BARRY LAMINACK

Houston sports Hall of Fame misses the mark big time with latest inductees

The Houston sports Hall of Fame missed the mark big time. Courtesy Harris County-Houston Sports Authority

In 2018 The Harris County – Houston Sports Authority and the Houston Sports Awards created the Houston Sports Hall of Fame.

The inaugural class will probably never be topped as the HSA went with a “34” theme and nominated perhaps the best and most popular players to ever play professional football, basketball and baseball in Houston.

Of course I’m speaking of Earl Campbell, Hakeem Olajuwon and Nolan Ryan.

So after launching the Houston Sports Hall of Fame with three no doubters, it’s puzzling to see this years crop of inductees. They are:

Jackie Burke Jr (golf), A.J. Foyt (auto racing), George Foreman (boxing), and Dan Pastorini (football).

Say what?

Yup (two of these things are not like the others).

At the risk of not getting invited to the awards next year (again) I have to say the folks at the HSHOF really missed the mark this year.

Twice.

It would only make sense to follow the best from the big three sports (football/basketball/baseball) with the best from other popular sports, and in that regards, I really don’t have a problem with Foyt (racing) and Foreman (boxing).

Both totally make sense and SHOULD be in.

Jackie Burke Jr I’m on the fence about. Sure he won a Masters...but it’s golf. I’m not suggesting he shouldn’t be in at some point, just not yet.

And I have absolutely NO idea why the heck Dan Pastorini is on the list so soon. Again, I’m not suggesting that Pastorini (like Burke) won’t and shouldn’t be in at some point, just not this early.

If they needed another NFL player (since Houston is a football town) they could have went with Warren Moon, or Ray Childress, or Elvin Bethea, or Bruce Matthews, or Mike Munchak, or Robert Brazile before Pastorini.

My co-host on the Usual Suspects (ESPN 97.5 fm Houston 1p-4p daily), Joel Blank, had the best 3rd candidate not from the big three sports, that being Carl Lewis.

How is he NOT on this list?

My suggestion as a fourth name not from the NFL/NBA/MLB that had played a vital role in Houston sports is Guy V. Lewis.

The final 4 (no pun intended) 2019 Houston Sports Hall of Fame inductees SHOULD HAVE BEEN Foyt, Foreman, Lewis and Lewis.

But hey, there’s always 2020 to look forward too.

I know I’ll be looking forward (to not being invited) to it.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For some reason this week really got to me. All the Antonio Brown stuff, Kevin Durant scolding the media, Justin Verlander whining about millionaire players not becoming billionaires, Odell posting a cryptic tweet because he might be traded.

There's so much drama now. Maybe there was in the past too but it was behind the scenes. We didn't hear about every player's every thought. I liked not knowing this much about our athletes.

Sometimes it was misleading not knowing them better. I didn't root for OJ because I was a Walter Payton guy but I admired what OJ did right up until he started killing people. Same goes for Rae Carruth. But those are extreme examples.

Today we know way too much about our athletes. Way too much. Back in the day I wouldn't have known that Josh Hader and Josh Allen were little racists. I'd be fine not knowing that.

I'd be good not knowing that Laremy Tunsil is a weed enthusiast and ready for nuclear holocaust at the same time.

I'd be better off not knowing that Kevin Durant has Twitter burner accounts. I just have a hard time understanding why one of the great basketball players of our time cares what some 18-year old thinks of him.

I didn't need to know every detail about the KD - Russell Westbrook cat fight. It just wasn't necessary.

I'd rather not hear about how LeBron's pee pee hurt because Phil Jackson used the word posse.

How Antonio Brown and Big Ben have hissy fits.

How the Steelers offensive line was so mad at LeVeon that they started talking about his money. That was a big no-no back in the day. You never talked about another man's money.

Of course none of the old rules apply today. Used to be, guys retired at the end of the season. Now they retire at halftime of the second game.

Used to be you didn't record your teammate admitting how he cheated on his girl and then make it public. That would have gotten you killed not just traded.

Used to be you respected the office of the commissioner of the league. Kennisaw Mountain Landis, Pete Rozelle and David Stern were icons. Now coaches and players wear Roger Goodell clown shirts.

Do we really need to know which player is gay and which isn't?

Who everyone is dating?

Do we need a red carpet at all-star games?

Do we need 9-hour pregame shows before the Super Bowl?

Are we really giving a penalty for horns down now? Are we that soft?

And do we really think that if we call it the Red River Shootout that we're promoting violence? Really?

Do we ever need to hear one more Lavar Ball thought again? For God's sake the man's an idiot. Why do we give him a national platform?

Now don't get me wrong. There is some good that comes from today's tell-all athlete. When Kobe threw Shaq under the bus after Kobe was caught cheating in Colorado, Shaq won the title with the Heat and came up with one of the great rap lines of all time. "Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes." Classic.

I've also kind of enjoyed the off-season back and forth between Alex Bregman and Trevor (Tyler) Bauer. They don't like each other. Can't wait until they face each other for the first time this year. But I'm sure the media will make such a big deal out of it that they'll hug before the game and have a press conference about how much they respect each other. The media ruins everything.

Back in the day Bregman would have taken a 96 mile an hour fastball to the back and the benches would clear and we'd have a good old fashioned brouhaha. That's how men settled stuff back then. Sure you might throw it a little high and maybe kill him but that's the risk you took. That's what men did.

What's more fun, a press conference or a bench clearing brawl? Not even close.

I know I must sound like the "get off my lawn guy." Maybe I am. I don't shave with a Gillette razor. I use Schick.

Now give me back my sports without all this drama.

And get off my lawn.

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