Former Texan Travis Johnson: "Tony Romo Is a Thief"
Back in the day, we had a sign on the door of our studio and that was all that it said, but in a radio/television/print/Web world cluttered with thousands of sources for content, and with only 24 hours in a day to consume just a fraction of them, those were, to me at least, words to live by.
I don't know what ever happened to that sign. It is gone now, probably sitting in a recycle bin next to our standing cardboard cutout of Chewbacca and the banner that was jacked from a Jim Rome tour stop in 2001, but that's not important right now.
What's important is how being "memorable" relates to a segment on Comcast SportsNet's Sports Talk Live earlier this week.
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For the 60 percent of you in Houston unable to pick up CSN, Sports Talk Live is a nightly, hourlong talk show hosted by longtime Houston sports television fixture Kevin Eschenfelder, and is composed typically of a couple of interview segments and a few panel-style discussions between local media types -- radio, print and former players.
It's a fun show and a nice avenue for some of us non-television slugs to get a little bit of air time and express some of our opinions. If I had CSN in my house, I would make a point to watch the show, and I don't just say that because I've been on it. It's a good product.
In general, former players can be a dicey proposition on television, but these unscripted panel-style environments can go sideways quickly if the player a) is afraid of offending current players/NFL teams or b) is just not very good at expressing opinions.
If former Texans first-round defensive tackle Travis Johnson's first appearance on Sports Talk Live is any indication, it doesn't appear that he will have any issues with either of those things.
Full disclosure: Johnson has been on the radio multiple times with me and John Granato on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio over the past month, and his appearances have been legendary, everything from sheepishly admitting, "Yeah, the Texans probably should've drafted Aaron Rodgers instead of me" (literally that's what he said, and it was a hundred times funnier hearing him say it) to telling stories about his days at Florida State and the wildlife habitats some of his teammates housed at their apartments (Ernie Sims had an anaconda that he fed live chickens to. Read that again. Ernie Sims had an anaconda that he fed live chickens to.) Appearing Monday on the panel-discussion portion of the show with 790's Lance Zierlein and Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle and 97.5, Johnson showed he's pretty comfortable on TV, too. He was asked about Dallas quarterback Tony Romo's chances of winning a Super Bowl, and the former Texan did not mince words. Let's take a look:
You can agree or disagree with Johnson's take on Romo (or, for that matter, on Matt Schaub, whom Johnson took up for) and what Romo has had surrounding him, but you can't deny that the conviction of his opinion and the metaphors like "bringing up Romo on federal charges" and calling him a "thief" struck a chord, enough for the network to live-tweet what Johnson was saying:
— CSN Houston (@CSNHouston) August 12, 2013
— CSN Houston (@CSNHouston) August 12, 2013
For the record, I agree with the gist of Johnson's take on Romo (well documented in this space), which I think is that he is overpaid, and I'm not entirely in synch with him on Schaub. Any support of Schaub's ability to get to a Super Bowl turns into more and more of a leap of faith with each passing year.
But agree or disagree, Travis Johnson made an impact on Sports Talk Live. He maximized his minutes, as my good friend and WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross likes to say. He got people talking.
Literally as I finish up this post, I got a text from my friend Ari Temkin, afternoon host on 1250 ESPN in San Antonio, asking me if I saw what Johnson had said about Romo. Later Tuesday night, The Big Lead's headline story was about Johnson and his unloading on Romo. Jason Lisk took up for Romo, and went after Johnson's six-year career, his stats and his résumé, an inevitability that Johnson was probably ready for.
Travis Johnson found out Tuesday about life in the media world in 2013. Word spreads quickly when you say stuff people remember.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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