He even does some blogging for FOX Sports Houston during games often times.

So how do these gentlemen cover games? Here are some sample YouTube videos to set the tone:

^ Commentary team - Bill Worrell (play-by-play) and Clyde Drexler (analyst)

^ Commentary Team - Bill Worrell (play-by-play) and Matt Bullard (analyst)

^ Commentary Team - Bill Worrell (play-by-play), Clyde Drexler (analyst), and Matt Bullard (analyst)

Jim Foley and Gene Peterson (both retired).

Before Craig Ackerman took over as play-by-play announcer for Houston Rockets radio, there were Jim Foley and Gene Peterson. Both provided legendary voices for Rockets games over the radio. I didn't listen to the radio long enough to hear Jim Foley and Gene Peterson make their calls over the air. They were best known for their, "how sweet it is!" comments when the Rockets had their championship runs in 1994 and 1995. This video is a sample of their voices:

That concludes the Rockets' coverage. Let's move on! By the way... while I'm not a part of their site, I want to send a special salute to ClutchFans for the great video footage posted online.

--- Houston Texans Coverage ---

Texans games are mostly covered on national TV. However, there is still a good crew committed to talking Texans' football. What I will focus on here are personalities that can be heard on the Texans Radio Network.

Marc Vandermeer.

"Rock and roll... TOUCHDOWN TEXANS!" I enjoy hearing his play-by-play commentary when listening to Texans games on the air. He's the guy I listen for when listening to Texans games on the radio.

Andre Ware.

Usually an ESPN analyst for college football, former Heisman winner for the University of Houston, Andre Ware, does commentary for Texans games on the Houston Texans radio network.

N.D. Kalu.

N.D. Kalu used to play Defensive End for the Houston Texans. I actually like listening to N.D. Kalu and his comments. He's a tell-it-like-it-is guy. I remember when we lost bad at the Tennessee Titans this past season. He just straight up took shots at the Texans. Bear in mind that this was a day or so when Bob McNair said the team is heading in the right direction, even though we had lost in Overtime against the Ravens on Monday Night Football in the 2010 season.

Here are samples of how these personalities sound. Check these out:

^ (left) Andre Ware and (right) Marc Vandermeer

^ N.D. Kalu (being interviewed)

The Texans portion of this post is over. Time to move on!

--- Houston Astros Coverage ---

Play ball! Here are some of my favorite on-air personalities for Astros' baseball. These are some of my favorites who cover Astros' baseball on TV and on radio.

Bill Brown.

The other Bill I love in Houston sports is Bill Brown. He is the play-by-play announcer for the Houston Astros. I enjoy his insight and all he brings to Astros baseball commentary.

Jim Deshaies.

If you are not amused by his jokes or impressed by his insight, then something's wrong with you when you hear Jim Deshaies during Astros' TV action. The former Astros pitcher has no shortage of fun commentary as well as good comments on pitching performances.

Greg Lucas.

Greg Lucas is a solid third member of the Houston Astros TV team. This native of Indiana and alum of Butler University is great to listen to with his reporting. Greg Lucas has his own blog here on Blogger/Blogspot. You can visit his Blogspot blog here: Greg Lucas - FS Houston

Jeff Bagwell.

One of the original Killer B's for the Astros (God... MISS those days!), Jeff Bagwell lends his voice mostly to Saturday home telecasts of Astros baseball. "Baggy" has some witty insight and makes Astros telecasts fun.

Excluding Jeff Bagwell, here is a video showing mostly Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies:

Most importantly for this section...

Milo Hamilton.

With two and a half decades on radio covering Astros baseball, his commentary is timeless. No other voice is more classic than hearing Milo's voice on the radio. "Swing... and a miss." He is no doubt the voice of Astros baseball and has been for a long time. I once heard he used to do commentary for the Chicago White Sox before being the voice of the Houston Astros. Here is a voice sample of this wonderful man:

That concludes the Astros portion of this blog post.

--- Various Other Sports News Personalities ---

Here are various other local sports personalities I have great respect for. These include sports directors, reporters, and more:

Bob Allen.

Bob Allen is the sports director for ABC 13 Eyewitness Sports. He's a tell-it-like-it-is person who will not beat around the bush talking about sports. Two pieces he usually contributes to are "Here's What I've Heard" and his commentary. Bob Allen also covers "Houston Texans: Inside the Game" reports, and his insight is great.

Tim Melton.

Another one of ABC 13's fine sports anchors is Tim Melton. His own wit makes sports news fun. He's even the host for the Extra Points show. For those not from the Houston/Galveston area, "Extra Points" is a roundtable sports show where certain Houston-area sports personalities go on set discussing sports issues both in Houston and in other sports. Tim Melton is showcased in this video in an interview. Bob Allen is also featured prior to the segment:

Bob Slovak.

Bob Slovak is great as a sports reporter and as as sports anchor. He is usually seen reporting, but does a solid job either anchoring or reporting in sports. Here is a sample of Bob Slovak doing both sports anchoring and sports reporting:

Spencer Tillman.

Spencer Tillman can be seen covering college football on the CBS network as well as breaking down Houston Texans' football on "Houston Texans: Inside the Game." The "Tillman's Takes" segment on "Houston Texans: Inside the Game" provides some great insight on what worked and what didn't work in Texans games. There is just nothing like what he brings to the table in breaking down almost anything.

Jorge Vargas.

(NOTE: This was an old blog post initially typed before NewsFix.) The NewsFix format for CW39 does away with reporters and anchors. That even includes the very solid Jorge Vargas. I enjoyed his reports of sports on CW39 News.

David Solano.

(NOTE: This was an old blog post initially typed before NewsFix.) When Alex Radow moved on from CW39, David Solano, usually a news reporter, has been surprisingly good covering sports. I respect David Solano for his news reporting. However, he takes on a diffrent character as a sports reporter or as a sports anchor. So I'm handing him some love for his work with CW39 News pre-NewsFix.

Mark Berman.

While I don't usually watch FOX 26 News much, I respect Mark Berman and what he brings to talking about the day in sports.

Patti Smith.

The beautiful Patti Smith is a solid reporter for both Rockets basketball and Astros baseball. Here is a sample of Patti Smith in an interview:

Richard Justice.

I really respect Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. When invited on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption," for Five Good Minutes, he is PTI's baseball authority. Here is a sample of Richard Justice and how he sounds:

Carl Dukes.

I like Carl Dukes. He's a great personality for all of his work, including hosting "The Drive."

Julie Takahashi.

New Orleans native Julie Takahashi has been quite active as an athlete. This beautiful Asian-American lady is the lovely voice you hear (or at least from my memory) with the sports updates during "The Calvin Murphy Show" and "The Drive." Julie has had a good deal of playing sports, including playing for the Houston Energy, a professional women's gridiron football team.

Calvin Murphy (Honorable Mention).

I once met Calvin Murphy at San Jacinto Mall a few years ago. The Hall of Famer used to be part of a show on ESPN 97.5 that used to be called "The Calvin Murphy Show." Before this, he was the analyst for Houston Rockets' basketball. You can not ask for much more for the alum of Niagara University. He brought his unique comments, charm, style, and (especially) humor in talking about sports. He also made quite a great deal making fun of Dave Tepper, whom I also respect for his on-air work. There's nobody like Calvin Murphy.

Bob Ford (Honorable Mention!).

Bob Ford is the PA announcer who can be heard during Astros' home games. He also does voice-overs for a variety of FOX Sports stations as well as for Houston PBS. His voice is unmistakable and unique. I wanted to salute him in this post.

They are all among many sports personalities in Houston media that I respect. It doesn't mean I only respect the ones I made mention to. It just means these are the ones that come to mind for me as far as favorites are concerned.

Thank you for reading!

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