Thursday, October 22, 2015

Launching a new venture

Today marked the birth of a new business, and one that I hope will bring joy to many people and perhaps change the way we absorb information.

I have a new job, one that is part of an exciting future. No, I am not leaving radio. The Blitz will continue to endure for the foreseeable future. However, as part of my new duties at Gow Media, I will also be Executive Director of Gow Media Audio Publications, a new arm of the Gow empire. We will be publishing audio books, easily downloadable to both laptops and mobile devices.

To that end, I am pleased to introduce our first project: An Introduction to Sports Betting, Blitz Style, by myself and A.J. Hoffman. It is an original book available only on audio. This is a key part of our vision for this business, but more on that in a moment.

This particular audio book is for those who are interested in sports betting and want to know more of the terminology and strategies. It is designed for a beginner, but it also has several strategies that will help veteran players as well. We specifically do not want to encourage people to bet who aren't already doing it, but simply help people who are do a better job at it. I am very proud of the project and the people who worked hard to make it happen, specifically A.J., editor/producer Micheal Carrell, our internet genius Brandon Strange and Jorge Ortiz, who has been managing the site and helped get it up and running. Without them, this would not have happened.

As far as what's next....we will be releasing an updated version of my how-to horse racing book, Acing Racing, sometime before the end of the year. We also have an exciting project by Craig Shelton on the history of Houston hip hop, which should be out by Christmas. Of all these projects, only Acing Racing is available in print, and the new version will contain significantly more information than the original.

In January, we will move to phase 2, which is an expansion into several new realms. Children's books. How-to manuals. Autobiographies. We want all original content not available anywhere else. Eventually we hope to do text books and more. The sky is the limit.

We will do some audio versions of already published material, but our main goal is to provide original content that fits better in the audio realm. I do not wish to get people to stop reading. I merely want to take advantage of our vast audio capabilities to bring new, fresh ideas to the public.

We are going to keep the unit costs well below what you would expect to pay for an audio book, simply because our overhead and production costs are much lower as we have all the equipment we need as part of the Gow Media operation. If you have a concept that you think would be well-received, email me at with your idea.

In the interim, if you are interested in sports betting, please check this out for the low, low price of $12.99. It's just under three hours of great information, some of which you have probably heard on our show, but all of it in one place. The link is here. Listen while you work out, or while you are trying to ignore people at work.

I am excited about this particular audio book, but am incredibly fired up about what we will produce in the future. I believe we will bring great information to the public at affordable prices in a medium that is still growing.

I am proud to be a part of Gow Media, and I believe this new venture will change the way we get our information in an ever-changing media world. I hope you will join me in embracing the future.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Auctioning off a piece of Astros history

If you are an Astros fan, you might remember this. It appeared on the front page of the Houston Chronicle on June 1, 2005. We essentially buried the Astros, who were off to a historically bad start. You might also remember they recovered and appeared in the World Series for the only time.

What you are looking at is the original slick page proof. To my knowledge, it is the only one in existence. It is, in essence, the original Astros tombstone and the only one of its kind. It appeared on Fox TV during the World Series. It has been copied and referred to many times since.

It has been sitting in storage, and it's time for it to find a real home.

This is a throwback piece to a day when newspapers were still not just relevant, but the driving force behind journalism. If you want more details on how it came about, check out this article.  It details how I came up with the concept.

This is truly a piece of Houston sports history. I had the original proof framed when I was sports editor of the Chronicle. We often did this with pages we liked or historical moments. This is not newsprint, but a slick version that will hold up over time.

When I resigned, it (along with several other front pages) was a going away gift.

It should go to someone who will appreciate it and understand the historical significance.

To that end, we will be auctioning it off on air Wednesday, June 24 on the Blitz on ESPN 97.5 in Houston. (You can also hear us on, tuneinradio and the espn radio app). The auction will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Central time. The call-in number is 713-780-3776. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity -- which charity and how much will be determined by the final price. There is a reserve price on it -- if it doesn't go for a predetermined amount I will keep it and donate it to a deserving home. I'm not looking to get rich. I am hoping to raise some money for a few of my favorite charities. A lot of people have asked about it, so we decided to try this.

The 10-year anniversary happened at the beginning of this month and there was a lot of interest, and enough people remember it that it should be a popular item. The winning bidder will have the option of taking it as is or having it signed by myself and Jose de Jesus Ortiz, who wrote the article. It is truly a collector's item and something that should be on display, not sitting in a storage locker.

If you are interested, tune in to the show on the 24th.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spoiler alert: Justified will be remembered as one of the best shows of a golden era

First off, a reminder we are still taking donations for cancer research for the Terry Fox run. To donate, click here.

To participate, click here: 


Justified ended its six-year run on Tuesday night with a finale that was a damned near perfect microcosm of what the show was about.

Spoiler alert: Yes there are spoilers here so stop if you have not seen it yet.

The show itself is part of a golden age of TV. The last few years has brought us Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and a slew of other near-great shows. Non-network TV allows writers and actors to take chances and delve into subjects that the big boys will not.

Raylan did get to kill one more character (FX photo)
In the final analysis, Justified will go down as one of the all-time great shows. From the snappy, clever dialogue to the excellent acting, the show always stood out from its contemporaries. And unlike shows like Mad Men, it never fell off a cliff into writing oblivion. And unlike Sons of Anarchy, it provided a perfect finale that didn't try to shove maudlin, overdone imagery down our throats.

Some scenes truly stood out. In the end, it was Boyd who killed Avery and his minions, when it looked all along like it was headed for a showdown with Raylan. And of course, that led to the Boyd/Raylan showdown we waited for six years to happen.

And unpredictably, Boyd would not participate. It was a fitting and surprising moment.

The incredibly greasy and unlikeable Boon did draw on Raylan, however. And it was another moment that we didn't really see coming.

Moments before the showdown, the "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" music plays as Raylan and Ava are driving. Then Boon hits the car from behind and they face off in the street. Raylan kills Boon, but is also shot and appears dead.

For a moment, you actually thought that was the end for Raylan. It was perfectly set up. But he was merely grazed. Ava escapes, Raylan says his goodbyes (including an incredibly powerful scene with Art) and the timeframe ends.

It then jumps ahead four years to an epilogue, which rarely works with a show. But this one did. The presumed main characters are back where they started. Raylan is in Florida doting on his daughter. Boyd is in jail and back to preaching.

The characters who truly moved on are the females -- Ava and Winona. Ava has escaped and is in hiding in California, presumably with a chunk of the missing money. (The rest, we presume, is with the ultimate cockroach of the show, Wynn Duffy). Winona has a new man who seems to get along with Raylan and is living a normal life.

In the end, it might have been Ava and Winona who were driving the show all along, and Raylan and Boyd were the bit characters.

The scene with Raylan and Ava was charming and closed the door on their relationship, with the big reveal being Boyd's chunky son, which evokes yet another snarky line from Raylan.

And the final scene was pure gold. Raylan and Boyd one more time, with Raylan pretending to fall back on their old code to outsmart his nemesis once again to make Boyd think Ava is dead.

A few things are left to our imagination, notably whether or not Loretta becomes the queen of Harlan County. But those are good things to speculate on, and the shows final moments were simply perfect. Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins brought the characters to life like few ever have.

It was filled with emotion. Snark. Great acting. Just like all six seasons. The show ended at a perfect time with a result that was neither forced nor unbelievable.

The characters we love most all left Harlan alive, and went right back where they started. The six years in between marked a wonderful ride for all of us, one that will eventually be remembered as one of the best shows in a golden age of television.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A plea for help...but the blog is back

So I know this blog has been dormant for a while. I promise to fix that (I know, I have said that before). But my son has shamed me into writing more and who wants to disappoint their kid? (I am extremely proud of him. He wants to get in the creative writing program at UH. He will be a big star someday. His writing is phenomenal. He thinks it is better than his dad's, but what teenager doesn't?).

This is pretty straightforward. I will be back with some new fiction soon. I miss doing this blog. Going back and looking, there is some fun stuff on here. I need to get back to that.

As you all know, I hate cancer. Most of you knew Terry Hayes and her struggles before she passed. MD Anderson was terrific to her.

We have all lost someone to cancer or known someone who beat it. Those of you who know me have seen me post all these running photos lately. I have gotten into running 5ks and 10ks and biking like a fiend.

So the Terry Fox Run -- which the Canadian Club of Houston has brought to our fair city -- combines all those things. A hatred for cancer. A chance to run. Oh yeah, a Canadian connection, which never sucks, since my Canuck friends have branded me an honorary Canadian.

I'm hoping you will all participate and then we will all go downtown and party like fiends after. If you can't, please donate a few bucks here. Let's let cancer know we think it sucks and we hate it.

This is a cool run. There is no set donation, so you can donate a dollar and run. It's all about what you can spare, and more importantly  raising awareness. So let's do this together.

I promise more weirdness here soon. But for now, let's treat cancer like it is Ed Norton in the shower in American History X.