What I do for 610: I’ve been hosting afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610 since 1995. I’ve also been involved with Houston Texans broadcasts since their inaugural season, as host of the local pregame and postgame shows from 2002-2006 and since 2007 as the sideline reporter on Texans Radio Network broadcasts.
Birthday: March 7
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
College: University of Dayton
High school: Bishop Ford HS in New York
How long at SportsRadio 610: 16 years
How long in radio business: 30 years
Coolest person at SR610: Dickie Rosenfeld(always)
What I love about Houston: Friendliest people in the world.
Favorite four-letter word: BALL
Favorite people to have interviewed: Yogi Berra, Nolan Ryan, Earl Campbell, Bum Phillips, Pete Rose, Hakeem Olajuwon, Rudy Tomjanovich, Calvin Murphy, Tommy LaSorda, Frank Caliendo, Adam Sandler, Hank Aaron, Chick Hearn, Billy Doran, Charlie Daniels, Joe Montana, Billy F. Gibbons, Buddy Ryan, Andre Johnson, Lou Piniella, Jim Nantz, Kevin Harlan, Marv Albert, Phil Simms, Billy Martin, Karl Malone, Doug Moe, Billy Bob Thornton, Jim Brown, Andre Agassi, Robert Appleby, Tracy Morgan, Brooklyn Decker, Jerry Rice, Agnes Lord
Experience: I’ve somehow managed to spend 30 years on the radio, the last 24 in Houston.
Teams followed: As I’ve always said when it comes up on the show, “you can’t help where you grew up.” As a native New Yorker, rooting for the Yankees, Giants, Knicks and Rangers is in my sports DNA. I also pull for my Dayton Flyers and yes, I like to see the Texans, Rockets and Astros do well. (who wouldn’t want to talk about and cover playoff games?)
Signature line: OK, I admit it: “Geez!!”
Favorite sports experiences: My short list includes covering UH’s Phi Slamma Jamma Final Four teams in the early 80’s…watching Hakeem Olajuwon play his first college basketball game…Mike Scott’s no-hitter to clinch a playoff spot for the Astros in 1986 and the ensuing champagne shower in the clubhouse….the 1986 NLCS between the Astros and the New York Mets….Rockets/Celtics NBA Finals 1986….the 1989 NBA All-Star game at the Astrodome….travelling with the Rockets throughout the 1994 and 1995 playoffs as host of the pregame and postgame show during their back-to-back championship seasons…. Experiencing yet another champagne shower in the locker room after the Game 7 win over the New York Knicks in ’94….working on Oiler broadcasts during their playoff runs of the early 90’s, including a 1-game fill-in as color commentator alongside Bum Phillips…covering Super Bowls in Houston, Miami and Dallas…..The 2011 Final Four in Houston….the 2005 World Series between the Astros and the Chicago White Sox….the 2006 NBA All-Star game in Houston. I also have to say that the last 5 years as the sideline reporter during Texans’ broadcasts has been the most fun job I’ve ever had in the business and my 6 years spent in El Campo and Rosenberg as a high school, junior college and, sometimes, Little League play-by-play announcer provided me great memories that I will cherish forever.
Sports played: Stickball, automatic stickball, boxball, stoopball, handball, paddleball, wiffleball, slap, touch football, monkey in the middle, red light, green light, pitcher’s duel, street hockey, running bases, bowling, football, baseball, basketball, and softball.
Family: The majority of my family still lives in the Northeast but my Texas family includes my incredible wife of 24 years, Jenny, who also is an amazing Mom and gifted teacher, as well as my beautiful daughter, Kathryn (UT-Class of 2011), who lives in Austin where she works for Google.
Move: Moving to Texas in 1981 was the best decision I ever made. It allowed me to meet my wife, Jenny, and start my own family and also provided an opportunity for me to begin my radio career and meet so many wonderful people who’ve had a big influence on my life. It’s been a long road, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I was a late bloomer. Spent 6 years in small-market radio before getting an opportunity for part-time on-air work at KTRH in Houston at age 29. I’ve definitely come a long way since the days of setting up a card table behind a backstop then broadcasting a high school baseball game to an audience of a few hundred at best. For years, my Mom would call and ask as nicely as possible whether or not I was going to stay in radio. Who could blame her? I was pushing 30, engaged to be married and making about $19,000 a year. Not exactly a fast track to fame and fortune. My first year working weekends in Houston was also my final year in the minor leagues; I spent close to a year working Monday through Friday in El Campo, then 4 am-Noon Saturdays and Sundays in Houston. It was the toughest year of my life, but it makes me really appreciate all the blessings I have today. In 1989, Jerry Trupiano left for a baseball job in Montreal and I got bumped up the ladder to a full-time position. That was a big day. I wound up at KTRH until 1995, lucky enough to be a part of the gameday broadcasts for the Astros, Rockets and Oilers until the late, great Houston radio legend, Dickie Rosenfeld, contacted me to see if I’d be interested in helping him launch Houston’s first, all-sports radio station. At the time, 24-hour sports talk was still a relatively new concept and I wrestled quite a bit with whether or not to make the move. However, Dickie could be very persuausive. At age 37, I’d never been recruited before and I’ll admit that it felt pretty good. In the end, the opportunity to go from a complimentary role on a weeknight broadcast to a primary role in drivetime was too good to ignore. I took a leap of faith and have never looked back. Everything Dickie had predicted came true: we became the flagship radio station for the NFL, NBA and, for a time, Major League Baseball in Houston, rose to become Houston’s #1 sports station and remain in that position to this day. Along the way, we settled in Sugar Land and our daughter, Kathryn, wound up graduating from the University of Texas in Austin, her Mom’s alma mater. The best part about my story is the lesson I learned about perspective. Like a lot of other people, I had my struggles; personally, professionally, certainly financially and otherwise. I’ve been fortunate enough to survive those struggles. As a result, I will never take for granted the good life and blessings I enjoy today. Hard work pays off. Go for it. It needs to hurt a little bit before you can really appreciate what you’ve accomplished. When you get there, it’s definitely worth it.
Rich and Alex Del Barrio talk with Astros outfielder George Springer about his All-Star caliber season, and the team’s hot start.
The Best of The Triple Threat, from Wednesday 06-21-17
The Best of The Triple Threat, from Thursday 06-15-17
Rich and Ted talk with Hoops Critic Brian Geltzeiler about the NBA Finals.
Rich and Ted talk with MLB Network host Brian Kenny about the analytics revolution in baseball, the Houston Astros as the best team in baseball, who the Astros biggest challenge will be in the AL, the sports TV business after what happened with ESPN, and more.
The Best of The Triple Threat, from Wednesday 06-07-17
The Best of The Triple Threat, from Tuesday 06-06-2017
The Best of The Triple Threat, from Friday 06-02-2017
3T – Road Rage Ends in Bizarre Car Theft, for All Due Respect
The Best of The Triple Threat, from Tuesday 05-30-2017