Ranking Houston's Sports Radio Personalities
|Former pros, N.D. Kalu (left) and Greg Koch.|
I've grown to like Davies since he joined Meltser on their noon show. He strikes an interesting balance with his younger, less flexible partner and often puts Davies in the position of voice of reason, which suits him. He can get off point and occasionally they both make me want to beat my head against my steering wheel, but, overall, he's a solid listen at lunch.
14. N.D. Kalu, KBME
Kalu is one of my favorite former players on the radio. His takes are insightful and that Rice education certainly helps. He can sometimes sound a little uncomfortable on air and I'm still unsure if he and Greg Koch can hold down a show without a regular radio guy, but it's nice to have former pros on the air every day.
13. Fred Faour, KNFC
I have listened to Faour and his on-air partner A.J. Hoffman for a while now. Faour, like his partner, has one of the better voices on radio, but he is too fixated on gambling -- he even wrote a book on the subject -- that it pulls the focus away from sports more than it should. It often feels like he should be a guest talking betting lines rather than a full-time host. Still, he is clearly a pro and when he stays off the gambling takes, he's very, very solid.
12. Greg Koch, KBME
What I said about Kalu is pretty much the same for Koch with the key difference being that Koch is quite a bit more natural on the air. He can get a little too edgy with callers at times, but he's definitely got a knack for speaking his mind and the insights of a former player is often fascinating.
11. Carl Dukes, KNFC
I've listened to Dukes since he was on KTRH. He's a guy that can be a polarizing figure among sports fans with some of his takes, but he knows the Houston sports scene well. His approach can sometimes feel like he learned it at the Calvin Murphy school of outlandishness, but he's got an interesting perspective and a good demeanor.
10. A.J. Hoffman, KNFC
Hoffman might have the best voice on sports radio and he has talent to back it up. Like many young sports talk guys in town, it feels like he is a stand-up comedian biding his time on sports radio rather than a sports guy who occasionally makes a joke, a trend that frankly makes me uncomfortable. Fortunately, he's also very knowledgeable, which often translates into a good balance of facts and entertainment.
9. John Granato, KGOW
It's hard not to appreciate a guy like Granato, who seems to just sail through changes that would take others down. From TV to multiple stations to rotating co-hosts, he handles it all like it is no big deal even though it usually is. He has suffered without Lance Zierlein -- their chemistry was so good for so long -- but he is still a steady voice of Houston sports radio.
8. Matt Thomas, KBME
Thomas is a guy that, to me, is better than his show, which sounds weird considering he flies solo. He's got solid takes and a great voice. I just think there are times when he could benefit from a co-host to help him carry the load, particularly in a tough lunchtime slot where good guests are hard to come by. Still, he's entertaining and handles both guests and callers extremely well. Bonus points for his regular use of Lou Rawls.
7. Ralph Cooper, KCOH
One of the longest-tenured and, unfortunately, most under-appreciated voices of Houston sports is KCOH's Cooper. He's been on the air now since 1973 and his knowledge of Houston sports is rivaled by only a rare few. His appearances on channel 13's Extra Points helped to elevate his status among listeners, but not nearly enough.
6. Matt Jackson, KBME
It's funny to say this now considering he's still a fairly young guy, but Jackson is a survivor. He's bounced around from show to show, but his greatest success has come with long-time on-air partner Adam Wexler. The two are one of the best tandems on sports radio. Jackson's unflinching takes and unrepentant love of all things Houston are as entertaining as they are refreshing.