Falcon Points

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

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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Allen had high praise for Diggs. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images.

Impersonal as it might seem to have their dynamic on-field relationship end with an exchange of phone texts, Bills quarterback Josh Allen made it clear on Thursday how much receiver Stefon Diggs meant to him during their four seasons together in Buffalo.

Allen made no mention of Diggs’ mercurial temperament or the occasional sideline flare-ups by expressing only praise in his first opportunity to discuss his now-former teammate being traded to the Houston Texans earlier this month.

“Just thanking him for everything that he did for me, and (I’ll) always have a spot in my heart for him. I’ll always love that guy like a brother. And I wish him nothing but the best,” Allen said, in disclosing what he texted to Diggs. “My lasting memory of Stef will be the receiver that helped me become the quarterback that I am today.”

Brought together in March 2020, when Buffalo gave up a first-round draft pick to acquire Diggs in a trade with Minnesota, the duo went on to re-write many of Buffalo's single-season passing and scoring records, and lead the team to four straight AFC East titles.

Diggs, now 30, also brought an inescapable sense of drama with him in raising questions about his commitment to the Bills and whether his tight relationship with Allen had soured.

A day before being traded, Diggs posted a message, “You sure?” on the social media platform X in response to someone suggesting he wasn’t essential to Allen’s success.

Whatever hard feelings, if any, lingered as Buffalo opened its voluntary workout sessions this week were not apparent from Allen or coach Sean McDermott, who also addressed reporters for the first time since Diggs was traded.

“Stef’s a great player, really enjoyed our time together. Won a lot of games and he was a huge factor in winning those games. We’ll miss him,” McDermott said. “You never replace a player like Stef Diggs, and we wish him well.”

Allen turned his focus to the future and a Bills team that spent much of the offseason retooling an aging and expensive roster.

Aside from trading Diggs, salary cap restrictions led to Buffalo cutting respected center Mitch Morse, the breakup of a veteran secondary that had been together since 2017, and the team unable to afford re-signing No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis.

“I don’t think it’s a wrong thing or a bad thing to get younger,” said Allen, entering his seventh NFL season. “I think it’s an opportunity for myself to grow as a leader. And to bring along some of these young guys and new guys that we’ve brought in to our team. And that’s an opportunity, frankly, that I’m very excited about."

Despite the departures, the Bills offense is not exactly lacking even though general manager Brandon Beane is expected to target selecting a receiver with his first pick — currently 28th overall — in the draft next week.

Receiver Khalil Shakir enters his third year and tight end Dalton Kincaid enter his second following promising seasons. Buffalo also added veteran experience in signing free agent receiver Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins.

While Beane acknowledged the Bills lack a true No. 1 receiver, he noted there’s less urgency to fill that spot now than in 2020 because of how much the offense has developed under Allen.

“Now that Josh has ascended to the player he is, is that a requirement? I don’t think so,” Beane said.

Diggs’ role also began diminishing in the second half of last season, which coincided with Joe Brady replacing Ken Dorsey as offensive coordinator. Brady placed an emphasis on adding balance to a pass-heavy attack and getting more receivers involved, which led to an uptick in production for Shakir and Kincaid.

While Diggs’ numbers dropped, Buffalo’s win total increased.

With the Bills at 6-6, Diggs ranked third in the NFL with 83 catches, seventh with 969 yards and tied for third with eight TDs receiving. Buffalo then closed the season with five straight wins in which Diggs combined for 24 catches for 214 yards and no scores.

”(Diggs) meant a lot. You look at the statistics, they don’t lie,” Allen said, in referring to Diggs topping 100 catches and 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons in Buffalo. “I don’t get paid to make changes on the team. I get paid to be the best quarterback that I can be and try to lead the guys on this team.”

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