McClain is honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Photo by Kathryn Krueger.
Earl Campbell bulldozing and crushing hapless opponents in the mid-’80s. Warren Moon leading the Houston Oilers in a playoff rout against the Buffalo Bills — only to lose in a historic and heart-wrenching comeback (or choke, as it’s otherwise known). The Oilers’ move to Tennessee. The continuous drama surrounding the Houston Texans.
Houston Chronicle columnist, NFL writer, and radio and TV personality John McClain — known here as “The General” — has covered it all over 47 years in the Bayou City. If it was pro pigskin, McClain had a hot take. (He once even ate a Chronicle newspaper to fulfill a pledge he made in a column that he would do so if the Texans picked Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.)
But now, the esteemed scribe who boasts a plaque in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is closing his laptop after nearly half a century of covering football for the city’s daily newspaper — and 51 years as a sportswriter.
In his last piece for the Chronicle on March 31, a long, thoughtful column, McClain reflects on his decades covering the original Houston Aeros hockey team, the Oilers, and Texans (he plans to author a top-10 list on Sunday, April 3). He recounts his early days as a freshman at McLennan Community College in 1971 working Friday night football.
He would then move to Waco and the Waco Tribune Herald from 1973 to 1976, before taking his initial post with the Chronicle to cover the original Houston Aeros (then of the World Hockey Association).
McClain lists a host of players, owners, coaches, front office and media and public relations professionals, and friends who helped him along his storied career, including SportsMap Radio radio host and SportsMap Houston founding editor Fred Faour, who served as McClain’s editor at the Chronicle.
“‘Legend’ doesn’t even begin to describe John McClain,” Faour tells CultureMap. “I first met him when he started at the Chronicle 47 years ago and I was a brat kid my dad had to bring to work. John helped me learn the trade as a teenager, and was always kind and supportive of everything I did as I grew in the business. It was my greatest honor to be his’“boss’ my final few years at the Chronicle — I always joked John never had or needed a boss, but I got to pretend. He is a great reporter, a better person, and an amazing friend. I am glad I will still hear him on the radio and hope this gives him time for the occasional lunch — Mexican food, of course.”
Continue reading on CultureMap.
One of the big factors that led to the Texans' loss to the Jaguars on Sunday was the secondary. Multiple flags for pass interference gave Jacksonville more opportunities to pick up first downs and score points.
Can confirm #Texans backup CB Shaq Griffin was cut.
Griffin started 6 games this year when Derek Stingley was out with a hamstring.
— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) November 29, 2023
So it's no surprise that DeMeco Ryans is making some changes to his defense this week. According to several reports, Texans corner Shaq Griffin has been cut.
Nickel corner Tavierre Thomas was flagged for PI more than once on Sunday, and was burned badly by Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley for a touchdown.
DeMeco was asked after the game if he considered replacing Thomas with Desmond King or Shaq Griffin. Ryans didn't give a definitive answer, but it looks like we got one today.
One has to wonder if Desmond Kings' experience playing nickel was the reason for his promotion to the active roster and why Griffin was released. If Thomas continues to struggle, King looks like the next man up to replace him.
#Texans activate Denzel Perryman, promote Desmond King to active roster, release Shaq Griffin, sign Matt Ammendola and Garret Wallow to practice squad, released Gerrid Doaks from practice squad and placed Tytus Howard (knee-patellar tendon surgery pending) on injured reserve https://t.co/knyyoqo7yC
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 29, 2023
The Texans also made some other adjustments to their roster on Wednesday, per Aaron Wilson. Linebacker Denzel Perryman returns from suspension, kicker Matt Ammendola and linebacker Garret Wallow join the practice squad. They also released Gerrid Doaks from the practice squad.
The other big piece of news involves left guard Tytus Howard. He heads to injured reserve, ending his season after hurting his knee against Jacksonville.