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John McClain, Legendary Houston Chronicle Sportswriter, Announces Retirement

For someone retiring, McClain plans to remain a prominent voice in the Houston sports scene through writing, radio, and Twitter.

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The term “end of an era” is surely overused — and probably misused, in many cases where it isn’t really suitable. But for John McClain retiring from the Houston Chronicle after 47 years at the paper, is there any other term that applies?

The man is an institution in Houston sports and is known throughout the country as an authoritative voice and trusted opinion on the scene, especially in regards to the Houston Texans and the NFL.

McClain announced his retirement on Thursday in a farewell column to Chronicle readers. With the four years he worked at the Waco Tribune-Herald while a student at Baylor, that makes a 51-year career in sportswriting, truly an achievement worthy of applause.

But rather than just take a victory lap and make that column all about himself, McClain generously thanks everyone who meant something to his career, fellow writers, editors, radio hosts, program directors, coaches, players, executives, and public relations directors.

His final pieces for the paper/website will be a mailbag column on Friday for Texas Sports Nation, the Chronicle’s vertical for premium sports content, and a Sunday column looking back on the 10 stories he remembers best from his career covering football in Houston.

Yet for someone retiring, McClain apparently plans to remain a prominent voice in the Houston sports scene. If you enjoy talking sports, it’s difficult to get it out of your blood. As he explained in his column, he’ll still contribute to the Chronicle when needed, as recently retired Dale Robertson and David Barron have also done.

McClain changed with the times to remain a vital voice. And he’ll continue to do so by providing commentary on the Texans and Astros on Twitter. And he’ll keep making weekly appearances on radio shows throughout the country, including Houston’s Sports Radio 610, Knoxville’s WNML, Las Vegas’ Raider Nation Radio KRLV 920, and Outkick 360.s

For more insight on what impact McClain made with Houston sports fans and the community, please read Brian T. Smith’s column on his colleague, with whom he worked on the Texans beat for two seasons. McClain often signed autographs for fans. Some showed appreciation for his work by paying for his meals.

“Some are lazy, entitled or take a special job for granted,” Smith writes. “McClain was the exact opposite of that. He knew how lucky he was and passed his fortune forward.”

Sports fans in Houston and throughout the country – on radio, podcasts, and Twitter — have had the great fortune of enjoying his work, knowing that they’d get an informed opinion with an entertaining accompanying dose of humor. Sports are supposed to be fun and John McClain showed that. Now he’s taking a much-deserved bow.

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Lachlan Murdoch: ‘FOX Bet Has Been Disappointing’

“In a recent interview, he told Axios that the app has around 6.5 million users since its launch.”

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FOX is the only network to have a stake in the sports betting industry. The network partnered with FanDuel to launch FOX Bet in 2019. So far, FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch has not been pleased with the results.

In a recent interview, he told Axios that the app has around 6.5 million users since its launch. He called the performance thus far “disappointing.”

Sports betting is a crowded marketplace. It is possible that players are watching games on FOX and seeing advertisements for the betting app, but are choosing to trust their experience to companies like FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and other companies that are more commonly associated with gambling.

Murdoch believes that a dispute with FanDuel owner Flutter has set FOX Bet back. The two companies have been involved in a standoff over who owns which aspects of FOX Bet and what price FOX is obligated to pay in order to acquire an 18.6% stake in FanDuel. Murdoch says everything “should be resolved by the summer.”

In March, Bloomberg reported that the app is struggling to find new players. FOX Bet is one of the betting partners of the NFL and can advertise its services during games in the fall, but its potential is hindered by only being available to bettors in four states.

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Online Sports Betting Not Happening In Maryland In 2022

“Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl.”

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Online sports betting in Maryland appears to have no shot of happening this year due mainly to the fact that the state’s oversight committee on sports wagering is hung up on how to bring women and minority-owned businesses into the fold.

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Committee (SWARC) is currently awaiting results of a disparity study by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl. But given where SWARC is, the whole process is being held up to the point that it’ll likely be later in 2023 before residents can use their phones to place bets.

It’s been just over a year since Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation that legalized sports betting in the state. Since then, five casinos in the state have opened retail sportsbooks.

The casinos have handled more than $132 million in bets since December. $26.9 million in wagers were placed in April alone.

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Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State

“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”

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Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.

He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”

He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”

It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.

The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.

Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.

The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.

Others used the feud to create comedy.

Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.

The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.

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