Sports

Episode 147: He’s Multitalented and Multifaceted! He’s John Smoltz!

John Smoltz

Maybe I would have been the next Lawrence Welk. Who knows?

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • Ah, what might have been for JOHN SMOLTZ and the Tigers! The MLB Hall of Famer from Lansing is our guest!
  • Smoltzie just wants to be doing TV baseball again, but politics and demonstrations have taken over the sports world instead.
  • Will the NFL now let its players stage protests during the national anthem?! Bob wonders where THAT might lead.
  • For all you Caucasians, are YOU now “embarrassed to be a white person?” Don’t laugh! An NBA coaching star says HE is!
  • During a demonstration, what would happen if you caught a punk destroying your car? Well, YOU might be arrested!
  • Producer Brandon McAfee and the boys take a vote: would they watch a big game with no fans to cheer?
  • Ultimate Fighting Champ Conor McGregor retires — again. Eli and Denny yawn: “he’ll be back.”
  • Golf IS back and now you can even use a special cart with a partner (GASP!) — if you’re really THAT worried about COVID-19.
  • Wimbledon? Canceled! The U.S. Open? Probably not, but would it be worth watching without “The Big Three?”
  • Those stories, a listener wants to ask Denny’s questions FOR him on YOUR mailbag segment and much more — right here!

Episode 146: Campy Russell: An American Success Story

Campy Russell

What a career!

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • The boys welcome ex-Michigan and NBA star CAMPY RUSSELL to the show, who says the NBA’S “show” MUST go on!
  • As if COVID-19 weren’t enough of an issue, society’s racial unrest is suddenly tearing apart the sports world.
  • The controversy’s also caused a long-time NBA announcer to lose his job while one NFL coach is trying to hang on to HIS.
  • And will a Florida State football star lose his spot on the team after publicly calling his head coach a — WHAT?!
  • The MLB season is in serious jeopardy over the usual millionaires vs billionaires squabble. DENNY sets a deadline!
  • The NBA and the NHL WILL return — but at this point, how many people even care anymore?
  • And how many brave souls would turn out in the brutal South Florida summer to watch Major League SOCCER?
  • Eli talks with former guest, attorney DAN WALLACH, then says Duke’s Zion scandal will NOT be a big problem. Bob’s not sure!
  • Denny asks why it seems like SO many sports figures are now dying.  Wes Unseld, Pat Dye and Johnny Majors just this week.
  • Lenny Dykstra has lost a defamation lawsuit against an ex-Mets teammate. Why? TRY to stifle your laughter.
  • And YOUR mailbag segment NOW has nearly sent Eli into apoplexy. Those stories and much more right here!

Episode 145: The Remarkable Life of Trixie!

Dick Tracewski in a Tigers uniform

He wore the Tigers uniform fo 28 years…more than anyone in team history.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • The man who wore a Tigers uni longer than any? DICK TRACEWSKI — also Koufax’s roommate in L.A. — is our guest!
  • What NOW for MLB? Well, the post-season’s probably gonna be FRIGID! IF they DO play.
  • Minor League Baseball in a HEAP of trouble but one Florida club has a unique way of making money now anyway!
  • The NBA and NHL resuming? Eli asks how many even care about sports anymore, especially with all the trouble in the U.S.  
  • COVID-19 talk is everywhere and one of the NHL’s top young star’s career may be in jeopardy due to the pandemic.
  • No caddies allowed on the LPGA? MLS at war over when and if it can start playing soccer again? Yet the coast MAY be nearly clear.
  • For instance, Korean MLB could serve as a model for baseball to return. It’s had no outbreaks since resuming play.
  • LOOK! Denny is now ready for 1967 to begin — JUST in time for 2020 as he asks Eli for advice about (GASP!) marijuana!  
  • Detroiter Brad Keselowski has won his second straight NASCAR race. Denny recalls interviewing him when Brad was THREE!
  • How do you go through $44 million and wind up broke? Ask baseball’s Esteban Loaiza AND Mike Tyson among others!
  • Watching the Lance Armstrong doc on ESPN these days? Bob: He’s a lying SOB. NO! Eli to Bob: Aren’t you being a hypocrite?
  • A silly fan’s suggestion in YOUR Mailbag to (GULP!) get rid of BOB and hire — SERIOUSLY?!  Those stories and more right here!

Episode 144: From the Ol’ Farm — to Scoring a Super Bowl TD!

Tom Nowatzke on trading card

The only Lion of that era to win a Super Bowl!

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • Our guest is the bruising fullback, TOM NOWATZKE, on his 1960’s Lions, Colts teammate Johnny U and MUCH MORE!
  • While pro sports leagues FIGHT during negotiations on when and how to start playing again, Eli and Bob repeat: go away til 2021.
  • No sports? No games to gamble on, no casinos to gamble IN! One way or another the city of Detroit may pay an awful price.
  • No football? Not only does Dolphins owner Stephen Ross say we WILL have an NFL season but he has unusual plans for his stadium.
  • Bob asks why Jim Harbaugh seemed so thrilled to recruit only a good, not great, player this week. Is it THAT bad in Ann Arbor now?
  • VERY different opinions among  the boys over golf and last Sunday’s “The Match.” If you watched it, you were NOT alone.
  • The Michigan House has passed a bill allowing college athletes to make extra money on the side — and Eli’s apoplectic!
  • From Denny: the legendary overseas boxing match he actually went to! And does his ex-catcher Jim Price really HATE him?!
  • The latter question comes from YOUR mailbag segment. We’ll have that and many other top stories right here!

Episode 143: Drew Stanton’s LONG & WINDING Road

Drew Stanton in MSU uniform preparing a throw.

Things fell into place.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

A GREAT career as an NFL quarterback wasted as a back-up? Don’t tell that to MSU’s DREW STANTON, our guest!  
  • Today we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for OUR freedoms as we observe Memorial Day.  
  • It’s a special day for another reason: Eli remembers the Ali/Sonny Liston rematch on its 55th anniversary!
  • Bob reminds SOME people (not naming any names from THIS show!) who Brad Keselowski IS and why he matters.
  • Did you like the Tiger/Phil/Brady/Peyton golf outing? Didn’t even bother to watch? No worries. Eli and Denny DID.
  • Philip Rivers has a new job waiting for him: HIGH SCHOOL head coach in Alabama. He should NOT ask Mike Singletary for advice!
  • Prez Mark Schlissel’s not worried about no fans at U-M games. He won’t ALLOW football if no students are on campus!
  • As the NBA plots restarting in Orlando, we pay tribute to the great Jerry Sloan who died this weekend, as did Eddie Sutton.
  • How bad is it for the Wings? They’re officially among the “Stigmatized Seven,” awful clubs that won’t be part of summer playoffs.
  • Racism in hockey? It’s been an issue for a long time and now another black ex-player has come forward with HIS tales of abuse.
  • Those stories, Eli bitching all through our Mailbag segment while YOU enjoy it — and much more right here!

Episode 141: Jimmy Carson: NHL Star to Business Star!

Jimmy Carson playing hockey

“I get to help a lot of families.”

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • “Sorry, we just traded you — for Wayne Gretzky!” JIMMY CARSON, the only OTHER teen to score 50 in one season, is our guest! 
  • So Denny, tell us about, ya know, that OTHER time you were almost arrested — and you had your LIFE threatened?
  • It was a VERY busy weekend for Eli. His beloved golf is back — well, kinda — AND he broke a Michigan law!
  • But Eli’s on edge. So are a LOT of people in Michigan self-quarantining. Now the FAMILY DOG seems to be on edge too!
  • What’s MLB gonna do now? We’re all waiting, while a big college baseball program falls victim to COVID-19.
  • If MLB does play this year, we know who its highest-paid player will be. Trout? Max? JV? NO! Wait’ll you hear.
  • And whither college football? Bob has the SECOND-worst scenario next to NO game: U-M v MSU a controlled scrimmage!
  • The once-beautiful Phyllis George has passed away. Eli and Denny lament but BOB points a finger!
  • Denny STONED for the first time ever? He STILL thinks the Packers will trade Aaron Rodgers to his treasured Bears.
  • And what kind of show would this be if we didn’t run down the NFL’s weekend rap sheet for you?
  • Those stories, YOUR mailbag featuring a certain ex-organ player warbling plus much more right here!

Episode 140: The Greatest Legend in MLB HISTORY?!

Jim Abbott

The No-Hitter in Yankee Stadium was really special.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • How did JIM ABBOTT do it?! Born without a right hand – yet became a star pitcher at U-M AND in MLB?! Jim joins the boys!
  • Sports are slowly coming back — but maybe not MLB. WAAYYY too many money issues, as we’ve reported previously.
  • So that begs the question: do people NEED sports or do MORE people HATE sports? Eli has some passionate thoughts on that.
  • But there’s plenty to do and watch without sports — as Denny found out during an impromptu stroll down Memory Lane!  
  • What about the NFL? Bob details a LOT of issues that may keep IT from opening too. No more TAILGATING?!
  • Not guilty! A judge has dismissed the charges from the Nassar Nightmare against former MSU President Lou Anna Simon.
  • Meanwhile, there’s surprising news about former Spartan star linebacker, the late Mike Labinjo.
  • Ohio State and Michigan SCARED of a football rival? MSU, Penn St and Wisconsin too? Not YET, at least, but maybe soon?
  • Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland (mercifully?) blown out of the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. NOW what?
  • Our producer Brand McAfee makes a SHOCKING confession about his childhood — and STILL can’t let go of it! 
  • YOUR Mailbag may now have a theme song! You, uh, might NOT want to hear it as warbled by DENNY McLAIN, though. 
  • Those stories and much more right here!

Episode 139: The “Spaceman” — on EVERYTHING!

Bill Lee in Astronaut uniform

One of the great characters in sports.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • You wanted to WHAT? BULLDOZE the Rocky Mountains?! It’s the one and only “SPACEMAN,” BILL LEE, on with us today!
  • What’s going on in sports? Almost NOTHING! But Eli, Denny and Bob still make the proverbial chicken SOUP outta chicken BLEEP.
  • Sports leagues planning to start again? Rumors abound every day. But HOW — and WHEN?
  • Human cockfighting had a big weekend anyway, though Eli calls it (and maybe YOU do too) “Ultimate Fighting Championship.”
  • At 53 (and apparently in need of money), Mike Tyson says he’s thinking about a comeback! How would HE do in UFC?
  • Whenever baseball announces it’s ready, is it possible ANOTHER issue could keep its doors closed? 
  • MLB has now cut its draft rounds back due to COVID-19, but will that only help the rich (THE YANKEES!) get richer?
  • Baseball has changed SO much — and maybe not for the better. Denny rants on NOW versus THEN.
  • Cheating in college basketball? Biz as usual. Coach K even cheating?! Bob: “NEVER!” Eli: “Shut up, you Dukie!”
  • Those stories, we check in on Denny’s busy, uh, “social life,” YOUR Mailbag and much more right here! 

Episode 138: NOLAN and FRANK — Oh, MY!!!

Collage of Frank Tanana baseball cards

The best 1-2 punch since Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • From booze and broads in L.A. to “rebirth” in his hometown, Detroit’s own FRANK TANANA is our guest!
  • As they used to say: VCR ALERT!!! A THREE-HOUR TV special JUST on the new NFL sked! (Yippee)
  • There ARE certain pro sports underway in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Desperate enough yet to watch them?
  • Michigan and Michigan State football: Who needs EITHER? — as one famous coach seems to be implying.
  • Eli has more on the sex abuse scandal at U-M. A listener asks, “How is a ‘retired’ sports reporter scooping the CURRENT media?!”
  • Pete Rose selfish and reckless for still signing at sport shows? Bob says “B.S.!” Pete corked his bats? DENNY says “BFD!”
  • Eli has a confession: he actually listens to local sports radio “guy-talk!” But he still makes fun of it.
  • NBA issues: WHEN it returns there may be a big drop-off in play AND is K.D. still paid $$$$ if his Nets are not ALLOWED to play?
  • Will ESPN’s “Last Dance” NEVER end?! NOW we go from EVERYONE hating on Isiah to Sir Charles and M.J. hating on each other.
  • Bob details how and why Giants quarterback Phil Simms said an emphatic “NO!” to playing golf with Michael.
  • Eli said “YES!” to HIS golf game with comedian Tim Allen. THOSE stories, YOUR mailbag and much more right here!

Episode 137: The One and ONLY George Blaha!

George Blaha

An incredible career that started very modestly.
It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

He’s known all over Michigan and the NBA. For 44 years the voice of the Pistons. GEORGE BLAHA joins us today!

  • Will there BE an NBA season? The NFL says IT’S starting on time but, oh, the problems they’ll have!
  • Bob asks how owners will pay the MILLIONS they owe on guaranteed contracts with few fans and lower ticket prices.
  • ESPN’s latest episodes of “The Last Dance” expose more anger between MJ and Isiah.
  • Vegas has pitched a plan to finish the seasons for the major sports leagues. The response? Deafening silence!
  • But the odds ARE out for the FLs’ 2020 season. About as encouraging as news of their LATEST blown top draft pick.
  • MSU and U-M’s odds on winning a national championship this year? Understandable in East Lansing, HUMILIATING in Ann Arbor!
  • Meanwhile, what did Bo and Canham know — and when did they know it? Eli’s U-M sources have a LOT to say on the subject!
  • “So, Miss, I don’t know how to put this, but, uh, there’s something I’d like to ask you about your, um, physical endowments. May I?”
  • Those stories, a BIG thanks to all of you who are donating to the show, YOUR mailbag segment and much more right here!