Jim Crane Wants the CSN Houston Matter Settled, and He Means It

Categories: Baseball, Sports

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Jim Crane wants this matter handled in 30 days
Jim Crane met with the members of the Astros media on Monday before the team's win over the Seattle Mariners. Topics of discussion included his disappointment with the team's start and the progress toward a new spring training facility. But it's his comments regarding the continuing CSN Houston saga that were of most interest.

Stating that bankruptcy judge Marvin Isgur has the ability to move things along quickly at the speed of light and that Isgur has the leeway to do just about whatever he wants, Crane sounded pessimistic about the outcome and about progress in mediation. And that said, he wants this situation wrapped up quickly.

"So I would like to see something resolved within 30 days, one way or another," he said. "He (Judge Isgur) could make that happen -- it could linger longer than (that), but it's certainly not good for us, and it's not good for the Rockets. I don't think it's having any big-term effect on Comcast."

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Rockets Down 0-2 to Blazers: Here Are Six Reasons It's OK to Panic

Categories: Basketball, Sports

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Photo by Groovehouse
Let's hit that panic button, shall we?
Long before Portland took their largest lead of the game well into the fourth quarter of game two in the first round of the Western Conference at Toyota Center, the cracks were showing in the Rockets' foundation. Despite a blistering start with Dwight Howard absolutely dominating on the low post going for 19 points in the first quarter, a team playoff record for a single quarter, the Blazers were not fazed. By the third quarter they were in control even if the Rockets managed a couple of runs to keep it close.

What appeared to be anomalies in game one turned into trends deep into game two, and it started to become clear that the Rockets might not be the best team in this series. Prior to the series, Portland appeared to be the more unbalanced team. They had a suspect bench and a terrible defense. As the final ticks came off the clock putting the Blazers up 0-2 in the series heading back to the Pacific Northwest, the problems were mounting for the favorites.

At this point, there is good reason to be concerned if you are a Rockets fan.

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Survey: Astros Have the Worst Fan Loyalty in Baseball

Categories: Baseball, Sports

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Photos by Marco Torres
These might be the Opening Day-only fans. We hope not.
We're not Astros-bashing, but dead last? That's how Brand Keys, New York-based brand consultancy firm ranked the team's fan loyalty.

Of course, if consistency means anything, this is the Astro's second year in the dead-last spot, after falling from 23rd in 2012. No love here.

According to the company, fan loyalty is connected with broadcast viewership (we're dead in the water on that one), merchandise purchase and ticket revenues, things we know the Astros really do stink at nowadays. We can only hold onto 2005 for so long.

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Merril Hoge Hates Everybody Including Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo from Facebook.com/texags
Let's see if Hoge is as right about Texans' potential first picks as he is about adjusting his tie.
I do a couple hours of radio each week with John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, who is about as dialed in as any beat reporter is for their local NFL team.

McClain is highly informed and not afraid to openly discuss what he knows, and his on-air and in-writing speculation of late have said that the Texans will take either South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Clowney and Manziel obviously are two very different players serving very different needs, and both (like every player in this draft) have their warts, but I think it's hard to find anybody who thinks the Texans' draft would be a failure at the top by picking one of these two.

Well, we found someone who thinks that. Say hello to ESPN's Merril Hoge, kids.

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If Google Elected Athletes to Office, the President Would Be...

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Photo by Keith Allison
Bro hugs, it's what sports is all about.
Before computers ruled our lives, before the internet connected everyone to everything, relevance was a far more subjective attainment. Stardom was a feel, degrees of which were debatable.

Nowadays, with our ability to measure the relative joy in/admiration for/tolerance of almost anything thanks to Internet analytics, we have measures for relevance. Things like web hits, Twitter trending topics, Facebook "Likes." Self esteem used to have no statistical measurement. Now, it has Twitter followers.

These measurements have become incredibly handy in sports (especially in the content driven part like radio and blogs), as we can truly see in numerical form which athletes/personalities are moving the needle.

To that end, how about this latest bit of data?

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Getting Gluttonous With 100 Peeps In Two Minutes

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Christopher
So, this gorging on Peeps thing is a national pastime.
YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. The Mount Rushmore of viral fame-spawning mechanisms.

Never has "getting one's 15 minutes" been easier, never has notoriety been more accessible, and never has the bar been lower for what qualifies as "newsworthy." Making news doesn't require greatness, just an iron stomach.

Just ask Matt Stonie.

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Texans Tracker: Peter King Gives Us the Most Absurd Update Yet

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Click to see updated Texans Tracker
If this were every other year, we'd be around 48 hours away from the NFL Draft, with all of the conjecture, smokescreens and posturing set to expire this weekend.

But it's not every other year. It's 2014, and in 2014, where the draft has been moved back two weeks so the NFL can usurp more of the calendar because of a Radio City Music Hall scheduling conflict, we are going to get even more baseless speculation and anonymous sources whether we like it or not.

Up until now, my personal favorite euphemism for anonymous sources had been "people around the league," as in "people around the league believe the Texans will draft a human being."

But Peter King destroyed "people around the league" on Monday in his weekly MMQB.com column.

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Five Reasons the Rockets Will Win the Portland Series Even After Losing Game 1

Categories: Basketball, Sports

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Photo by Jose Garcia
Sunday night's overtime loss to the Trailblazers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs cost the Rockets the very home court advantage they fought for until the penultimate game of the season. It was as frustrating a loss as fans will see with poor play down the stretch, sloppy play most of the game, a blown lead in the fourth quarter and a team of referees that appeared to believe they were opponents of both teams and the game of basketball itself.

The good news is that it was pretty damn ugly and the Rockets still managed to take it down to a final possession. Losing the home court certainly hurts, particularly when the Rockets spent so much time fighting to secure it, but there is most definitely a silver lining.

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Roddy Piper Turns 60: The Five Most Important Piper's Pits

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Have_Mercy
Recalling those infamous forays into Piper's Pit.
Who's your favorite player?

For traditional sports, the answer to that question for most people is pretty easy. You know who your favorite football, baseball, or basketball player is, and you know the reasons why. Their career is a collective body of work that defines them, and your love for that athlete is usually for the totality of his work.

Professional wrestling is just different. It's sports entertainment, where the "players" are actors as much as they are athletes, so to answer the question "Who's your favorite wrestler?" is a little more complex.

At least, it is for me.

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NBA Playoffs Opening Weekend In Viral Video Form

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The first weekend of the NBA Playoffs is in the books, and Game 1 of every series has been played. If you're a hoops junkie, you have another seven weeks of this to look forward to.

If you're the spouse of a hoops junkie, you have seven weeks to find a good divorce lawyer. You've been warned.

The theme of this first weekend is "the dogs were barkin'!" On Saturday, three road underdogs pulled the straight up upset, including an 8 seed beating a 1 seed in Indiana, with the Hawks beating the Pacers in a game that wasn't even close. (Seriously, the worst 8 seed in recent memory meeting up with the worst 1 seed in recent memory. The only thing that makes this potentially watchable is the possibility of Roy Hibbert punching a teammate during the game.)

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