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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.

Booker T brings hall of fame swagger to ESPN 97.5 FM. Photo via WWE.com

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

WWE superstar and master of the devastating Spinerooniemaneuver Booker T is the newest member of the Gow Media family, hosting the Hall of Fame show Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights on ESPN 97.5 FM.

The show, with co-host Brad Gilmore, airs live from 9-11 pm. While the main focus of the show will be WWE happenings, mixed martial arts, and boxing, Booker T isn't exactly shy about giving his opinion on politics, sports, and whatever else.

The show's title is a natural. Booker T was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a solo performer in 2013, and next month will be inducted again as part of the Harlem Heat tag-team with his brother Stevie Ray. For the record, Booker T (Robert Booker Tio Huffman) and Stevie Ray (Lash Huffman) are real-life brothers, but they weren't raised, nor ever lived in Harlem. They're from the South Park section of Houston.

ESPN 97.5 program director AJ Hoffman says, "Booker T and Brad bring an energy and excitement to the table. They want to be here as much as we want to have them. We think the show will bring new ears to 97.5, and they'll be a perfect fit in our station's brash culture."

Between breaks of his show, I cornered Booker T and hit him with 10 Questions.

CultureMap: Which is more frightening, fighting Triple H in a WWE ring, or battling him on TV's The Weakest Link?

Booker T: Oh, The Weakest Link for sure. Wrestling is easy. But a TV game show like The Weakest Link is a pressure situation. You've got to be quick on your toes. You might say something you wish you didn't say, like what happened to me. It was nervous time, sweaty palms, butterflies, the whole thing.

CM: Are you serious about running for mayor of Houston?

BT: Absolutely! I'm very serious. My ultimate goal is to be the mayor of Houston. It might be too late for me to get in the 2019 race, but a mayor's term is only four years. It looks like 2023 will be my time.

CM: What is the worst injury you've suffered as a sports-entertainment performer?

BT: Several years ago, I slipped a disc in my back in Australia. I was working a match, nothing out of the ordinary, but when I woke up the next morning I couldn't move. I was out for two months and had to take two epidurals.

CM: What is your relationship with WWE now?

BT: I still work for WWE. I'm currently an analyst on pay-per-view shows and ambassador for the company. My contract runs through 2029.

CM: You run an independent wrestling promotion called Reality of Wrestling in the Houston area. Most of your performers are young men and women new to the business. Do they have the same fire and intensity that you had coming up?

BT: We try to instill that. Not everybody is going to be like me when I was entering the business. In Reality of Wrestling, we have a lot of ambitious guys who want to get to the next level. We push them as hard as we can. If they don't have fire in them, they don't last very long. I'm extremely tough on them.

I don't accept any excuses. I didn't accept any excuses from myself. I was a single dad when I started in the business. I was working six days a week. I had a beat-up car. I never asked anyone for anything. I worked my butt off to get where I am today.

CM: You grew up very poor, and you struggled as a young man. Your life is very different now. Are you enjoying success?

BT: It's a funny thing. I enjoyed life when I didn't have a whole lot. You don't miss what you never had. Life is the same for me, I'm just able to pay my bills now. I've never wanted to be flamboyant or front everything I have. I have two beautiful kids, a boy and girl twins, a beautiful wife (former wrestler Sharmell), and a nice home. I was happy growing up poor, and I'm happy now. I'm blessed to have this life.

CM: Your most famous move is the Spineroonie. In the middle of a match, you would bust a break dancing move. Tell me the first time you did that in a ring.

BT: I did it during my very first match. I used to do it in practice, just screwing around. I was a break dancer back in the day. It was very natural for me. So I did it during my first real match. It changed the whole momentum of the match.

I knew it was something that would stick with me forever. It's actually easy to do in a ring. Under the mat, there's a pretty hard piece of foam, and there are 2-by-4's under that. It's pretty sturdy and it gives me good balance, so I'm not going to break any skin.

CM: Name the wrestlers who you most admired growing up. Did you get to compete against them?

Continue reading on CultureMap to learn about Booker T's favorite wrestlers growing up.

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