Falcon Points

On Super Bowl radio row, book signings, puppies, ponies and a good cause: 5 topics for a Monday

Like the Texans, Dynamo will be watching the Super Bowl.

Doing something a little different today, with a look at 5 topics to kick off your week:


1) The value of radio row

Theo Rossi and Ron Pearlman at radio row.

You might have heard the Super Bowl is this week in Atlanta. One of the side stories every year is Radio Row. Multiple stations send their shows to get interviews and broadcast live. We have done roughly eight or so Super Bowls, but did not go last year and will not be going this year.

Usually, if you don't go, you talk about how forced the interviews are, how everybody gets the same people and it does not make for great radio.

I actually like Super Bowl Radio Row. Yes, you have tons of interviews and everybody has to give their take on the Texans and who is going to win the big game and then hawk some product. But every year, you get one or two gems that you did not expect. One of my all-time favorites was when we had Theo Rossi and Ron Pearlman on to talk Sons of Anarchy. Other memorable interviews included Kevin Costner and the reverend Jesse Jackson. Getting guys who are not sports stars often creates the best interviews.

In a perfect world, you would do 1-2 interviews a day and pick out the ones you think will be interesting. But that's not how it works. So we will still do good shows this week, talk a lot about the game and find some entertaining angles. Many stations have stopped going due to costs, but hopefully in the future we will get a chance to go back. I honestly believe not doing it for a couple years will make the experience fun again; it can get to be a bit of a grind. But those occasional gems make it worthwhile.

2) Ready to party?

Save the date: Saturday Feb. 9 at Around the Corner bar and restaurant (1510 Hutchins Street in East Downtown) we will have the official Jesus Just Left Chicago book release party and signing. There will be a Karbach tap takeover, a D.J. and all around fun. It will be 3-6 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Copies will be available and if you already have yours bring it and I will sign it. The response has been awesome so far and there is a lot more to come. Ken Hoffman wrote a nice article about it here.

3) Running for a great cause

I have not been doing a lot of organized runs lately, but will be getting back in the game on March 3 with the Terry Fox run. Terry Fox was a Canadian hero and you can learn more about him here. Please join me for the 5k or 10k and help raise money for this cause. It will be a lot of fun, and I am sure there will be an after party.

4) Pup (non) fiction

Yes, she is much bigger now.

Sometime this week I will have a story on how to get proper training for your puppy. We have a 13 week old Dalmatian and she has been to four training sessions. I honestly do not believe I would be sane if we had not taken her. So look for that on CultureMap and SportsMap later this week. If you have a new puppy, it's not too late.

5) Not horsing around

Midnight Bisou won the Classic.

Coady Photography

Sam Houston Race Park opened its 2019 meet on Friday night and concluded a terrific opening weekend with the Racing Festival that featured several big stakes races. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith came to town for the first time to ride, and it was easily the best thoroughbred racing in the country on Sunday. The Ladies Classic, which featured the seasonal debut of talented filly Midnight Bisou, was featured on the cover of the Daily Racing Form. Those kinds of things have not happened for a long time, so it was great to see. This is year 25 at the track, and hopefully it will be the best one yet.

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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