HE'S BACK!

Lance Zierlein returns to Houston radio with Gow Media, will reunite with John Granato on ESPN 97.5

Lance Zierlein is back on ESPN 97.5. Lance Zierlein

One of the most prominent names in Houston sports talk will return to the air on Nov. 27 when Lance Zierlein re-joins the team at Gow Media.

Zierlein will reunite with John Granato on ESPN 97.5,  on a show that will air each weekday morning from 7-9:30 a.m., reprising a legendary duo that dominated the Houston sports talk landscape for more than a decade.

“Lance has long been one of the top talents in sports.   He can both inform and entertain,” said David Gow, CEO of Gow Media.   “And to reunite John and Lance is a homerun.  For years people have asked me when those two could do a show again – now the stars have aligned.”

The Bench will air from 7-9 a.m., followed by 30 minutes with Granato and Raheel Ramzanali. Zierlein will also make appearances throughout the day on the station's other shows.

Zierlein worked for Gow Media from 2007 until 2011 and was instrumental in the launch of the company’s initial station, 1560 The Game. He and Granato were the key players in that station’s birth after working together for roughly 10 years at 610 AM. Zeirlein  most recently worked for SportsTalk 790.

He also works for NFL Network and specializes in draft coverage.

Zierlein’s addition adds to an already strong stable of radio talent at ESPN 97.5, SportsMap 94.1 and the SBNation Radio Network including Granato, Sean Salisbury, Charlie Pallilo, Barry Laminack, Joel Blank, Ramzanali, Del Olaleye, Patrick Creighton, Nate Griffin, Barry Warner and The Blitz with Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman.

The local lineup at ESPN 97.5 will feature The Bench from 7-9 a.m., Granato and Raheel from 9-11 a.m. with Zierlein doing the first 30 minutes, Ramzanali and Olaleye hosting from 11-1 p.m., The Usual Suspects with Blank and Laminack from 1-4 p.m., and The Blitz from 4-7 p.m. Salisbury will move to the SBNation Radio Network to focus on his highly successful national show and TV show simulcast on beIN Sports.

In addition to the radio talent, the company added longtime columnist Ken Hoffman to CultureMap this year.

“Lance caps off a great year for us,” Gow said. “With Ken Hoffman, Charlie Pallilo and now Lance Zierlein joining our already-strong roster of talent, we believe we have assembled a “dream team” at Gow Media.”

Gow Media owns SportsMap, CultureMap, ESPN 97.5 FM, SportsMap 94.1 FM, the SBNation national radio network, PodcastArena, and Gow Media Audio Publishing, an audio book hosting site.


 

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Dr. Rick warns his patients, young homeowners who are turning into their parents, you can expect to pay more for snacks and drinks at a movie theater. It's the same deal at a professional sports venue. Three years ago, I put a down payment on a cheeseburger at Toyota Center ... I still have three more payments to go before I get it.

But this is ridiculous. The PGA Championship, the lesser (least) of golf's majors, is charging $18 for a beer, a 25-ounce Michelob Ultra, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. It's $19 for a Stella Artois. You can buy a six-pack for less at the supermarket. Aren't there laws against price gouging, like during a hurricane? Isn't Tulsa where the Golden Hurricanes play? Get FEMA in here. Did tournament directors get together and ponder, how can we piss off our fans? Sure, it's Tulsa and there's not much else to do, but that's no excuse.

Charging $18 for a beer makes the concession stands at Minute Maid Park look like a Sunday morning farmer's market. A 25-ounce domestic beer during an Astros game is $13.49. A 25-ounce premium beer is $14.45. Yeah, that's high for a beer, but at Minute Maid Park there are lots of hands in the till. Aramark wants to make a profit, the taxman has big mitts, and the Astros want their cut, too. Look, you want to sign Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to an extension or not? Then drink up and don't complain. Some quiet grumbling and head-shaking is permitted, however.

You know the PGA Championship is charging too much for a beer when even the rich pampered players take notice. "18 (!!!!!) for a beer ... uhhh what," former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas tweeted. "Good thing I don't drink a lot."

Like he will be in line for a beer at a public concession booth, anyway.

Of course there will be fans sneaking in beer in baggies strapped to their ankles, like stuffing your pockets with store-bought Snickers before going to the movies. It doesn't have to be this way. The Masters, the most prestigious golf event, charges only $5 for both domestic and imported beer. I know it's a gimmick, part of The Masters mystique along with pimento sandwiches for $1.50, but still it's a welcome gesture. You never lose when you treat the public fairly. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in Atlanta, Falcons owner Arthur Blank insisted that food vendors charge the same inside the stadium as they do at their regular restaurants. Same thing when Denver International Airport opened, fast food restaurants couldn't jack up their prices to their captive customers. Here? There needs to be a loan window outside the Cinnabon booth at Bush-Intercontinental.

Except for the Masters in Augusta, golf's majors aren't tied to a city. A major comes to a city maybe every few years or in most cases never. There's no need to ride into a city like the James Gang, rob the local bank, and high tail it out of town. Golf should be the last professional sport to stick it to fans. While the game has made strides to open its arms to lower-income youths, golf remains an elitist, extremely expensive sport for regular folk. Equipment is expensive, private courses are exclusive and country clubs are exclusionary. Public courses are less expensive but still expensive and crowded. Plus there's never been a professional sport more dangerously dominated by one person than golf. I can imagine network executives on their knees praying that Tiger Woods makes the cut and plays on weekends. Otherwise, TV ratings go straight into the toilet, you know, like whatever team Mattress Mack is betting on. (I joke because I love, and frankly a little scared.)

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